In short: Even the weather couldn't dampen this one! In full: First time at this event, but what a corker. The beautiful North Downs makes for a fantastic course, the marshals were fantastic (yes, the manic marshal just below St Martha's was still cheering when we came through), aid stations well-stocked and plentiful and bless all those volunteers for standing out in what was at times pretty unpleasant weather. Lousy completion time for us, due to husband recovering from chicken pox, but now we have a good excuse to come back next year and beat our times! Great t-shirt, medal and mug as well. The tech shirts being sold are excellent value. Date of review: September 15, 2013
In short: Superb race that will get better as the venue develops In full: This is a very good venue for a looped marathon. There are excellent on-site facilities and the course is interesting and will get better as the greenery develops. Very well organised, amazing medal and nice goody bag. Thoroughly recommended. Date of review: June 1, 2013
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