In short: Enjoyed every minute In full: I thoroughly enjoyed everything about this race. From the moment I was chatting to strangers on the train platform at Newcastle to the finish line back in Newcastle the evening afterwards.
Running nearly 70 miles (69.8 according to my Garmins) was always going to be tricky but having wet feet for the last 68 miles made it tough. Not a lot that could be done about that.
The atmosphere and scenery were fantastic. Much of the organisation was excellent and the waymarks were a huge bonus and part of the reason I chose this race. It was a shame that so little of the race ended up on trail compared to what was advertised 11 months ago, but I had known about this having read the updates so had road shoes and there was little they could do about the last minute change due to adverse weather. I nkow of people who pulled out when the route was announced so it wasn't that big a problem.
A couple of bad points - The official race photo, I only found out afterwards that this was a special photo at the end that you should have been taken for at the finish. Looking through the photos it appears that almost everyone who finished before 13:30 (only 4 out of 36) did not have their photo taken specially. When I contacted them I was told that as we had the opportunity for a photo that it was our mistake. DISAPPOINTING.
I did get slightly lost. Near to the final checkpoint there was a waymark missing and I carried straight on but luckily someone saw me and I didn't go any longer than necessary. I assume that it was tampered with though. In fact nearer the finish, they augmented waymarks with red and white tape as they are less likely to be tampered with, so that's a good point.
Overall, it was a great event. There are a few small things to work on, but it was the first year so a few teething problems are to be expected. I wouldn't do it again as I've done it now and need to find something different. It was also very expensive with travel and accomodation as well as the race.
I would recommend it to someone else who is looking to go long. Date of review: July 2, 2012