I did it last year too and doing it again - my favourite marathon and I'm not sure why but the combination of it being off road and very informal and so near Christmas I guess. There seemed less pressure to run a good time as it was so unpredictable - Little M.iss Happy has described it well but it was quite manageable and at least it was dead flat. I like the out and back course - there was plenty of room at the turnaround but it was a bit hit and miss at sections where it was single file so not exactly busy but could be held up on those parts. Think a 1000 or more did it? Had parking really close to start/finish and you could shower in the leisure centre after so it was all really convenient.
Katherine Preston -race was fab - running up and down tors on Dartmoor on a sunny summer's evening - how much better does it get! Nathan vest was excellent, very comfortable and didn't make me hot although didn't run until late evening. Took a while to get used to sucking the water tube but worked well just having sips instead of gulps and going to experiment next time with loading the pockets up with spare jacket etc. Doing a 22 miler on Saturday so that will be the real test.
If it is any help I had to send back several pairs of Adidas Kanadia 5 Trail shoes as they were too narrow. I ordered a few sizes to try but even the 'large' size was far too narrow for me and I consider I have ordinary width feet. Reviews on various websites also say they are narrow so may be worth a try? Otherwise they seemed fine.
Katherine Preston - have just invested in a Nathan race vest with 2 L bladder, female design, very light and it was recommended to be bounce free so looking forward to trying that out at the weekend. I don't like carrying water on a belt either and in fact never carry water during races but am finding it impossible to carry enough for a long run on a belt and prefer to sip as I go so hoping this is the solution. Hilly race on Saturday so will do long run on Sunday over Dartmoor, thunderstorms permitting!
Thanks InsideForward - that is actually quite reassuring and as you suggest I have started to run up and down long sections of hills now - I can see that the downhill part needs mastering too without wrecking my legs early on. Ran parts of it whilst on holiday - which is what convinced me to try it - but didn't go as far as the last 4 miles. Thought best to leave that to the imagination for now!