In short: Great feelgood local event with great marshalling and organisation In full: I had erased the hills from my memory from last year. Just as well! Many thanks to all involved for hosting this event. Date of review: September 21, 2016
In short: worth the trip...... In full: This was a fun event,the parking was well organised and lots of loos etc. Great marshal's,lots of water sweets & gels. will run again in 2017.... Date of review: September 21, 2016
In short: Great atmosphere at start, mostly flat with a couple of short tough hills near end In full: This was my first HM and I managed 2:05 which was faster than I had achieved in training, so a PB for me! Quite a big turnout - I think 4500 in the half - it being the main event, and then about 1000 in the 10k which my husband did and thought was a good course. Great atmosphere at the start, with Kelly Holmes giving a talk and handing out high fives to runners on their way past. Course was an interesting mix of scenery - pretty country lanes for the first 6ish miles, then a long straight bit. All most quite flat and all tarmac. The last mile or two was a mix of road and trail, nothing challenging, but there were a couple of killer hills, thankfully short. Save some gas for this last bit! There looked to be various food stands at the end but we didn't stick around to find out what was there. Perhaps they could have given a bit more information on what was going to be available. Race finisher shirt was ok - if on the small side. Would have been nice to have different shirts for 10k and half finishers rather than the same for all. I'm sure I'll be back to do this race again. Date of review: September 21, 2016
In short: Good event - need to tie up a few pieces In full: Brilliant route, lovely running round Kew and along Thames toe path, the field at the end was such a bore - I felt sorry for the half & marathon runners who had to go round even further. The Thames Path was very lumpy in parts and not conducive to quick running as you were concentrating on where you were going. Road shoes were ok as it hadn't rained too much, but it could be a mud bath if it had rained more Bag drop - very efficient, at the end it would've been nice if they'd have kept them in the trailer instead of putting it on the wet floor Goody Bag - hmmm T-shirt and medal were nice, water, lucozade and coconut water were ok, not much point in giving people e energy gals and jelly beans at the end
In short: Flat and lovely. In full: A lovely route through some lovely little villages and beautiful fields. Very flat, definite PB potential.
A decent medal and t-shirt was a nice reward at the end too.
I got there 10 minutes before the start due to getting lost and the baggage people had left so I had to leave my bag with the refreshment van. Lesson for me to leave more time.
My only pointer really would be that there isn't much water provided on route for a 10 mile race, one small cup at 5 miles. You did get a bottle on finishing though which was welcome! Luckily I had brought my own water as it was a hot day, I think I would have really struggled during the race had I not done so.
Overall though a lovely race that I would definitely do again. Date of review: September 21, 2016
In short: Very little road, lots of loops In full: It's never a good start when the race director says before starting the race "not everything is quite how we wanted it to be". I did the marathon - there were nowhere near enough toilets at the start even for the 700 runners doing that race - so I dread to think what it was like when the 10k and half marathon runners started an hour later. The first three miles of the marathon went through Kew Gardens - crashing into the 8000 or so people arriving to start the 10k and half an hour later. From there it was on the Thames Towpath (mainly) to Hampton Court, and then turning round, to come back again. But, on the way back, there were several loops where you ran in the wrong direction, only to turn round and go back again. Long sections of the course had no support - a couple of the water stops weren't there at all - and then the final three miles were dreadful - a short section on a narrow pavement (single file) trying to weave past the back runners in the 10k and the half marathon (some of them literally walking.) The final mile you could see the finish - every time you got close, you got diverted off. When I finished I crossed the line around the same time as half marathon and 10k runners - would have been better to have separate finish funnels. Also, on the course the mile markers were sporadic, and placed almost randomly (according to my Garmin some were 400yds early, some half a mile late.) Instead of getting a goody bag at the finish it was 'help yourself' - but no bags available. I got the distinct impression that the Marathon was an afterthought on the day. Date of review: September 21, 2016
In short: A couple of small issues but otherwise a fantastic race In full: This is my second time running the half marathon event and, due to the inclusion of the new marathon, there were a couple of changes since last year. The races start in Kew Gardens and, due to the addition of the new marathon distance, the 10K and half marathon races now start together. There are still waves, based on projected finish times, although these didn't seem to work quite as well as last year. The Kew part of the course has also been changed to take in more of the gardens. Unfortunately, whilst the scenery is wonderful, some of the narrower paths lead to a lot of blocking during the first mile, since some of the runners were either in the wrong wave or had been over-optimistic about their ability. This made it hard to keep a rhythm and my first mile was slower than I would have liked. However, once past the first mile, it became a lot easier. The course runs from Kew up the river to Richmond before doubling back to the deer park via Ham House. It is very scenic, although the towpath is quite lumpy and bumpy so there are points where you need to watch your footing rather than admire the views. Water stations were better organised this year and have bottled water as well as sports drinks. You'll need to bring your own gels if you use them since there weren't any gels or snacks for the marathon runners. Despite the slower first mile I still managed to blitz my PB and got a sub-2 hour finish for the first time ever, so I'm very happy with the race overall. It's a mostly-flat course although the ground was rough in places and there were a few puddles from recent rains - however, road shoes should be fine. It isn't the cheapest race but you do get a bling-tastic medal and a decent T-shirt (available in male or female, if ladies want a more fitted shirt). There's also beer at the finish but I was more interested in the chilled coconut water. Other than that, there aren't really any goodies in the goody bag - I suspect the intention was to get runners to shop at the expo at the finish. I would have liked somewhere to change, other than the finish line portaloos that had a huge queue, as it was a warm day and my running vest was soaking. Not really a problem for the men who could shuck their wet shirts in public, but not good for us ladies. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed the race and would definitely come back again.
