In short: Very tough race not for the faint hearted... In full: I did this once before but in the last few years have just watched my wife race it. For some reason I chose to try it again - I must have forgotten just how hard it is. The route is a beast - at least 7 of the 10 hills are real slogs, with the lesser hills still noticable. Most of the way is off road, on mud, on footpaths, on fields, through woods. One stretch of mud tried very hard to take my shoes off, and I ended up helping a lady who had lost shoes to the mud and had run for a mile in just her socks, as her hands were too cold and muddy to get her laces undone... Did I mention the hills? The course is well laid out, although there are a couple of spots were you need to check for the tape if you are not following someone. As a slow runner I was quite lonely for much of the race as the small field (limited by the parking I guess) means that it gets pretty spread out. The marshalls were great as always and I thank them for staying out in the cold December air to wait for me to slog on by... Nice to get a christmas pudding at the end and the burger van was very welcome! All in all - have a go if you are tough enough, but be warned - it is brutal! Date of review: December 8, 2014
In short: Great race in ideal conditions and hard as you like... In full: I've done this race twice before and knew what to expect. Didn't help though the three big hills are still very challenging. The first one, before you've really warmed up always leaves me knackered and with 8 more miles to go... There is a stated 1500 ft of ascent in the race and I certainly believe that. The race was very well organised and well marshalled. My only negative is one that is quite specific to me (and a few others). Not every runner is slightly built and the trend in T-shirts, especially technical ones, seems to be that they come up short. As it is the XL I received is way too small (and I was not the only one). It seems unfair that we don't get to wear the T-shirt after completing the race. Please please organisers - consider the larger runner! Date of review: October 27, 2014
In short: Very tough race this year with the mud but superbly organised! In full: I always dread this one. My wife, who does the longer races such as Grizzly, Exe to Ax and Meon Valley Plod loves this, but for my poor unfit body I find this as challenging as I ever need. It used to be the Terminator 10, but it now runs over 12 miles, and has an 'extra' hill compared to the original route. It is brutal. The first 5 miles or so lull you into a false sense of security - mostly flat, lots of mud but eminently runable as the route heads out East from Pewsey along the canal, before turning south towards Milton Lilbourne (home of the Rough 'n' Tumble). From here things go down hill, by going uphill... Ascent of the gully this year was wet and muddy and then the lung busty scramble up the slope is just the start. Two descents to the valley floor followed by equally tough climbs back up, often to pretty much were you have just been (or so it seems) and you are still not done. Just when you can see Pewsey calling on a long wind downhill there is a literal sting in the tail - the loop up (again!) and round the White (this year green) horse. Getting down from this was one of the hardest bits - I will admit to sliding down on my bottom... The mud made even the simpler bits of the course harder than normal (thats my excuse). As ever this was brilliantly organised and marshalled. No problems, a great T-shirt at the end that actually fits my larger than average frame (see almost all of my other reviews for races where this doesn't happen!) Well done guys. Date of review: February 24, 2014
In short: Another well run Slog, but are things slipping? In full: Have done the slog several times over the last 7 years. The arduousnous of the course varies with the weather over the preceeding weeks - this year was pretty wet, so the course was at its glorious muddy, wet, best. As ever the hordes of marshals were in excellent form, very encouraging and did a great job. Overall its well organised, but some decisions have been taken that I believe have made the event fall from its previous high standards. Firstly there was no-one looking after the car-parking - in previous years someone has, and this helps to make parking easier. Secondly - the picking up of the numbers/chips was mishandled. Why was there one line for A-C (three letters) and then S-Z (8 letters)? I know there are not many UV and Z, but it resulted in a massive queue for the later letters of the alphabet. In previous years the numbers etc were posted out - I am happy to either include an SAE, or pay extra to cover the cost. Lastly - more loos. I note in particular that the indoor loos were out of bounds - would it be possible to have access to these, even if a cleaner was needed for an hour or two after the event? I would also move the loos away from the main area people congregate. Please don't take from these comments that I think the organisers have done a bad job - I think it is an incredible achievement to put this race on, its just that it can be better still. Many thanks for the event. Date of review: November 11, 2013
