In short: Great medal, terrible weather, lack of water stations where needed, not enough marshalls In full: I was really looking forward to this but is started badly with the treck to the baggage drop. Poorly organises baggage drop and collection right next to the finish line meant that when my husband was queueing after the race the chips of the finishers were interfearing with the finish times! The queue was too long at both ends as there were not enough staff.
The start was very poor, no waved start times and we struggled to get past very slow runners for nearly 2 miles!
The water stations were at mile 4 and 5 and then not again until mile 11 by which time I was gasping!
The toilets were overflowing before the race as there were only 20 for all the runners and the queue for this was 20 minutes.
The second lap of the race was very hard as it kept snaking back on itself and I for one don't like to see a whole raft of people ahead of me!
One of our spectators ended up marshalling for them as there werent enough marshalls.
The race village was empty of stuff and I was so glad that my Mum and two year old had stayed at home due to the weather.
They need to massively improve this for me to do it again. Date of review: March 30, 2015
In short: Gorgeous run, shame about the wind and rain! In full: This race really does have potential. I loved almost everything about it apart from the weather. Well done to the organisers and marshals for keeping spirits high on such a miserable day Date of review: March 30, 2015
In short: Inoffensive run albeit along a contrived route In full: This is an inoffensive, small-scale, enjoyable half marathon - and even on a wet and windy morning it was a good way to welcome British Summer Time.
Indeed, I did enjoy this more than I expected to, given how the course is contorted into the available roads and paths north of Kingston.
Crossing the main road (4 times in total) was a bit of a shame, however being someone who trains alongside suburban houses and main roads, I expected this in a non-closed-roads event.
Other points for improvement - there were perhaps not enough toilets to satisfy 250 runners, compounded by there being no toilets en route. Additionally, while some marshals were enthusiastic, the ones a) listening to iPods and b) talking to friends while not even facing the oncoming runners, are clearly not cut out for marshalling a proper race. Also, the route map on the Energized Sports website is just plain wrong.
The whole operation therefore lacked attention to detail. That I still enjoyed it possibly reflects more on me as an enthusiastic, competitive and low-maintenance runner than on the care and execution of Energized Sports.
Are Energized Sports leveraging off the excellent Kingston Breakfast Run with their "(North of) Kingston half marathon"? Quite possibly so, but if you're after a flat course, I'm sure you could do worse. Date of review: March 30, 2015
In short: The potential to be a fantastic half on a nice day In full: Maybe ive been harsh seeting moderate scores for PB and Atmosphere as both would have been impacted by the weather. Despite that, from the great start line to the lovely Medal and T Shirt, once i got running, I enjoyed the run. More cover would have been nice but again, this is down to the weather which was unfortunate. Date of review: March 30, 2015
In short: Will become an established fixture on the calendar with places sought after In full: Agree that the start needs to be given greater thought. As someone who does 95% of their running on roads, the various surfaces were not an issue at all. The winding nature of the park section was enjoyable as you could see lots of other unners both ahead and behind. I have heard some say that it shouldnt be described as flat! Unbelieveable. I can only recall one slight rise at the turning point at the end of the river path. My Garmin recorded 32m of elevation in 13.1 miles. That is flat. Excellent value with the medal, t shirt (both well worth keeping), lots of fruit, flapjacks and amazing Henry VIII biscuits. I think all connected with this event made a really good attempt at making it special. Well done!!! Date of review: March 30, 2015
In short: My first half marathon and I loved it. Perhaps guidance on where to start as I had no idea whether to start at the front or back. Overall I loved it! :-) :-) :-) :-) Date of review: March 30, 2015
In short: The route is certainly special. I enjoyed the run, but the weather really was awful. I think i could have PBd if it wasn't for the cruel winds in the last few miiles Date of review: March 30, 2015
In short: The medal and tshirt more than made up for the atrocious conditions! Cant wait for the next one, some sunshine organised for that one please, I think we deserve it :-) Im not too sure why toilets have been outed as an issues, the queue was 5 mins... Date of review: March 30, 2015
In short: Superb event despite the weather. On a bright and sunny day this could have been one of the best races around. The weather really was bad so i'm sure this would have impacted perception but I myself loved the run from the start to my post race bath! Date of review: March 30, 2015
In short: A pleasant race In full: a mixture of club runners and the masses. the course was decent with plenty of marshals on the route. As stated before they were very uplifting especially the marshals near the end of the run. Got a PB and will be back next time round. Great number of goodies at end! Date of review: March 30, 2015
In short: Well organised race but awful weather! In full: Cannot fault the organisers for this race! Lovely, helpful and informative. Check in was quick and easy. Course was 12 laps of the pier and seafront so nothing especially thrilling. You cant judge this race on the appalling weather conditions that we suffered but on the ability of the RDs to quickly re-route when the pier was becoming dangerous to run on.
What made this race for me was the marshals. They stood in the freezing cold helping out, giving aid and encouragement to the runners and never once did I hear a marshal complain about the crap conditions.
