In short: Very Cold, Very Muddy, Very Challenging, Organisation could be better, but I would do it again In full: I really enjoyed this "mudstacle" race yesterday. Comments about the markers were valid it could be a bit confusing in parts, although there was only really one bit at the end after the last deep pool that I got confused - I think it was having loads of other arrows for the 4x4 route that added to the confusion.
A few kinks that can be more than sorted out for next year. It might also be worth mentioning in the literature beforehand that a lot of climbing is involved, for me it was a nice challenging surprise, but I would imagine that not everyone would necessarily feel the same. It would also have been good to have photographers at the dips of despair and the horrible hills!
All the other runners were really friendly and helpful - I definitely needed help getting out of boggy bits and up slippery hills at parts.
Not a chance of getting a PB for your 10K though as I added a huge 45 minutes to my usual 10K time with all the climbing and running through ice!
Great race though - was more scared before than any marathon that I've ever done, but I survived and can't wait to do it again!
I've put a more detailed review on my blog with some of the pictures that the official photographers took. http://iwasa90steenager.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/breaking-through-pain-barrier.html Date of review: December 2, 2012
In short: Still very hilly, but that's half the fun, some organisational improvements to be made In full: This is my second year running this race and it's a local one so I want to support it, but there are some definite improvements to be made.
The start of the race is really tough, the first 4 - 5 miles is a relentless hill, steadier than some of the others, but very challenging and not at all scenic - it would be great if it could be improved with some more supporters/atmosphere along the way. The rest of the course is great as it gives you a real indication of the rich variety of scenery that Bradford has to offer.
This is a very hilly and challenging half marathon - I did it with my personal trainer who was only 6 minutes quicker than me and said that the Great North Run is a fun run in comparison, I like this, but it's a tough course.
The finish in Lister Park was better this year, the lap meant my husband was able to spot and photograph me which made him happy.
There are no energy points, just water - this is fine for me as I do bring my own gels, but if you want to encourage more runners it would probably help to have some energy drinks at least at 2/3 points around the course.
I was disappointed that there was only a tshirt and a very basic goody bag - no medal, I would have paid a bit more for my entry to get a medal.
This is a good, if challenging race, but needs to be marketed better to get more entries! Date of review: October 28, 2011
In short: The only time it's ever taken me nearly 2 hours to run 10K, but *SO* much fun! In full: Total Warrior was probably one of the most fun things that I have ever done! If you are bored of normal 10K races and don't want to have to spend your weekends churning out miles for a half or full marathon - this is the race for you!
I loved wading through streams and boggy muddy areas, helping my fellow warriors to climb over 7 foot walls and the biggest slip and slide ever!
Such an amazing atmosphere - sure we were all racing, but it was expected and encouraged to help your fellow competitors get over obstacles which made for an amazing feeling of team spirit.
Loved the goody bag and tshirt and free pint at the end, but would have loved a medal too! Lovely scenery and really well organised. I ran with a friend who wasn't quite as fit as me so I held myself back, but it was a lot of fun as we laughed around the course falling over in the mud! Our families that were watching us really enjoyed this race too as they got to see more of us rather than just at the start and finish and loved seeing us attempt the obstacles. Date of review: October 28, 2011
In short: Some challenging hills, beautiful scenery, very well marshalled, couple of niggles In full: Having done the Brathay Windermere marathon in May this year I thought that I was prepared for hills and I was pleased to say that I managed to gain my PB at Eden. It was challenging and if you are looking for a first marathon - make sure you do a lot of hill training!
The scenery was beautiful, although I definitely preferred the first half to the second which was more plain (loved the quarry in the first half)
I always knew where I needed to run - really well marshalled and the water and energy stations were well positioned and there was good support and a good atmosphere.
Good bag at the end was decent - I liked the medal and t-shirt and the pasty and pint was a good recovery meal!
The only negatives that I have were more from my family's experience as spectators. We were initially confused as to where and what we needed to do at the start - in terms of getting split up runners and spectators. Then at the end my family said that the marshalls were more chatting between themselves rather than instructing runners to go over the two timing mats.
All in all though I really enjoyed this race, recovered in 3 days and loved the touch of being told how many people you overtook in the second half of the race (35!). Date of review: October 28, 2011
In short: Beautiful, friendly, well organised bar toilets, but a tough one! In full: Brathay has been my second marathon and after a car accident and mild whiplash the weekend before, I was worried as to whether I would manage to get around the course, let alone in a similar time to my Edinburgh marathon last year.
