UK's toughest marathons

Hello folks,

 This is my first ever post to RW Forum and I'm hoping you can help. I'm a part-time runner (when work and general life doesn't get in the way). I did the London marathon in 2005 (since then I've been unsuccessful in every ballot) for a great charity called the Lymphoma Association and I'm looking for a new challenge to raise some money for the cause. I had Hodgkin Lymphoma myself in 2002 and have recovered well from it, so to celebrate 7 years in remission I wanted to up the ante and take on the UK's toughest 7 marathons...

 Anybody got any ideas?

Cheers and good luck to everyone else too!

Mark

Comments

  • Beachy Head for one - mostly off-road and about 5000' of ascent
  • I heard the Tresco marathon is pretty hard.
  • Try one of the enduranceLife coastal marathons, they can make your eyes water.

  • Black Mountains Roundabout - 6500 feet of ascent in the lovely Brecon Beacons.

    *your navigation does have to be up to scratch though, especially if the weather comes down.

  • Great langdale - Ron Hill descibed it as the toughest rd marathon in the world.
  • Have a look at some of the big fell races - you've got pleany of time to get the required experience for next year!

    Try the Three Peaks Race (24miles, 5,000' ascent), and look at the Lakeland Classics Series, including: Wasdale (21m, 9000'), Ennerdale (23m, 7500'), Borrowdale (18m, 6000'), Duddon, Langdale and Three Shires.

  • GreenMachine wrote (see)

    Try one of the enduranceLife coastal marathons, they can make your eyes water.

    Would that be because of the salty air?
  • Try the Picnic.  It is run every other year in June in the afternoon at Box Hill in Surrey.  The Midsummer Munroe Half Marathon is run every year and is conplete b*s**rd. The Picnic is the Munro x 2.  For more info visit the Trionium website.  All proceeds go to charity. 
  • In Yorkshire, check out the "Yorkshireman Off-Road Marathon" in Sept. and the "Wadsworth Trog" - which'll make more than your eyes water image
  • The Brathay Marathon is quite a hard one from what I've heard. I've done it and found it hardbut its the only one I've done so I've nothing to compare it to. 

  • Hello all, what makes the great langdale marathon so difficult? Just had a quick look down the results and there are quite a few drop outs!
  • I can't imagine there is one tougher than the Picnic - so hilly and starts at about 2pm at midsummer so hot too!
  • Another vote for The Picnic.  Up and down Box Hill for hours on a hot summer afternoon?  That has to be tough.
  • could try doing the bob graham

    All the peaks in the lake district in 24 hours, thats 42 hills, 74 mils with 28500ft of climbing

    http://www.bobgrahamround.co.uk/

  • If you look at the trionium website

    www.trionium,.com   it has a list of other worthy races,  Snowdon, three forts,  anglesey etc all get a mention, beachy is in there too.

    I think you need an objective measure of difficulty,   feet of climbing per mile could be one way ?

     good luck  

  • I don't think it's in the same league as some of the ones mentioned, but if you want 26.2 marathon distance Neolithic Marathon might just sneak in somewhere...  Also if you wanted to have a spread of different areas of the country?

    On measures of hardness, I don't think it's just about hills.  Hard and rough ground, mud/dust, rutted tracks and stiles definitely add to Neolithic's hardness quota.

    (Should say I've only done FLM and Neo, so can't really compare with the others personally.  Neo is a lot harder than London, and includes some steep hills, but not fells and mountains... it's also a great event, with walkers and cani cross events along the same route, great organisation, and there's something special about doing a course from Avebury to Stonehenge.  If you were looking for 7 unique marathons I'd definitely nominate it!)

  • Markio - the 'challenge' of the Langdale marathon is mainly the hills - all big and all steep (gradients up to and including 30%) - even the flat bits seem like they're uphill.  Then you add on the fact that its a two lap race - I've only ever done the half (i.e. the first lap) but the thought of watching 90% of the runners stop knowing that I'd have to do it all over again blows my mind.  And of course, its in the Lake District at the end of summer - which means its either blisteringly hot or absolutely pi55ing down with rain - occasionally you'll get the former over the first lap and the latter for the second.  Being small and on narrow lanes also means that there's not a lot of support so you're on your own for large parts of the second lap.  All in all, it makes Windermere/Brathay (which I have done) seem like a doddle.

    I'm not well qualified to comment on what the seven toughest marathons in the UK are but I'd be surprised if Langdale didn't make somebody's shortlist.

  • Our toughest hottest full marathon was 2003 Potteries  - 32% heat clocking 4.58

     but i would suspect the toughest is ( as Ron Hill agreed ) with me - Great Langdale - 2 lapper, it's the road race from hell - beautiful as it is it's gruelling

    now we've run the HM there 3 times , twice in the race in 2.44 and 2.47 and once on a training run just Mick n  Phil and the organiser who we joined one day in 2.45

    have alway wanted to do the 2 laps, but i know it's gonna be an all day job - and have never found time to do it - it will be mentally and physically sapping,

    one day maybe image

  • Another one on the South Downs, in the vicinity of the Three Forts, is the Steyning Stinger. Early March and the clay can stick to your shoes
  • so what is the uk toughest marathon!!

  • Toucs wrote (see)
    Try the Picnic.  It is run every other year in June in the afternoon at Box Hill in Surrey.  The Midsummer Munroe Half Marathon is run every year and is conplete b*s**rd. The Picnic is the Munro x 2.  For more info visit the Trionium website.  All proceeds go to charity. 

    Definitely this one. I did the Ultra half last year. 17 miles from hell, and the full, ten times worse..

    I am doing Sussex in April, not the hardest, but very hilly and not for the faint hearted.

    Neil. The toughest is individual. Some find flats the toughest since you naturally go quicker. But as per above. The Munro. It even says its the hardest on its t-shirt.

  • Picnic is the hardest I've done. 3:45 at Loch Ness, 5:45 for the Picnic gives you some idea. Not this year though. Snowdon was 3:47 so not very tough in comparison, for me.



    Do like the sound of those Lake District ones. Haven't done any but think I will be....



    image
  • Exmoor Marathon..... Ouch A LOT of hills. 1600 metres climbed. 3h 44m fastest ever time

  • 26extreme Mourneway Marathon in Co. Down
  • well this ones a bit of a testwe love hills and beer

  • Grizedale marathon last november was my hardest, I've run 16 including some Ultra marathons but that was the hardest by a long way.

  • The South Downs marathon is a bit of a hilly multi-terrain grueller.

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