In short: Not a lovely jog across the sands... In full: The idea of running across a picturesque tidal bay may seem appealing but don't be fooled. This is one hard, hard race. Good for the challenge but not for a pb...my time was 30mins above my WORST time!
Sand is not flat it is ridged making an uncompromising running surface. Add to this river crossings, water underfoot and a constant biting headwind and it's tougher than even the hilliest race.
Scenery? Yes very pretty for the first mile or so. However the nature of the course means you are looking at the same thing for the duration. Trust me you soon stop caring. Saying that there is the Chariots of Fire sensation s the runners snake across the sands.
Also the distance run is difficult to gauge...I got the feeling that 13 mile markers were planted less than accurately and more as a countdown than an accurate representation of distance. You are warned beforehand that given the dangerous nature of the sands the distance can vary. I get the feeling this was a longer year!
Yet this race is called the Cross Bay Challenge. If you treat it as such you will not be disappointed. It is unlike other half marathons, in many ways more difficult than many marathons. As such there is great and lasting satisfaction in completing/conquering the bay.
In short: Just hilly enough! In full: For every ascent there was a descent. The hills weren't tough there were just a lot of them. A challenging and pituresque course with excellent support. Varied urban/rural and great start/finish at the castle/track. Brilliant goody bag. Date of review: October 21, 2008