In short: Hilly! In full: The weather was spectacularly bad - thunder and lightning while I was walking to the race. Thanks to all the stewards and spectators who stuck it out through the downpour. My garmin clocked it as 225m climb - the previous comments about the hill at ~11 miles are spot on - what a killer! Kudos to those who still had enough zip to run up it. Really nice to be able to run down narrow country lanes without having to worry about traffic. As a (very rough) guide to difficulty, I was ~7 mins off my PB. Good fun though - extremely satisfying to finish and a great medal. Date of review: September 4, 2015
In short: Great! In full: Very well organised, extremely friendly marshalls, clear signs, fantastic goodie bag, would definitely do this race again. No complaints at all. Date of review: September 4, 2015
In short: Well worth the trip In full: 2nd year for this one, we traveled up from Hampshire and stayed locally the night before. Yes the delays to get to the carpark were a bit hair raising...but let's face it, all us runners weren't *in* traffic...we *were* the traffic and they had closed the bridge just for us so that's a bargain as far as I am concerned. This year the hills didn't seem so bad - did you let some air out of them? Again, I loved the race, and will be back again next year. Date of review: September 3, 2015
In short: Generally good but issues at start and in car park In full: This was my second year of running this and there were improvements from last year - toilets, finish without spectators getting in your way, t-shirts and goodie bags well organised. Car parking however was worse than last year. I didn't experience any issues before the race but I did arrive at 7:15 - parked, registered and made my way to the start in good time ... was very annoyed to be told whilst standing on the bridge that the start was being delayed because of late arrivals ... wasn't the best place to be standing for 30 minutes but would have been worse if the weather had been bad .... my view is that a 9:00 start means a 9:00 start and if people are late, so be it ... the rest of us had timed our arrival, food, warm-up, last loo visit etc for 9:00 so any delay is annoying! Afterwards I got away in reasonable time but could see the traffic building up - have heard from several people that it became gridlock. Would probably do again next year but car parking logistics need sorting and organisers need to start as scheduled! Date of review: September 2, 2015
In short: Great fun In full: Loved the faintly surreal feeling walking along the motorway and out across the Severn Bridge to the start line - although this may have been tempered somewhat had the forecast heavy rain arrived! Started a bit further back than I would have liked due to the parking issues (which I'm sure will be sorted by next year) but the race itself was very pleasant and nicely challenging - mostly undulating but with that one slightly sharp incline at halfway. Great medal, great t-shirt, great goody bag, great value, great fun!
In short: Lovely river run In full: Pretty river run with smooth organisation and friendly atmosphere. Easiest and closest to the start/finish bag drop-off/collection ever experienced. Date of review: September 2, 2015
In short: Lovely friendly trail race. In full: This is a super little race for a Bank Holiday. Quite a tough course, which climbs for the first mile, but worth it for the superb views towards Poole. Love the runners raffle afterwards, but note for the organisers, those finishing mementoes were NOT nice, I would rather you hadn't bothered to be honest as this was for charity, goody bag was enough. Date of review: September 2, 2015
In short: Without doubt the best Marathon I have done! In full: Really friendly relaxed atmosphere, support along the way was fantastic and though route was stunning. I will be back to do it all again next year... Well done to all involved.
I have done 4 marathons (Liverpool, Manchester, New York and Bolton hill) countless halfs and many fell races.
Please try this marathon whether it's your first or 50th- no stress, great facilities and a challeng all the same. Date of review: September 1, 2015
In short: Rock Solid Event In full: Great half half marathon with a field of about 200. Varying abilities so not intimidating at all for beginners and the staff were all very helpful. Would recommend trail shoes or something with a thicker sole are the river path is naturally quite stoney and would be partially muddy at other time of the year. Definitely one to get involved in if you are in the area. Date of review: September 1, 2015
In short: Forced to retire and told my pace was too slow- In full: After half way, being told my pace was too slow, and that the marshals would not be there for much longer due to the weather I was devastated that I was being forced to retire. After telling the marshal at the end, who said that was not correct and shouldn't have been done,I was more than devastated. But after seeing the time sheets and people that finished AFTER I was due to finish I am disgusted. If some of the joining money wasn't going to the hospice I'd demand a refund. Weather was horrific. I appreciate the volunteers and the people that took their own time to help, but it's greatly knocked my confidence and left me with a bitter taste where I will not be returning to canterbury next year. Date of review: September 1, 2015
In short: A must do! In full: All in all brilliant race! the atmosphere scenery and everything made it an awesome day! I loved it and had a PB despite the slightly hilly course... Just one big down side I was there very early 7am to ensure I was there on time so parked at the back of the car park, so was dismayed when I finished the race and in my car at 11.55 not to move for over an hour and a half to get out of the car park. Was very cold and very stiff when I got home after finishing the race. If this could be resolved next year to would be perfect! Date of review: September 1, 2015
