In short: Very scenic 10 mile course, with funky marshall headgear In full: First time I've run this, but will be back again next year. The course itself has a hill at about mile 2, but it's not that bad as it's more of a climb up than a sharp slog up. The good part is you run down it on the return! Once you've conquered that, the course is basically flat and a good chance to put the hammer down. Very well marshalled with each marshal having "unique" headgear on. Plenty of parking and having changing rooms with hot showers was a bonus. Would have liked a medal, but the technical t-shirt is excellent though. Nice you could collect this before the race, especially as after the race they were only left with XL and S I think, which left some people with interesting sizing choices! Weather was nice and very scenic with fields and horses en route. Also a name check on the PA as you cross the finish line was a nice touch. Date of review: March 30, 2014
In short: My favourite half!! In full: Fifth year of running this race and I love it!! I did see there were big queues for the toilets this year and as the field gets bigger maybe a few extra ones are required but hey there will always be queues! Loved the medal, loved the atmosphere. Only thing I missed was my iPod, I love running listening to music it motivates me and I only ever wear one earpiece so am fully aware of what's around me but if the organisers say no, then so be it. It won't stop me from coming back next year. Date of review: March 30, 2014
In short: A fantastic race for a PB or, like i used it, as a training run for Brighton In full: Brilliantly organised. The only slight downside would be the baggage area where the opening for baggage wasn't big enough or clear enough, meaning a huge queue built up without it needing to. It certainly wouldn't put me off running it again. The sponges are a great idea, especially for a hot one like today. Well done marshals. Date of review: March 30, 2014
In short: what went wrong? In full: one of my favourite races, and always so well organised in the past, but all kinds of problems today in those very areas where the organisers have excelled in the past. Starting the race when people were still queuing for race nos/chips and the loos (through no fault of their own) very poor form. Ditto having no water at the finish (ran-out) Date of review: March 30, 2014
In short: Race is OK, venue is rubbish In full: Been doing this race for years now, has steadily got bigger, but the venue and facilities just aren't up to it!
Changing area is a Marquee, no showers, wash facility of any kind.
Queue for baggage tent was about 100yards long when I tried to drop my kit off, only longer queue was for the toilets, which meant I started the race 6 min after the gun, and No, I don't want to use the bushes!
Race itself is fine, flat and easy, but than get back to the finish and......queue to get my kit back, go back to car and.....queue to get away, was somewhat P****d off by then.
Would I do it again? very, very unlikely, there are better races out there.
In short: Well organised, flat race In full: Well organised, flat race with just a couple of little inclines you hardly notice. Through country lanes which are virtually traffic free. Great marshalls who were full of encouragement and smiles. Plenty of water stations and wet sponges for the warm day. Lots of support from locals. Fab tech tshirt (optional) and goody bag. Only negative would be the massive queues for toilets but this is a recurring theme at any race. Some people were still queuing when the race had started...so if you can find a bush! ... Date of review: March 30, 2014
In short: A well organised event at such a prestigious and historic location. In full: A well organised event at such a prestigious and historic location. I think we were also very fortunate with the weather. This time last year I ran the Cranleigh 21 and it was bitterly cold.
For an inaugural event I thought the organisation was impeccable. After a long gap of no half-marathons in north-west Surrey there is suddenly an influx. The Surrey Half marathon, three weeks ago, probably eclipsed this event and now we hear that there is another in October from Walton on Thames.
The road closures meant that there was plenty of room to run at the start of the race towards Webridge station. Not only was the route cleverly designed so as to keep the closures to a minimum but the use of a professional company to marshal the junctions was an interesting, but presumably expensive concept, and because of the extraordinary early start there did not seem to be any visible issues with either upset residents or irate motorists. (See letter in the Woking News and Mail this week to see how some residents were perturbed with road closures during the Surrey Half).
Perhaps on the negative side I was surprised there was no race clock at ten miles or even intermediate timing mats to deter cheating along the course. At the Great North Run you spot the finish gantry one mile away, but at Brooklands when you joined the former airfield strip you could see the finish gantry clearly but still had two miles to run – this was most agonising.
Having the use of the excellent facilities (catering, toilets, chairs) at Mercedes building was an added bonus.
I hope you will continue to hold this in future years – though clearly there were enormous costs involved – road closures, hire of Mercedes complex, payment to marshals for car parking and traffic control. At the Surrey Half the capacity of the roads was probably at a maximum, but at NO stage during the event, even doing the “Swiss-roll” during the first two miles, did I feel my running was restricted by the volume of runners, so plenty of room for additional runners in 2015 and beyond.
