In short: An absolute shambles In full: This makes the Tough Guy look like guidance from the Health & Safety Executive. I was lsot twice on residential roads where they were no marshalls or course markers. I was with other runners and we all missed them, if they were there. To have a descent where you have to hang on to a rope was ludicrous. Anyone losing their grip would have ended up in the river, unless they were stopped by hitting a tree. The website emphasises the deerstalkers, tweed and eccentricity. I feel it doesn't state strongly enough that this is in fact a severe fell race. It was fortunate that the weather was relatively benign. In cold and wet weather, anyone getting lost in the woods and having trouble on the descents could easily lie there for hours and suffer from hyopthermia. At the finish, runners were pushing each others cars out of the swamp that the car park was rapidly becoming. In daylight, this would be a challenging event. In darkness it verges on the criminally irresponsible. As the coach said in Chariots of Fire "I've seen better organised riots". Even at the finish there was a lack of directions and I had to ask the way from runners who had finished. If they can't get enough marshalls this event shouldn't be held again. Perhaps they will be happy if someone dies of exposure. I wouldn't dream of doing it again and would suggest that nobody else does either. Date of review: March 2, 2008
In short: A nice enough way to end the year In full: The hills were quite tough, especially the second one up the farm track. A bit tricky having to cross the road several times due to a lack of pavement but fortunately there wasn't much traffic. Good showers, refreshments and brass band. Date of review: December 16, 2007
In short: A great experience, highly recommended. In full: No problems from the road signs on the way into Chipping Sodbury to great organisation throughout. Enthusiastic marshals and spectators all the way. Tough course, especially the swampy bits but not too daunting. The hot tubs at the finish were a great idea, superb T-shirt. Can't think of anything to fault it, apaprt from the steps from the underpass near the end! I'd recommend it to anyone who fancies an invigorating change from a standard distance road race. The best fun I've had running in ages. Date of review: November 12, 2007
In short: A PB for less than 5k In full: Obviously the course was well short of 5k. Didn't bother me but others going for a time may have been upset. Distinct lack of mud but it hasn't really rained for weeks. Lovely venue and perfect weather.Let's hope more people do it next year. Date of review: October 20, 2007
In short: Hard as nails is an understatement In full: The toughest thing I've ever done. It makes another marathon seem an attractive alternative. I only made it round one lap of the killing fields.
It is expensive but all in a good cause and it's cheaper the earlier you enter.
Not exactly elitist but anyone not used to long distances offroad would struggle. Some upper body training would help.
Anyone with a fear of heights or claustrophobia is probably better off trying something else. The website gives details of the obstacles although these seem to change slightly year by year.
Great T-shirt but I regret not getting the medal. Now I know what I can't do so I won't try it again.
I can't believe they also run this in the winter. It was bad enough in July but having people pulled out with hypothermia does seem to verge on criminal irresponsibility. I know that everyone enters by their own choice but why give them the option and encourage them? Date of review: July 31, 2007
In short: Preferred the old course In full: I ran this a few times when it started and finished at the Castlefield Canal Basin. It couldn't have been there this year anyway because of Gordon Brown's enthronement at the Bridgewater Hall.
Quite a tricky course with 3 different laps. No real hills but long bridges over the canals and railways. The speed bumps around the stadium were more of a problem.
Better T-shirt than in the old days and overall a better event than the Great Manchester Run. A much smaller field but people seemed more inclined to start in the right place.
Could have done with a warning that the lead car would pass us. Didn't know whether it was an emergency or an impatient prat. Date of review: June 24, 2007
In short: Really tough but I'm glad I did it. In full: I'm not sure whether the climbing or descending was the hardest but it was a lovely day to be up in the mountains. My longest and highest fell race yet but well worth the trip. Great scones at the end too. Date of review: May 26, 2007