In short: Best Half Marathon In full: Absolutely loved the hill challenge and scenery, I thought I would never see the end of a hill ahead of me!
The crowd support was absolutely fantastic, close to London marathon support. The bagpipes at the start were great as were the groups playing musical instruments at certain points of the course.
The only grumble which is a very small one which can be easily sorted to have a table with cold drink at the end more accessible to the runners. IT was a confusing at the end as because the area is not cut off from spectators you had to walk around to find the table with a cold drink which was not as easy to find with so many spectators and runners all in the same area. I came across the tea being served first which is a very novel idea.
No secure bag drop but you can leave your valuables in an envelope behind the desk. I thought this worked really well as I was able to get my bag quickly and make the train back to London with zero delay.
Would I do this again yes yes yes! It is most definitely the best half I have ever participated in and I actually got a PB with all those hills
The organisers/volunteers were so friendly and super helpful dealing with any questions via email and also on the day. I can understand why so many runners go back again and again to do this race.
In short: Friendly Atmosphere, Great Charity Event, Beautiful Course, Enthusiastic Marshals In full: I enjoyed every aspect of the event. The event organizers created an excellent atmosphere at the Bisham Abbey Grounds. Excellent course preparation despite record setting flooding over the winter. High Energy Marshals with enthusiastic applause and encouragement all the way around. My only criticism is the Master of Ceremonies failed to announce my name as I ran the final 25 meters but in his defense there was a biblical amount of hail coming down as i crossed the finish line. Will definitely be there again next year just to see if they can top this year. Date of review: March 24, 2014
In short: HILLY HILLY HILLY. Bye bye PB In full: They said this route was undulating. It was relentlessly up up up even until mile 11-12. It reminded me of hilly old Berkhamsted. The inclines weren't all long or steep, they just kept coming. The last one killed my PB chance - nothing left for another hill, I thought we'd had em all.:-( This could have been explained better pre-race or on the route map.
The organisation was good, no bottlenecks, great support and marshals, venue bit depressing, shabby old racecourse. Castle would have been better like last year. 'Race village'? Nothing there really. Worst latte I've EVER had from shabby miserable racecourse cafe. Plenty of portals tho (well done BHF) and great t-shirt (tho non-tech, NEVER putting it on to run) but bag drop was UTTER disaster. Long long winding and panicking queue until right before the race when they realised they'd better speed up. Not sure if they did, I dumped my bag and legged it. Plus confusing numbers on walls nothing to do with race numbers. Go figure.
Still this is BHF so I would do it again. Thanks for t-shirt and goody bag. Its a charity race so I expect NOTHING. Chuffed to get a little bag. Much appreciated. Well done BHF. Keep up the fab work. Nice to be involved in HM in nice countryside for a great cause. Date of review: March 24, 2014
In short: Short Course In full: The course was about 250-300 metres short. We were meant to start outside the Great Northern Pub I believe, instead we started at the Sports Ground. I'm sure there were many crazy PB's achieved, but that's not really the point, is it? Other than this the event was great. Date of review: March 24, 2014
In short: Superbly organized. Great experience. In full: I ran the 5k event and thoroughly enjoyed it. Lots of happy people. Lots of marshals. Lovely atmosphere. The route is rural with views to the Malvern Hills and a variety of surfaces. Just enough of a challenge but not overwhelming. The best organized event I've attended. Full marks to the team. Date of review: March 24, 2014
In short: Tough race given the spring heat and sharp climbs - well organised In full: Good run to use as a practice run for marathon training. Plenty of space to run at your own space. Great marshalls and well organised by Alan, Nicky and the team. The warm weather on the day made it extra tough. Date of review: March 24, 2014
In short: One of the top races of the year! In full: I ran around with my old friend Ron Faster and we had a great time. Really beautiful scenery and actually quite enjoyed the extra mud this year! Top organisation from the Purple Patch team as always, brilliant marshals, especially around the Flower Pot area, and a fantastic medal & t-shirt. Worlds apart from the desperately dull half marathon I watched at Dorney Lake on Saturday. Date of review: March 24, 2014
In full: Third time at this event and only entered as a last minute thing to do some miles with other folk. The hills have been mentioned in abundance, and quite rightly, but what makes this run is the BRILLIANT crown support from all the locals. Hastings has a bit of a strange reputation but the locals really do themselves proud on the day. Come out pretty much all the way and I tried to high five and wave at as many as possible. A wonderful day out yesterday and BIG THANKS to all Hastings residents. You really know how to make a runner feel welcome. Date of review: March 24, 2014
In short: Nice location, but not a great experience In full: I thought for the £30 entrance fee there were a few issues with this race - the lack of security for leaving baggage - essentially just a couple of tables which had access too, running along a main road into Kew was awful with cars weaving in and out, few race marshalls, water stations that were literally just that - and there were only three of them en route. A very underwhelming beginning to the race, no atmosphere, just a bingo-caller style, chap on the tannoy telling us to have a good race, wasn't impressed with the medal, t-shirt or goody bag either. I love this part of the world but having also done half marathons in Bath and Cambridge this month, they were in a different league Date of review: March 24, 2014