In short: Beautiful race In full: Instructions were sent nice and early via email. Parking on the day was ample. Registration was well organised. The start line was around 3 or 4 minutes away. Here there was a real informal approach. No gimmicks no frills and tons of Barking dogs. Off we went over some lovely rroute.There were regular waterstops but no food or snacks. However at halfway there was a lovely buffet set out in a pub garden. The second half of the route was even more beautiful - gorgeous green hills and breathtaking views. There was even a well placed icecream van about 2/3 of the way. The end was punctuated by a killer hill but it was totally doable and set in a lovely wooden area.
Cons - the event wasn't chip timed but that didn't bother me. The dogs were a new experience - loud and snappy at times. At 2 or 3 points the signs were little confusing and I had to wait for a proper adulty adult to tell me which way to go :)
Pros - the cost, informal atmosphere, the route, the medal was stunning, cake and more cake, weather. Date of review: September 21, 2016
In short: Superb organisation, brilliant atmosphere, lovely course In full: What a lovely event. I had some reservations about running through the tunnels but they were a joy to run through, clean, cool and so fresh that it felt like running in an air conditioned room. Very friendly marshals and the superb organisation made this event a very good day. Date of review: September 20, 2016
In short: Overpriced. The beautiful scenery is its one saving grace. In full: Overpriced for what you get, but the volunteers and scenery made up for it. Tough course but we'll marked and marshalled. Okay goody bag but poor medal. There was a problem with the race number allocation which means my official time may go to some one else. Won't be doing this race again, there are better value, better organised just as beautiful marathons in Dorset which I'll save my money for. Date of review: September 19, 2016
In short: Decent run from Reigate to Hookwood and back In full: After the hill out of Reigate it was quite a flat course exclusively on tarmac closed to traffic roads.Killer of a hill approx. 1 mile from the end. Water in bottles was good, distribution slightly chaotic though. (had to wait at first water point) Medal the same for 1/2, 10k and kids race. T-shirt badly printed and white is not the best colour (see through) Race offered poor value at full price. Would feel better if significant contribution made to charity Results service great, text after finish. Lots of food stalls to choose from at end, went to the pub instead! Date of review: September 19, 2016
In short: Challenging run on a nice warm sunny day In full: Fair amount of up and down in the first few miles of the 10, flatter later. Seem to be lots of club runners here. Lots of lovely homemade cakes for sale at the end at race hq Date of review: September 19, 2016
In short: Good event with wrk to be done for next year In full: Generally a well-organised event, but there was a course error at the 1 mile mark, meaning the course was slightly short. The organisers admitted it was a mistake by the lead bike and the decision was made to continue following that course. The event seemed more expensive this year, though I may be mistaken. I also had an issue with my late entry, which was mailed to me too late to arrive before the race, leading to delay while my number was transferred. It also arrived without postage, which I had to pay.
It's a difficult course with some big hills to tackle. The marshals were encouraging and welcoming. My hesitation in running this race again is more due to my own performance than anything critically wrong with the event itself. It's worth doing. Date of review: September 19, 2016
In short: Wind makes PB very difficult In full: We came from Manchester as the route seemed flat and it was advertised as a fast course; which it would have been if the last 12k (majority of the course) hadn't meant a strong costal wind. You cannot guarantee the weather conditions, so you really would be taking a risk and being of small frame, my splits slowed dramatically - which was entirely due to the wind factor. I would say a later start time of 11am also doesn't help matters. Other than that, the organisation was ok (but two of the ladies toilets were out of order at Meadowmill which meant large queues) and we got our bags in a timely manner at the end. Great support on the course. Goody bags were not great for the price and no medals; apparently they will be posted out once they arrive. Date of review: September 19, 2016
In short: Home town race, hope its repeated In full: My home town and my return to running after injury and nice way to ease back in. Great accessibility you can park for £1 on a sunday within 5 min walk as well as metro links. Course fairly easy apart from mile 6 which is a bit of an uphill drag. Might need to move start/finish if it gets much bigger.I`ll be back next year. Date of review: September 19, 2016
In short: Fast, cheap and reasonably well organised In full: Was a little concerned by reviews of previous years but was pleasantly surprised, so they're obviously listening to feedback. The Quays/Media City area is good little spot, so a nice start and finish. Good field size and seems popular with local running clubs, so PB potential is ripe, especially if you respond to being pulled along/chasing down an open and fast field. Very light on marshalling at the start/finish and the times were very slow to come through. Scenery wise, it's Salford Quays/Trafford Park so a bit of common sense needed on expectations. It's a nice halfway house between club organised runs and the 'franchise' types you get with Great Run, Run for All etc. Date of review: September 19, 2016