In short: Disorganised chaos In full: Absolute chaos and a complete shambles from start to finish. From my arrival I sensed a lack of organisation with no marshals out to direct people where to go to park and only one person per event to hand out all the race numbers but those problems were minor compared to the race itself.
After 2 miles I ended up going the wrong way due to no sign directing people left off the main path and the marshal hadn’t arrived yet (I’d passed him sitting on his bike chatting on his phone 400 metres earlier) . I only realised my error when I saw the lead runners coming back towards me up the path! The signage continued to be poor and at 15 miles I arrived just as a marshal was hammering in a direction sign into the ground at a cross roads to turn right. I assume the runners in front of me had just gone straight ahead (and since I finished in front of them who knows where they ended up). That same marshal called out for me to turn right at a gate at the top of the hill, as it turned out no sign had been put out up there.
At the finish as I crossed the line I asked the spectators standing there which way to go as there was no organisers there to acknowledge I'd actually finished or anything!
The organisers must count themselves lucky that the weather was clear and sunny as otherwise this could have been a very dangerous day for some people. I'm sure the intentions were honourable and the potential is great and races on the South Downs are lovely and wish we had more but the starting point for organising a running race is to ensure the runners can actually get from the start to the finish without getting lost, something this race failed to offer. Date of review: February 3, 2014
In short: Not really much I can say wrong about the VLM... in fact there is nothing I could criticise it about. From start to finish it's amazing and also cheaper than many other marathons Date of review: April 23, 2012
In short: Too long In full: I love this race, in February you just don’t know if it’ll be blowing a gale as it was 2 years ago or pristine blue skies as it was yesterday. It’s also a great course but…. I was expecting a half marathon and not a 13.5 mile race.
Also I’m not quite sure why they gave us a plastic bag as there was nothing in it apart from 2 pieces of paper!
I will of course come back next year but it would be nice to run 13.1 miles rather than 13.5. Luckily I’m way off pb time as if I’d been hoping to break my pb I’d have been a bit annoyed at having my chances ruined by the times being out by 3 minutes
In short: A great day and more fun than I thought 56 miles would be! In full: It was a brilliant race and everything went like clockwork on the day, obviously helped that the weather was perfect. Great scenery throughout the day and great atmosphere between all the runners. I'd definitely recommend recee trips to get to know the route as there is a lot of potential to get lost. On the organisation front, all fine on the day but not exactly the finest stocked checkpoints and the pre-race help/info was dreadful. They are not very good at responding to queries and questions from participants.
I've put it as one of my all time favourite races as it is my first ultra and it was brilliant. Date of review: September 14, 2010
In short: Poppytastic In full: Great views and a lovely undulating course and a great chance for me to get out of London and discover an area of the south I've never seen before. Beautiful poppy fields and fantastic marshalling. As Arnie says, I'll be back. Date of review: June 20, 2010
In short: was it short In full: I managed a pb when all I was hoping was to get round in one piece. I am so sure that I could not have got a pb that I'm sure the course was short. But no one elsehas commented about this so I must put it down to the course. I really liked the extra bits round the park. I'm sure it made it flatter and quicker. Thanks Date of review: March 3, 2008
In short: brilliant once again In full: Another excellent race. A pb but not as fast as hoped for but not sure if that was because of the heat or just me having said that it was probably just me as sure it was hot but never really felt oppressive heat, probably thanks to all those water stations Date of review: April 24, 2007
In short: Cutting corners... by the organisers not the runners In full: I'd do it again as it's my local race but for no other reason. Lack of water, parking issues, tannoy system useless, mysterious change of start time from on application forms (which wasn't made very clear in the info pack), a little bit of black cord to mark the start/finish, having the start 50 mtres before a bend in the road, as for the goody bag less said the better. I'd better stop there or I'd sound grumpy! Date of review: March 25, 2007
In short: Thought it'd be too cheesy but absolutely brilliant In full: I thought that this race might be too over the top, too commercial, too big, too everything... it was but in a perfect sense. Brilliant organisation, drinks stations galore, took me 17 seconds to cross the start line, the crowds were awesome, the course fantastic. Not a single fault. No doubt knocking 28mins off my pb helped make the day special too! Roll on 2007. I will be back Date of review: April 25, 2006
In short: Good but not that good In full: I'd heard such good reviews about this race and yes it was good but nothing special. Having said that it was nice to have such nice crowds watching and the church singers were a surreal moment. Certainly not an easy pb course. If only Brighton had had this weather then it'd be way better than this one. Date of review: March 14, 2006