In short: No complaints this time round In full: If Runners World had an award for "Most Improved Race", this would have to be in the running!
Last years faults were pretty well documented but the organisers have certainly learnt from them and have managed to put on a very good race. Yes, there was a stretch next to the busy A31 but it wasn't that bad on the eyes and ears - the mud and wind at that point may contribute to the odd negative comment though!
The organisation was great, led by the very charismatic Nick who kept everyone smiling in the cold at the start. There was no shortage of water this time round with a nice selection of nutrition at station 3/6 as well.
Overall a really enjoyable race - I am sure it would become even more popular with people training for marathons if they could avoid the clash with the established Mad March 20 in Christchurch (you wait all Spring for a good 20 miler in the area and then two come along at once!)
In short: Challenging run, glorious countryside, friendliest marshals In full: An excellent trail race in the New Forest with some extremely challenging hilly bits to make things interesting.
Very enthusiastic marshals, most of whom take the time when possible to look up your number and give you a name check. I was also impressed with the effort made to advise runners of how best to get to the start after a road was closed in the area.
A pretty good goody bag as well that puts some of the more expensive "bigger" races to shame!
In short: Fantastic Marathon - seems to be going from strength to strength In full: I took a charity place for this event when I got rejected again for London. What a great event - the crowds are fantastic for the majority of the race - obviously the well documented power station area being the exception. I certainly needed their support in the last few miles along the seafront to the finish. I've already registered for next years event!
The organisation seemed very good - although I was awarded a bib that would have placed me in the wrong start corral at the expo they swapped me over with no fuss. The park and ride was great as we had elected to stay out in Worthing. However next year we're planning to pay a bit more and stay in the centre of Brighton. The only blip was that it wasn't obvious which queue to wait in to catch the buses back to the various car parks.
Like many people I was really not sure about the water pouches - at times I couldn't get anything out at all!
Overall a great race that shows that you don't need to be in London to take part in a "massive" marathon! Date of review: April 29, 2012
In short: Good run with even better marshalls! In full: An unseasonably warm day meant my first ever 20 mile race felt like very hard work by the end. However, the vocal and cheerful encouragement of some of the best race marshalls I have ever experienced really helped.
The race is mostly along quiet country roads with only one busy road requiring single file running. There seemed to be a very friendly feel amongst both competitors and those running the race. Reasonably flat although I am sure they somehow increase the inclines for the second lap :-)
Good technical t-shirt makes the race good value for money too!
In short: Wet, windy and surprisingly steep late on In full: Really not the best conditions for running on a road let alone off-road but this course is beautiful even when you are ankle deep in mud or water.
A very well organised event with great marshalling considering the weather. Some quite challenging inclines around mile 11 to spice things up and an interesting railway footbridge right near the end.
I'll definitely be back next year although please let the weather just be a little bit nicer! Date of review: March 5, 2012
In short: Great race in the country! In full: A really attractive race once you get out onto the forest roads. Big enough hills in places to make it "interesting" - fabulous support up the biggest one with jelly babies just where you need them! Very well supported and marshalled. I live within walking distance of the start so luckily don't have to suffer the problems with a pre-race toilet stop. My only criticism would be the same as what others have mentioned - the so called goody bag is almost non-existent: a bottle of water, muesli bar, advert for a haulage company and an advert for New Forest Cider! Surely it should be possible to use a few pounds of the high entry cost to include even a cheap T-shirt? Overall though a great race and one I thoroughly recommend! Date of review: September 26, 2011