In short: Super, super race! In full: A fantastic race, run by runners for runners. It was run as an anniversary event 20 years after the last one.
The route is on quiet, rural, country lanes and it is very scenic. It is an undulating route, but that just adds to the interest. The race was very friendly and there was a very generous prize fund for a small race. The marshals were truly fantastic and the best I've ever experienced on a marathon. Furthermore the local support from people out of their houses was also great. Each water/feed station was well stocked and very organised - as you approached they checked what you wanted with different people offering water, isotonic drinks, jelly babies and gels. The medal is a great, bespoke design and you also got a t-shirt, bottle of beer - branded with a Stone Masters Marathon label and a great goody bag.
This is everything a race should be if you want to avoid the crowds of the mass city marathons. I hope it becomes a regular fixture on the race calendar. Date of review: May 26, 2014
In short: Always a favourite! In full: I will keep coming back and doing this race as it is great and one of my favourites. In particular the baggage organisation at the end was superb.
I however seem to be in the minority of not liking some of the course changes. I didn't like the second offroad bit - particularly the latter part where the track was very potholed and I found it difficult to maintain my pace. It wouldn't stop me coming back though. Date of review: December 8, 2013
In short: Not for me. In full: I found the course boring and even the challenge of the hills did not make up for it. I wasn't impressed with the organisation - I entered online and had to pick up my number on the day. The online information was lacking in any detail and I had to turn up and hope I could find where I needed to be. The race information was inside the race envelope - little use as I had already arrived. Technical t-shirt is a good fit, however I am not keen on the design so it will become a throw t-shirt for another race. Too many runners with head phones with no general awareness of other runners. The support en route however was tremendous and the unofficial water points and water sprays were very welcome - thank you people of Hanley! Date of review: June 10, 2013
In short: What else could you want from a marathon? In full: Loved this race. It is now my pb race and the first time I've got sub 4 so if you train for the hills it's there for the taking (and you can more than make up the time on the downhills). The atmosphere is uplifting and the 10-in-10ers utterly humbling. I would also recommend taking advantage of the B&B offer to stay at Brathay - it makes it all the more civilised that your shower is 100yds from the finish! Date of review: May 20, 2013
In short: A great debut! In full: You wouldn't believe this was Bentham Beagles first running of this event; for a new running club it was a triumph. The organisation was faultless, with plenty of encouraging marshals. The cake at the end was excellent too.
The course was fairly tough, but to be expected if you have any knowledge of the area. The start is located at the bottom of a river valley so there's only one way out from there - up! Once the majority of the climbing is out of the way there are spectacular views across the the valley to Ingleborough (and Whernside I think!). The last mile is a quick downhill too.
A excellent addition to the racing calendar, I hope to be back next year. Date of review: July 25, 2012
In short: Tough. Stunning. Unforgetable. In full: This was my first marathon and I was not disappointed. I have done a number of the other Lakeland Trail races so the terrain and underfoot conditions were not suprising to me. In truth I was anticipating worse ascents! What were people expecting from a trail race in The Lakes?!
I did the challenge and I particularly liked the support and encouragement I got as I was overtaken by a number of the Trail racers, the majority commented as they flew past.
There was water at the finish that was shaded and readily available, though maybe just needed to be better signed? Date of review: July 4, 2011