In short: It couldn't be harder than in 2007, could it? Well yes it could and it was. The weather can make this a killer In full: There are nice patches and some truly hideous industrial wastelands to traverse, but overall this is a gem of a race that gives great variety in a very challenging format.
It might be flattish, but the weather makes it a real tough challenge. I'll be back... Date of review: January 13, 2009
In short: Fantastic "small race" festival and a juicy fat PB for me In full: Great organisation from a non-running committee. A few minor improvements still can be made (energy drinks earlier on; move the marathon start to 9am rather than 10am; ask the marshalls to point out the route rather than just stand at road junctions; double check the mile marker accuracy), but these are small and the organisers have a track record of listening to and acting upon feedback. Great people, nice massage at the end, hot windy sunny day - not much to complain about! Date of review: September 15, 2008
In short: 2008 BM was everything I was promised and more, from this special race In full: Wonderful marshalls, pancake flatness, great club atmosphere from the locals, 3 mins off my PB, despite the strong winds. Racing doesn't come any better than this (apart from chip timing, which would be a little overkill) Date of review: January 20, 2008
In short: Epic in every sense of the word. "challenge" is an understatement. It was a killer - when can I enter for next year?! In full: 25 anniversary event in 2007. Route is majority off road, which is OK in the cold and dry, but needs serious respect when it has been monsoon conditions for a week. It was wild, it was tough as nails, it was a slog, and it gets you to the best bits of Rotherham (damned with faint praise!).
An event this long will always be special, and this 25th event was no exception. Organisers are fabulous, and the helpers were stalwarts - out in the wild conditions for many many hours. At least we had the exercise to keep us warm. Be very careful with this event. The cutoff is generous for total time to finish, but that doesn't mean you should approach it half-heartedly. It can be a lot harder than a road 50, and this year it certainly was. Many miles through ploughed fields in deep gloop and slidey mud. Date of review: December 9, 2007
In short: Brutal. Hot. Dry. Agonising. Exhilarating. Humiliating. I'll conquer it next year In full: "Brutal" describes the whole experience. Hot at the start. Hotter each mile. Slow went the legs into the valley of pain. Wet were the lips, but never for long. Dodging the runners dropping like flies. On went the pain as we raced over Tower Bridge. Awe as we passed the elites returning many miles ahead yet opposite the barrier. Cool was the respite of the brief underpass. Leaden were the legs in the last 10k. Slower went the pace as the end drew near. The roar of the crowds all along Embankment. Infinite seemed the corner to reach the Palace. Confused into the last turn and along the Mall. Collapsing with relief on the mats through the end.
And bloodied were the toes indeed at the unveiling of the feet. Date of review: April 24, 2007