Trionium Greensand Marathon



  • Great.  Was a few years ago, but I did MM in 2:50!!!  Have improved slightly since I did it a few years ago.  Guess I won't be hanging around then!

  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭

    I just thought I'd check. I mean, the MM is fun but once a year is enough thank you image

  • hey Rob, how are the places filling up??  training is on hold at the moment (due to calf injury) so don't want to sign up 'til i'm recovered and ready.  when does this normally sell out??

  • Dr Robert:

    I have entered but sadly cannot take part as a friend is inconsiderately getting married that weekend.  Is it possible for me to sell my marathon place (and my wife's half marathon place) to someone?


    To others:

    The race is a great tought event - I can highly recommend it, and I am gutted not to be coming back for a second year.


    Elstead Runner:

    From your 10k time it sounds like you are a similar pace to me.  I got round in just under 3:32 last year.  I haven't done a road marathon but would guess I'd take around 3:00, so the GM was about half an hour slower.  HTH

  • No problem to transfer or defer - just email me at rob @ trionium (dot) com with all the details.

    There are currently plenty of places left: 120 entered, 250 places maximum.

  • There's always a lot to say about pacing and, as the Designated Slowest Runner in Trionium History, I'm eager to share my opinions -

    1) Some stats for the previous Greensands:


     As you can see, the Mean Time hasn't changed a lot - let's say that the Greensand Mean Time is 4:30:00. Since the Mean and the Median are remarkably similar we'll use Mean as the Average Time.

    The time of the Last runner in the race hasn't changed significantly over the years but the First runner's time has - Last year's winner took 10 mins off the course record in the worst conditions that the race has seen. IMHO three hours for a normal road marathon is a good time; going under three hours on a very hilly, very muddy off-road course is astonishing.

    2) The Average Finishing Time is 4:30:00, so the Average Pace is 6:26 per km.

    To make the cut at Leith Hill Tower (about 10km out) the required pace up to the Tower is 7:18 per km.

    That pace was achieved or bettered over the entire race by 125 out of 154 runners in 2012. The last 29 runners in 2012 slowed down considerably after the Tower but still averaged 7:56 per km for the Race.

    3) So nobody should worry unduly about the cut-off because, looked at rationally, it's not a very demanding target. BUT it probably does distort the race for lots of people, who do slower times overall because they run too hard at the start for fear of the cut.

    4) The Greensand course is significantly easier than the Picnic/Munro. It is easier to pace, in that most runners can run up and down all the hills. My suggestion is that you run carefully on the outward leg, not killing yourself on any of the hills, especially the steep bits of the climb to the Tower. On the homeward leg you'll have a clear idea of the typical hill and the footing, so you can try to up the pace by 30-40 secs per km, aiming for a negative split of 10-12 minutes.

    5) Yes, Science is a lot easier than running, I know.

    Happy Trails everybody! You're all heroes to me.

  • Brian, as ever, you are a marvel. Thanks for the interesting stats.

    There will be a pacer this year, up to the Tower, which should make it easier for everyone to gain the tower by the cut-off.

  • Thank you, Rob. Big Shout-Out to MS Excel!

    Meanwhile, the Slowest Runner in Surrey is still droning -

    The first quarter of the Greensand course is a pace problem because it's so bumpy. You should be settling into the run and trying to disperse the starting adrenaline but you're continually unsettled by the ground -

    1) Up over The Nower at a stupid pace to a pagan temple - well, it's a Trionium run, what do you expect?

    2) Down the other side - on some charming woodland steps! Oh yes, it's Trionium etc. Later you will understand that The Greensand is a 25-mile jog to the foot of these steps. Whereas on The Picnic you discover that your entire life has been an inadequate preparation for The Steps.

    3) Along a smooth road for a bit and downhill - Musht be shome mishtake??

    4) Into the steep and constricted Westcott Back Passages - hurry uphill in a crowd in order to queue at a gate.

    5) Westcott Drinks and the start of Leith Hill.

    6) Wolven Lane - In good conditions it's a very pleasant gentle climb on a sandy lane for a couple of miles. In poor conditions it's a grinding slog through mud and puddles.

    7) Coldharbour Drinks and an unexpectedly steep climb to the foot of the summit massif.

    8) Tower Ridge - The Final Insult. Coincidentally, the steepest climb on the course - a muddy, crumbly crawl to the feet of The Course Designer. He is waving a stop-watch at you. . . .

    You can have too much fun in 10km. There'll be tears before bedtime.

  • I would like to know 2 things please.

    1. Are there still places available?

    2. Would it be a good event to choose as a first marathon?

    I am still a beginner, so my experience is limited. My half marathon time was 1hr47min on a flat course and I have been training fairly hard to work up to a marathon.

    Any thoughts from an experienced runner please?
  • Pedro

    I have one place in the marathon and a place in the half marathon to sell on if you want.  If you are then send me a message and we can make arangements.


    In terms of this being a good first marathon: it is a pretty tough course - great fun and picturesque, but hilly.  You should therefore be prepared to be running for longer than you would on a road marathon.  I generally race off road so haven't actually run a road marathon but I am know my road pace and I am pretty sure I was about 30 minutes slower on the Greensands coursethan I would expect to be on a flat-ish road marathon.

  • Pedro

    Most people would advise you to find a flat road course for your first marathon - Stratford or Abingdon, for example. Running off-road in poor conditions with lots of uphill is physically hard and technically very hard. Most people would say, Do one thing at a time - Deal with the distance then go off-road.

