Trionium Greensand Marathon

...including half marathon option

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04/07/2013 at 10:34

Did this run last year I am just an average runner. I really enjoyed it I did not find the cut off tIme a problem. It added a little more interest to the run, once past the cut off time relax and plod at your pace. I remember the hill was not too bad either. The long trail through the wood on the way back was great....very soft on the pine needles , slightly sloped downhill great on the legs nice fast stage end in sight. It was overcast last year nice and cool . A great day .. enjoyed the fry up at the end.

04/07/2013 at 10:39

Thanks for this Tony - so as an average runner, what would you say your average pace is on an undulating road route?  Think I'll bite the bullet and enter this, but just want to make sure I don't make a fool of myself.  Doesn't take much to knock my fragile confidence

04/07/2013 at 10:46

Did this last year in 4.25 which I was very happy with. I aim for about 4 hours to 4.15 on the road. I found this easier on the legs less pounding.  I got myself some trail trainers for this which probably made the difference as the ground was wet and slightly slippery.The trainers stuck to the tracks like glue..I actually now prefer running more on trails and tracks. Roads and pavement I find harder.

Have a go you might be pleasantly surprised


Edited: 04/07/2013 at 10:49
04/07/2013 at 11:14

You've convinced me.  I do a little trail running but my road marathon time is 4:25, so hoping to complete this in 5 hours then.  Might enter the Pilgrim too as a warm up in September (ha ha ha).

04/07/2013 at 11:17

Well done you will be well under 5 hours. See you in October

04/07/2013 at 11:37

Oh well, that's done.  I'm in.   Now just got to worry for 3 months.

04/07/2013 at 12:31

tony2476 - I'm trying to work out my pacing for this and am interested in the fact that the route didn't make a massive difference to your marathon time.

I'm a 38 minute 10k / 1.25 half marathon runner.  I did the Leith Hill Half in 1.41 but wasn't in the shape I am in now.  I was thinking about aiming for 10 minute miles on legs 1 and 3 and 8 minute miles on legs 2 and 4.  Maybe I should reconsider that....

Tricky business.  Looking forward to it though.  Am definitely going to be running to enjoy and not busting a gut to get a "fast" time.

04/07/2013 at 12:42

Half-considering this one. In the Midsummer Munro I get to 10k at about 1hr 10 or 15mins, so how would that compare to the Greensands?

04/07/2013 at 12:47

Hi Elstead runner I was very lucky last year. When the weather is a bit crummy I tend to get my head down and try to go round faster as I don't like the cold.I struggle more in the heat.

 I started off with a number of runners who kept mentioning the cut off time so we probably went a bit faster at the beginning rather than a conventional start. It normally takes me about 3 to 4 miles to get into a run whether its a half or full marathon. After the cut off spot I just felt good and happy and really enjoyed the run, lots of good people along the way. Its a very enjoyable run .

See you in october

04/07/2013 at 13:10

Hi Muttley

I did the Midsummer Munro in 2 1/2 hours. That was a mission, this is more relaxed everyone is just as friendly which helps an awful lot.The hill is nothing like boxhill, no stairs I managed to run these at my slow pace. I am hoping for cloudy weather and a little rain, I much prefer that to the sun. There is one great track on the way back nice slope downhill, great run. I finished this run on a feel good. The munro I completed a mission. Both are great but for different reasons.

Good luck


05/07/2013 at 07:51

Thanks Tony. I also did the MM in two and a half hours so if you're within the cutoff for this one I guess I will be too. Cheers.

05/07/2013 at 08:09

Great.  Was a few years ago, but I did MM in 2:50!!!  Have improved slightly since I did it a few years ago.  Guess I won't be hanging around then!

05/07/2013 at 08:20

I just thought I'd check. I mean, the MM is fun but once a year is enough thank you

02/08/2013 at 14:41

hey Rob, how are the places filling up??  training is on hold at the moment (due to calf injury) so don't want to sign up 'til i'm recovered and ready.  when does this normally sell out??

09/08/2013 at 16:32

Dr Robert:

I have entered but sadly cannot take part as a friend is inconsiderately getting married that weekend.  Is it possible for me to sell my marathon place (and my wife's half marathon place) to someone?


