In short: Great half marathon shame it's the last race In full: Very enjoyable race, lots of challenging hills, lovely views on top of Leith Hill. A shame it's the last marathon and half marathon. Nice medal,mug, and t-shirt at the end and crooked breakfast. Thanks to Dr Rob for organising it. Date of review: October 10, 2016
In short: Decent race, bit pricey In full: Pleasant enough race around Clapham Common. Had a small issue collecting my number when mine was given to someone else but to be fair to the organisers, this got resolved quickly and painlessly. Date of review: October 10, 2016
In short: Excellent from start to finish In full: Fabulous course, nice surprises along the way which had a strange way of making those K's disappear. Well marshaled with friendly smiles all round. Superb organisation from start to finish, a regular calendar entry I think. Thank you everyone for making this day a success. Date of review: October 10, 2016
In short: Huge thanks to Rob for creating and organising the race, sad to see it go hopefully someone will step in & take over, thank you to all the volunteer marshalls Date of review: October 10, 2016
In short: Lovely race, but need to listen to feedback In full: This was my second year of running this race.
I really enjoyed the course very much. To use that old cliche, it was a "a game of two halves". The first part of the course went around central London - taking in some very famous landmarks: Buckingham Palace, Horse Guards parade, Whitehall, 10 Downing Street, The Strand, Trafalgar Square, The Mall, Albert Hall etc. That was really special and worth the entry fee alone.
The second half had you running through the parks themselves, this was really nice and a contrast to the first half. There were a few out and back sections but nothing too mentally taxing, given the wave starts, this meant the runners were spread out, so you didn't feel like you were running at the back of the pack.
The wave starts meant the course was busy, but not too bad. There was a bit of elbowing and jostling around the course but I have seen worse. The course was pretty flat, a few gentle inclines but certainly no hills to speak of, so there was a good chance to get round fast (although the course was pretty congested in places where it narrowed).
The race was wonderfully supported, lots of people cheering you on. I especially loved the "rock star" treatment at 6 miles and 10 miles, that put a smile on my face!
There were plenty of water stops and a couple of lucozade stations too, this was perfect - I stayed well hydrated throughout. I did see one poor chap flat out being attended to by St. John's, I hope that he is OK. There were plenty of loos at the start, and very good that water was available before starting. At the end was a fabuolous medal (made out of wood!) and a wonderful goody bag - one of the best I've had!
What could be improved?
The 9am start time is rather aggressive, it meant I was forced to drive in as the train service from where I live couldn't get me to London before 8.30 - which is too late. This was inconvenient and meant a long drive home on tired legs. A 10am start would work much better, but I guess they need to get the roads re-opened.
As per last year, the baggage queues were just ridiculous. The reason for this being that they gave you a numbered wrist band and a matching number for your bag. Which takes time to attach on both runners and baggage alike. Why not do what pretty much every other race does - give you a baggage tag with the race pack, that you can pre-attach to your bag? You can then just dump the bag off and get on with race prep. I saw lots of anxious looking folks in the queue from hell, checking their watches 5 mins before the start. I wonder how many missed their assigned waves due to this. The last thing you need is a load of stress about making the start on time. I even saw one lady running with her rucksack, she must have given up queuing. That's not on.
At the end, there was a massive queue for the goodies. There were multiple queues with people barging in and queue jumping, and a few angry words exchanged between fellow runners. It was not on to have finishers standing around for up to an hour getting cold, shuffling slowly in a queue, just to wait for their goodies. Why on earth not just give you a pre-packed goodie bag as you cross the finish line? This issue really deflated my experience of the day, I just wanted to get something to eat and get home. I guess I could have just decided not to collect the goodies of course, but don't see why I should miss out.
I see from previous years that the above issues have been raised before, it's shame the organisers don't listen to the feedback. A few minor tweaks could really sort these few niggles out and make make this one of the best half marathons in the country.
In short: THIS LITTLE GEM CERTAINLY DOESN'T TAKE THE TISS.... In full: THIS is a fantastic race. I loved it when I first ran it two years ago - and loved it just as much this time around. The sun shone on the glorious Peaks countryside and the huge skies above us stayed azure blue. The trail is a bit lumpy bumpy at times but apart from the odd section it's either pretty flat or downhill. Great news if you're chasing a PB or just an excellent flat track after years of battling up and down hills! The marshals were superb, the spectators enthusiastic and we were well looked after from start to finish. My daughter Hollie was 3rd lady home in a stunning 1:28 and her fiance Rae and my wife Loraine were there to cheer us on..... So a magnificent day was had by all!!! Date of review: October 10, 2016
In short: A gem of a race and I'm gutted to see it go In full: This race is an absolute gem that over the years has attracted Olympic elites and those looking for their first marathon experience and it has never disappointed.
It has to be one of the smiliest, happiest races ever. I've done loads of Robs races over the years and the format is great - beautiful trails, challenging but not impossible, friendly runners, great marshals, well stocked water stations and the best custom bling at the end. I'll miss this event very much. If you get a chance to do one of his other races then do it. Date of review: October 10, 2016
In short: Poorly organised race thank goodness it's the last one ! In full: The course was very poorly marked again and this resulted in 99% of the runners getting lost. Very bad health and safety briefing at the start and no mention whatsoever of what to look out for on the course in terms of course marking. The fact that there was no mention to be aware of mountain bikers, motorbikes of the course, quad bikes and even 4 x 4 vehicles made a total mockery of the whole race from a health and safety perspective. The overall race was very poorly managed just like the Picnic marathon too, in which numerous runners also got lost. I will not be doing anymore of Rob's races again, really hopeless all round and very expensive to, just a waste of time. Date of review: October 10, 2016
In short: Absolutely stunning route, nice size field, something special about this one In full: Along the Thames out through Remenham and back (slightly different routes), then out to Fawley, Assendon and back to the Rugby club provides a stunning course for the race. The views over the Thames on the Remenham stage in particular were majestic. You'll hit a hill at the 6.9 mile mark which will go on for 2.2 miles. Don't collapse, cry, or call for a cab - it does end and when it does the finish is a pretty quick one. I did this race once before and hurt my knee coming down the hill after the climb so watch out for this as it is very steep, but I'll be back again every year I can now. A few points on the finish: Mars bars and bananas are always good. The energy drinks would be best replaced with water. The medal is fairly poor. Date of review: October 10, 2016
In short: My first marathon, great atmosphere, lovely scenery & amazing support In full: Loved my first marathon. The route was lovely & scenic & mostly flat. The hills in the last mile were a bit cruel but were manageable! The support was great, people were so enthusiastic & encouraging which really helped when I was struggling. The spectator points were great & loved the fact my boyfriend could catch a bus to come and see me at different points along the way. Overall, a great first marathon & I would definitely do it again. The only slight criticism is only having 4 toilets at the elvington airfield park & ride, the queue was massive & so slow-moving. After drinking lots of water to hydrate for the race & having a long-ish car journey I was desperate, but that's my only criticism. Date of review: October 10, 2016
In short: 2016 Review - Good but could be so much more In full: This is certainly a big race with nearly 8k finishers and it runs pretty smoothly but there are nagging small issues which mean I can't wax lyrical about it. The village is too far from the start/finish. The park/ride drop offs are too far away. The village itself is basic. Having no loos near the start is just plain silly. On the upside it's a fast route despite the twisting nature of the course. The medal is good and the t-shirt/ snacks/ goody bag fine. The support on the course was excellent. In short it's a good race but there are many good races out there and it didn't stand out above them. Date of review: October 10, 2016