In short: superb half marathon In full: after reading how well last years race had gone in its inaugral year i signed up for this year and wasnt dissapointed.following a good group discussion that had been going on for the best part of the year was great to hear where parts of the course were tougher then other parts and emails from the organisers were great and factual.as the severn bridge needed to be closed for us to run over it the email updates stated and so if you followed the recommendations you wouldnt have had a problem.a lot of what iv read has been from people with very little race experience and seem to have turned up last minute and then grumble when they got caught in the traffic leaving hq.well iv done well over a hundred of these around the country and the medal, goody bag and tech tshirt were great quality and well received.you dont get this in all races thats for sure.you also dont get free parking or a bridge to be closed so factor this in and people need to ease up on the criticism of being caught in traffic leaving.some races charge loads to park or leave you in the middle of nowhere to find where your car may be.this race was brilliantly organised and is a credit to the RD. the actual race was superb starting at the bridge and running over it into england and around some nice little villages and a few inclines.there were some good signage up and it all built towards 'the hill' whic really wasnt a big deal at all and hills at tunbridge wells, giants head, hastings etc etc are where there are many of these hills and double the size.so once this build up and the hill was run it was a nice gentle 5 or 6 miles back over the bridge and finished at race hq.obviously the bridge was gunna still be closed so drove back home over the new bridge.no big deal and a worthy detour for such a great day and race.keep up the good work guys! Date of review: September 1, 2015
In short: Great race let down by car park/too large a fied In full: Positives - I loved the actual race and it was really fun to run on the bridge and closed motorway. The pre-race comms were humorous and signs along the route in a similar vein also lightened the mood. Definitely not a pb course, the hill is both long and steep and there are quite a few undulations before that.
Negative - I arrived about 7:15 and had no problem parking. Disappointed to sit in the car park for an hour on the way out though and it was never really clear what the problem was. I know lots of people had to ditch their cars on the roads and run for the start which wasn't great. Such a shame as I think the organisers worked so hard on this and it was perfect in every other way. I think the car park just wasn't big enough. Stopped me from rating it as highly as I'd have liked to. If I was coming back next year I'd definitely plan to arrive early again and also presume I couldn't get out until 13:00 and hang around to enjoy the atmosphere. They may have missed a trick by not mentioning anywhere that the bridge was closed until 13:00. Date of review: September 1, 2015
In short: Despite the killer hill @ 10k, a fast course !! In full: Very good inaugural race. Could do with one extra water stop if the weather had been hot and sunny but I suppose it depends on location at miles 3,6,10. Brilliant terrain and scenery and great organisation. Shame there was no team prize, hint hint !! :-) Definitely be back next year. Date of review: September 1, 2015
In short: My Garmin went blank at 21.1 miles after 3:28 time. From then on I walked. In full: A good race, nice course, would have loved a T Shirt for the price at the end! But the medal is hanging up on my rail, a proud momento. All my marathons are all time favourites!!! Date of review: September 1, 2015
In short: Mixed feelings - a lovely race but dreadful start and finish In full: I was really looking forward to this race as the idea of running on roads that aren't normally accessible is great. And running along the motorway without traffic is what I'll remember about this race and makes it special. The route around the lanes was v pretty too - undulating and yes the hill was tough (I had to "power-walk" up it), but I loved all the cheeky signs leading up to it too. Marshalls were great - v friendly and encouraging and deserve lots of praise.
The not so good. The start was a bit of a farce. I heard the announcement in the event village that start was delayed so I hung around a bit longer and headed over with the what felt like the hoardes. I started to find my pen, only to be told that the race had already started and I should get moving. Really bizarre - and trust me it wasn't like I was on my own. As a result, many people hadn't started in the right place and the route was congested all the way round.
The finish really frustrated me too - a couple of sneaky hills through twists and turns to find an invisible finish. When you are on your last legs looking for that final sprint finish, it was really frustrating. I guess its logistics but a finish on the bridge would be awesome.
Fortunately I missed the parking chaos at the end as was being picked up on the English side - seeing as the majority of runners were from Bristol, perhaps change the start to the English side next time... ?!!
Having said all that, I scrapped a tiny PB, but that was more about my training than the course to be honest. Will I be back? I'm not sure - the logistics of getting there and back might outweigh the desire to run it again. Date of review: September 1, 2015
In short: First ever half marathon - loved it and will do it again In full: I cannot compare it against other races as this was my first ever but I can tell you that I have enjoyed it very much indeed.
Everybody was genuinely nice (organisers, at the start and on the track), everything was as simple as it could have been, the scenery truly nice (by the Thames, through Richmond, in a sunny day). Four points with water/ sweet/ sweetness. The people running it were nice too, you could laugh whilst running. It was fun.
Also, I was there on my own and having somebody cheering for you was very much appreciated.
One more thing, going through the finish line with a piper playing was awesome. I will never forget that.
One thing only for improvement as part of the whole experience: the water of the showers was too hot. Date of review: August 31, 2015