In short: Incredible and tough as ever... In full: Another great edition of the Picnic after the (brutally) extended version in 2012. The hot weather made it even more of a challenge (for me), but as usual the marshals were absolutely superb, and the encouragement from other runners is unlike any other race. If you want a warm, glowing feeling from having endured one of the toughest challenges in the UK running calendar, try this race in two years' time. I'll be back (yet) again.... Date of review: June 22, 2014
In short: Rivers of brown mud instead of greensand... In full: The weather made this normally tough run even tougher - still tried to keep my feetdry for the first few miles and eventually gave up and went through all of the puddles. Note to self: must wear trail shoes in really wet/muddy conditions in future as my road shoes didn't really want to grip much!! Great camaraderie from the runners around the halfway point, which I'm sure gets further away each year! Huge, huge thanks to all the marshals who gave up their Sunday to stand around in the cold and VERY wet conditions to help a large handful of nutters complete an epic race - hats off to you all. And thank you again, Dr Rob, for providing an excuse for us to test ourselves on unrelenting hills. See you next year Date of review: October 14, 2013
In short: Still brutally amazing In full: I always seem to forget how painful the steps are (over 750 in each direction), yet I keep coming back for more! Huge thanks to all the marshals who are so encouraging of our madness, and to all the other runners for their words of support all the way round. Roll on next year... Date of review: July 3, 2013
In short: Another fantastic race - with weather to match this year! In full: My 6th consecutive run but the first without been blown away and drenched!! Seeing Snowdon itself whilst running was also a first, but nearly made me fall over on the descent from Pen-Y-Gwryd - my own fault for looking up rather than down!! Great organisation as usual from the organising team and wonderful support as ever around the course: huge thanks to all the marshals and volunteers at the feed stations who were standing out for hours in a cold northerly wind to help us in our hours of madness! Interesting change to gels at the stations - I preferred the segments of energy bars that have been used over the previous three years, and this year found I was running on empty later on in the race. Other than that simply superb camaraderie and support from fellow runners that help to make this event the friendliest in the UK!! Back next year for number 7, and probably more wind and rain.....
In short: It DID hurt!! In full: Difficult and challenging hills, glorious views views, very encouraging and friendly marshals, and the option to go round twice: what more could you want from a race?! Not for the faint-hearted, this race literally throws hills at you from the off. Nothing too long, but long and steep enough to stop most people running and keep the sweat pouring into your eyes. Directions were plentiful and easy to follow - if you weren't looking at the ground or trying to stop your eyes stinging! The water stop was invaluble, along with the gels, and off-road shoes are a must. Great to start and finish early on Saturday to have the rest of the weekend free (to recover!!), and good value if you chose (i.e. were mad enough) to enter both the July and September runs at the same time! And yes - I did hurt afterwards!! Date of review: July 10, 2012
In short: I wish they'd resurfaced the entire route... In full: From the singing of the National Anthem to a glorious descent to the finish near twilight, this event had everything! A new start for Olympic year incorporating the start of the zig-zag route the road race will take (kindly resurfaced for us!!) and four extra descents and climbs into and out of Juniper Bottom (which I could well have done without), not to mention the extra 4-ish miles!!
The marshals were superb - thank you for all your words of encouragement and gifts of water and sweets, and most of all for being out there for longer than we were to make the event happen. Thanks especially to whoever found some lucozade for the Juniper Bottom water stop - without that I'd probably still be out there!!
Brilliant to hear the usual camaraderie from all the runners - it's ultimately what makes this event so special. I'd like to thank the group I talked to before the start and greeted all the way round, but I copuld hardly remember my own name during the race, let alone anyone else's, even if it is printed (in tiny letters) on the running numbers!!
And finally a huge vote of thanks to Dr. Rob: these insane challenges are what we live for - keep putting them on!! Date of review: June 25, 2012
In short: Who needs sunshine.... In full: when you've got a marathon like this?! Amazing scenery (when you could see it - wearing glasses really doesn't help in the rain); fantastic support from marshals, supporters, locals and fellow runners alike (thank you all); and a challenging but ultimately rewarding course really brings out the best of one of the top events in the UK. It's the first event in my calendar every year, so I'll be back to complete my set of 6 coasters next year. Then I'll have to aim for twelve...... Date of review: October 31, 2011
In short: Tough, great views, tough, great views, really tough, great views, painful, who put that last hill there??!! In full: An almost perfect course on a pretty perfect day! The quarter cut-off certainly makes you keep moving up Leigh Hill, but after that you can enjoy the views and (sometimes) gentle undulations of the next 5 hills that follow it, before you finally reach the haven of halfway and the much-needed sports drink, only to have to turn around and undo all the good work!! My legs certainly felt the third quarter, but the encouragement from all runners, marshalls and supporters was hugely uplifting - thanks to all. I'm planning to submit a planning application for a chair lift up to The Temple for 2012..... Date of review: October 26, 2011
In short: The best MM yet In full: A new course; a record number of marshals; perfect conditions - what more can be said? My 3rd running of the race (I did the Picnic last year), and it did not disappoint. The hills seem to get higher, and the steps more numerous and uneven each year, but the camaraderie from fellow runners and the support from the ever effervescent marshals really makes this event one of the great challenges and successes of the entire running year. The "major" course changes were teasingly conceived, and the supply of jaffa cakes and mini mars bars at a couple of the feed stations immensely welcome! I was lucky enough to see virtually the entire race from the back of the field, having stupidly thought it would be a good idea to do a warm-up lap just before the race itself!! Warning: train REALLY hard before contemplating the Picnic next year....... Date of review: June 22, 2010
In short: Great scenery, tough challenge and excellent value In full: Really great, low-key self-sufficient event. Superb route over the South Downs with plenty of hills to keep you keen and enough flat to keep you playful! Thank you to all the LDWA marshals who provided the refreshments and encouragement at the clip points, and to all those I chatted to whilst running, getting lost and overtaking again!!! Date of review: April 27, 2010