The scenery throughout the race is beautiful. The uphills are rewarded with downhills, but whichever way you spin it there are a lot of hills. It is generally accepted amongst the field that an 40min on top of a road marathon time is about where one should aim. This is reflected in the course record of 2hrs47min. My time of 5hrs49(ish) is just over an hour off my road marathon pb.
Regardless of the hills, the 300 steps and the 14 gates there is also the time of year. With it being October you can toss a coin for what the weather will do. This race has an incredible vibe. Amongst the runners and the aid stations everyone is in great spirits. A lovely touch is the category of walkers. Many of the walkers set off early. It results in effect to the runners having a rolling cheer squad.
The race is superbly marked and there should be no excuses for navigational mishaps. There is even an unofficial aid station on top of the Seven Sisters, courtesy of the coastguard. The organisers pride themselves in this not being a race. I would concur with that as it's more an event and a great one at that. After all who wouldn't love a race where a checkpoint has tea cakes and sausage rolls?!
I last ran this race in 2011 and am very excited to be running again in 2013. The weather will be anybody's guess and the course will be tough, but consistently ranked one of the best marathons in the country this is one not to be missed. It's currently sold out, but lots of places get sold on eBay as people withdraw.