In short: Lovely course, great scenery and nice and flat! In full: First time at Paddock Wood and would definitely do it again. Knocked 12 mins off my PB so it will always hold a special place for me and perfect for London Marathon prep. Date of review: March 31, 2014
In short: Excellent and professional race organization, fast and traffic-free route In full: Marshals along the route were very professional, fast and traffic-free route with first 3-4 kms + final 3-4 kms on the flat Mercedes-Benz test track. Great event for runners and for spectators (they can sit at the Mercedes-Benz Centre's coffee shop near the start-finish. Byfleet rail station just 15-20 mins walk from the start. Date of review: March 31, 2014
In short: nice course, good atmosphere, recommend it In full: very like the WSFRL events, with a good atmosphere, plenty of people from local clubs with a good mix of ages and abilities. The event took in part of the route of the Valentines Race with a nice loop round the lake in Southwater. Certainly one to do again Date of review: March 31, 2014
In short: Seemed like a series of queues. Very frustrating. In full: I was less than a mile away with well over an hour to go before the start time. The traffic then ground to a halt in a jam. It took 20 mins to get to the venue, and then another 20 mins to find a car park that wasn't also jammed up with cars looking for spaces. The signage was poor. I then queued for 10 mins for the bag drop and 25 mins for the toilet. All very stressful. I missed the start by 4 minutes and spent the first 3 miles of the race weaving through slower runners. The course was good and well marked/marshalled but the race was badly let down for me by the inadequate facilities and the setting in an awful industrial estate. Date of review: March 31, 2014
In short: Toughest thing I've ever done, but SO worth it. In full: This was my first ever trail/fell race and it was tough, but the views and the atmosphere made it worthwhile. I am used to running big city marathons and so this was quite a change and the sense of achievement crossing the finish line was second to none. Make no mistake, there are some pretty tough stretches, but the camaraderie really helped lift the spirits and get me through. Date of review: March 31, 2014
In short: Lovely course, not enough loos In full: My first time of doing this one. I couldn't get to PW any earlier than I did, the queues for the loos were terrible. The gun went off when I was still queueing for the loo, there's a 7 minute difference between my gun and chip times! Fortunately I was using this race as part of my training for a marathon in May so wasn't overly worried about the fact that I was one of the last to cross the start line. The course itself was very scenic and the marshals and spectators were fantastic. I'll definitely do this one again and try to get there a bit earlier so as to avoid getting stuck in the loo queue. Date of review: March 31, 2014
In short: cheap medals, very expensive, distances were not measured correctly!!! In full: has so much potential but isn't worth the money. Medals are the nastiest/ cheapest I've ever seen and considering the high entrance fees + parking I would have expected far better! very disorganised/ unprofessional feel throughout ( signs were just small bits of laminated paper) . Had to cross the entry road so not really traffic free. No professional first aiders, e.g St Johns/ red cross, which is dangerous considering the camber. Just another company out to make as much money as possible. Little if no effort put in, even the name is taken from another running event. Date of review: March 31, 2014
In full: Likes: Fast course, well marshalled and plenty of water. Dislikes: Too many people for the facilities and start/finish area. The lock down of the roads meant that you couldn't leave when you wanted. Date of review: March 31, 2014
In short: Friendly and welcoming, great for personal best In full: I loved this course, with friendly marshals and very flat, very open, in a one of my favourite London parks, featuring huge trees and a small lake. The course was great, with good turns and twists and I loved the clear marker for every kilometre, it meant I could really judge my speed well and achieve personal best on 10k (beat last time by over 30sec) and on the last kilometre too. Organization was meticulous and spot on. Enjoyed the marshals (and spectators) at every turn encouraging us with words and waves (and occasional dance steps) and the very friendly atmosphere, with bag drop, massage, plenty of toilets, etc. Looking forward to the next. Great inaugural. Date of review: March 31, 2014
In short: Well organised race. Definitely undulating! In full: A well organized reasonably prices half marathon. Support from the marshals was very good. Two laps of undulations, with a jaunt across the tram tracks. First lap I prayed, "please don't let the light turn red" and thought about putting on a sprint just to make sure. Second lap I looked at the tram lights and prayed "please turn to red so I'm forced to have a stop!" Start/finish area was good at the cricket club, and meant I could have a pint in the sun when I'd finished. I was still there to see the last finisher come in, and an effort was made to give him a big cheer and lots of support when he crossed the line.
The negatives - I found the course a little dull. Lots of twists and turns round suburban roads. Although the marshals were very supportive, there was little other support on the course. And having pretty much a mile of up hill for the last mile put away any chance of me pb-ing.
I was also surprised how many ignored the no ipod/mp3s rule. Considering the race was on un-closed roads with a tram track crossing. Date of review: March 31, 2014
In short: Windy and hot!! In full: Decent race. Short sharp climb in the first mile and then pretty much flat other than a gentle climb from 9-11. Miles 3-8 along the seafront were directly into the wind and it became a bit of a grind towards the end. A big relief to turn out of it but then it was suddenly pretty hot! Plenty of drinks stations and a well timed sponge station at about 9 miles. Nice downhill at 11 and a decent finish along the seafront. Not much in the way of support other than the start/finish but there were a few friendly locals dotted about - special mention to the man in a superman costume, wearing Groucho Marx glasses and playing the keyboard!! The roads weren't closed for the 2/3 miles we were on them but it didn't cause any problems. Date of review: March 31, 2014
In short: A super PB course In full: I will admit at the start that I am biased as it's my club (PWAC) that organises this race, but I will say that along with the Tunbridge Wells Half, we are very fortunate to have two great races in one relatively small area. The course is predominantly flat, good for a fast time & a lot of PB's I know were gained yesterday in the fine conditions. The large field of runners seemed to enjoy themselves, from fast front runners to the slower runners so I believe it's a very good race for all standards. Date of review: March 31, 2014