In short: Oooooh, that's going to hurt............ In full: Second time for me, woefully undertrained this time and running with a bad knee but didn't want to miss it and was prepared to walk if necessary (whoch was lucky as I did - a lot).
It is funny what this event does to you - I swear at the bottom of one of the 'b*tches' I was definitely thinking never again, but this race is number one in my calendar this morning.
Yesterday was hellish - very muddy and slippery for much of first half, and wet and windy for the second half, with very limited visibility at times. As always, though, the combination of the sheer challenge (don't ever underestimate how tough this race is, partularly the last 6 miles or so which are brutal), the faultless organisation and enduring cheerfulness of the marshalls at every stage (even after several hours in desperately poor weather) makes this a must-do. Sincere thanks to all involved in another fabulous event. Date of review: October 25, 2009
In short: Fabulous route, great organisation, hard as hell ! In full: Thanks to all at 2.09 - this is a well organised, fabulous event along some of the best routes in the South.
Good stuff : -scenic route -well organised throughout and marshalled -lovely finish area with commentary -well marked route -very sociable event -sufficient feeding stations -good shirt, medal and goody bag
Bad stuff: -it's hard ! A seriously hilly course and uneven underfoot makes for a real challenge
In short: Glitches need attentiion In full: I was really positive apporoaching this race - had a PB on this course last year, and communications from the organisers indicated previous problems had been addressed (rubbish expo, families in the pens etc). Unfortunately, a there were a couple of issues :
-insufficient water. I sympathise with the organisers that the conditions were unusual (and blew my chance of a decent time), but they were forecast very early in the week so there should have been a contigency. Strathmore are one of the sponsors for goodness sake, surely more could have been obtained ? Also, the gaps between stations were too great (for me at least given the conditions)
-leaving the racecourse was a bottleneck due to the vast crowds waiting outside. The reunion arrangements need rethinking - can't think many runners enjoyed several minutes queuing in the sun to get out
-woefully inadequate loos at the start
That said, there are positives :
-last years issues resolved -great medal and T shirt -great marshalls and local support (better than last year, no doubt due to weather) -shuttle buses seemed to work well -I like the relay runners being part of it -The course is great
Sort out the loos and be prepared for a range of weather conditions please Edinburgh - you've got a potentially great event here Date of review: June 3, 2009
In short: Well done the Beacon In full: Thanks to all involved for a good race. Don't really agree with many of the critical comments - goody bag was fine and T shirt OK. Also think in most chipped races there are always a few that don't work (what % ??). Toilet queue wasn't too bad. Marshalls were excellent - encouraging and friendly. Crowd support very good through the town and at the end and of course the weather was just about perfect. Date of review: February 27, 2009
In short: Shame it'll be 100 years before the next one ! In full: Well organised, accepting the obvious difficulties with an on-road course the organisers and marshalls did a great job. Good support through the towns and villages. Course mostly gently undulating with a couple of nasty (short) surprises. Lots of well-staffed and supplied drinks stations. Thanks to all involved for an obvious amount of hard work to make the event successful Date of review: December 14, 2008
In short: Nice trail run in toughish conditions In full: Nice run, very friendly. No problem registering on the day.
Course changed from last year, odd to have to walk a mile or so to the start. Mostly on disused railway and other tracks, one horrible narrow muddy section, made worse by horses).
Was hot and exposed in places, particulalry along the river. I carried water but several people remarked that two drinks stations were not enough on a warm August day, so maybe need to consider a couple more next time
Thanks to the organisers. Nice medal at the finish and quick results service too.
In short: Good for PB but needs a rethink In full: Had a good run along a fast course in great weather (apart from the headwind up to 17m or so), but this could be sooooo much better with some thought and organisation. Gripes :
-Expo. It is nuts to have this so far out of town, with inadequate transport to cope with the numbers. The Expo itself was also tiny and would not be worth a visit if you didn't have to.
-Start. Mostly OK, but spectators should not be allowed into the runners pens. I had to go past people carrying toddlers. This is crazy and given all the other H&S nonsense we suffer I'm staggered this was allowed. It also contributed hugely to the congestion as being non-runners most had no clue whete they were going etc. More loos would probably help as well.
-Course. No gripes here - some parts a bit dull but probably true of most courses. Very good PB potential and easy to run at your own pace right from the gun.
-Marshalls. All excellent, thanks for your efforts. Feeding stations well spaced
-Finish. OK but too crowded, and although we got the shuttle bus quickly, I know this wasn't the case for everyone. Seemed to be lots of buses but little organisation. This was also true for my family who waited ages in the City for a bus out to the finish.
Sorry Edinburgh - sounds like a real moan but i really did enjoy the event. You just need to think about the organisation a little bit and it will be so much better. Was it a case of growing too quick ?? Date of review: May 31, 2008
In short: Magnificent as usual In full: Third time for me, weather this year much kinder than last year. Managed a good PB despite suffering from lack of training towards the end, but FLM for me is about the event, not the time. Brilliant orhganisation, spectators, marshalls, first aiders, bag team, start crew etc etc etc. If you only ever do one marathon, it would have to be this one. Date of review: April 18, 2008
In short: It's all been said before. A stunner. In full: First time for me, 100% lived up to expectations (including blowing up from 20m onwards unfortunately), helped by perfect weather.
Brilliant organisation, fantastic marshalling, friendly runners, fantastic course, good spectators and a nice meal to finish whoh really hit the spot. Now if they could just flatten out the Seven sisters for next year............
Sincere thanks to all involved in organising Date of review: October 27, 2007
In short: Blimey, that was hard In full: First time for me, boy was it hard. Big W in particular was a challenge - very steep (not runnable on the up-slopes, well not for me anyway) and a bit slippery on the way down as well.
Did the run to try to get some hard miles in before Beachy Head in a couple of weeks, I suspect it will have been perfect for that, but it also made me realise I haven't really got enough miles under my belt as the last couple of miles were desperate.
Still, great way to spend a Sunday morning. Good organisation (although agree one more water station would have helped - would have died without the bottle I carried) and supportive marshalling, nice medal and memento. Pride of place, though, has to go the South Downs - on a clear (eventually !) sunny day the scenery was magnificent, but even in the mist there was an eerie beauty about the course.
Not a run for the faint-hearted, and would only recommend doing this if you've got a lot of miles in your legs. This course will find any weaknesses........
Thanks to everyone involved. Date of review: October 15, 2007