In short: A real Christmas Cracker! In full: First time at this event and definitely not the last! Really enjoyed the course, thought the support from the spectators was great, the mud was a challenge, but nothing good trail shoes couldn't cope with. Very well organised with a very nice medal and a nice goody bag. Date of review: December 23, 2012
In short: Such a disappointment, should be so much better In full: Can't believe that such a fabulous venue as Rutland Water was wasted. The weather was appalling, which no-one can control, but the main problem with this event was the feeling of being short-changed. For the price, it simply does not represent value for money. There are no toilets at the start line, I only occasionally spotted gels, nothing else in the way of food, terrible 'goody bag', terrible vest (why would I want to advertise Fat Feet, rather than the Rutland Water Marathon?)and the certificate was completely pointless.
I really hope the organisers raise their game,it is hard to see that there are many repeat-entrants after this year. Date of review: November 5, 2012
In short: Please do it again next year! In full: My husband and I both ran this. We had no idea what to expect and having never been to Yarmouth before, our expectations were low. We loved it! It was the first time in my 22 marathons, his 10, that we have run the whole distance together, as neither of us were on peak form and were aiming to 'get round' rather than 'PB' and we had a great time looking at all the attractions, watching the other runners, deciding which burger stall we were going to afterwards etc. The docks area was challenging mentally, similar to the power station stage at Brighton, but helped by the marshall with the loud sound-system at the end. As everyone else has said, the marshalls were brilliant - how they kept cheerful in such awful weather, I don't know. Thanks, GYRR, for a great event. Date of review: October 23, 2012
In short: Very very tough event In full: This was unquestionably the hardest event I have ever done. I think we were very lucky that the weather was good on the day and in the run up to the event, otherwise the terrain would have been even harder - can't imagine how difficult The Beast would have been after 6 laps of runners churning it up. I ache in muscles I never knew I had.
The scenery is lovely and the event was very well organised. Not sure I would do it again, I don't mind multi-lap events, but the field that started the lap became a bit tedious after a few laps. Great goody bag and the t-shirt was brilliant. Nice idea to get everyone to wear them for the race in return for a donation to the RNLI, the only trouble was that it then became difficult to recognise your friends at a distance with everyone wearing black. Date of review: September 24, 2012
In short: Interesting first half, dull second half In full: This is the second time I have entered this event. It is very well organised, marshalled and provisioned. The supply of water and gels is among the most generous you will find in any event. The downside to the event is the course. The first half is undulating, but goes through some interesting places. The second half, while being flat, unfortunately is a bit dull and this makes it difficult mentally, as not only are you trying to fight fatigue, you are also fighting boredom. Not much the organisers can do about that, after all, that's the geography of the area, but it does make a difference to the overall enjoyment of the event. Date of review: September 3, 2012
In short: Halstead - not hilly, but still challenging In full: This is such a cool event. The undulations are pretty challenging, considering we don't really DO hills in Essex. The scenery is lovely. The support from all the local residents is great, with 'unofficial' water stations, kids giving out jaffa cakes, milky ways and sweeties.
The organisation was excellent and the organisers clearly do listen to feedback, as there were masses of toilets at the race HQ. Unfortunately, some runners were still peeing around the field, though there was really no need to do so.
I love to run with an iPod, but I completely understand why they are banned from this race. There are too many other road users around for people to 'zone out'.
Great medal this year! Looking forward to next time. Date of review: May 13, 2012
In short: Wonderful course, well organised and challenging In full: This was a really enjoyable (though hard) event. I suspect that had the weather been less wet over the last couple of weeks, it would have been less challenging, but there was a lot of sticky mud, slippery mud, deep mud and puddles. My legs feel very tired after this! Thank goodness for trail shoes.
The race HQ was great, lots of toilets, good catering facilities, lovely staff. Wish more races started from places like this.
Particularly enjoyable to see dogs allowed to run. I wish I had one!
This race converted a non-trail runner, i.e. my husband, who is now keen to look for another trail race to do. Date of review: May 5, 2012
In short: What a great marathon! In full: Yet again, Brighton did us proud! Great support, very smooth organisation, even the weather co-operated. I thought the power station section was better supported this year than last, although it was a shame 'The Wall' wasn't there. It is a tough section, but I think it is probably worse if you don't know what to expect.
I heard a few people complain about the water sachets. I didn't use them myself, as I had a bladder in my backpack, but I think they were far safer than bottles and remove trip hazards.
Weather was perfect and the runner's pen at the end seemed much calmer than last year.
Have already bought places for next year for myself and OH.
Thanks Brighton for a fantastic weekend and a new PB for myself and my OH. Date of review: April 16, 2012
In short: Nice local event, slightly let down by some of the marshalls In full: This is an event local to me and by-and-large I thought it was good. I enjoyed the route and thought the second half was lovely, really showing off the Essex countryside. The mile markers were quite approximate in some places! It was quite funny to see that when the organiser called for all first-timers to put their hands up prior to the start, they all seemed to be at the front of the pen.
The one really negative thing I would say about the race, which really does need sorting out before next year, is the marshalling. Most of the marshalls were excellent, but I question the appropriateness of having youngsters marshalling busy junctions and roundabouts. They simply don't have the road-awareness or authority to handle impatient drivers. One pair had their backs to the T-Junction they were marshalling and failed to react even when a car pulled out right in front of the person behind me, despite the gasps from the spectators. At another T-Junction, towards the garden centre at the end, runners and cars were left to sort themselves out while the marshall was standing 20 yards or so down the road chatting. I appreciate that as runners we all need to watch out when we're on the road, but if a junction/roundabout warrants a marshall - as most in Colchester town centre do - they need to be effective.
To finish on a positive note, I liked the little towel in the goodie bag, very handy to add to my running backpack. Will definitely do this again. Date of review: March 12, 2012
In short: Cracking race, excellent goodie bag made up for weather In full: This was a really good race, with a very easy to follow out-and-back route. On a sunny day, the course would be beautiful, but the rainy weather made it look dramatic and stark, which is also an experience! Lots of encouragement from other runners, who you saw frequently on later/earlier laps. Great marshalls, with a welcoming and very well-stocked base-camp. Brilliantly organised, would highly recommend. Date of review: December 12, 2011