In short: Great race - lousy weather - lots of mud. In full: Thoroughly enjoyed this, although the mud made it hard work. The marshals were superb - the cake at mile 21 set me up for the last few miles. Chatted to lots of interesting runners along the way - I thought they were a very friendly bunch. Very well organised, and loved the home made cakes at the end. Date of review: May 6, 2012
In short: Fast, flat, well-organised. In full: This was a well-organised race with a great atmosphere, and a fast course. The power station at mile 21 is pretty depressing, but hard to see where else they could send the course at that stage.
My only issue was with the start pens, which seemed pretty arbitrary. Despite putting 3:20 on my entry form, I ended up in the blue pen, behind a mass of slower runners. I passed hundreds of red pen runners in the first few miles. It probably didn't make much difference to my finish time - but I did only miss out on a new PB by 25 seconds, so who knows.
But overall it was a great day out - and I may well be back next year. Date of review: April 19, 2012
In short: Underrated, well-organised, scenic. In full: I enjoyed this and will be back next year. Although there are a few undulations, the hills are mild and pretty short. There is definite PB potential - missing my PB by 30 seconds was down to me, not the course.
It was well-organised. I am not sure the bands were really necessary for each lap, but they worked fine.
My only complaint is that the freezing showers at the end were not what I needed. Date of review: January 22, 2012
In short: So many hills - tough, but magnificent. In full: The most enjoyable race I have done in a long time. Great atmosphere and camaraderie between runners. I don't think I have ever spoken to so many other runners during a race, even though they were few and far between in the second half. Everyone was encouraging, and looking out for, other runners.
I went off too fast to get up to Leith Hill, and walked a fair few hills from the turnaround (and, by the end, walked pretty much every incline, however gentle). Having to climb back over the Nower at the end seemed cruel - I could barely walk up it! The toughest marathon I have done, but also the most enjoyable.
And the only marathon in which I have been passed by a husky. Date of review: October 23, 2011
In short: Hilly - but superb scenery, well organised and friendly. In full: The hills weren't as bad as I had expected, but you needed to pace yourself, and no chance of a PB (I was pleased to only be 6 minutes off a recent flat half marathon time). Very well organised, and a nice medal and t-shirt. Would definitely do it again - or maybe try the full marathon next year. Date of review: September 18, 2011