In short: Oh I did like to be besides the seaside! In full: A lovely run along the front at Deal followed by a cheeky incline through the countryside to 5k. Then it flattens out and back along the front for 4k. It was a gloriously sunny day so boiling hot but a lovely run, great views and I got a massive PB so all good. Friendly atmosphere, will be back. Date of review: July 26, 2016
In short: Good for hill work! In full: A lovely ‘undulating’ 10 mile run though the country side on reasonably quite roads. My first race on the Isle of Wight (outside of Parkrun) – very organised with friendly and encouraging marshals – loved the water pistols at the second water station! :-) Date of review: July 25, 2016
In short: Not one for slower runners In full: Firstly the positives: Very friendly marshals, who gave lots of encouragment. Loads of well stocked aid stations - choccy biccies, jaffa cakes, jelly beans, crisps, water etc. Thank you all for giving your time up on a soggy afternoon! Great facilities at the University for changing, loos etc. Absolutely stunning scenrary - a highlight for me was running up Little Solsbury Hill and the view of the city below. I also really enjoyed some of the downhill sections including running through a beautiful meadow with wildflowers. Also running down in to Bath was really nice. Lots of commaraderie out on the course - plenty of support from fellow runners. Some nice flat sections - the canal, in particular. Now for the not so positive: This was my 14th marathon, and I'm normally happy to plod round in 4:30-5 hours, doing roughly between ten and eleven minute miles, including hills. I recently completed the Potteries in 5 hours which was very hilly. However, I didn't realise it was going to take me 20 minutes to get up each of the mile (plus) hills, including one hill that required me to go up in places on all fours. This meant I had a massive amount of catching up to do, as a result, I missed the 3 hour cut off for 14.5 miles and so got a forced DNF. Going downhill was not much easier. I know the course was described as challenging, but this was ridiculous. The cut-off time really took the enjoyment away, I was stressing about reaching it, and when I realised I had failed it was totally demotivating. Especially annoying as I was up for doing the second lap, and could have finished it too. I appreciate the need to stand down marshals in good time, but it should be made clear when you enter that there is a cut-off time (it was buried in the notes). And reaching this cut-off time would require FAST running to make up for the crazy hills. Looking at the results, I see an entire THIRD of the marathon course got timed out and DNF'd. That's a lot of pee'd off runners! So to the organisers - come on guys, that's really not good enough. Either give us a bit more time, or alter the route to take out a few of the vicious hills. A third of the course timed out is not reasonable. Would I do it again? I would love to do the "very long half" route again, as there isn't the pressure of the cut-off and the course and scenery are so nice. I'd not do the marathon again unless the cut-off was removed or extended significantly to allow for us slower runners to complete without pee'ing us off. Date of review: July 25, 2016
In short: Well organised, friendly race on a flat course In full: A well organised race over a pleasant flat course. The 3 drinks stations were very welcome on such a hot day. Good marshalling. The highlight was the wonderful cakes at the end! The only downside was that the car park was a little bit of a walk away (but very good and well supervised by friendly helpers). Overall, a very good race and I would do it again. Date of review: July 25, 2016
In short: Its hilly!! In full: Its up hill for most of the first 5 miles,then its down hill with a few short climbs. Nice Marshals & lots of water spounges etc. Open roads but little traffic & the locals are friendly. I forgot to collect my t shirt, my fault . You may not enjoy the hills but as day out it was worth the effort getting there... Date of review: July 25, 2016
In short: Lovely scenic route, great organisation. In full: This was my 5th half marathon and the first not on roads. I would certainly describe it as a trail race but not sure hardy trail runners would. The start in a park in Windsor ran like clockwork. Slick race pack collection and bag drop. Plenty of toilets, although I used them early and did see the queue get bigger, but much less than at other races I have done. A lovely friendly, family atmosphere before the start, helped by the pleasant weather.
I was in wave 1 which should have been 200 people but certainly looked less. The route initially snaked through the park and out on to some pavements and was a little congested but I was expecting that. It wasn't long before we strung out a bit and by the time we had reached the first trail section it was easy to settle into my planned pace. After two weeks of hot weather the trails were nice and firm. Pretty narrow for fair stretches but the relatively low number of runners meant that wasn't a problem, I just waited for a chance if I needed to pass someone. We came across a lot of other people using the trails on foot, on bike, with dogs or prams none of which were a problem, everyone I came across happily moved to one side and so many even stopped and waited for me to pass - thank you to all of them!
The trails were a mix of grassy fields, riverside tow-paths and dirt tracks. Plenty of it was under trees so had the sun shone as hard as forecast we had some shade. Light cloud made the conditions much better than I think everyone was expecting. There was a stretch of about 1.5 miles on pavements and some of the riverside paths were paved. The steep steps up a bridge at mile 11 was the only real downside, or maybe challenge to the route, that killed. The route was really scenic. The mixture of terrains and surroundings that you ran through broke up the monotony and made the race fly by.
The marshals along the way were fantastic, I think I spoke to every single one. And signs were nice and clear so the route was easy to follow. That's important near the end where the runners were quite strung out. The water stations were well placed and the big box of jelly beans at the last one came in very handy.
As you approached the finish you could hear the announcements and knowing you were close was a good boost. As I turned into the last 100m the announcer said the 1:45 time was coming up and that was my target so I put on a burst to make sure I got there. He was doing name checks for all the finishers and encouraging them individually, what a difference that makes, it made a great finish to a really enjoyable race.
