In short: Tough but rewarding In full: Returned after the 2011 race. Weather this time was damp(!) but meant this time I didn't suffer cramp. Still not a race to take lightly. Date of review: July 2, 2012
In short: A tough race. In full: Well well, where to start with this? I have done a few of the smaller trail races that usually come in at around 14k. In short take the 14k races and expand it to 42k and you will get some idea of what this entails. You will be running up and down constantly on every concievable object you can think of - grass, mud, concrete, rocks (most loose), bog, water and i've missed most out.
Underestimate this run and you'll be in trouble, both the profile of the course and the photographs don't do it justice and I had the impression that it would be an easy hilly race. It wasn't. Think of this as a cross between and road race and a fell race and you'd be about there.
The organisation - Honestly I thought it was pretty good, not brilliant, but ok. But there were a few things that did worry me. Fell races tend to be run by people that know the fells and are generally pretty experienced and can look after themselves. Road runners tend to expect to be looked after. In the heat on the day this was run I could have envisaged a bit of a disaster. The organisers really need to emphasise to people the need to be self sufficient they did but I really think they need to ram it home a bit more for next time. To be honest I think the organisers underestimated the difficulty, they anticipated a sub 2.30 time?! I think they must have been looking at the wrong course. The winner did it in just over 3hrs. I'm a bit alarmed by the organisers 'if you drop out make your own way back' approach. If this is the case they really need to up the tagging system and make it fail safe so they can account for everyone, not everyone takes a relative or friend to these events.
I sound like i'm moaning. It was a wonderful race and highly recommended but it isn't for the inexperienced runner and I would say some off road running experience is vital. I'll be back next year minus the cramps.
I can see this being in the top 10 UK marathons in future, do it before it attracts the London marathon circus. Date of review: July 5, 2011