In short: Not having raced this event before I didn't know what to expect - have to say that despite the hills this is one of the best events I've raced in 23 years of running :-) Date of review: November 2, 2008
In short: Extremely well organised event with a difference :-) In full: Loved this race with a difference. Well planned, well organised event. The obvious constraints of running along a canal towpath meant we had to set off in waves of up to 10, and having to leave the crowds of runners and walk through a door to reach the start was fun. 3 drinks stations en route was just about enough, maybe one more might have been better. The wind into our faces was strong at times, the worst section of route being when we passed by the building that was being demolished on the opposite bank. Dust everywhere for maybe 1/4 mile. No way the race organisers could have known this was taking place of course, and indeed I was surprised that the demolition was allowed to take place given the wildlife along the canal that must have been affected by the dust. The small canal bridges didn't seem so small by the end of the race but they did break up the long flat stretches, and the surface was mostly pretty firm underfoot. I managed to pace a clubmate to a new ob (by 9 minutes) of 1.58.37 which shows that pb's are achievable if the preparation is right. Really pleased I decided to take part in this and would love to do it again. Date of review: July 6, 2008
In short: Great way to start the year, and if you've not overdone it over the holiday period then there's definitely a chance of a pb. In full: This is a lovely event, well organised and well marshalled. All concerned had smiles on their faces despite the freezing temperature. The mementoes are always something out of the ordinary (a bottle of First Chance beer and a glass in 2005, and an embroidered towel for 2006), and there are plenty of spot prizes too.
The course is basically two laps of Exeter's Riverside Valley Park. It's tarmac on the way out from the start, and then it's a less even surface on the return leg. To complete the race you run past the start to the canal basin. Date of review: January 11, 2006
In short: Exilerating . . Exciting . . Excellent company . . Wonderful views . . Tougher than anything similar I've done before . . and that was just the bus ride to the start :-) In full: In fact all those adjectives to apply to the race too . . much tougher than I anticipated but the course was much more spectacular than I'd anticipated also.
There were moments when I wondered what on earth I thought I was doing but they were few and far between and it was quite simply a marvellous experience.
Longer than advertised . . lots of flies in the woods . . a particularly tough climb and some dodgy descents knowing that the sea is just "down there".
Exceptionally friendly marshalls . . nothing was too much trouble and if I'd realised that the tea/coffee and sandwiches/cakes were free at the end I'd have pushed a bit harder!!
Drinks stations had plenty of water despite their remote locations . . the box of bananas in the middle of nowhere was a nice touch . . as were the extra at the drinks stations . . jelly babies . . more bananas . . and even home-made honey sandwiches at one!!!
Thank you Minehead Running Club Date of review: August 1, 2005
In short: excellent race . . In full: on the positive side it's a well-organised and well-supported race on a potentially fast course . . the race memento is always a little different too (drinks bottle in 2003, kit bag this year) . . and there's a lovely pub for lunch right next door :)
on the other hand . . (and these won't stop me going back again) . . there's not much local parking . . the surface of the tow-path isn't the best and there are of course other tow-path users and they can get in the way . .
still a great race though Date of review: June 29, 2005
In short: Lovely race . . good tough hills . . long ones that give you back on the way down what they took away on the way up . . long sleeved t-shirt (in choice of 3 sizes) at the end . . well marshalled . . can't miss this race . . see you there next year Date of review: June 29, 2005
In short: Just a fantastic day, and part of a fab weekend away in Devon In full: Difficult to rate from the point of view of PB potential - how often do we run 32.4 miles . . or Beginner-friendliness - how many beginners have heard of ultras?
Lessons learnt at my first attempt last year enabled me to beat my previous time by 31 minutes.
Fab atmosphere . . over 10% of the 150 entrants were Forumites . . run through beautiful countryside . . big helpings of food at the Plume of Feathers . . and of course a disco/party on the evening of the race . .