Bungay Black Dog Marathon

I've been looking for an alternative to VLM that isn't too far from home and came across this little gem.  Anyone thinking of doing it, or done it in the past?




  • Thinking about it. Never done it before. It's either this one or Halstead. Both get good reviews, although Bungay is supposed to be a bit hilly.
  • I saw a course profile and didn't think it looked too bad.  Halstead is closer for me but I think the fact that it's in May puts me off a bit, I'd rather just get cracking with a 16 wk prog after xmas and have it over and done with by VLM, so I can go and watch and not have my own marathon still hanging over me 2 wks later.

    I'm guessing it's not the most over crowded mnarathon in the world judging by the lack of responses to my thread!

  • I am thinking about this too - I have a place in the Brighton mara on the same day but this is close to home so am very tempted to ditch Brighton and go for this (even though I have paid Brighton's extortionate entry fee I'll be saving on a hotel if I ditch it!).

    Don't think that many do the full but don't forget the half on the same day - starts 2 hours after the full so there will be plenty of company on the second lap!

  • I saw that the half starts after the full which is much nicer than the normal way round of both starting at the same time then the poor people doing the full watching the halfers finish whilst they have another 13 miles to go!

    I know Brighton fairly well and thought the course looked prtty dull - trying to cram 26.2 miles into a small area, so lots of switch backs. 

    If I enter this I think I'll also enter their 20k race on Feb 21st.

  • I too like the idea of running it the week before FLM, so I can laugh at everyone doing London!
  • I did this one in April gone.

    Very well organised etc, can't speak highly enough of it. Not at all overcrowded which is a goof thinh IMHO.

    The course is undulating with a couple of steep hills but as its a 2 lapper you'll see them all twice.

    Looks like I will be back again in 2010. IIRC I only got overtook by the winner of the half.

    Wouldn't do Brighton if you paid me....never mind paying around £50!

  • Come on folks, sell this one to me.   I'm not in the VLM so I need somewhere for my first marathon next year...
  • How bad are the hills? I've only done 1 full marathon (New Forest) and I really struggled with those inclines and ended up walking up them after 20 miles (which was about 4 miles of the last 6!)
  • Hello everyone

    I registereed for this one a couple of months ago via the universal entry form on Runnersworld, as I didn't want to miss the boat and couldn't wait for Bungay's own online entry system to open  image

    Like Mr Spoons I've also only done one marathon, which was this year at Abingdon. Good result but a much flatter course by comparison, so I guess it will be hard to better my time at Bungay, given the hills. Will be hitting Abingdon again in the Autumn though, so Bungay will be good psychological and physical preparation.

  • I like the look of Abingdon. "Billiard table flat - I've heard"
  • It's a great course Mr Spoons - flat and fast!  Not high volumes of support, but quality support nevertheless.

    I'll be revisiting this one for sure in 2010

  • I've heard loads of people on here saying how great Abingdon is. I think it always sells out ages in advance too.
  • Yes it does Mr Spoons, so be ready  to act quickly  image
  • I've got a new book called "The Ultimate Guide to Marathon Running". In it, it says that 20 mile races (not LSR's) are a BAD idea for marathon training as people tend to get carried away, race them and either get injured or just knacker themselves out before the marathon. It says a half-marathon race is a much better idea.

    It's very confusing all these contradictions in the world of marathon training. Maybe I should knock Wymondham 20 on the head and do the Broadland 13.1 instead...
  • For my 1 and only marathon I did two 1/2s in training, and I raced both of them.  Only did two 20 milers and they were definitely SLOW, not races.  I guess it depends how many wks before the marathon.  I wouldn't race any distance less than 4 wks before.  I think the two 1/2s I did were 4 wks and 8 wks before.

    Still procrastinating and haven't entered yet.........

  • Yes there's many conflicting views on the best prep for a marathon. I haven't raced a 20 miler yet, but did do stage 12 of the Round Norfolk Relay (19,67 miles) this year. This fell about a month before my marathon debut at Abingdon and when I coupled this with a 10k 2 weeks before Abingdon I had a great debut.

    I do tend to agree with idea of racing a half marathon before the marathon though, but would be inclined to race half the distance of any target race 2-3 weeks before my target race.

  • Mr Spoons - I have done lots of 20 mile "races" for marathon training, and have never "raced" one of them yet. Just go in with a plan - I tend to do a mixture of LSR pacing but with some marathon pacing in there too - either in the middle or say the last 5 miles. Just need discipline!
  • Freemers - I think that sounds wise. Do the first 15 at LSR pace, with the last 5 miles at Marathon race pace. I have a plan!
  • Hi,

    i ran Bungay last april and it was my first marathon. Really enjoyed it and those hill were fine the first time round it's just the 2nd time you have to worry about them!!  There was about 250 marathon runners and 500 half runners and it was nice to have some others join you on the second half. Ran it in 3.59 which i was very happy with as it really hurt the last 6 miles and have ran NYC since which i ran slower at 4.10 but was fitter - work that one out!!?????

    Small field means no queue for loo's , no problem parking and being able to get there half an hour before the race and still plenty of time to sort yourself out.

    Great run would recommend it altough i am doing Rotterdam next April which is definatly flat!! 

  • Thanks Sue - I'm assuming that as they say you can enter on the day they are not likely to sell out any time soon?  Logistically it does sound so much more pleasant than starting with 30,000 others!!

  • I'm getting keener by the minute. My only question is am I prepared to put the hours in?
  • i doubt they ever sell out!!

    At least if you're entered you are more likely to train harder as you have made the commitment - just do a bit of hill training thats my advice!

  • I do loads of hill training. I love it - but never on my long runs. I did the New Forest Marathon last year (hillier than Bungay) and really struggled. I guess I need to find some long run routes with hills.
  • As part of my training I'm planning Berkhamsted 1/2 which is reportedly hilly, as well as Longleat 10k which is too.  I definitely agree that those hills will need some preparation!
  • Thanks for the info Sue. This will be my second Marathon. I know it will be tall order to beat my Abingdon time, but I'm really looking forward to it.
  • It's a yes from me! Looking forward to doing a nice country marathon, hopefully the hills wont be too bad.

    I did the Nottingham marathon in September earlier this year and the first half was pretty hilly but second half pancake flat. Think I prefered the undulations of the first half although the wheels always tend to fall off dont they?!?!?

    16 weeks today, best get my running shoes on.

  • Shopping Sue, thats the difference between NYC and other marathon times.  That's my excuse anyway!image

    This is a great marathon course - challenging but not crazily so. Give the hills some respect both times aorund (esp the first). But you need to be able to enjoy your own company at times. Halstead, which someone mentioned earlier, is also an excellent course - less hills than this one, but continuously undulating. Many people do both. Think I might this year. Both figure in the RW best 50 races of 2009.

  • Hello everyone, so just how hilly is this mara? How would it compare to the first half of Robin Hood for anyone that's ddone that? Cheers. 15 weeks today, yikes!
  • It depends where you come from if you think it is hilly, I come from suffolk and the hills in the first few miles ( about mile 15 the second time around) killed me last year, but I think I just tried to do the first half too fast. The last 5 miles ( and miles 8-13) are flat and fast.

    The drinks on the table worked well last year and it is great when you come round the 2nd time as all the half marathoners are there waiting to start ( if you get there by 2 hours) and they give you huge cheers!

  • Marvellous scenes red tomato. Thanks for the info - I'll make sure I do some hills just in case!
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