In short: Well organised set of races but a few things missing that would improve the event In full: This was a first time at the Moray Marathon (Half for me, full for my wife) after being repeatedly invited up by family. Overall its well organised and the flat course is promising for fast times. The organisers can't control the weather and this year the wind was a significant factor - at times on the last four miles it was very strong into you face and hard to keep going. The coaches, drinks and marshals all worked well. We had a few minor niggles that would help make this a better event. 1) No directions to the event/parking. We are not locals and were astonished that there were no direction signs to the HQ/parking. I have never encountered this at any other event (over 100 races). If we hadn't asked our relatives we would have been struggling to find it. 2) No jelly babies/cake/isotonic drinks on the drinks stations. Most marathons and extreme events do this, so it was a surprise to see none on the many water stations. Was this because it was a championship race? 3) Few toilets on course. Runners will need to go from time to time during a race and a portaloo every 2-3 miles is not much to ask. Other than that we really enjoyed the race/day and were happy with the T-shirt/medal and food at the end. Thanks! Date of review: September 4, 2013
In short: Well organised and great fun In full: I did the Quarry challenge, so I got the better deal with respect to the rain, although I supported my wife in the 14 miler and got very wet anyway... Well done on the organisation again - really does work very well. My fault for turning up to register on the friday when I didn't have to. It was on the letter but the Timetable makes it look like everyone has to turn up (I'll know next time). Great goody bag, T-shirt ok but 2011's is still the best design. The course was a bit tougher than I remembered and the wind was challenging (must have been even more fun for the 14 mile race), and the camber section of the course is hideous. Will be back next year! Date of review: August 20, 2013
In short: Well organisd (complex) event with gorgeous scenery In full: Opted for the half this year and glad I did, as I suspect I wouldn't have enjoyed any more miles... Lovely scenery, very well organised event,complicated by the multi-distance and the walk or run options. Only real niggle - perhaps some marshals through the city as it was not easy to follow the route. I nearly went off route (as I know Salisbury well) but was corrected by another runner and my wife did go wrong. Plus the lack of mile markers after 9 miles for the 21K was annoying (must be possible to put some out). Otherwise thanks for a great race. Date of review: August 12, 2013
In short: Great fun in the mud... In full: Apparently this was dry last year... The recent weather (course preparation) meant that the course was pretty muddy, essentially everywhere. I counted four stream crossings/wading, culminationg in a nice 30 m stretch near the end to clean the shoes. Good organisaion on the day (and I gather that the venue was changed at shortish notice so well done on that score). Only gripe is a personal one. I am reasonably well built, but I'm not massive, but I find that XL T-shirts from fruit of the loom are not big enough (this is the same at other races too). Please bear this in mind when ordering T-shirts as I don't think it's fair to pay for a T-shirt that I can't wear.
Other than that well done and thanks Date of review: May 14, 2012
In short: Best race of the year In full: I almost want to run this race down, just so I make sure I get my place in next years event... This is my favourite race of the year, and possibly my favourite weekend of the year too. From the superb organisation, the magnificent scenery, the challenge of the race, and even the superb weather this year, the Grizzly has no peers in my eyes. Its far more than a race now, with the whole weekend of events taking over Seaton. For all you road-runners plugged into ipods with music playing away, this is what running should be about. The camaraderee is sensational, runners chatting and laughing all way round, supporting each other. On top of all this the race makes large amounts of money for good causes. Well done AVR and Gary... Date of review: March 13, 2012
In short: Superb race, well organised and tough as you like In full: Well done to the organisers again. As ever things well very well (with the exceptiong of my legs...). It seems the route is now virtually 12 miles, and a fellow runner said is is now way harder than a road half-marathon. I tend to agree. The cruel structure of the race, with the 4 huge climbs kept for the second half, and the cheeky nature of the sting in the tail are just brilliant. Go too fast in the first 5 miles and you will pay later. All the usual worked well - drinks stations, the school etc. There appears to be a minor glitch with the times (I have been given the time for the person who finished after me) but as I was out for a fair while it makes no material difference. And oddly there seems to be a proble with this review page which is posting reviews to the V of P half...
All in all a great race, keep it up. Date of review: March 2, 2012