In short: Always good In full: The great thing about the Hastings half marathon is the atmosphere. The other good thing is that whilst there are super fast Kenyans etc this is a real community event. Frankly, as someone who not yet received her charity vest for the VLM yet and who was therefore running for herself it felt a bit lonely as there were so many groups for the hospice, a little boy called Christian who was being pushed round in his wheelchair, a couple of boobs ( yes really) for breast cancer care and numerous other local events and being cheered for . But that is what makes it. There is a long but gradual hill which seems to go on for ever with quite a few little sharp upturns around not he course but all the way you are being cheered and there are jelly babies, jelly beans etcetc offered by supporters. It is great! The other thing is that because it is a community event there are quite a few slow ones at the back unlike some other events where, even at 2 1/2 hours you feel pathetic and frankly that is not horrendous . The last time I did it someone took 8 hours as they had gone to every pub for charity!
Oh the brass memento is brilliant!
Any downsides..... The only one I can find is that I had to hunt for water at the finish. Most other races give you a bottle of water as you cross the line which I could really have done with.i eventually found some cups of water at the side somewhere with spectators all around the table. I also understand there was a cup of tea which I would have liked as I was caught in the hail storm literally as I finished and was very damp and cold....but that aside...a great race!
In short: seaside run with cheerers all the way In full: fantastic carnival atmosphere, bands playing, kids high fiving, old ladies banging saucepans. Hilly course ending up running against the wind along the seafront. Includes everyone from super fast Kenyans to first timers finishing in four hours Date of review: March 26, 2014
In short: Good intentions and overall set up let down by a few key points In full: I agree with several of the other reviews:
1. Start was poorly organised - the megaphone was not working so could not hear the guy starting it. He sounded the siren at one point (which many people took to be the start and so pressed start on their watches) it then became apparent that he was just demonstrating what the start would sound like and about 10 seconds later we were off for real.
Course was the sort of scenery you'd expect in the London suburbs not offensive but certainly quite noisy traffic wise and a number of crossings and turning where you needed to be careful particularly one petrol station entrance/exit which was not well marshalled.
I think perhaps the comments about road closures and pens and signs at the start showing pace for different speed runners are a little harsh. Those things are really only viable where you have a much larger number of runners and charge mnore money.
I do however think that the finish could have been much more clearly signposted for the runners and I'm sure that within the very large Brunel campus that it should have been possible to segregate the traffic from competitors leaving so that it didn't conflict with the runners finishing. I found it quite difficult to drive off the site safely without impeding the runners still finishing. I will come back and give it another try as I think the main negatives are easily addressed.
One big plus was making several sitings of green parakeets which are obviously reasonably common in the area - quite brightened up my day Date of review: March 26, 2014
In short: Great course, great support - shame about that hurricane! In full: First time at this event for me. Very enjoyable, and I'll probably do it again (I travelled from South Wales, so was an expensive weekend once you total up travel, accomodation, spending, and race fee).
Start was a bit chaotic as lots of us found ourselves climbing over walls and fences near the Liver Building to get where we needed to be. I'm assuming I misread a sign or two.
Course was very scenic (and mostly flat) through city streets and then a few parks, great support all the way. The last 3 or 4 miles were along the path that runs parallel to the Mersey, and the wind was VERY strong, which blew away any hopes I had of a PB.
Great long-sleeved technical t-shirt at the end (although I understand that quite a few people didn't get one), we also had water, sweets and an energy bar. Woulda been nice to have all the goodies in a carrier bag, but that's me just nit picking. Date of review: March 26, 2014
In short: Stone-age timing system In full: Not a bad race, but why-oh-why use the same timing system with which they had huge problems at the Leicester Marathon in October '13?? So guess what..?.. timing problems! This time due to "strong wind" (in Leicester it was the rain, apparently...). My chip fell out of the flimsy plastic bag attached to the back of my number during my warm up. Which was fortunate, because I heard it drop, and put it in my glove for the race. If it had fallen out during the race I might not have noticed.
