The Farnham Pilgrim, Marathon & Half-Marathon

Haven't run a marathon since the last Pilgrim, but finally getting back to feeling like I could do. Must get my entry in. Looking forward to it! Who else is in?


  • way2slowway2slow ✭✭✭
    i'm in - part of my 12 in 2012 challenge!!! never run it before - is it a nice course?
  • Me too - morning W2S - it''s a beautiful course, loads of marshals and very friendly. Couple of hills though....
  • It's an interesting course, lots of variety, which distracts from slogging up those hills.
  • way2slowway2slow ✭✭✭
    ooooohhhh - i love hills! one of my favourite races (apart from the bog) is the grizzly image. Hills' - if you're local, do you know of any b&b's which'll allow dogs?
  • Hi w2s, The Princess Royal is listed on the 'pet-friendly' site below and is closest to the Sands Village start & finish. Check it out.
  • way2slowway2slow ✭✭✭
    Thanks Hills' - will check it out......
  • Seem to be into off-road, this year. What other softer events (underfoot)can anyone recommend as a run-up to The Pilgrim?
  • This looks like a really interesting alternative to a mass road race. Two things which I'd be grateful for others' views on:
    1. I have just done the Paris marathon (my first) coming in a shade over four hours. The field here being so small in comparison, are we talking about a more advanced bunch than my level?
    2. I like the idea of off road running, having had IT band problems in the run up to the Paris marathon. But I imagine off-road running would unwind the springs my legs more than the roads, and I wondered if I should train specifically for this aspect, or at least accept that it will be a more demanding course?
  • Do I need trail trainers for this? Lots of mention of off road...
  • Did this last year. Road shoes were fine. The standard is as mixed as any other event. One or two hills you may as well walk up and stiles and kissing gates to negotiate. Queues build up at these in the first half, but the field spreads out so less of that as you go on, not a PB course so shouldn't be a problem. I'd expect marathon time plus 10-15 mins. Overall nice event and well worth doing.
  • just ran some of the routes near Guildford. They are certainly soft and squishy now! If it's a wet summer, shoes with more grip may be needed.
  • Hi Neil

    I staggered (literally!) round in around 6 1/2 hours and they were all still waiting for me at the end with food, water and T-shirts. Unless you're super-fit, you won't run it all - it's a toughie, (I think it's harder than Beachy Head, which I've done in the same sort of time several times.)  If you're not used to off-road running, this will probably add at least half an hour to your road time. There are lots of (often welcome) obstacles that will slow you down, as the others have said, plus mud and tree roots to dodge, but there's biscuits and Mars bars at the water stations, and a lovely atmosphere. Just enjoy it. Forget PBs, but a bit  - no, a lot - of practice running up hill would be very very useful! It's a great race. Bet you'll be a convert to off-road after this one!

  • way2slowway2slow ✭✭✭

    oh boy, now you've got me worried ancient plodder - do you know if are there more hills than the Grizzly? Haven't done any off road training yet - better get my act together i guess.....

  • Oooo.  I'm seriously interested.  I'm useless as a useless thing on hills.  Done a coule of marathon's but never an off road one.  Will have to get some hill practice in around St Martha's.  Like the sound that it's friendly, local and they're still waiting after 6 hours!  My kind of race image

  • some of the hills are big, and some are just long slow inclines that go on for ever and ever and ever... at least I think that's what it's like because memory fades with age (just like remembering how stiff I was afterwards). If you know St Martha's you'll be pleased to hear that a climb up to there is roughly half way... enjoy the sand...

  • way2slowway2slow ✭✭✭

    don't know the area at all unfortunately - i'm from the midlands and i've never been to farnham...... and what's this about sand? - don't remember any beaches showing up on the maps image

  • Guys, all this info is great and is whetting my appetite!  This looks like a real challenge but a massively fun one!

  • If it's whetting your appetite, perhaps we should add there's a pub right opposite the entrance to the start/finish field....

  • HellywobsHellywobs ✭✭✭

    I've signed up for the half marathon and am looking forward to it.  For the scenery and the Mars bars!  They are very generous with the cut-off times, so you can take your time and enjoy it.  Definitely not a PB course but now I've said that someone will come on and say that they've done a PB there!

  • Im contemplating the Full Mara. I will be coming from about 250 miles away, but,


     this race holds a massive interest to me as I grew up in Tongham which was a small vi9llage back then. I used to play football where the start takes place, and often would walk alon the Pilgrim path with friends and family of which many still live there.  

    I could just be tempted back down memory lane and if I am, fear not, I will keep the sweeper company image

  • I have just entered the full marathon in Sept. & have been running the course in 9 mile sections over the past few weeks. Its really really nice & much better than running on tarmac. I agree with the comments on the hills, lots of them but the surroundings make it worth while. I also agree about this not being a PB course, i think you could add 30-45 mins to your normal marathon time due to the various up & downs, mud, tree roots, narrow paths etc. My average mins per mile has increased by about 1-1.5 mins. If you have not run off-road before I would recommend that you get some practice in as its a bit different to tarmac.

  • Missed this last year due to injury but did the first one in 2010. It's simply one of the nicest, best-organised, friendliest marathons I've ever done. The route is just fabulous (yes there are hills, but I walk up the big ones) and a nice mix of terrain - fields, tracks, sandy paths, little bits of road here and there etc, and a few nice quirks (like the ruined cathedral). This would be a brilliant introduction to trail marathons for a beginner IMHO and there is no need at all to get stressed about finishing times. I'd agree with Andy C - a 30-45 min differential from a flat road marathon is about right for me, but also bear in mind you'll recover much, much quicker from this kind of event than you will from tarmac bashing.  

  • Can anyone comment how the Pilgrims compares to the South Downs Marathon?

    I have run the SDM the past 2 years, and had entered/trained for this years race but had to pull out due to a chest infection in the last 5 days lead up!

    This sounds like a great day out, I'm very interested. Cheers

  • Meon - I don't think it is quite as tough, but its still a challenging race. There are quite a few hills (and St Marthas is a big one) but not as severe and i think the overall elevation is about half as much. It's a bit draining underfoot at times (some sections on sand, although not deep). The atmosphere is brilliant - as good as SD if not better. Highly recommended event - if you like SD you'll like this..........
  • May have to enter this....
    Hopefully it doesn't t fill up before I decide.

  • Go know you want to !image .....would the prospect of great finish line home made refreshments help ?image Those kind Rotary Club ladies really know how to bake !

  • It's very tempting..

    I have my Wedding in Aug and Honey Moon planned for the Monday after the Marathon. Although nothing is booked yet so the date my change...

    Enjoying the traning at the mo, so as long as I'm still getting out running 4/5 times a week I don't see why not!

    It's just roping my mate coming on the Sunday runs with me....

  • OG, thanks for the insight, it does sound good ... I'm glad I've entered it. Time to focus on the training again now i have recovered. Great weather for evening runs!
  • I highly recommend this marathon. I ran it last year and did the half in 2010. It's a friendly, well organised race with great views, but it's quite a hilly, multi-terrain route so expect to add 20-40 mins to a flat road race time. It's a friendly race with mixed abilities so anyone can run it. The climb from around 11 miles to 12.5 miles makes it tricky to pace evenly, but this also makes it more interesting.

  • Thank's Mike,

    Can I ask if there are any good spectator spots to get too? Im hoping my wife can wave me off then go to different points along the route, to cheer us on? 

    The map that I have printed off seems quite difficult to see the route clearly. 

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