In short: 26 miles of glorious mainly off road countryside. A pleasure In full: I love these trail runs: The orienteering with just a few instructions on A4 & a map; Team spirit, as runners work together to fathom the route; and glorious countryside, across fields, through woods, hardly a road in sight.
Turns an endurane run into a pleasure.
I would definitely do this again Date of review: July 23, 2011
In short: Off road, point to point, flat, but care needed on the canal path In full: As this is a flat run there is plenty of personal best potential, but limited space on the canal tow-path means that you have to choose your overtaking points.
The organisers put on coaches to take you from the finish line to the start line - which is a really nice touch and at £5 - a good price.
My only complaint - there were no jelly babies Date of review: November 15, 2010
In short: Off road heaven, marathon meet orienteering - which meant 28 miles for me In full: You dont expect to get lost on a marathon, but I wasnt the only runner who lost my way and ended up running an extra couple of miles. Its a beautiful course with a great mix of terrain, so going the extra mile has at least some rewards. A small number of marathon runners and a lot of woodland means that you are on your own for a lot of the run (unless you group with someone else). A quick question to walkers "have you seen other runners coming this way" gives you some confidence that you are still on the right track. The directions are very good, but its still easy to get lost. It was the first time I used the "course" function on my Garmin Watch - this took some getting used to, but if it wasnt for this I wouldnt have finished. There was a positive party atmosphere at the 5 mile stations - a chat, a few glasses of water, jelly babies, mars bars. All marshalls and organisers were extremely friendly. Forget personal bests, this is a run with a difference, challenging but extremely enjoyable. I will definitely do this again. Date of review: September 16, 2010
In short: Great run, mainly country roads, some hills, very enjoyable, big turnout, no medal In full: There are more scenic off-road routes that could be taken, but the country roads safely accommodate the large number of runners. Date of review: February 7, 2010
In short: My first marathon, really liked the three lap format In full: Its hard for me to judge this against other marathons - but I have run two half marathons before.
Once at the venue, it was not clear where to find the start location, but otherwise the organisation was fine and the marshalls very friendly.
I liked the three lap format - by the time I got to the third lap, I knew the course and had a very clear idea of how much further there was to run - great for a beginner.
I liked watching the front runner pass me at the 14 mile stage (me half way through 2nd lap, his 3rd) - he had run about 22 miles, so was running half as fast as me again. Also, being passed (and in some cases - passing) the relay runners added a bit of interest.
I didnt find the course particularly tough - the hills were only slight inclines, I thought more flat than undulating.
The weather held out. Yes, there was a chilly wind blowing, but it is December, the sun was out and it wasnt raining - what more could you ask for!
The only disappointment was the scenery. Partly housing estates, some park, some country lane / village, but some industrial areas and a long straight stretch along the A6 didnt make for the most interesting route. I know that the Luton area has more to offer, but then I guess keeping the three lap format doesnt allow you to venture too far into the country.
Overall, an enjoyable event. A good choice of first marathon (except perhaps time of year).
Roll on spring for my next one. Date of review: December 8, 2009