I am just wondering, if there are many adverse comments about the tedium of the two miles at the start and finish, what I call the swiss-roll, would it be possible to amend the route slightly so that you arrange to run through the Brooklands Museum site which is accessible by an adjacent gate? This would make the race a very unique course indeed.
Brooklands has been famous for motor racing, cycling (both pedal and motor) all pre-war, and it may be worth trying to make a play the historic connections with these endurance sports and saying that this continues in the form of an annual half-marathon in the twenty first century.
In short: Ran the croydon half marathon for the first time today. Organisation first class. Route hilly and challenging but made up for by the friendliness of the marshals. Can't remember seeing so many at a race. Good finish area. Nothing to fault! Date of review: March 30, 2014
In short: worth the trip up North ... In full: Was planning to do a race in the Home Counties, but plans changed at the last minute. Have never been to Staffs, so thought I'd take a chance on this race. It proved worthwhile: small, friendly feel that reminded me why I started running in the first place. Decent pace and a truly multi-terrain course. Thank you. Date of review: March 30, 2014
In short: Great event - lovely venue, fun running on the race test track for first and last few miles, nice flat course, great one for spectators, loved it! Would highly recommend. Date of review: March 30, 2014
In short: Great organisation & T shirt, bit pricey but would do it agin In full: Nasty early start at 8am when the clocks go forward as well, but good to finish at a reasonable time so have the rest of the day with family. Great café and facilities at Brooklands. Race well organised and nice technical t shirt. Would do again as on my doorstep with closed roads. I'm sure will get bigger each year. Date of review: March 30, 2014
In short: Well organised event. In full: Parking Ok, mostly flat course, chipped timing, well sign posted and marshalled. The sun was shining and a medal received at the end. What more could you ask for! Ah the warm up...would be better if the instructions could be heard. Date of review: March 30, 2014
In short: Poorly organised In full: Not great, a start that wasn't really a start. A tractor trying it's best to run everyone down. Route markers that were moved. On the other hand the location was stunning, and there are some good pubs nearby for a spot of lunch. Date of review: March 30, 2014
In short: Enjoyable event, great to have opportunity to run at Brooklands In full: For the first event, it was a good one. The organisation was spot on and that makes these things so much better. The course went from pan flat on the track to undulating out into Weybridge but that made it more interesting. Support, where there was some, was great but the overall atmosphere, in my opinion, was quiet and not as uplifting as other races, maybe due to the fact that this is the first race. Also, timing of the event is perfect before some of the big spring marathons.
Overall, thoroughly enjoyed with nice goody bag/T-Shirt/Medal and would definitely do again. Date of review: March 30, 2014
In short: Some good things, some bad things In full: There are some things that I really liked during this event but unluckily not everything was at the same level. I'll start from what I liked. A good scenario along one single lap on different surfaces made the course never boring. It was plenty of loos, there were a good number of pacers and the participants have been divided in different waves at the start. On the other side, I didn't like the unsupervised baggage area (apart from a single small table to leave valuables), the very narrow path in some sections, the open-traffic roads (we had to stop at a certain point to let a car go through), not enough marshals at some key points. The goody bag was barely sufficient (I've got more stuff at cheaper events) and they ran out of tech t-shirts very soon, when I completed the half there was only small size available. I'd run it again only if at a cheaper price (I've paid £30 in 2014). Possibly they should put the t-shirt (not remarkable at all) as optional during the registration process. Date of review: March 30, 2014
In short: As I had expected In full: Suburban, yes, but this was a reasonable course if you don't mind two-laps. It had a great starting venue, but I do agree about the poor finishing arrangement. I don't enjoy weaving around departing cars. That needs to be modified for next time. My main gripe is about the mile signs, some seemed to have disappeared by the second lap. That is discouraging if you are desperately looking for them around mile 10. Date of review: March 30, 2014
In short: good race, great support. In full: First the negative, if this race got bigger the start won't work its to narrow. Now the positives, this was a great racene that can easily compete with the bigger races. All the volunteers were brilliant (especially the ones at the baggage area), the race itself was good once you got past the narrow part at the start. Best goody bag not your usual stuff that just gets binned. Its not my faveourite race but, its one of them. Just one more thing, why not put a t shirt in the bag as well? Date of review: March 29, 2014