In short: made the best of a bad situation - enjoyable, if you can say that about an ultra! In full: I've done this one twice on the original Thames Path route - which is fantastic, scenic, everything it says on the tin. Sadly it was not to be again this year but full credit to the organisers for still putting it on and managing the diversions on the fly. The bits on the road were a bit grim, the bits off-road a bit slushy and the bits on the actual TP a bit under water, but I'd still rather have done it, than have it cancelled and waste all those hard winter miles of training. Maybe mid-winter is the wrong time of year and mid-summer would be more glorious but doing it winter does add another dimension to the challenge. Overall, a good day out. (7:41:12) Date of review: February 3, 2014
In short: Toughest race I've down, hard as nails, brilliant organisation, best marshals ever In full: The hardest, craziest race I've done - from singing "God save the Queen" at the start, to the submerged stepping stones to the 4 ascents of the stairway to hell. Having names on the race numbers is a brilliant idea (I'm going to keep that number for ever) - it's always nice hearing someone cheering you on by name. Organisation - absolutely faultless, and the marshals all deserve medals too. All had a great sense of humour and the cheers from the water point at the bottom of the hill could be heard for miles - lovely, happy sound :-) Best race mug ever too - I got a real surprise when I used it for the first time !!
In short: My first 50 miler - brilliant organization, friendly checkpoints, scenic flat route and overall a great day out In full: We were lucky with the weather this year - not too cold or windy or muddy - would like to think that was thanks to the organizers who got everything else right too :-). Well stocked checkpoints with lovely cake were always a welcome sight and the hot drinks at the end were much appreciated too. Great long sleeved tech shirt too. And the pre-race briefing was the best -"go down the lane to the river, turn left and stop at Henley" - brilliant !! Great day out - I'll be back. Date of review: February 7, 2011
In short: No surprises with the mud, but that just added to what is always a great race In full: My 4th time and as always, a great event. My only problem is arriving at Broughton a few minutes after the start of the half mara and then spending then next 1/2 hour, on tiring legs, weaving through the 1/2 marathon field on narrow tracks. As someone said - this is a great taster for the x-country season especially with the mud this year ! Well done to Paul and his team - again. Date of review: October 4, 2010
In short: Hardest, but my favourite marathon In full: Awesome race yet again. Hard as nails but can't resist coming back for more each year. I appreciate there must've been some problems for the relay runners at the change-overs, but I didn't notice any traffic issues (coming from the 10am start) and the marshalls were brilliant everywhere. Maybe the earlier start for the relay would help. I can't fault anything - and that milk drink in the goody is just the best thing ever - I was looking forward to it (and hoping it would be there) the whole way. Will be back for #5 next year. Date of review: June 14, 2010
In short: Tough as nails and not for the non-swimmer but a real sense of achievement In full: Glorious scenery (Plymouth to Salcombe on the SW coast path) if you have time to take your eye off the path and look at it. The 3 river crossings are an extra logistical challenge, but just add to the fun. The hot pasty at the end was the best thing I've ever eaten. (7:08:29) Date of review: August 26, 2009
In short: Brilliant event - as a first ultra for me - friendly, muddy, great marsh, great marshalls too In full: The weather really helped - being perfect winter running conditions - and by freezing the ice too. Superb scenery, well marked course, friendly helpers at the checkpoints (loved the guy at CP5 who shooed us along for loitering), ultra (ha ha) friendly runners as well, everything you'd expect really from a race like this. Can't really fault it. And the marsh will go down in legend - the race wouldn't have been the same without it. It's almost a selling point ! Date of review: December 8, 2008
In short: Hardest marathon I've done, but most enjoyoable - scenery, organistion, value for money. In full: Really tough and hilly, but time is not a consideration with this one. Everything else is brilliant - superb organisation, value for money (great t-shirt, medal, goody bag) and the flavoured milks at the end were just what I needed. Lucky with the weather too - just right. Thanks v. much to Mike and his 2:09 team. Date of review: June 15, 2008
In short: Perfect pb course, fast, flat scenic. Lucky today with the weather too. In full: PB by 5 minutes today - helped by perfect weather conditions despite the earlier snow. Well organised, small and big enough so that there are plenty of runners, but not too many, and no problem with parking. I'd do it again for another pb attempt. Date of review: April 6, 2008
In short: Excellent day out, lovely scenery, friendly marshalls and plenty of water points. Baggage/medal collection needs improving In full: Overall it was a good day out. I was pleased to do 4:04, and really enjoyed the route, which as very well-marked too. Despite the rain at the beginning the paths and trails weren't muddy and the weather was perfect. Plenty of water points, some with much appreciated jelly babies, and helpful, friendly marshals. It was very hard work though getting through the back of the half-marathon field - on the narrow paths with many walking in small groups, and especially people wearing ipods who can't hear someone coming up behind them.
But there surely has to be a better way of handing out medals. The scouts did a good job with the bags, but I waited for about 1/2 hour on very sore tired legs, feeling very shaky, in that stuffy, crowded hall, for the t-shirt. Rather have medals only or t-shirts only and hand out at the finish. Same with the registration at the beginning - why not post the race-number out with the bus pass/race info and do away with that process at the beginning. And then there was the 1/2 wait to get out the car park ....
Despite the negatives I would do it again as the lovely route itself makes it worthwhile. Date of review: October 1, 2007