In short: Third time and still love it In full: Weather has been different every time I have done this race - wet and windy this time (at least there was no snow or hail)
Love the staggered start, breakfast, route marking, general organisation, friendliness of other runners, on route and at the breakfast table, the grunts and groans of fellow runners peeling off their wet kit.
Big thanks to the marshals - at least running about keeps you warm, standing still must have been freezing
My only negative is that the mist and rain obscured the fantastic views - not something the organisers can control.
Be back again next year Date of review: March 5, 2012
In short: Listen to the marshalls! In full: Had a good run, water stations well spaced - and you know were they are on each lap.
Joining Instructions could have been clearer: about the "no need" to sign in - and the fact that bands would be handed out on route - a change to last year.
Complaint to other runners: Despite the clear instructions of marshalls and race ref - I still had please running 4 a-breast - and at least one muppet thought the "no peeing in the locals garden" rule didn't apply to him.
Finish was better placed compared to last year - goody bag was a little bare compared to last year too. Date of review: February 2, 2012
In short: everything just right - but turn down the sun next time please In full: Last time I did a race through CLiddesden I was cycling in JUne - it threw it down all day and may hands were so cold I couldn't move them for an hour after the finish - that was the kind of weather I would have expected in October - not the hot sunshine we did get.
for a first time event it was really well organised, lots of people around in the town and along the route.
I never knew so many people lived in CLiddesden - seemed like they were all out, cheering the crowd on, they stayed out for ages too, still seemed to be out cheering on the slower runners.
Nice course to the race - the hills are there to make it tough, but at the top there is often a long down hill, which makes the climb to the top worth it.
well done to all involved - be back next year (with a sun hat) Date of review: October 10, 2011
In short: Lightning Flashed, thundered roared and down it poured..... In full: What a start thunder and lightning and torrential rain before the start - did it dampen the spirits - not a bit.
The race (and for those mental guys at the front it was a race) is tough - I managed a Personal Worst time for a marathon - so unless it's you first ever marathon a PB is unlikely.
The course is cleverly designed to extract as much psychological torture as possible. Every hill you run down - you will be running back up at some point. You know how far ahead the leaders are as they come steaming by you in the opposite direction. And then there is reaching the final line for the first time, where you have to turn round and do it all over again.
Having said that, the downhills and flats (and quite a few of the hills) were all runnable.
Hats of to the marshalls - top notch cheekiness from all of them.
The only bad point was that I had the wrong name printed on my running number - but by the end of the race I had stopped thinking there was somebody else behind and became my new alter ego "Matt"
P.S. Hats of to the guy from Colchester who did the steps 5 times (instead of the normal 4) - I tipped the marshals a fiver to send you the wrong way ;-)
Overall a great race - may even do it again in 2 years time.