In short: A good race but really need to get the details right In full: I love this race & this was my 4th go at it. All the large elements were great - large support, loads of friendly & encouraging marshalls, plentiful drinks stations however I was disappointed by some of the organisational elements this year. A new car park was advertised this year promising a speedy getaway afterwards. However no mention was made of reducing the spaces at the rugby club. We were early enough & lucky to get a space in one of the side roads but the lack of parking also increased the chaos at the end. The local residents must have been hopping mad as later arrivals parked on verges, corners and blocked driveways. Also only large t shirts available - finishing in just over 2 hours with 1000 runners behind me this was really disappointing. Date of review: March 24, 2014
In short: A gruelling but exhilarating run in splendid spring scenery In full: My first attempt at this course, which turned out to be more gruelling than I was expecting - so I was reasonably pleased with my time. A most scenic route, good start/finish facilities, a well-marshalled race, and best medal ever! Well done to the organisers. Date of review: March 24, 2014
In short: Tough, but great marathon preparation In full: This was a tough race to run, but worth it for the marathon training. Great organisation from San Domenico and everything worked really well, including lots of water/sports drink/gel stations on the way... Suitably hilly in place and those steps were hard. Definitely worth doing though and be back again next year! Date of review: March 24, 2014
In short: Ran Like Clockwork In full: I've read a few reviews saying there were problems getting to the start and parking, particularly after 9am. The (very detailed) race information book did say arrive before 9. We did and parked at the rugby club with no issues.
On to the race itself: yes people start too far forward, I was in the 90 min zone at the start and there was no way that first mile was 90 min pace. Not a lot the organisers can do about that though it was very clearly signed at the start.
The course has a couple of bumps nothing really to write home about and the downhill’s make up for it.
Great support from the marshals who appeared to be every 10-15 meters. There was nearly as many marshals as runners! Plenty of spectators out offering words of encouragement and jelly babies and the crowd on the last 200 meters really pull you along.
Top quality medal and tech tee (not pink this year!) plenty of water and sports drinks post race.
Whether you are doing this as a marathon warm up or a half in it's own right this is a great race to do and I will be back next year...
In short: OK for a first timer, but needs to improve next year In full: I'd agree with the previous comments. The start was odd, with no prompting as some people shot off and others like me, were literally left standing. The main gripe though was the finish and some slower runners (like me) having to compete with cars over the final half mile. With these corrected next year, I would run this again. Date of review: March 24, 2014
In short: Wet, windy, hilly but no fault of the organiser In full: Weather was terrible, wind, rain, freezing cold, but obviously no fault of the organiser. Start is on a little farm with a couple of barns to hang out in and a snack van. Reg was easy and went quick and smooth.
Only gripe was the walk from the school to the farm to start, but that would have been fine in the dry.
As said the km markers were out but that isn't too much of an issue as i use a garmin.
Scenery was great but the course is more hilly than they make out, take advantage of the downhill sections.
Friendly other runners, a good mix of serious and newbies.
In short: Great Value Local Race In full: Great value and very well organised race. Recently moved to Winslow so it is now my local race. Plenty of volunteers and marshals all the way around and the cubs/scouts on the water stations were enthusiastic despite the weather. Run on open roads but mostly the traffic is courteous. Large mix of abilities, from super serious to first timers.
I was very impressed with the way the whole event went, short queues for number pick up and good use of the school facilities. Only gripe is a lack of a medal, get given a t shirt instead which I always throw to the back of the drawer, it is just nicer to have little medal.
I would definitely run again and not just because it is on my doorstep.
Oh and the hill at the end really is not that bad, although I do use it during my training runs so may be biased.
In short: A great run In full: Very well organised. Only complaint this year would be that (i assume) due to the farmers field being closed there was a massive lack in parking spaces. This caused a massive traffic jam so alot of people were late or close to being late. Also it made the first mile very slow as the traffic couldn't be moved in time from one half of the carriageway so the width was reduced by half. Aside from that, a fantastic run, well organised Date of review: March 24, 2014
In short: An absolute ripper of an event. In full: This is how to do it. Well organised. Plenty of water in bottles. Sponges. Never had a sponge before. Awesome. Great support. Cracking hoody. Bins for bottles and stuff at every mile marker. Great idea.
In short: Wonderful village mixed-terrain run In full: Lovely day with 3 different runs: 1k, 5k and 10k. A mixture of fancy dress runners, very small children and screaming fast pros. To top it all - great food at the end and a lovely massage. Just how it should be - wonderful day! Date of review: March 24, 2014