The registration process the day before is perhaps a bit of a hassle compared to just getting your number through in the post, but was good to be able to familiarise yourself with the surroundings and the organisers were friendly and helpful. You can register on the day too, but I like to be organised if I can.
On the morning itself I was terrified - driving rain, hailstones and wind, but then somehow as the drumming band led us down to the starting line and the compere's humourous wit entertained us, the sun came out.
Then came the course. I knew the profile was hilly and thought I'd done adequate preparation, but gosh there were an awful lot of them! I don't think that I would have managed to make it around if it weren't for the amazingly well marshalled course - at every road junction and more, the frequent water, energy and kendal mint cake stations and indeed the runners themselves. Whilst this is clearly a race for experienced/serious runners, I had a lot of fun swapping stories with a couple of ladies that were bringing up the rear with me and it made it so much easier to get around the last couple of miles. The mile markers were big and at a reasonable height which was essential for me as my nikeplus went mad and was underestimating my distance by over a mile at the end!
Described as the "toughest and most beautiful marathon in the UK" I would have to agree based on my limited experience of just Edinburgh last year, but Edinburgh could learn much in terms of atmosphere, organisation and spirit from Brathay who are a dwarf in comparison.
My only very slight negative is the toilet situation, I'm pretty sure there were public toilets for use, but there was only one set that were well signposted, just a few more luminous yellow signs would have made this race absolutely perfect. I highly recommend this to experienced (or very brave) marathon runners Date of review: May 24, 2011
In short: My Second GNR, electric atmosphere, you don't need an Ipod to get you around In full: When 54000 people are all in the same place along with their supports to run a half marathon, there are going to be queues and frustrations, but bearing this in mind I thought that this was a really well run and well managed race. I did have to queue for 30 minutes at the start for the loos, but as long as you leave enough time to get there, it's not a problem. Fortunately we were able to stay with a friend so the hotel accommodation wasn't an issue and we didn't have too much hassle getting out of Gateshead afterwards, but I can appreciate that it can be frustrating.
As ever the atmosphere was amazing and the people of Newcastle, South Shields and Gateshead are amazing. I didn't even need to use my Ipod to get me around the course.
Goody bag was awesome, my only negative with the downpour of rain just when I'd finished! Date of review: October 17, 2010
In short: So...many...hills! But great views and good atmosphere. In full: I underestimated just how hilly this race is, despite being a local. It starts with a steady 2 - 3 miles uphill out of Bradford City Centre and then you are out in Bronte Country going up and down hills with gorgeous panoramic views of the countryside (and the hundreds of runners that were in front of me by this point!). There were lots of locals cheering us on at the top of the hills which was necessary and needed and the atmosphere was really fun and friendly. I did find it really tough up until mile 5 - 6 as the uphill is pretty relentless.
In terms of organisation, I was a bit disappointed that my race pack didn't arrive before the race, but I took my receipt along today and they issued me a number and chip straight away with no problems. It is probably worth noting that there are only I think 4 water stations along the way providing cups of water, so if you drink a lot (like I do) then a camelbak is probably a good idea, as are energy gels. Also the end is a bit strange in Lister Park as there is no separation for runners from people just taking a stroll around the park which felt a bit odd having had the roads blocked off prior to this point.
Overall a really pretty and fun race, but if it grows in popularity at all, organisation will need to grow at least at the same pace. Date of review: October 17, 2010
In short: A nice enough course, great atmosphere, but my god the heat! In full: So this was my first attempt at a full marathon having done a couple of halves previously (Great North Run and Leeds Half). The start was well organised, the competitors and race organisers were all very friendly and supportive. I have to say that being one of the hottest days in the year (25 degrees!) there was a good supply of water and Lucozade along the course. I made it through in 4 hours and 54 not being used to running in the heat and there was still plenty of water as I went past. There were also sparks of amazing good will from the locals - despite their roads being closed off for several hours - standing outside with hoses and buckets of water to cool down runners and cheering everyone on - a great atmosphere. I am now badly sunburned and can barely walk downstairs, but would definitely do this again! Only slight negatives are there are some sections that are fairly dull that go inbetween the villages and also the exit to the charity village was *far* too small for the thousands of people trying to get through it. The walk to the shuttle buses was tough after a long run, but to be honest probably prevented my legs from seizing up even more! Date of review: May 24, 2010