In short: Head winds suck! In full: Must be the 4th time I have done this race. Plenty of people running but the course never felt congested. Past years have seen me wear woolly hats and rain jackets but it was too warm for that this year - did rain a little but wasn't cold - did get hit by 30 seconds of torrential rain - hitting so hard I thought it must be hailstones - luckily it didn't last long.
I quite like the out and back route - nice to see the returning super fit people barely breaking sweat.
Loved the medal (doubles as a bottle opener) - awesome idea.
see you next year Date of review: December 23, 2015
In short: Round and Round we good In full: Really enjoyed this - I did the marathon version with 5 9K laps. Not overly fond of laps but 5 I could manage - Nice that there we so many people out on the course - so there was always someone out there to chat to / chase down / let go - depending on how full of energy you were.
Lovely grounds to run in with a mix of terrains: sand, mud, slippy chalk. Helped keep the mind focused. Also helped to break the laps down into small chunks.
good selection of food (especially 9bars) with access to your own bag if you need you own special energy boost.
Good marshals all the way round - always with cheer and quick clap
For a first time race - it was very slickly organised
In short: What is says on the tin In full: It's a marathon running over midnight.
I've run through the night before but never started at night. Makes a=for an interesting day before hand - trying not to do too much before hand - and what to eat for tea?
I had done some of the south downs before but I don't think that helped. up untilthe half way point I was following two others so directions where easy. I had a proper map with me - but didn't use it. The finger posts on the SDW are pretty good and for the times I was on my own used the. The route was programmed into the garmin which served as a safety net.
Steady running all the way - although the hills on the way back were mostly walked.
Although alot of the scenery was hidden by the dark there was lots of wildlife out and about - bats and some sort of glowing bug - and the moon when it first appeared was fantastic.
Water stations were frequent enough and well stocked.
Really enjoyed the run - and that's all you can ask for
In short: bread pudding and yew trees In full: Fourth running of this race. Easy access parking, always well organised and excellent signage. But the 2 reasons I do this race: 1 Slabs of Bread Pudding (you can keep you sickly gels) 2 Running through the Yew tree forest
In short: Bit windy out In full: Evil start to this run, the start is up hill. Still it was a prelude of things to come. the initial road section is flat, after that you are generally going up hill or down hill.
Conditions underfoot were good, a few puddles here and there but the course was never congested so everyone could avoid the puddles.
The wind was the main factor, very strong on the ridge, occasionally it was behind, giving you a push, but mainly it was to the side or in your face.
Not usually a fan of looped races, but for a Feb race this was fine - it was good to see the speedier runners zip by.
Great value for £22, drinks were always available and easy to get. Yes no food - but this was clear in the joining instructions - bring your own food or add an extra few quid to the entry fee. These days it is getting harder to find reasonably priced marathon entry - the organisers should be applauded for this! (compare it to the New Forest Running Festival 50 Km entry is £48)
Be back next year Date of review: February 24, 2014
In short: Feet dry in December? In full: I do wonder sometimes at the expectations that have for these races Parking - the fee is not charged by the organiser, there was free parking (as stated in the race pack) but it was further away. Goody bag, it was a bag it had goodies in it, was there a free pair of trainers or a new running kit - no, but then then race entry didn't cost £200. Getting wet, it's a race in December, in England - guess what it's going to be wet. Getting feet wet in the sea - I'm sure they were wet already, now you have a tail to tell. Toilets, queue, quite possibly, but I did hear people coming back inside saying there wasn't a queue outside. Baggage area, now this was a little strange - I've never seen it done this way before, handing out raffle tickets? So room for improvement there. However, in the organisers defence, there were several announcements well before race start to hand bags in early. No organiser can cope with several 100 runners wanting to hand in their bags at 5 minutes to race start. Good, well stocked aid stations, friendly atmosphere, a little bit difference, sort of a trail/road race. Third year of running this, and the weather always has a big impact, always a good start to the Christmas festivities, means I won't feel guilty about having second helpings of Christmas pudding.
In short: Grest SUpport In full: Great course, ever changing profile keeps it interesting - there are moans about the hills but they are what makes this half special - nothing worse than running along flat dual carriage way.
Great support from marshals and the "village people" out on the course. Great organisation and for a "big" race good value - will be back again for next year. Date of review: October 10, 2013
In short: Four out of four In full: Fourth time here and it gets better each time. I used to hate this course, the sandy ascent up to St Marthas church, the up and straight back down to St Catherine’s Abbey – but now I know what to expect I embrace the course. A little more surreal this year – being cheered on by several groups of hiking Duke of Edinburgh girls, followed by the sight of an old woman and a wizard in the woods (they were real I’m sure). Marshalls as always were excellent – I think half the county had a marshal job. Plenty of aid stations with water food – so never thirsty or hungry. Good crowd of runners and hit the start line just as it started to rain (although no as heavy as last year’s rain) There was a moan that there were no mile markers – made a nice change (if I wanted to know I could have used the GPS) not to know – just running on feel as a steady pace. Well done to the organisers – ticks all the boxes: good route, easy parking, well marked course, plenty of aid stations and cake at the finish line. Be back next year to make it five out five.