Well....I certainly underestimated this event to say the least! This was my 4th trail marathon,Although a flat course it's very challenging even for more experienced runners! The slippy mud saps any energy you have!!But also achievable for first timers with grit and determination. At this time of year it's cold,wet and windy but once you get going it gets warmer and better! Lovely beautiful river route through West Sussex, I like that this event is cupless to reduce waste and stop littering the countryside. I don't understand why anyone would throw their rubbish in the countryside! But out of all the events IV done which is alot, sussex trail events do make a really good effort to keep the countryside clean and future races possible. As some races I see have been cancelled due to this issue.I often worry about taking a wrong turn as it's happened to me on a half marathon and on an ultra race But this race was very well marked with hazard tape, arrow sighns and some spray on the floor! Id say it would be hard to take a wrong turn on the dark Star River marathon.I used altra lonepeak, definitely need some shoes with more grip, deeper lugs as the mud is like nothing IV seen before! Sussex trail events I think are very well priced and affordable for the value you get from your experience.A brilliant medal too, one of the best IV earned so far and even better they do a river series where you can earn 4 medals from the 4 events throughout the year and they all join to make a big medal. Great friendly volunteers couldn't have been more helpful filling bottles for me as my hands were frozen! Another good thing about Sussex trail running is that they were able to accommodate me at the last minute, as the race was fully booked but they managed to get me in! I would highly recommend this race for anyone who wants a challenge! Nature and the element test everything you have on this race!To top it off there was free chilli,tea and coffee and some dark Star ale on tap for all finishers.I had a brilliant day and would highly recommend to anyone seeking a challenging run.Maybe not for a 1st time marathon as it's actually 28 miles, but regardless of the weather everyone turned up and most finished! Great day out and I look forward to the rest of the he races in the river series. I he next one is in may in arundul up the river arunBilly simmons
This is my second race with the wonderful Sussex Trail Events. They are brilliant! So well organised, very friendly, fabulous aid stations. Yes, the course was extremely muddy, but this didnt stop me from thoroughly enjoying the experience. Already looking forward to their next event, the Arun River Marathon in May
This was not a race.instead, it was hell of a torture of sliding, falling, slipping in tons to mud and slush. The fact that it rained whole evening previous day , kinda set the pitch. Legs were 5 kg heavier than normal. The additional 2 miles in the end was icing on the of this ordeal. I would love to hate this race!!Having said that, experience was truly amazing. The comraderie among fellow runners was great. Everyone watched each other and helped to avoid injuries. I met some really great people. Hats off to volunteers and organizers who did tremendous job to man the aid stations (only 5) in remote places in cold, windy morning. Finished an HR later than what I planned for. But i underestimated this race and the muddy coarse. Easily add another hr to your marathon PB. A smiling face of Mrs at the end reduced all the pain and brought energy back. Ended the day with nice meal and couple of really nice Darkstar beer which we got along with a beautiful medal.Will I do it again? Well, definitely. I am already looking into other events organized by sussextrail in near future
It was advertised as a tough muddy trail marathon plus, it certainly didnt disappoint! The weather was overcast and more importantly dry, however it had rained all weekend up until the run. After a relatively uneventful calm and not so soggy first 5km, the river trail path suddenly disappeared under mud, as did my trail shoes and feet, and so began the 11km of muddy muddy running. The middle 11km or so were a welcome break to mud and solid ground felt great on what were already tired legs. Training fail apparently! With continuous support all throughout from fellow runners who were no doubt feeling the ache, the remaining 16km in mid to the finish soon reappeared. To my delight the sun appeared and gave a welcome bout of dryness to some ground but the damage was done and nearing the airport, the wobbly path led me in to a very welcomed can of ale and a bowl of chilli, and although my first words were never again, we should know by now, never....... never means never!!!
I thoroughly recommend Dark Star! It was an excellent, challenging and exceptionally muddy race. It was also one of the friendliest races I've ever run. The selection of refreshments at the aid stations is incredible. I've no doubt that I will sign up for more races by Sussex Trail Events.