To others:

The race is a great tought event - I can highly recommend it, and I am gutted not to be coming back for a second year.


Elstead Runner:

From your 10k time it sounds like you are a similar pace to me.  I got round in just under 3:32 last year.  I haven't done a road marathon but would guess I'd take around 3:00, so the GM was about half an hour slower.  HTH

24/08/2013 at 17:22

No problem to transfer or defer - just email me at rob @ trionium (dot) com with all the details.

There are currently plenty of places left: 120 entered, 250 places maximum.

08/09/2013 at 18:51

There's always a lot to say about pacing and, as the Designated Slowest Runner in Trionium History, I'm eager to share my opinions -

1) Some stats for the previous Greensands:

 As you can see, the Mean Time hasn't changed a lot - let's say that the Greensand Mean Time is 4:30:00. Since the Mean and the Median are remarkably similar we'll use Mean as the Average Time.

The time of the Last runner in the race hasn't changed significantly over the years but the First runner's time has - Last year's winner took 10 mins off the course record in the worst conditions that the race has seen. IMHO three hours for a normal road marathon is a good time; going under three hours on a very hilly, very muddy off-road course is astonishing.

2) The Average Finishing Time is 4:30:00, so the Average Pace is 6:26 per km.

To make the cut at Leith Hill Tower (about 10km out) the required pace up to the Tower is 7:18 per km.

That pace was achieved or bettered over the entire race by 125 out of 154 runners in 2012. The last 29 runners in 2012 slowed down considerably after the Tower but still averaged 7:56 per km for the Race.

3) So nobody should worry unduly about the cut-off because, looked at rationally, it's not a very demanding target. BUT it probably does distort the race for lots of people, who do slower times overall because they run too hard at the start for fear of the cut.

4) The Greensand course is significantly easier than the Picnic/Munro. It is easier to pace, in that most runners can run up and down all the hills. My suggestion is that you run carefully on the outward leg, not killing yourself on any of the hills, especially the steep bits of the climb to the Tower. On the homeward leg you'll have a clear idea of the typical hill and the footing, so you can try to up the pace by 30-40 secs per km, aiming for a negative split of 10-12 minutes.

5) Yes, Science is a lot easier than running, I know.

Happy Trails everybody! You're all heroes to me.

09/09/2013 at 21:38

Brian, as ever, you are a marvel. Thanks for the interesting stats.

There will be a pacer this year, up to the Tower, which should make it easier for everyone to gain the tower by the cut-off.

10/09/2013 at 11:24

Thank you, Rob. Big Shout-Out to MS Excel!

Meanwhile, the Slowest Runner in Surrey is still droning -

The first quarter of the Greensand course is a pace problem because it's so bumpy. You should be settling into the run and trying to disperse the starting adrenaline but you're continually unsettled by the ground -

1) Up over The Nower at a stupid pace to a pagan temple - well, it's a Trionium run, what do you expect?

2) Down the other side - on some charming woodland steps! Oh yes, it's Trionium etc. Later you will understand that The Greensand is a 25-mile jog to the foot of these steps. Whereas on The Picnic you discover that your entire life has been an inadequate preparation for The Steps.

3) Along a smooth road for a bit and downhill - Musht be shome mishtake??

4) Into the steep and constricted Westcott Back Passages - hurry uphill in a crowd in order to queue at a gate.

5) Westcott Drinks and the start of Leith Hill.

6) Wolven Lane - In good conditions it's a very pleasant gentle climb on a sandy lane for a couple of miles. In poor conditions it's a grinding slog through mud and puddles.

7) Coldharbour Drinks and an unexpectedly steep climb to the foot of the summit massif.

8) Tower Ridge - The Final Insult. Coincidentally, the steepest climb on the course - a muddy, crumbly crawl to the feet of The Course Designer. He is waving a stop-watch at you. . . .

You can have too much fun in 10km. There'll be tears before bedtime.

15/09/2013 at 16:56
I would like to know 2 things please.

1. Are there still places available?
2. Would it be a good event to choose as a first marathon?

I am still a beginner, so my experience is limited. My half marathon time was 1hr47min on a flat course and I have been training fairly hard to work up to a marathon.

Any thoughts from an experienced runner please?
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