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Photo Credit: Marathon du Mont Blanc/Gaetan Haugeard.

Top Reviews August 2018


By Luke Jarmey

We’re pleased to announce our top reviews for August. So congratulations to Deirdre O’Riordan who will receive a pack of 33Shake Chia Energy Gels.

Marathon du Mont Blanc - France

Right, time to flip the ‘on’ switch in my brain that won’t click ‘off’ (hopefully) until I cross the finish line, this is where my stubborn streak becomes my biggest asset. And so with a lot of nervous shuffling, a chorus of ‘trois, deux, un et allez, allez, allez’..we’re off.....a brief run through the streets of Chamonix and into the cool shade of the forest.’

Reading like a fast paced, energetic story, Deirdre’s review of the Marathon du Mont Blanc keeps you rapt from start to finish. A well deserved top spot for this month, we particularly liked her liberal use of exclamation marks!

‘And so here I was planning to ‘run’ a mountain marathon with an elevation of 2,200 m on a potentially very hot June day!! Yikes!!! If the heat doesn’t get me the altitude and climbing surely will!!’

In no particular order, here are the remaining top reviews for August.

Kerry Way Ultra - Ireland

I have to say that I signed up one night, my laptop on my knees in bed and my credit card in hand, a very dangerous combination as I tend to be easily enticed by beautiful landscapes and the odd notion that I too could run such heroic trails.’

Another great review from Deirdre, this time of the Kerry Way Ultra. A really detailed account with some fantastic laugh out loud moments.

From the get go shoes and feet were sodden with water, and weighed down by mud and cow *****e...yep, looking down at my legs I couldn’t discern the mud from the *****e!

Transylvania 100 - Romania

Hold on, is this another top review from Deirdre? Oh yes, she has certainly been on a roll this month! In typical style this is a hilarious and beautifully thorough retelling of her Transylvania 100 race experience.

So here I was, yet again, having signed up for something that scared the ***** out of me (ha! Apologies for all the scatological references!) but also excited me in equal measure.’

‘And so here I am, running through a forest in the dark in Transylvania!!! And if Dracula himself jumped out in front of me right now I would tell him to get the ***** out of my way I’ve a finish line to get to!!’

‘…I found myself embraced in the biggest hug by a wonderful Romanian lady who hugged me and kissed my cheeks like I was her child….and it felt like coming home.’

Maverick X Series - UK

Absolutely savage. Would definitely do it again.’

What is it with us runners and a sadistic love of suffering? Well Paddy Donovan’s opening certainly hints at this and once you read the rest of his Maverick X Series review, you’ll see that ‘savage’ was absolutely not an exaggeration in his particular experience.

Being so hot, I continuously dipped my hat in rivers we crossed... some weren’t rivers and dirty stagnant pools of water which is what led to me being hospitalised with a nasty infection. (My family said I must warn people of the dangers of the dark peaks dirty water...)’

Pennine Barrier - UK

A fantastic event, The Pennine Barrier by the 'GB Ultras' team certainty put the great back into Ultras, and the British (more so I would say quintessentially English) back into Ultras.’

A stunning sounding ultra, the Pennine Barrier is expertly reviewed, as always by Helen Pickford (@runpeaks).

With 4 peaks to climb, PenyGent, Whernside and Ingleborough as well as the less well known Fountains Fell, it is certainty one for hill lovers.’

Kennet & Avon Canal Race - UK

Tuck into this mightily meaty account of the Kennet & Avon Canal Race by Grahame Shaddick. Akin to a diary entry, this review is absolutely packed to the rafters with juicy information.

Leg 2, following the Kennet &Avon canal over two very pretty aqueducts and stopping for a bottle of coke at a canal side cafe in Bradford-on-Avon I continue to make steady progress jogging a little prouder and taller after a lady competitor compliments the shape of my
behind to her running partner!!

This isn't a big sponsored event with loads of back up, hot food and medics at each CP. This is a raw, no frills amazing event, and I think because of this the camaraderie between runners is exceptional with people willing to chat to keep you going or share food/kit if you’re short.’

Manchester to Liverpool Ultra - UK

This was my first 50 miler in April 2018 and it was hell. But I'd happily do it again :-)

Clearly another masochistic race reviewer (the best kind in our books!), Conor O’Neill pens a concise but well written review of the Manchester to Liverpool Ultra. Sounds as if weather conditions were far from optimal…

We had an early start in torrential rain in Liverpool which turned to hail, sleet and then snow. My wife DNFed at mile 20 due to the cold, but I staggered on for 14 hours, frozen to the bone and got to the finish as darkness descended.

Downland Challenge - UK

Having a good experience at your first ultra is often to key to your perception of the sport and it looks like Roberta Giubilini got just that in her review of the Downland Challenge.

I really enjoyed the race and, in particular, getting to chat to a person here and there while I was running. Everyone was very nice and, although there was a good spirit of competition among the most experienced runners, it was a very relaxed and fun atmosphere, lots of smiling and small chats!

Would definitely recommend it if you are looking for a well-organized but no-frills, old school event in a beautiful part of the country.’

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