In short: Cracking day out - thanks to all involved In full: I thoroughly enjoyed this - it had all the usual feel good factor of the Lakeland Trails events and the overwhelming majority of what happened on the day did so with the usual precision and attention to detail. This did have everything that makes a great race - easy car parking, simple registration, a wonderful atmosphere around the start/finish area, events to suit every age and every ability, good catering, commentary at the finish, results up quickly, excellent photos, a beautiful route and, most importantly, dozens of cheerful and helpful marshalls.
It is a shame, therefore, that many memories of this particular race will be tarnished by a single oversight or, perhaps, a single piece of damage to course marking - at time of writing this review we simply don't know why it happened but it is true to say that a good number of people, myself included, did stray off route at the furthest point of the course and that not all of them found their way back to the race route before it had been cleared.
For me, this meant disappointment that I went about a mile further than last year and thus did not improve my time and served as a reminder to look where I'm going in future rather than blindly following others. It did not, however, take the shine off an otherwise excellent day.
Thanks to all involved with putting this on and I look forward to normal service being resumed in Hawkshead. Date of review: April 4, 2011
In short: Second time round the two laps and it just seems to get better - perfect weather, great spirit among the runners, excellent organisation and a route made in Heaven. Congratulations Rod and all the team Date of review: September 26, 2010
In short: Excellent day as always In full: This delivered, as ever,the usual spot on organisation alongside something for everybody on a challenging varied route.
Just to pick up and correct the idiotic comments in the previous review - why oh why oh why do people not bother to read the information they have been given then seek to blame race organisers for their own stupidity?
A few direct quotes from the 'final details' published on the event website and available to every entrant.
"there is no longer a designated event car parking area. Fortunately Keswick has many public car parking spaces, to see where they are, just download the car parking map from the link on the website. There are also plenty of roadside verge parking places adjacent to Fitz Park."
"The course has a variety of terrain. The first 3.0km is pretty level along the disused railway line – mainly a gravel bridleway. Once off the railway line, the course climbs for nearly 5km and the underfoot conditions vary from grassy tracks, rocky trails, gravel bridleways and the infamous Glendeterra Bogs. The trail is narrow in places for a couple of kilometres from half way, and there is a very steep drop on the valley side – great care is needed if wet and when overtaking."
"There will be NO water stations due to access limitations. If it is warm, you are advised to carry your own water. Water will be available at the finish."
Also, why did picking up the shirt at the start necessarily mean trek back to the car - what was wrong with the storage area provided?
My thanks, as usual, go out to the race organisers who go well out of their way to ensure that as many possible eventualities as possible are covered. Date of review: September 6, 2010
In short: Potential to be very quick - take your chances with the weather In full: This was a relatively small, locally run marathon put on a by volunteers all of whom did a great job on the day. Pre event parking couldn't have been easier, there were marshalls in all the necessary places, the run route is virtually flat and, so far as my Garmin can tell, the marathon race route was spot on distance wise. It's still a new race (essentially a first running under the 'current management') so, yes, there were a few gremlins to be sorted for the future - none of those mentioned by others bothered me in the slightest on the day. It may have been nice to have an extra water station, to have picked up a T-shirt there and then rather than finding out afterwards that they are being mailed out or to have had a single, recognisable point as a finish line but all of this is, as far as I am concerned, trivia. Well done and thank you to all concerned.
The only aspects that put me off coming back are entirely beyond the control of the organisers. The weather along that coast will always be a lottery - it was windy but it could have been a whole lot worse and people have previously moaned about excessive heat. The other downside is location - sorry, but the out & back Fleetwood/Blackpool route just didn't inspire me. I'm sure this wouldn't have mattered either if I'd been able to run the PB I'd hoped for and which is definitely possible on a 'better' day but when you're hurting and not achieving you need something else to take your mind of it and this route didn't do it for me. Date of review: August 30, 2010
In short: Low key, no frills, friendly race. Fast downhill start, two flat miles in full sun, a sharp uphill followed by a two mile gradual climb. Easy to underestimate and get your pacing as wrong as I did. Nice way to spend a summer evening. Date of review: June 3, 2010
In short: Not enough superlatives in my vocabulary to do this justice. THANK YOU everybody In full: Really don't know where to start with this - such a special day spent in the most glorious location with the most wondeful people.
