Every year I do this race I say the same thing. NEVER again.
Every year I find myself back in the start line because it’s a challenge.
This race is always 15th August which is a bank holiday in France.
It takes place in the seaside resort of ST Brevin les pins and it has a massive support from locals..
Its à 7pm start for the 10k or 6pm start for the 5k and festivities continue all through the evening .
I didn’t have to pay for this race as I am one of the sponsors but the 10k is 10 euros . No medal but a technical vest . You need a medical certificate to take part .
The 10k is 4 laps of the course. The course starts on the beach where you run for half a mile before you leave the beach for the pine forest and some shade. Another half mile brings you into the down and the promenade before you descend back into the beach Some tough running in the dunes before you rejoin the promenade and then back down on the beach. Repeated 4 times! You need to pace yourself because by lap 4 it is tough and the legs are heavy!
Luckily the crowd support gets you through the toughest parts.
If you are on holiday here in August I’d say go for it! You will never get a race as unique as this.
When the race starts the runners a led off by a horse!
Posted on 16.08.18
This is a local race in a small village with a big turn out !
In total over the 2 distances 700 runners .
The longer distance is 2 laps of the short course.
Its a mix of road and off road and I find my Newton AT do the job.
The course starts in the sports complex where you do a small loop before heading towards the village where you pick up the cycle track. From here you go onto my aptly named dirt track ..... yes I created this Strava segment.This is quite rough under foot and a deceptive incline. The route then descends to the beach and soft sand. Beware of the ankles if you’re not used to running in sand! A short beach section before the dreaded climb back up via 93 very uneven steps. The quads certainly burn at this point, but the hard work is done and a small road section takes you back to the sports ground. There is a grassy incline that takes you back to the track and the finish line.
Great value for money , no medal but a technical t shirt . My entrance was just 7 euros. You do need a medical certificate even for the short distance.
If you are on holiday in this part of France is worth having a go at this race. It’s challenging but the scenery is great .
Posted on 06.08.18
This was their first marathon and I’m sure they will learn from this.
The course is stunning all along the Brittany coastline. Very undulating which makes it a challenging course. If you are looking for fast and flat this is not for you.
Race was delayed by 45 mins due to storms. Whilst stood on the start line a police van came through the runners in the opposite direction . With recent events this did freak me out as did the motorcycles that came from behind as the claxton sounded . Again straight through the runners . Like I say I’m sure they will learn from this.
Loos were still locked with a padlock 1 hr before the race. I had to go and ask for them to be unlocked. Parking ample and well directed. Nearest airport Nantes flights daily from Gatwick . Nearest ferry St Malo.
Fab goody bag with caramels technical t shirt boot bag and medal. Only quip and again I’m sure they will review this. Finished got medal and had to walk back 600m to village to collect t shirt. Not nice after 42km!
All this said I would do it again. I loved the course. No time to be bored with consistently changing scenery. 90% road 10% off road.
Excelkent value at 40€ race fee
Posted on 05.06.18
This was my second time at Nantes . It’s a great choice for a European Marathon and there are daily flights from Gatwick. Although I live in France my support crew flew over for £85 return for 2!
I did early bird which was 45€. Be mindful you will be asked for a medical certificate to validate your place and some doctors will charge you for this.
Shuttle bus from airport goes direct to Nantes for under 10€ where accommodation is plentiful. Travel around Nantes cheaply by tram. We did a weekend ticket for 4 and it cost us 9€.
This is a race weekend. 10k half or full marathon.
I chose the marathon. Start is well organised in timed pens . Last pen is 4:15 . It’s a French qualifying race so cut of is 5:30.
The course is twice around the city. It is by no means flat and the incline of the bridges is deceiving .
Great for spectators. My support crew were at 3,8,17, 23,37 and 40km. Easy for them to get around the city.
Great motivation at 40km with messages on a giant screen. I was lucky to get one from RaceCheck HQ!
Finishers medal, technical t shirt and a boot bag makes this great value against April marathons such as Brighton and Manchester.
My only criticism is the lack of toilets on the course . Water and aid stations are plentiful.
If you want to try an alternative marathon and dip your toes into a European marathon I would highly recommend it. Having looked at the price of Paris I am tempted to go back to Nsntes in 2019.
