In short: Great fast course, lovely scenery, great local support! In full: Being a mostly cross-country runner, I think I had a different experience from everyone else. I loved the long quiet stretches and I thought there was just the right amount of support along the route to keep me going but without being distracting. Loved the locals out with their garden hoses and the frequent water stations. I would have preferred sport drink to those nasty gels, though (time to change sponsors perhaps?).
And I also loved the weather. Call me crazy, but I wasn't too hot - I thought the sun was gorgeous and there was a lovely breeze!
The course was super-fast and I SMASHED my PB by 1:33 (fair enough, my previous PB was Beachy Head and this was my first road marathon!!). I thought everything ran smoothly, although there weren't enough toilets at London road. An earlier start wouldn't have hurt and I wish I'd know the T-shirts were so big... I would have taken an Xtra small (maybe they were men's sizes??). Finally, surely they could find a way to make the buses closer to the finish!!! That walk was absurd!!!!!
I would do it again if it fits in my race diary. Date of review: May 28, 2012
In short: Very friendyl and well-organized race. A bit disappointed by the lack of trail. Was expecting a much more challenging course. Ended up with a really fast PB!!! In full: Very nice race, although I would not call it a trail run. Was mostly flat and paved with a small bit of very easy trail in the middle. The "hardcore" marketing was a bit deceptive in that way. Perhaps because I trained in anticipation of a much harder course, and because it was a dry day, I destroyed my personal best. By 12 minutes. Very friendly. Well organized. Great facilities. Nice atmosphere. Lost a lot of time in the first 2 miles as it was very difficult to negotiate overtaking slow runners two or three abreast on the narrow tow path. Would have been nice for slower runners to hang back, and failing that at least to have run single file on the tow path. It was pretty annoying. Didn't have much time to take in scenery as I was pretty focused, but I *think* it was pretty nice. I remember some very attractive forest. Will plan on coming back next year. Date of review: November 20, 2011
In short: This race was nice enough, although they ran out of ice lollies very early and I couldn't find any water at the finish line. Either didn't have or ran out of small sized t-shirts also very early on (as always!!!). Scenery nice, marshalls encouraging Date of review: June 8, 2008