Couple of other areas for improvement - marshalls near the finish should be able to tell runners exactly how far it is to the finish, not "it's not far" - goody bag (specifically medal and t-shirt) wasn't great. Date of review: March 26, 2014
In short: 3rd Year Running the Coventry Half. Enjoyed the new course. In full: Good organisation and plenty of support on the way. The new course is much better as it allows you to run around the center of town. Looking forward to next year to improve on my time. Date of review: March 26, 2014
In short: Great local event In full: Good race HQ with parking in large showground (field). As usual more toilets would have been good - i think queues caused a delayed start.Friendly marshals despite a chilly wind. undulating course but no significant hills. Date of review: March 26, 2014
In short: One big problem see below In full: I am commenting about the 2014 race. The first thing to say is a big concern. I wrote to F3 the organisers two weeks before to ask if the course was UKAA measured and certified and they wrote back to say that it was. I have this in writing. This appears at the moment not to have been the case, and indeed some of us think it measured slightly short (100 metres or so). What I am unhappy about is that F3 are completely ignoring my requests for them to be transparent and honest. So I now wonder about F3 Events as an organisation. Are they straight? When you also add in the fact that only six portaloos were provided for 400 competitors, a complaint raised by others year on year, it makes me begin to wonder if they are sharks out to fleece people. I'm sure that isn't the case but wouldn't it be nice to hear back from them to be reassured? All of the above is in the context of a massive personal best and a great day out despite the wind. Date of review: March 26, 2014 Date of review: March 26, 2014
In short: One major problem (see below), otherwise a decent outing In full: I am commenting about the 2014 race. The first thing to say is a big concern. I wrote to F3 the organisers two weeks before to ask if the course was UKAA measured and certified and they wrote back to say that it was. I have this in writing. This appears at the moment not to have been the case, and indeed some of us think it measured slightly short (100 metres or so). What I am unhappy about is that F3 are completely ignoring my requests for them to be transparent and honest. So I now wonder about F3 Events as an organisation. Are they straight? When you also add in the fact that only six portaloos were provided for 400 competitors, a complaint raised by others year on year, it makes me begin to wonder if they are sharks out to fleece people. I'm sure that isn't the case but wouldn't it be nice to hear back from them to be reassured? All of the above is in the context of a massive personal best and a great day out despite the wind. Date of review: March 26, 2014
In short: The Wind!! In full: Very enjoyable run once again and excellent t shirt (although I realise not everyone got one). Only slight issue was entering the park and everyone moved to the right which was the lane for the elites coming back out. Quickly resolved though. Overall well organised one to do every year. Date of review: March 25, 2014
In short: Nice route, not too hilly, and for charity too. In full: Multi-terrain course in a country park, including tarmac, gravel, grass and sand. Few sections with lots of tree roots which you had to keep an eye on but the marshals and signage warned us throughout. The 10k is two laps. Beat my PB by about 20 seconds. Could have done with a couple of extra marshals at km 2-4/7-9 but other than that a great value, enjoyable run. Turnout wasn't great though (about 30-40 I'd say). It may not be organised by a running club, but that didn't matter in the slightest for me. Date of review: March 25, 2014
In short: Room for improvement In full: Excellent facilities at the start with quick registration and easy baggage drop. Toilets had stopped working fairly early on. Start, as others have commented, just happened with no audible signal that I was aware of. No pens so not clear where to start either but as quite small with wide pavements not too much of an issue. Route was uninspiring but that's Uxbidge/Hillingdon for you! A few supporters along the way. Not enough marshalls so some hairy road crossings, and those that were there not always clear enough as to where to go as you approached them. Fairly flat course. As I entered the University campus towards the finish, about 500m to go (and I wasn't right at the back!) I had no-one ahead of me and actually had no idea which way to go! No signs and no marshals! Fortunately an earlier finisher was leaving and directed me! Usual goody bag but previous comment re T shirt sizes true as a "small" is actually quite big for most female runners. Small things that they can put right for next year! Date of review: March 25, 2014
In short: Getting bigger and better In full: Another glorious race that will definitely be highlighted in my running diary. Well done to everyone involved. I won't be surprised if this race will be one of the favourites in many years to come. Date of review: March 25, 2014
In short: A great local trail race In full: I really enjoyed this one, gorgeous route over the New Forest, a real local feel, quite challenging and I didn't even mind that my garmin said 13.6 miles at the end. Excellent technical t-shirt, medal and cliff bar, you couldn't ask for more. No queue for any toilets and even showers on site! Far better value than many over-priced road races I've done. Don't expect a pb, just enjoy it as it will remind you why you love running. If you've ever done the Farnham half marathon it's definitely up there, many thanks to everyone involved, a fantastic day out from London. Date of review: March 25, 2014
In short: Well organised and supported In full: I was pleasantly surprised with this race. Very well organised, really well supported, very friendly and a diddle to get to. You park almost by the start and outside the shops so plenty of pre and post-race fuelling. A really nice route too and it does Milton Keynes proud. I had no idea the area was so scenic. Overall, a great day out, even if a lot of people got sun burnt, in March! Date of review: March 25, 2014