In short: My first trail race and what a baptism. Hardest thing I've ever done, but one of the most rewarding. A perfect event. In full: A great inclusive event; as a slow novice I felt welcome and there was plenty to occupy the kids at the finish. The route was tough and the weather hot but the views were worth the pain. I will be back and I'll be thinner and fitter. Thanks. Date of review: June 5, 2006
In short: A brilliant day - I wish I'd run slower!!! In full: For me there were three parts to the race. First, 18 miles of jogging alongside runners of all shapes and sizes being encouraged by an unbelievable number of people. Then there was 7 miles of tough running - teeth gritted in a fixed smile for the crowd who seemed to sense the growing pain. The last mile and a bit was a doddle. As the volume of the crowd increased to fever pitch, the pain dissolved and the smile was genuine. I was whisked along on a tide of goodwill. Only just in time did I remember what I was there for and what this meant for me. The last 200m was all my own work and the best reward for all the training and sacrifices. For me the best bits were being able to stop and give a sticky gel-flavoured kiss to my wife and daughters at three different parts of the course. A day not to forget. Date of review: April 28, 2006
In short: This is the best of them all - a real winner. The best marshall of them all. In full: From the happy smiling marshalls to the facilities, from the perfectly flat course to the great atmosphere and from the organisation to the shedload of PB's this is by far the best event I've ever done.
In short: It's not called "tough" for nothing. In full: A nice run out of Skipton for 2km then it's the 5km's of climbing that give it its well-deserved name. But what a view if you take the time to look over your left shoulder. I really enjoyed the challenge and the support from a small but friendly team of marshalls. A nice way to spend a July Sunday morning.
In short: This is how to stage a half marathon - a real classic thanks to the enthusiasm of all involved In full: Sorry if I gush but I've just had the best day's racing of my short and uneventful running career. The fact that the weather was bright but not too hot cannot be attributed to the organisers. But everything else about this superb race can be put down to a superb team.
The whole village of Eyam seemed to have come to a halt to lend support and they had fostered a party atmosphere.
The important bits
The course is a tough bugger with a killer hill at the 10 mile mark which seemed to go on for 2 miles. But the views from the tops were awe inspiringly breathtakingly beautiful. There seemed to be a water station just at the right point, every time. And the "staff" were happy and cheerful and sympathetic to the pain suffered by the runners. The kids enjoyed the fun run and were chuffed to recieve a certificate signed by the great Tanni Gray-Thompson.
All in all, I cannot think of a single way that this race could be improved. Save me a place for next year.
In short: The weather helped make up for some inadequacies. In full: The squeeze gate after 300 metres was never likely to work and caused problems I measured the course as 10.3km The water station was under-manned and the hosepipe was not the way to do it There were not enough marshalls The 2km fun run was actually 2.7km and inadequate provision was made for those at the back of the field. The car parking organisation was poor.
Now I may sound like a misery. I'm not. I'm hoping to point out areas that can be considered for improvement.
In short: A truly superb challenge which was well organised and cheerfully marshalled In full: A PB is possible if this is your first half mara or all your previous ones have been done in a diving suit. An interesting course taking in the best of the local scenery (and a sewage works), with easy fast bits mixed in with real hands on knees rock-hopping, lung-busting climbs. I'm sure the perfect weather helped. I'll be back. Date of review: April 8, 2005