    On the other hand, Trionium events are where Ordinary People Do Extraordinary Things. The Trionium proposition is You Can If You Want To Enough.

    Why not try some of the Greensand now? I'd suggest Leith Hill down to Westcott and return because the navigation's not too difficult. Start at Starveall Corner Car Park (TQ131433), go up to Leith Hill Tower then down to Coldharbor, where you pick up Wolven Lane; follow it down to the A25 at Wotton or Westcott, then return. That's about 16km and a good introduction. Take a map and a phone. If you want detailed nav instructions email me -

  • Thanks BRM and Roadkill. Both great and honest answers. I will think it over and probably sign up. A dnf will bother me less than not trying at all. Providing I make the cut off at quarter distance I don't really mind what time I finish in as it will be my first full marathon and therefore I would not have any base for comparison yet. If 5 to 5.5 hours is acceptable, then I ought to manage.

    With all due respect to Roadkill, I appreciate your offer on the tickets, but I burnt my fingers trying to buy tickets from another person before, so as a fail safe, since then I always get my tickets straight from the organiser. Thanks though.
  • So....21 mile run completed this afternoon and now for a 12 day "taper".

    Based upon my legs at the end of my run today I feel slightly "undercooked" for this one but hopefully the adrenaline and views will see me back in one piece!

    "Looking forward" to it.

  • Online entry now closed - entry on the day strictly by prior arrangement with rob@ trionium dot com.

  • Oh dear.  Not done anywhere near as many long training runs as I would have liked.  Oh well, it's gonna hurt that's for sure.  Just hope I get to the top of Leith Hill before the cut off time.  Good luck everyone.  See you on the start line.

  • The current forecast of heavy rain will make for testing conditions: come prepared!

  • Lol. Very funny. Really sad I can't be there to suffer and enjoy it. I hope everyone has a good time and I hope to make it to the Knacker Cracker.
  • Already packed me mac Rob image

    looking forward to seeing you all at the halfway water station. image

  • Best I dig out the heavy duty trail shoes for Sunday this rain is going to make a real mess.

    Can't wait.

  • The Big Fix is in - Expect classic Trionium weather (balmy autumnal air and gentle sunshine) tomorrow between 9:45am and 4:45pm. The Good Doctor never fails. Except a couple of times in the last couple of Greensands, when the weather was as fine as promised, just not exactly on the scheduled day.

  • Marked the top half of the course today with Nick and Mike... Mostly dry but by wet in parts... And it will be much wetter tomorrow! Good luck all.

  • Awesome day out at the half way point.  It was fab to see you all looking so happy to see us image

    Big respect to all out there, it was certainly tough. 

  • Awesome YOU HappyChap! Well done on top marshaling... Thanks and thanks again!

  • helly dhelly d ✭✭✭

    Huge thanks to all the marshalls out there in the rain.. This was one day when I think us runners got off lightly despite being soaked through and it must have been hard to keep spirits up (which you did admirably).

    With food, drink and warmth I am now comfortably numb but suspect I may be paying the price tomorrow.image

  • +1 for thanking the marshals. Superb job. Had a great day out. It was tough, but really enjoyable.

  • Thank you to all the marshalls and to Rob for a fantastic event.  Thanks also to the runners I ran with and those who came past going the other way for all the encouragement.

    My first marathon and such a memorable experience.  I squeaked in just under 4 hours and was somewhere between 10th and 15th I think which I am delighted with. 

    9 hours later and going upstairs is tricky, downstairs trickier and getting off the toilet only possible with a rope and pulley system but I'm over the moon. 

    Foam roller from tomorrow morning...accompanied by much screaming I suspect.

    For anyone reading this and pondering whether to do this race in future years (or any of the trionium races), the answer is unreservedly yes.

    Thanks again Rob and the gang.

  • GuyGuy ✭✭✭

    Great job by the marshals in miserable conditions. By the time I came past they had been out there for hours, but were still very cheerful. Thanks to Dr Rob for another exfellent race.

  • image Could not find a drowned rat image! Ouch that hurt. Well done to those that stuck out the rain.

  • Fan bloody muddy tastic! My first trail marathon after a few road ones.... Can't wait to get the sub 3 hour monkey off my back so I can do more!!

    Thanks to the organisers and a huge thanks to the Marshalls for standing out there in that and still be encouraging and cheerful.  Top effort!!

  • Well done runners! Astonishing performance on a difficult day! Like you, Cooks, I can't wait to get that old sub-3-hour monkey off my back, along with its unpleasant colleagues - the sub-4-hr chimp, the sub-5-hr baboon, the terrible-attitude iguana and the 15-kilogram-overweight Gloucester Old Spot. What they do in my parka hood is just Gothick! Medieval!!


    Well done, Rob, as ever. Outstanding, effortless organisation and 15-kw motivation. Words do not do you justice. R-E-S-P-E-C-T!


    Marshals, you were unbelievable. Many thanks for your smiles and friendship.


    Not only were the marshals friendly and encouraging and helpful to the runners, they were friendly and warm to the sweeper (namely, me) who turned up late, keeping some of them standing around in the cold and rain for 30 mins after the last runner had passed. That's when the going gets tough - and most of the tough get in their cars and leave. Semper fidelis, boyz and girlz! You are the best of us.

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