In short: Another one bites the sandust - Greensand Marathon 2011 In full: A fantastic out and back run in Surrey's glorious hills at the best time in autumn - a tough trail run with some of the most dramatic scenary you are like to see in the south of england Date of review: October 23, 2011
In short: Another year at Seaford - well done to everyone involved In full: Thank you to all the organisers and volunteers who made the marathon so pleasant and friendly - its fantastic when you have really well organised teams to look after you at the different checkpoints asking how you are and clapping you in support. Also - thanks to the crowd of runners to being supportive and making a really tough race quite informal. I challenge any runner who has not done the seaford before to look at K2 mountain/hill climb on mile 15 or so, and not be impressed !!! It was wonderful of the organisers to ask Eddie Kidd along to start the race and hopefully his appearance will help promote and raise more money for his own charity - very humbling to see him there and I could sense he would have loved to compete with everyone out there running today. See you all on my Olympic day off in 2012 !! Gareth - 100 marathon club Date of review: August 21, 2011
In short: The 2011 Picnic - A run you remember for a long time In full: A superb event organised by Dr Rob - 2011 did not let anyone down. Even the pre-race monsoon (15 mins before the start) added to the excitement/danger of taking part in Britain's toughest event - but upon completion the most rewarding race you do every 2 years. The course was fantastically scenic over the amazing Box Hill course , trust me there are steep hills in Surrey - my legs will testify to that. The Picnic marathon started at 2pm and the Midsummer half runners got off at 4pm , there was great runners atmosphere , all names were on the race numbers so we all knew each other - and what was amazing was the uplifting words of support from all the half marathon runners to the Picnic crew , they knew after spending and hour on the course what the huge effort the marathon guys/girls were putting themselves through. I few runners went for an early bath across the stepping stones at the River Mole but at least it cleaned my trainers for another year - wet feet..pah !!!! If you are going to plan to do one race in 2013 make sure you register with Rob on the Trionium site - luckily next year you only have the midsummer half marathon - you'll be running over some of the Olympics cycle course ..but in reality this is so much harder and you don't need to be on Team GB to take part. Hope to see the same faces again at the Knacker Cracker (jan 2012) , Leith Hill half (march 2012) and also the Greensand marathon in October 2011. Finlly thanks to all brilliant marshals including Hannah and team at the killer steps to to the White Hill, the teams who constantly encouraged all the runners in the woods , without your support the race would have been twice as hard - I can still hear the whooo-hoos now !! Great fun yesterday , thanks Gaz Date of review: June 19, 2011
In short: Such a great crowd - such a great race In full: What a fantastic event this is every year - the athletes and the marshalls are so friendly and fun - it makes the run itself so much easier knowing you got plenty of support from start to finish ..now all together ...."god save our gracious queen ..!!" Date of review: March 6, 2011
In short: Winter Tanners is a gem in the running calendar In full: Fiona Cameron and her team need to be applauded for the excellent work they put into the Winter Tanners event - this was a 20/30 mile event - great walkers and runners, everyone was so friendly and helpful and supportive which is what I like about these LDWA events. Its not a race - but what a challenge , and what a feeling of relief and satisfaction when you return to that car park in Leatherhead. The London Marathon Mall finish it may not be - but certainly where you discover the real enjoyment of outdoor running and walking challenges. Bring on the Devil's Punchbowl in February ! Thanks again ! Gareth Date of review: January 11, 2011
In short: It rained a bit on Sunday In full: I did a review of this race from 2008 so I was quite confident I would have no problems negotiating my way around once again the wonderful South Downs and all the challenges this course sets.
I bumped into on Dave at the over spill carpark and commented that weather conditions then (at 8.45am) were "perfect" for running , cool and a light breeze. Then at about 9.00am (the race start) rain started to fall , lightly at first and then gradually harder as the runners disappeared up the hills into the mist. I was quite confident these experienced trail runners were good to follow because I had rarely got lost in the past (except at all LDWA events with James Bond style instructions !). Still after 6 miles there was a surprise when the elite runners began to double back towards the first main hill ..we started to follow them again , but a group of us felt we had stuck on the right path - so we plodded on a long way until amazingly we found ourself back at the golf course on the way towards the finish. We were all set to break the world marathon record but then decided (collectively like bad collalition) to head of towards where I was pointing. Basically we knew were the sea was and Seaford town , we had to find lost Mecca of Alfriston which we found via numerous fields of sheep and quiet country lanes and few old people giving us some looks to suggest we were of the "mad variety". A small loop along a river I can only describe as "similar to the Amazon but with more hazzards and mud ". We were back on track and on the road to nowhere. All the slow runners - sorry the sensible map reading ones were chuckling with joy when the saw the misfortune of "faster joggers" go past - even Gil mentioned that I was getting more for my money. Now , if only I was a tourist guide.... After checkpoint three and wondering was there a) any life on mars b) any humans braving the elements on that terrible sunday c) getting called my name by one of the checkpoint checkers with a clipboard - it was option c) that put my faith back in the human race and it was time to jog on. It was at that point I had a deja-vu moment..wasn't there a big steep hill coming soon ? Not sure as the mist was pretty low , even the local bungalows had cloudy roofs. Then after a short jog up a road I met up with Steve from the 100 club and the hill I can only describe as K2 came into sight. I was probably impossible to drive up this hill let alone walk/jog - the mist covered most of the top edge of the hills now and it was a case of "lads, stick to the roads and stay off the moors" if you have ever seen American Werewolf in Sussex then this was that moment. We carried on running in appalling but refreshing rainfall that never ceased - I have never heard my trail shoes squelsh as much it sounded like an injured duck ! Then we came across what appeared to the checkpoint volunteer who had drawn out the "worst checkpoint on earth to man" - kitted out like a North Sea fisherman and armed with a deckchair - his role was to point us to get across the field and stay off the moors, those cows looked angry as it was. Checkpoint 6 was where I got my third taste of soggy chocolate digestives - certainly a key favourite on most marathon runners dietry plans but gratefully accepted. Checkpoint six was getting lonely as I was alone and again took my rations and headed off up the hill to knock the last 4 miles off this course. I eventually finished and was elated to not only complete what was about 30 miles or more I ran - but to show some spirit and not give up when you feel like throwing the towel in - not that any number of towels would of helped with that rainfall. Thanks to the organisers and the marshalls and all runners involved making this race the complete challenge and quite and adventure.
Now where's the "how to climb Mount Everest book ?" !!
Gareth - 100 Marathon Club Date of review: August 23, 2010
In short: Why oh why oh why ? In full: Superb annual half marathon that really is the hardest in the UK - if you don't believe me then try it. Dr Rob organises a great runners race which is physically very demanding but extreemely euphoric when you have finished. The full Picnic marathon (2 laps of the midsummer munro) is next year , pls don't try this at home without proper experience and supervision ! I'll be there in 2011 Gaz Date of review: June 20, 2010
In short: You can run London, Paris , New york every year (which is always great fun) - but to feel you have really "run" a marathon try Snowdonia - when you finish you know you have run a proper 26.2M race. Best in the world ! Date of review: August 24, 2004