In short: A Special Race .... that with a few minor amendments could be exceptional In full: This was my 97th marathon & I travelled from the South Coast to enjoy the beauty of the wilderness of this marathon circling the foothills of Ben Nevis. The first couple of miles are testing & despite light rain during the event, there was surprisingly little mud - mainly hard packed trails. The first 60% of the event is almost all off road & the last 40% on tarmac. The varied terrain, views, accurate mile markers, goody bag including decent medal & shirt, use of social media, ease of parking at the race, quick result service are all positives. The negatives are a lack of marshals in the early stages causing the leading pack to go wrong on more than one occasion, water stations where the marshals took the tops off the bottles (if its not hot) i don't want to drink a whole bottle at the drink stations but carry; very few bins/liners after the drink stops (in this day & age - do we really have to drop litter, were given no choice); no food other than a few jelly babies near the end & only two gel stops that i noticed. A most enjoyable event that could become a Top Marathon with a few minor changers Date of review: August 1, 2016
In short: Races don't get better In full: Given that I have run 96 marathons to date & hundreds of other races at all distances, I believe I have seen it all. In my past 20 years of running I have never nominated a best race, however, I have finally made my decision & this event is the best! I have ran Bewl 15 8 times & not only is it an interesting circular course, but changing with 75% off road & 25% tarmac. There is always a great view. At least 3 wet sponge stops, plenty of water stations giving out bottles of water or lucozade (not minimalistic paper/plastic cups), with sweets & oranges. At the finish you get a medal, decent vest, proper goodie bag, free tea/coffee & a draft beer. You can also eat as many cakes as you want too & a brass band welcoming you in. All for a decent price as well. Races/events don't get better than this. Date of review: July 3, 2016
In short: Being an out & back course - you know where the hills are. In full: One of the hardest marathons that I have ran, but most enjoyable. Most of the course is in the woods which was welcomed given that it was a sunny & warm day. Well marked course - didn't get lost. The feed stations were excellent. Four on the way out & yes 4 on the way back. Great cheery marshals too. The medal was the biggest one that I have ever received & I have ran some 87 marathons & some 400 races to date.
Only negative was the lack of parking at the start. The walk to the start wasn't too bad, but next year hire a field? Date of review: July 20, 2015
In short: Bewl-tofull In full: Pleased with a 4:02 at Bewl reservoir marathon this morning. If you like small fields, mainly trail running, not too hilly, running close to water but not on the prom, lots of shade, a very large bling of medal, 8 feed stations all with variety of drinks gels & cakes, loads of bluebells & smashing views then this is the marathon for you! Date of review: May 9, 2015
In short: What goes up ....... In full: My 80th marathon & one of the best so far. Finished in 4:03 & was pleased that I ran it all (just!). Views to die for & the weather behaved itself. Some food on route & on the finish line & rubbish bags on route would be recommended improvements. Felt embarrassed to litter on route but there was no other option. Really enjoyed the run. Date of review: October 30, 2014
In short: So where were you Nessie? In full: Travelled up from the South Coast to Inverness to run this marathon, & was not disappointed. The pasta party the day before was well organised & the food plentiful. On the morning of the event, the coaches took us to the start like clockwork. A bit of a wait at the start & fortunately the weather was fine, however, it is exposed & I wonder what plans the organisers would make if conditions were poor, to protect the runners from the elements.
As for the race itself, I was prepared for the downhill start, however, was not prepared for all the inclines. There are quite a few short sharp hills which were unexpected. The actual hill at mile 18 was not as hard as I thought. However, I am an experienced marathon runner. This was my 79th marathon - it was also the most difficult road one that I have done, so PBs are not going to happen here, unless you have only run a few marathon. Water stations, gels & sustenance were plenty & the t-shirt, medal & goody bag at the end great. I couldn't eat the meal given at the end, just can't eat after a marathon. It was appreciated & all included within the price.
As for Nessie. No sign of her, though one of her little helpers gave me a great Nessie medal at the end. Date of review: September 29, 2014
In short: The only way is up ....... after 7 miles! In full: A great trail race, with two water stops, wonderful Sussex Downs, views to die for; 3 different races; downhill finish; clif bar at the end with a medal; great marshals & well sign posted. Will be back. Date of review: September 14, 2014
In short: Good Old Sussex By T he Sea! In full: Hats off to the organisers for taking on board the criticism of the Winter Longman event. Plenty of emails sent before the event giving updates, a car park organised, loos at the beginning & an easy registration process. The course was undulating, South Downs Way has been well trodden by me over the years (am a local). Two miles out and two miles back to Devils Dyke then some loops & up to Saddlescombe then back. Very misty in parts (all part of the fun), interspersed with warm sunny bits - typical autumn weather.
My only criticism was a lack of signs at some key places. With only 30 of us running the 10m it wasn't long before you were on your own & at one point I took a wrong turn, ended up at Royal Oak pub Fulking, rather than down the Dyke valley. Fortunately, as a local I knew which way to go & ended up running a mile on the road till Saddlescombe. My mileage by hook or crook ended up at 9.87m. Would recommend spray painting on the grass, as the organisers seem restricted to the number of marshalls they can muster.
The goodie bag at the end was great, technical shirt, medal, hot chocolate at the finish, clif bar & clif chews at the start too.
This could be the start of great things for Longman. Date of review: September 7, 2014
In short: Has potential In full: Am happy to start this years review. Ran the marathon distance & it was my first time running this event. On the plus side the course was flat, mainly shaded & has potential as a PB.
The downsides - the half marathon runners & marotheners started together, but it was confusing who was running each event, as the colour bibs seemed interchangeable. Also a number of runners seemed to have set off earlier so it was unclear whom was in front of you. The water stations were inadequate. Only 5 for a marathon in August! And most of them only with cups of water. If it would have been a hot day there would have been pandemonium. The decision to run past the finish line at 24 miles was cruel. Why not do those first two miles first? At the end to be handed only a medal for £27 was not enough for the fee. The water at the end wasn't close to the finish line either. Apparently there was a bowl of crisps, but by the time if finished they were gone. Date of review: August 23, 2014