Posted on 23.04.18
Whilst in Sydney I thought it would be nice to get a race in before the end of 2017 and to support my sister who has been following C25K.
There are 3 distances . 4km, 7km and 14km. The races are not chip timed. Smallish race , estimate around 200 runners . The 4km is mainly run by under 17s.
My sister and I opted for 14km whilst my husband did the 4km.
Parking was good but in terms of organisation this is where it ends . Just 2 toilets at the start or 2 toilets about 1km from the start.
No race briefing until right before the race (8am start), so we were not sure which race was starting when.
The 14km was 2 laps of Iron Bay which really is stunning. Mainly on the bike path, a tiny section on grass and a nice slow hill to get onto the bridge where the view is fabulous.
Well marked out and plenty of drink stations.
The route is shared by other users , similar to Parkrun which makes it difficult if you want a PB because you have to be mindful of the public.
Not a difficult course at all in terms of gradients.
Biggest disappointment was having no medal or goody bag.There were cups for different categories but for the runners doing it for fun they had nothing to show for their hard work!
However big plus point for this race was a pancake buffet at the end, which was still well stocked when the slower runners were crossing the line.
I already have the Run to eat cake t shirt so now I can add run to eat pancakes to my list !!
Would I do it again? Probably not. For me it lacked atmosphere and organisation, but if you are on holiday and want a stunning location in December look it up.
Top tip. Register online , on the day registration is pricy.
Posted on 18.12.17
I entered this for fun just after my first marathon. It's a fast 10km with lots of club runners.
It is centered around the town and takes in a few bridges and of course the mechanical elephant!
Since I did this race it has moved to an evening event with a festival atmosphere. In 2014 there was a finishers t shirt but no medal.
Posted on 15.11.17
I really enjoyed this race sponsored by decathalon.
Its two laps of the town which has some beautiful buildings ( beware of the cobbles though!) It takes you out along the bank of the Loire and back in to the Machines d'ILLE, where you may be lucky enough to see the mechanical elephant.
The highlight for me was a message ( in Geordie) from my best friend on the giant screen at 40km. It was pouring with rain and I looked up and saw her recorded message shouting encouragement at me. Magical.
Nice technical T in ladies fit, goody bag and golden biscuit medal.
Have signed up again for this year .
Posted on 15.11.17
I wanted to do an ultra to mark the year I turned 50 and to gain my ultra wings.
What can I say phenomenal !!
So well organized. Two fantastic if not slightly mad race directors..., I mean who plans an ultra with a compulsory playground participation ???
Friendly Marshall’s plus the Borders rescue team. No person left an aid station without being properly assessed by a Marshall and deemed fit to continue.
Stunning stunning scenery .
Loved it from start to finish and would definitely recommend.
Posted on 13.11.17
Given that laps are not my favorite I have to question why I chose this race,
3 laps of the course which was short of the advertised 50km.
Very beautiful but after the first lap my enjoyment dwindled. Very lonely out on the course. Water stations out of water by my last lap, and an issue with the timing chips. They had me down as a man,..
Chose this if you like running laps in unspoiled surroundings , but not if you are looking for crowd support
Posted on 13.11.17
Hi Julie, thanks for your feedback. Firstly well done for completing the ultra. We are sorry some of the distances were short. This was due to a last minute course chance due to a resident complaint. We've rectified the problem for this year and all courses have been redone. Granted lapped courses aren't for everyone. However when running events with multiple distances that all share aid stations, its the most sensible option. we are limited in what areas we are permitted to use by the forestry commission. Thank you for you comment on the aid stations. We will ensure this is sorted for our next event. As we always want to improve. Good luck with your racing this year.
Posted on 16.02.18
I’ve been lucky to have a place on my company team for the last three years .
Whst can I say? There’s nothing like it. The scenery is stunning the hills are brutal the wine is exquisite ,
its a requirement to run this in fancy dress. Every year the theme is different . If you don’t run in fancy dress you are the odd one out!
Goody bag and medal
Posted on 13.11.17
My must do race every year ! If you want to find out why it’s so special check out my blog. Missed the race in 2016 because I wanted my ultra wings.
Its fast it’s flat and good crowd support . For the family spectators they get to see you on both sides of the common. The last two miles are always challenging but that’s all part of the attraction
Posted on 13.11.17