I wouldnt class myself as a beginner to running and i have done many events which were hilly and iv also completed half marathons and full marathons with proper training and nutrition, aswell as that I am no stranger to hilly routes as where I live you can't go running without coming across an incline of some sort. I read the profile on the Lancaster race series site and also asked runners on this site anout the race, maybe I was ignorant or turned a blind eye but I did not get the impression that it was going to be that bad!
dont get me wrong the scenery was stunning and the event organisers were lovely, I just feel it wasn't properly done compared to the other events iv done! I accept that its each to their own and plenty of people enjoyed this event so maybe I'm being a little harsh towards it but none the less it was an experience I didn't enjoy unfortunatly
So I completed the Lancaster Marathon over the weekend with a terrible time and thought id take this opportunity to just go over a few points from the day. Firstly I don't feel the website actually describes just how brutal the course is and a lot of first time runners did not finish due to the tough route. The hills go on for 20 miles and a lot of them are like small mountains!! I train in Yorkshire so I'm used to hill running but the hills on that course are actually horrific!! second of all you pay your race entry fee thinking that you'll get freedom to run on the roads for that short amount of time on that one and only day.....WRONG....Lancaster do not close any roads and do not put diversions in place so while your struggling to keep yourself moving on the horrible hills, your also having to put up with bikes and cars whizzing past you at high speeds!! After 20 miles of climbing up you get a huge downhill drop which you would think is a nice recovery period but this in fact crushes your knees and possibly hurts more than going up! I think if this was my first Marathon, not only would I not have completed it but I would be put off marathon running for a while, there was no proper start or finish line and as there was such a small amount of runners, you feel completely alone and lets face it, running 26.2 miles with support is hard enough but to do it alone is a lot harder...well that's a lie, you do have the sheep and cows to keep you company!! I just feel the website needs to describe the route a bit better to avoid people quitting half way round or coming away feeling the way I do.... its not an event I will be doing again! that's for sure!