Good aid stations, quality medal and superb marshals. Date of review: March 30, 2015
In short: Well organised race - Thanks for the day In full: On the whole this was a well organized race with great river sections along the course. Water stop well manned, Marshals some of the best Ive seen! The organisers are very friendly and approachable and very good for beginners. Well done... Date of review: March 30, 2015
In short: What could have been an amazing race let down by the weather and some organisational oversights In full: I had been looking forward to this event a lot and enjoyed it a lot and don't fully understand some of the negative comments
We missed the start (due to trains not the organisers) so missed the problems others encountered. There were plenty of Hampton Court's toiets available as well as the portallos and at least 2 sets near the start, maybe peopel should have followed the signs?
I enjoyed the course, I liked that the 2 laps were different but agree that the water stops were poorly placed, pretty sure that the multiple surfaces were advertised and were arguably common sense. Without the wind it would have been a lot faster
I think the organisers should have arranged tents for changing as they were actively encouraging the use of public transport. People were changing after the race in the baggage tent - not ideal.
The medal is amazing and I'd rather a t-shirt (and it's decent quality even if it isn't a techgnical one) that a goody bag.
The weather was horrendous which undeniably distracted from how pleasent the course was and highlighted the fact that the facilities were not as well thought out as possible. But on a nice day this course would be both beautiful and fast Date of review: March 30, 2015
In short: Ok run, just nothing special, and some potential problems In full: For a run that advertised itself as having a 2500 limit and book early, this was in reality very small scale, and just as well.
Very limited toilet facilities, luckily only 280 or so finishers, any more would have caused real problems.
Course was, for the main part, dull and boring, although very flat, and usp of the thameside bit, was 1M x 3 on the 3 lap course - strange really when you think they could have run us up and down the thames for miles in either direction.
Overall impression I got that this was a run organised by a non-runners event team, who had no real idea of what makes a good race from a club runners viewpoint or what we need.
On the other hand, plenty of enthusiasm from the organisers and some of the marshalls, especially the lady between 11 & 12 markers, and I'm sure lots of people enjoyed themselves. Date of review: March 30, 2015
In full: I have run this race a few time and its always a well orgaised, well marshaled event. There are club runners,but its all easy going and the course is never crowded,and runners wait at the finish to encourage others on the finishing straight not just rush off as soon as they finish. other event you pay a lot more and come away with very little,but not here............... Date of review: March 30, 2015
In short: Hideous weather didn't help with a convoluted course, some dodgy paths and minimal facilities not optimally placed. In full: The first 2 miles were a real obstacle course of avoiding slower runners and even walkers as there was no paced starts. Then the tarmac ended and the rest of the route was a real mishmash of smooth gravel path, rough gravel path, grass, some tarmac and worst of all a long section on deep gravel paths. I debated running in trail shoes and certainly needed something more substantial than the road shoes I used. My feet were wrecked by the end. Marked down for: 1. Cramped and a bit chaotic baggage facilities 2. 2 water stations in quick succession then nothing until late in the race 3. That long tramp in the gravel 4. The flapjacks seemed to have run out around the 2hr15m mark 5. Unpaced start
In short: Lovely scenery and pretty flat, shocking weather! In full: The first thing I was in awe of when arriving was the palace itself. Gorgeous scenery and as a history buff it was a wonderful backdrop. When we made our way to the start line (and if I'm being hyper critical) I wasn't too won over with how they organised the runners. "come to the front if you will do sub 90 mins!" was what they shouted out. But what about me? I have previous PBs of 1:38:00 & 1:32:00 so although not "elite" by any means I definitely wasn't one of the slower runners. Didn't seem to be well split up according to predicted time which even some smaller 10k runs do. The race started and I spent the first few hundred metres having to run round slower runners who were further up the queue then they should have been.
Saying that, this was the only negative of the race. Considering how wet the conditions were, top marks to the marshals who braved the cold and wet to stand along the route. The scenery was magic and I think the lack of spectators was more to do with the poor weather rather than the race organisers themselves.
The weather at times did cause the terrain to become trail like, mainly along the river and the palace ground but I'm a lover of trail running so it'd didn't bother me in the slightest. When we got back into the palace at the end of the first lap we had a choir singing us and plenty of people cheering us on.
The second lap was similar to the first execpet for a slight detour. An incline was taken out and replaced with a bit more trail conditions and the last 1.5 miles around a giant lake was tough on the legs. I ran past the finish line to a huge ovation and did my first ever sub 90 minute PB in a time of 1:28:29.
In a nutshell, fantastic race and course. A few minor hiccups that could be ironed out with experience and who knows, if the weather is nicer then this could win half marathon of the year! Date of review: March 30, 2015
In short: Badly organised, obscenely good medal though! In full: Hard to know where to start with this one. The good bits were very good and the bad bits were very bad. To be precise it was the flowery bits - medal, Tshirt, Henry VIII shaped biscuits at the end. Henry VIII himself, the choir - that were good. It was the guts of the race that were lacking, starting with the route - this needs a complete rethink. I liked the section on the gravel in front of the palace but that was about as good as it got. A better organised start within the park, on a straight section, and having the start/finish in the same place would be good. There needed to be more proactive organisation by the marshalls. Some marshalls were enthusiastic and helpful, some were standing around like spare parts. And the water - it should be 4 miles, 7 miles and 10/11 miles - not rocket science. The bad points aside this race has potential with the right number of competitors - no more than 1800 - and the right route, preferably wholly within the park. Date of review: March 30, 2015