In short: Amazing In full: If you like spectactular views this is the marathon for you. I am an experienced marathon runner, this being my thirtieth (including multi day events and ultras). As a marathon this now has to be one of my favorites.
Is it a fast race? I would disagree with most people and say this race has PB potential, being my second fastest marathon. The start is downhill, and any hills you climb later are short and steep, but are more than compensated by long slow descents. The wind also pushed me along!
The gels, drinks and water were very generous, the marshals were first class. The end was fantastic, curry, soup, bagpipes and a beer tent!
The only downer I suppose was lack of toilets at the start, but us men can normally make 'other arrangements' so its not a big deal.
Even if this is not a fast race, do it anyway. Its still quite small so not massive running crowds, Inverness is pretty and you dont need taxis all weekend, and we shouldnt just do the flattest course just to get a PB. Should we? Date of review: October 2, 2012
In short: Well done Trotters In full: This is the sixth time I have completed this race, with the Teignbridge Trotters taking over the organisation for the first time this year.
Clearly doing it six times means I am either stupid or a fan. Actually I am both.
A race that should be considered by anyone who can run a marathon in about 4 1/2 hours or quicker.
This year was very tough because of the weather, and with a race this hard this will be a key factor. Others have mentioned the terrain and weather and I wont repeat their comments
I really wanted to post a comment about the new organisers. I think they have managed the neat trick of bringing a fresh feel to the race but also preserving all the strenghts of the original one - thats a difficult feat.
I must say that the medal and the tee shirt are really first class - one of the best I have seen, which is fitting because you earn them!!
I did think that there semed to be more issues with the traffic this year - whether that was due to the heat and more tourists or, around the bridges, the possible inexperience of the new stewards I am not sure. It certainly was not a problem, and I know just how tough a job the stewards do. Managing traffic is a tough and unrewarding job; its not a criticism just a note.
That aside everything was first class - well stocked drinks stations, fanatastic stewards, good support, lots of support cars and a good finish (and a great start).
Even though I love this race, as its so hard, every year I say its my last. Not this time; I am already planning for next year. That tells you everything. Date of review: June 6, 2011
In short: Tough but fun In full: 4th year in a row for me. A great race. Weather awful but it just added to the challenge! Scenery hidden by rain and mist etc but again it just made it more atmospheric. One complaint; there seems to be more cars following the route each year (or was it just local traffic). With the cars constantly passing we were made to run at the very edge of the road, in the small streamlets that had formed. I also had to stop a few times to let the cars get past each other. its not the fault of the organisers though. Date of review: June 7, 2009
In short: Hard to beat In full: My fifth Taunton marathon in a row. If I ever get into London again what will I do? I dont want to miss this race. (ok so I will do the half instead, but will feel a pang as I see the marathoners going for the fun second half. That will be better than 2005 when I did both. Never again). I sort of repeat myself each year so have nothing to add to the other reviews apart from well done to all the marshals and helpers - especially the sponge station at mile 3/16 they were exceptional. (one being my daughter!!). So well done once again Taunton - you show just how a race should be organised. Take note Bristol, Bath, Berlin (I could go on...) Date of review: April 14, 2009
In short: Still my favourite race In full: I can understand those who had trained for a PB being annoyed by the distance. I use this as a fast training run, so it didn't bother me too much (although I would have probably got a PB too). We all make mistakes, its just human, and the RO put their hands up straight away. I love this race and will be back next year.
One other thing - I do like the range of momentos. I still use the towel of a couple of years ago, and the quality shirt is a great idea. Date of review: March 2, 2009
In short: Great local race. Who said Somerset is flat?! In full: First time running at this distance, so got a pb! The hills weren't quite as bad as I feared and the fast downhills made up for it a little. The atmsophere was great, aq good tee shirt for your money and a really good route. A great start to the racing calender. As a place to run, Taunton gets better each year!! Date of review: February 1, 2009
In short: Once again my home town race does me proud In full: The weather forecast was not good but in the end the weather was pretty much perfect although is it me or did it seem windier on the second lap? I missed by PB by two minutes but put that down to being under the weather the week before. I had cramp in a calf at miles 16 to 18, but ran it off - I didn't know you could do that!! The marshalls were really great as ever, I think they are a cut above other races and the encouragement near the end was really appreciated - thanks. No real complaints, the start is a little crowded, and I found it impossible to start in the right place but I did arrive late. I have no complaints about the new route, theres little difference truth be told. Once again, well done Taunton, and see you next year (hopefully my knees can't read!) Date of review: April 7, 2008
In short: A very good half In full: No horses this year which was a nice change! My only real complaint was the crowded start. Maybe they should have a graded start now it has become pretty big, I ran an 11 minute mile over the first mile. If I was aiming for a fast time this would ruin the race at the very begining, but as I use it for marathon training I did not mind too much. I dont want to take anything away from the run itself - the route is really scenic and the organisers top class, if the start is graded (maybe by last years time?) then the congestion at the start could be avoided. Will be there next year regardless !!
One other thing - not a bad tee shirt, but I liked the coaster last year - I have loads of race tee shirts. I even still use the pen I received the year before! Date of review: February 3, 2008
In short: Could be the race of the year In full: This is the second time I have ran this race. 2006 was hot and for various reasons I wasn't as prepared for this race as well as I should have been - but I was this year.
Here is my take on the various distinguishing points about this race.
Hills. Its Dartmoor and so there are hills!! The route descends into Asburton before climbing back up to the centre of Dartmoor, and there are descents (and therefore ascents) on the way to little villages nestled in the valleys. If you dont like hills dont do this race! However, they do add to the challenge, and seemed to be a bit easier this time!
Scenery. You will find it harder to beat the views. There are moorland views, tors, valleys woods and villages. This year there was mist clouding some of the tors that just added to the atmosphere.
Atmosphere. The support is amazing. Some runners have support teams and after the first 10 miles you start recognising them all and waving each time you pass them. There are other people on bikes offering drinks and snacks, now thats something you dont get in the FLM!!
Challenge. its only 6 miles more than a marathon, but as most finishers would say it takes about half again as long, and is at least half again as hard! Enter this race and you wont regret it.
Bad points. If anyone can think of any please let me know. Date of review: June 5, 2007
In short: A race of two halfs! In full: First lap friendly and lots of spectators, second lap much quieter, where you need to dig in a bit. Sapping wind for the last few miles. I got a pb though!! This is my local race, and one I am pretty proud of. The organisation is good, the stewards friendly, and the helpers (my eldest daughter being one of them) were fantastic. Downsides - the start was a bit crowded but with timing chips this wasn't really an issue, and once over the line the flow was pretty good (unlike the Bristol half). No energy drinks. I take my own as I am aware of this, but other runners may not realise. Overall a good, fairly quick and very friendly race. Well done again, Taunton. Date of review: April 2, 2007