I'd been building up to this through the week following the amazing 10 in 10 athletes and, by race weekend, found myself more excited about a race than I have been for a long time. Sometimes, pre-race excitement gives way to disappointment but this time even my wildest hopes were exceeded. Everything was perfect.
Got there early and breezed into the carpark. Watched the TiTs start - an electric atmosphere and so much emotion. Easy registration, minimal toilet queues, clear and simple pre-race briefing and an easy walk down to the start following the local samba band. Massive support at the start line then straight into the pretty winding back roads of the Lake District. Easy to run and chat to fellow competitors from all over the country - well stocked and frequent feedstations - wonderful support in Hawkshead - great views across Esthwaite Water - 'that' hill at seven miles - downhill to Lakeside/Newby Bridge and even more support - turn north for the hard third quarter - congratulate the struggling TiT backmarkers on their humbling endurance - huge noise in Bowness - the 21 mile speedbump with friends waiting at the top - back on the main road with views across the lake to the finish bathed in sunshine - the nasty little footbridge at 25.5 - the rise up the drive at Brathay Hall and the wonderful finish funnel to be greeted by those TiTs that have already finished - a burger and a beer in the sunshine surrounded by happy, friendly people who all know that they have just shared a special day - the final TiTs limp home to the reception they so deserve - presentations made by the running legend that is Joss Naylor who has a quiet word for everybody. Then, sadly, its time to go home and print off the form for next year. I, for one, cannot wait.
In short: Wonderful race especially in the glorous weather we had this year. Excellent organisation, challenging route and some of the best scenery the Lake District has to offer. Do it! In full: Its all been said by others - this was an absolute gem this year. Everything just 'worked' from the easy car parking to the efficient number collection, the prompt start, the well stocked and manned water stations, the superb marshalls, the great mug of coffee and the results on the wall of race HQ almost as soon as we'd finished. Many thanks to everybody at Eden Runners for putting it on.
Of course, it helps that we had a clear sunny day to see the snow on the hills. It would have been near impossible not to be uplifted by the combination of weather and scenery but, even so, there was a warmth and sense of community among racers and 'officials' that is often sadly lacking.
Obviously, being in the middle of the Lake District, the race route has a few noticeable ups & downs but I managed to take five minutes off my previous best at this race and clocked one of my fastest halfs for some considerable time - PBs are not beyond the bounds of the possible. Date of review: March 10, 2010
In short: The T-shirt says 'toughest road marathon in the world' (or similar). It fails to say how worthwhile all that effort is. Loved it. In full: Two laps of the half - first lap is tough enough but the second is brutal. There's only a hardy/foolish(?) few that take on both laps so you could well end up on your own for much of the second lap. That said, there are water stations every three miles with plenty of happy, smiley encouraging marshalls to check you're OK. Not sure where the earlier reviewer went wrong but there weas loads of water available at the finish when I arrived.
The scenery is among the finest England has to offer but this is the Lake District so you have to work to see it. Fortunately, the weather was clear this year - I believe its a different experience entirely in the wet.
Overall - small, friendly and reasonably priced. No unnecessary frills just everything you need to deliver a proper gem of a race.
Many, many thanks to Rod and all his team. Date of review: September 22, 2009
In short: Drums - quick start - bit of an up - splash through the bogs - bit more up - over three miles downhill. Fantastic. In full: First time this has been run without pouring rain so it made a real change to be able to see the views. Bogs were wet but not particularly muddy this year. Practicing running downhill definitely helps for the last bit.
Drummers were an entertaining addition to the overall experience - and there was certainly no excuse for anybody in Keswick not knowing we were there - but its also good to report that everything that goes into making a safe and enjoyable race was also present to the very high standard we've come to expect. Efficient registration, great marshalls and a high quality T-shirt all in. Personally, I don't see the need for chip timing but if many others want it then I won't make an issue of it.
Thanks, as ever, to all involved - see you in Coniston. Date of review: September 11, 2009