In short: The hardest thing I've EVER done! In full: I went in for the marathon completely undertrained and unprepared for the course profile - all 5200 foot of ascent. It became apparent with the first massive climb within the first mile, a heady, steep climb on a single track path. In fact the first 10k was so draining ( you had to feel sorry for the Ultra peeps who would have the endure the 10k course again at the end of the marathon!). The scenery was spectacular. We had an extreme,y harsh headwind over the moors at mile 4-6 that literally took your breath away. Every climb was relentless and harsh but the views were outstanding. I had made the decision before I ran it that as this marathon was my first trail/mountain one & wasn't comparable to all the other road marathons I've done, i was going to enjoy it. I had a few tears along the way when it got ridiculously difficult around mile 17 knowing I had another 10 miles to go ( their marathon distances are 27.1 miles!) but a friend that ran with me encouraged me along the way.
In short, a brutal race that's known as one of the toughest marathons in the UK but totally worth it in terms of achievements. I just wish there was a medal instead of a dog tag but I've been told when you've run it you're considered 'hardcore' and don't need a medal to tell us!, Date of review: April 18, 2013
In short: An AMAZINGLY well thought out Marathon - Best one yet! In full: Chris, Andy and all the organisers - what a race! I've done London twice now (2010 & 2011)and can honestly say I enjoyed this as much, if not more. The whole thing, for me, went like clockwork. I stayed in town so walked to the racecourse (1.5 miles) so didnt get caught up in the traffic and took a slow walk back to the hotel after, dropping past Starbucks in city for a hot chocolate where everyone wanted to see my medal and congratulate me - added bonus!!
The course was scenic and the names on the bibs was genius. I did London only 6 months ago but knocked 15 minutes off my time at Chester yesterday and got 3.59.18 - a HUGE PB for me, which I onlt got from specators screaming my name along Chester River and into the grandstand - they willed me along and their cheering at me made me aware it was still possible to get a sub 4 so sprinted in.
The end ran like clockwork, felt like a celebrity having the medal put on, ushered for a photo, given goody bag (fab one full of useful stuff!!) and my t-shirt. Met friends in the paddock area and loads of places to sit down.
Drinks stations were plentiful and you can tell its organised by runners. There were more spectators and support at the places you need them (mile 18 and 20 especially cheerful!)
My only qualm was that I didnt check the course route as it said flat. The second half was definately not flat! The hills at mile 22 (?) and mile 24 seem to suck the life out of me and had I known the 2nd half was slightly hillier I probably would of saved a little more energy so perhaps just worth mentioning the 2nd half is more undulating than the first to give people a chance of what to expect.
That said I cant complain, I did a HUGE PB so thanks guys, I shall be back next year and I hope this goes strength to strength for you - you deserve it!
In short: Relentless hills but oh so rewarding! In full: Love, love, love this race! Incredibly challenging but I have smiled both times I've done this. The marshalls are the best I have EVER come across and run a few races now! The little quips on the km markers had me laughing - "youre not slow, youre just enjoying the course!" or "toenails are overrated" - very funny :D Todays hideous wind and a foot injury meant I was 4 mins off my PB but that said, I dont do this for a PB, I do it becasue it is such a warm, friendly and great race. Love running, love the 30k and love Nick Wells and his great team :) Date of review: February 13, 2011
In short: Very Challenging but the feeling of achievement makes this worthwhile :) In full: Very challenging with a hill hitting you within the second mile, so warm up had to be quick! The hill at mile 7 and 14 was a killer! It took alot of diggin in deep to get you up them, especially 1 mile from the end when you were exhausted!
Marshalls were fabulous and very supportive and all in all, ran like clockwork and I felt very proud at the end! Date of review: January 30, 2010
In short: Challenging in places and hilly but really good! In full: Long inclines and hills but not killers and still beginner friendly so dont let the word hills put you off. Even though there were many, I still smashed my PB at 37 mins so I was VERY happy and it was my first Blisworth race :) Would do again Date of review: August 11, 2009
In short: Congested at start but really nice first Half Marathon! In full: Mile markers missing. Water bottles PLEASE - no one can drink from cups with hundreds of runners pushing from behind! NOT flat - some twisting bends and inclines. NOT able to get a PB unless you put yourself in sub 1.40 area as the first mile on the race was VERY congested. I sprinted at the end up the hill to give it everything I got, only to find I still had to go around the back of the school, on the grass around the corner. Because it didnt finish where it started, I have sprinted too early and have nothing left to give - I did finish in 1.57 but felt I could of done better if the finish was noted and I wasnt stuck in the congestion in the beginning.
That said, I loved the race, weather was perfect and would look at doing again. Date of review: August 1, 2009