I've run this race since the first time in Stonor park. Its a brilliant race and Helly Hansen generally put on an awesome event. This year there were a few problems that let them down a bit. Yes the music didn't happen and the atmosphere was fairly quiet, but the marshalls were legendary. My biggest problem was that they promised gels and snacks throughout the race and had done this every year before. But this year they held back until most peoples third lap, this caused me major problems in the marathon.
I hate complaining especially about this race in particular as its local to me and very special in terms of the location, the course and the overall challenge. But Helly Hansen have proved they can put on a great show but didnt so much this year.
Having said that; the marshals and crew deserve medals. Especially the lady at the top of the first hill, the dude who was attacked by a goose for nearly 5 hours and the lovely lady who was dressed as the beast who gave me a hug at the end.
I concur! It was a really beginner friendly Ultra in all respects. Well signed, well supported check points. Awesome course too, very scenic.
Give yourself plenty of time to build up on the distance in training. I'd focus more on the long slow run each week. Anything else is a bonus. The race is a lot less intense than a road marathon. People are more friendly the longer the distance in a race I find, maybe because for most people a longer race is more about completing rather than competing. All that said; I'm hoping to do this again next year and improve on my time and placing!
I'd say you'd be hard pushed to find a more beginner friendly ultra than this so give it a go!
Hope you can make it Bear! Richly, I'm chomping at the bit, managed to negotiate a few hours each weekend to get out so making the most of it. Should get another 20 miler in this weekend sometime. Keep in touch and hope to see you all at the starting line!
Best of luck richyla. For me this race is easing back in to ultras. I've done a few but been out if the game for 6 months moving house and starting a family. The running had to come last for a while. Can't wait to get back on with the serious mileage again.