There was only one real downside for me; the lack of spectators, hence I describe this as like a training run. There were little pockets of people who encouraged us along the way. I'm used to road running through towns so it was a marked change for me. I wouldn't let that put me off another trail race though. Date of review: July 25, 2016
In short: Nice route not a PB course, no t-shirt or medal In full: We entered on the day which was easy enough, parking was easy in the field opp start so great. Two toilets for the ladies and with runners tummys meant the loo was blocked beyond belief, it was like something from a festival. Route was lovely not very hilly, but off road, trip hazards & no room to overtake for a couple of miles. Nice downhill finish and a cheering crowd. Water stop was well needed. No t-shirts, water or memento though. Date of review: July 25, 2016
In short: Very well organised scenic flat run. In full: The bus transfer from the finish to the start worked like clockwork. Route very well sign posted with mile markers every mile. Lots of very friendly and encouraging marshals along the route. Plenty of drink stations on a very warm day. A flat race almost entirely along the Thames path except for a few very short bits on the road. Wonderful scenic route. Nice medal at the end. Only complaint would be that at the finish no goody bag, and only water and a banana. A small point in an otherwise excellent race. Big thank you to all the marshals and organisers who gave up their Sunday. Date of review: July 25, 2016
In short: Fantastic race through the beautiful Surrey countryside. In full: I have run this race for over 10 years. Well organised, good value for money and lovely trails around Holmbury Hill. Don't expect a PB though, it is all off road and hilly. Highly recommended. Date of review: July 24, 2016
In short: Glad I ran In full: Well-organized, the big hill wasn't as scary as I feared. Good water and sponge stations. Friendly, encouraging marshals made sure we didn't make a wrong turn. Felt particularly reassured by cycling marshals who kept us safe, Finish line could have been better signposted. A great event! Date of review: July 24, 2016
In short: Excellent 10th edition of the race In full: Not much to add to my review of last year's effort (see below, not very far). Top event with organisation and facilities to match. And results online by teatime. Not one for a pb attempt because of some pinch points and narrow stretches of footpath. But a great day out nonetheless and one of my favourites. Date of review: July 24, 2016
In short: Boring. No atmosphere In full: Our first time at this race and won't be going again. The course was good but it was more of a community clubs race and as an outsider there was no welcome. Had to ask loads of questions from people participating as well as the organisers. There were no signs leading from car park to the start line. No welcome or warm up. No timing chips so only time given was by someone who spotted you at the end. No goody bag. I was impressed with the medal but for £11.50 to take part it's a good job the medal was decent otherwise I would be complaining. I won't attend again. Date of review: July 24, 2016
In short: Does what it says on the tin! In full: Friendly well organised little run with incessant long, long uphills then long downhills. A 10 o'clock start in July is bound to end up with a warm run. Fortunately there are enough water points and plenty of shady trails. Apart from a couple of road crossings this is all off road on lumpy and frequently sand sapping trails. Be nice to see a few signs to the start as it's a bit remote and a key drop would be good. Date of review: July 24, 2016
In short: Fantastically organised, great fun but hard. Would do it again in a heart-beat. In full: I had read a lot of reviews before entering this race and they were all pretty positive. The organisation was excellent as were the pitstops, medics, overnight stop and food and drink supplies. Great atmosphere, very encouraging and inclusive. Definitely recommend doing but it was a lot harder than I thought and I only ran bits of it, walked the rest! Overnight stay great, couldn't have gone through the night! Date of review: July 23, 2016
In short: Thanet Roadrunners have excelled themselves! Challenging & fun event! In full: My first time doing this race! I can see why it sells out!!! Superbly located on beautiful Viking Beach with excellent facilities! the 9am start made it easy to park too! Great value & Relaxed & friendly atmosphere! An out and back course along the sand to Ramsgate where you must "bang" on the harbour wall ;) and you will be handed a welcome bottle of chilled water by an encouraging marshal! Make no mistake..the course is tough going..but the marshals are FANTASTIC! Truly! Gorgeous medal & a stick of rock for fun & free photos! Post-run paddle or swim highly recommended! Hats off to the RD and TRAC team! Slick organisation with lovely prizes too! Can't wait to do it again next year! I even got a sun tan! :)))) Date of review: July 23, 2016
In short: Trail-ier than expected In full: Really should have checked the course profile beforehand, and worn trail shoes. This was a KILLER. Measuring a bit long didn't help either. Nor did my lack of preparation.
But, the marshalls were glorious, there were more loos than last year (seriously. I did not have to queue for the loos! Amaaaazing!), and the scenery was really nice and varied. Loved running through West Wycombe Park, and the woods, and the winding roads. Did not enjoy the very last mile at all - it was not as pretty as everywhere else. Plus I was knackered.
Will be back next year - it's excellent value compared to some races I've done, the goody bag was great, the tech top is BRIGHT and it's near my parents' place. I love this sort of race - with hills, and trails, and varied terrain (see Farnham Pilgrim and Leith Hill Half for something similarly tough and slightly more scenic). Date of review: July 23, 2016
In short: Fun flat and scenic run along the Thames In full: A fun 10k along the river, great friendly atmosphere and superb organisation Excellent marshals- which is what makes a good run great Date of review: July 22, 2016