In short: Clearly 69 miles isn't for everyone, but this has to be as beginner- friendly as Ultras get. In full: Having done nothing longer than a half marathon before, I thought I was being crazy to enter. My brother must therefore be utterly mental to agree to join me, since he wasn't a runner at all! Long story short, it was painful and tortuous, but it was also the most amazing thing I've ever done. The feeling of crossing that finish line has to be the best legal high you can get. You can see how much I loved it by looking at the photos: I was number 24. Not that it was all smooth. My brother and I signed up as a pair to get the discount. We didn't realise that it meant we would only get one timing chip between us and had to stay together for accurate results. I wouldn't bother doing that again. Also some of the pre-race info turned out to be wrong; basic things like the distances to the stage finish (it turned out the older online info was better) which was a little disconcerting. In the end we just ignored the leaflet we'd been given. I was also disappointed that the evening meal for the challengers was at extra cost. Massive plus side: the race was perfectly marked from start to end, the aid stops were well stocked with food and friendly comments, the finish was dramatic and exciting and there was a decent free meal on crossing the finish line. One other thing I have to emphasise:the support from crew and the public was exemplary. Nothing but support and kindness (and useful info!) all the way through. So to summarise, I will absolutely do this again, and now that I know the minor issues to avoid it will be an even better experience next time.
In short: Cramped at the start,but it spread out quickly and went well. In full: I was a little overwhelmed by the sardine-tin conditions on the start line (I don't like crowds), but once I got running it was fun. Unlike others I actually did get a new PB by over five minutes, but that was probably because the only other 10k I've done was "The Run 11" where it was 29 degrees. I actually did also stop for a moment at the water station, because it was my kids handing out the water. They also had a great race experience, and you'll probably see them again next year. Date of review: September 12, 2012
In short: My first race and I loved it! I couldn't have hoped for a better introduction to event running. In full: I was very nervous about my first ever running event, but the parking was good, the facilities fine, the weather turned a blinder, and it all went smoothly. Well run bag storage, and I loved the fact there was a 400m track to warm up on with no restrictions (and so did the kids who had a great time beating Daddy on a racetrack). I was slightly confused at the start, but I think that was my inexperience rather than organisation problems. It all seemed obvious in retrospect. I just mingled in at the back and found myself trapped with the really slow runners to start. Even that had it's bright side: there's nothing better for newbie nerves than flying past everyone with ease. I felt like a real runner. I have to say I loved the weather, but maybe a little cooler next time would help with progress. A lot of people were suffering, and going slowly in front of me. My only gripe is with the kid's races. My ten year old son did the 2k, and he really wanted to know his time and his position, but they didn't use chip timing. I had to work it out from the times of the photos I'd taken. Is this something to do with not encouraging competition between children? If so, it's a really misplaced concern at an event all about racing! Overall, I loved the whole day and I can only hope that my next event goes anywhere near this well. It's going to have a special place in my memory, and my son is already showing off his medal at school. Date of review: October 3, 2011