In short: Calf-Killer In full: Ran this in 2007, underestimated the warnings about the 'switchback hills' (basically a sequence of big dips designed for mountain biking i think), was feeling great before these, then shortly after refusing to walk up them got really bad cramp. Typically, all of a sudden the weather got worse and i got cold. Pulled out and i was amazed at the lengths which the organisers went to to evacuate DNFers, because most of this terrain is very remote.
There are loads of great things about this race, i have this down as one of the most challenging courses in the area, and also one of the most suscepyible to bad weather. To compensate for the lack of infrastructure (none of the normal church hall - granny stands paraphenalia of other events)the organisers seem cheery and very enthusiastic which is a big plus, and in contrast to those events run by local clubs who make you feel like an intruder.
The one downside is that there are no distance markers, some of the volunteers seem to know roughly how far out they are but there's no guarantee. For example, when i was forced to walk a guy told me i was only at mile 16, but then i turned out later that i was at 18, so i probably would have walked off the rest if i knew. Although it's honestly not so significant, given the terrain you will not be running a similar pace to your road training, i set out to achieve my marathon time. In fact, considering the terrain, it's a miracle they manage to mark the course a effectively as they did.
If you only train for one tough course all winter, this is it. Date of review: March 5, 2008