In short: The ultimate trail run - even if you only do it once In full: 86 miles along the Ridgeway from Ivinghoe Beacon to Avebury, almost all along trails, but a bit of road too. Well run and fantastic support from the CPs along the way, especially at half-way where you're re-united with your bag and there's hot food available. Obviously some of the scores, above, are a bit irrelevant (eg, PB, beginner-friendliness) and the event is pretty much unique: 86 miles of trails over hilly/undulating terrain along the oldest 'road' in Britain maybe Europe. For the last 20-30 miles I was thinking I'll never do this again, but carried on because I was 60 miles closer to finishing than I would be if I had to come back again! Dropped out last year so had to come back... perhaps I will run it again after all. Date of review: August 25, 2014
In short: Great selection of distances; well organized; wonderful scenery In full: Did the 20k last year and chose this event for my first 50k this year. Hope to be back next year for one of the events. Well organized with plenty of water stations, many with food in a variety of forms (eg, jelly babies, fruit, cake). Generally very well marked route, but maybe more markers needed for the final mile through town from the cathedral? No real PB potential due to the approx distances and undulating nature of the course, but a very enjoyable run with a distance to suit everyone. Date of review: August 13, 2012
In short: First time at this event; my second marathon; already planning to enter again next year In full: Very well organized event - just a shame the massage people couldn't make it, as I could have done with one at the finish. Maybe not quite the time I had hoped for - and the reasons for that are down to me - but the potential is certainly there for a decent time. I considered not bothering with carrying a drink and energy bar, given the number of water stops, the ability to drop your own drink at certain points and the jelly babies and raisins which were also available. However, I wasn't sure how well organized that would be, so I did carry a small belt of 'stuff'. Next year I'll run 'light' as the supplied food & drink would have been more than adequate. Great day out. Date of review: May 7, 2012
In short: Great day; well-organized race; a bit tougher than the advertized 'undulating!' In full: Most of the course is indeed undulating, but the big climb up through Chudleigh (twice) made it hilly to my mind. PB therefore unlikely unless, like me, it's your first 26.2. Nevertheless, a very good event and some good views when you get to the top. Despite some of the route being on busy A-roads the traffic isn't really an issue. If I fancy the challenge, I'll be back for next year. Date of review: October 17, 2011
In short: Something for everyone. Choice of several distances, walk or run, some busy roads, but mostly quiet roads or pleasant country trails. In full: I did the '20-km' event, although I think it was somewhat more than 20 km (12.5 miles); in fact, I reckon it was just over a half-marathon also (I made it 13.5 mi). As I paced myself to finish at 12.5 miles and was only passing the Cathedral at that point, I had a fairly arduous last mile! I should have been more prepared for something like, as I did think, on looking at the map of all the routes sent to me a week before, that, 'there's no way all of those routes can all have been arranged to be exactly the required distance.' I suppose some people might feel a bit let down by that, but overall I still had a great day and that's the only criticism I've got - perhaps a note about actual distances in the otherwise very good pre-race info would have been a good idea?
I intend coming back next year for one or other of the races on offer. Great event for all the family. Date of review: August 14, 2011
In short: Very enjoyable, despite the rain; on a good day it could be fantastic In full: My first event for over 10 years, so not a lot to judge it against at the moment; if anything I marked it low just in case there are better events out there somewhere.
I heard a few minor organisational points made at the end, which the organisers were keen to make note of for next year - as this was the first running. Nothing that should spoil your day though.
The weather - constant rain and cold - clearly didn't help. Naturally that made most of the trails rather muddy, however, they all seemed quite well-drained and I don't recall any thick, deep mud. The rain was probably more of an issue for the spectators and, I suspect, caused most runners to leave soon after finishing. On a good day - even just a dry one - it would have been great to sit around on the grass afterwards to enjoy the day for an hour or two.
With most of the route in shady woodland I think it could be quite pleasant running even on a hot day. Maybe the weather will be better next year, as I hope to do this one again. Date of review: June 13, 2011