In short: Beautiful Course, lots of negatives though In full: A lot of reviews already on this race, but helpful to add another as its always good when researching new races to attend.
Positives: The course, Chip timing and print out at the finish line, medal engraving on spot (optional charge), Easy parking due to a last minute notice of £5 parking at Windsor Boys school. The medal was substantial and attractive. Free High 5 gels along the course at 3 water stations.
The negatives: Poor communication (after signing up we received no other emails until the week of the event) Queues galore - which meant we ended up returning to our car to drop bags instead of waiting in the VERY long q and paying £5 per bag. Due to the Qs we started at 9.10am and nearly got caught up in the 10K start. Although as we were so late starting we didn't experience the congestion like other runners have said - at times we really felt we were 'on our own' which was nice as running with friends, but might put off someone running on their own in their first event. Water stations inadequate - a couple of them ran out and we were spared of thirst by a local resident who filled a bucket with a hose pipe. On a hot day this is inexcusable. Sparse marshalling - we used common sense in places and kept to the river line (there were times when we thought, should we keep going or turn right/left) Course measured long on my garmin: 13.34 (I think a few others found this too) No goody bag just a tiny bottle of water and a medal
This event has so potential and I really dislike writing negative reviews. My enjoyment of the day was marred but feel that if the organisers could just up their game on the organising and improve it that would be good.
I would love to do it again as the course was one of best halfs I've done. But unless a serious improvement I am not sure I'#d pay £30 to run again. Maybe just train in the area instead on a 'day visit' to make the most of the scenery. Date of review: May 23, 2016
In short: A gem of a race In full: Beautiful scenery (it's the first time I have had to give way to deer!), an undulating trail course (a mix of cycle paths, gravel and lightly wooded earth/grass)and a village fete atmosphere, what's not to like about this race? Whilst it is low key compared to road races, it has everything you would expect of a bigger race (chip timing, photos, video of the start) but many things you don't usually get with larger events (such as free parking at the start and finishers sitting around on the grass post-finish, ready to cheer on later finishers such as myself). Plenty of aid stations, with water. jelly babies and bananas (cut up for easy eating). Marshalls and aid station volunteers were enthusiastic and encouraging. The only minor gripe was lack of route flags around the 22 mile mark - I did go slightly wrong, but luckily another runner put me right. I loved the goody bag - a Mars bar (which was cold despite the heat!), an event buff, a pen, running magazines, an event water bottle and a lovely medal. I debated whether to wear road or trail shoes, but given the dry course (there had been little rain the days before) I found road shoes were perfect; if it had been raining trail shoes would have been advisable. OK, only 2 portaloos, but the organisers had provided a jar of 20p to use in the main toilets to ease the queues (and to be fair, the toilet queues were not as long as many other events I've done). I note that some runners had problems with cyclists - I didn't experience this, and in fact received a few encouraging comments from them, which was totally unexpected. This race definitely is on next year's 'must do again' marathon list. Date of review: May 23, 2016
In short: Dull, ugly, and crowded In full: This is the only Great Manchester Run event entry I could find, so I'll leave my comments and rating here.
I like to do the big races, and I think I have pretty much done all the big UK races. I like the buzz of a big race, but often they are over crowded and held on non-scenic dual carriageways. This race was typical.So crowded I found it impossible to get into a rhythm as every few yards I had to either slow down, or step sideways to avoid slow moving runners who over-estimated their speed, and started too far forward. This happened for the full 10K. Crowd support was minimal. One of the most poorly supported races I have encountered. To be fair to the folks in Manchester, as the bulk of the race was held on a largely inaccessible and ugly dual carriageway, there was little opportunity for spectators. The best support was right at the end during the last 500 metres. And this was the first time someone called out my name. It was odd because I was just thinking that I have run for eight years in my named top and this was the very first time nobody at all had called out my name when some folks did. I think I had five people calling out my name in the last 500 metres.
Anyway, that's Europe's largest 10K out of the way. Job done. What's next..... Date of review: May 23, 2016
In short: Fantastic first effort! In full: A very well planned race. The course was lovely. I even enjoyed the hilly fifth mile! The marshals were friendly and there was loads of support from the locals. I hope this will become a regular event. Date of review: May 23, 2016
In short: Beautiful scenary and well organised...but course map? In full: Really nice race in a beautiful location which great organisation. However my partner had come as a spectator and we were unable to find a course map anywhere. I don't know if one was available but it would have made her trip better if we'd found it. Date of review: May 23, 2016
In short: My second race with White Star Running and I thoroughly enjoyed it In full: Great organisation, venue, everyone was so helpful and its all done with a smile. They give updates on the course in the run up to the event. Free post race massage! Great value for money. Date of review: May 23, 2016
In short: Poor organisation. And lack of interest in safety of race participants In full: Lack of water and unnecessary promises of water every 4K which lead me to not bring a water bottle on a very hot day. Long queues for bag drops. So long majority of people missed the start of the race by well over half an hour.
No wave start despite promise of wave starts leading to clogs along a narrow trail. And unpleasant conditions for faster and slower runners. Date of review: May 23, 2016
In short: Excellent event very well organised, nice location In full: Really well organized and marshaled throughout. Big thanks to all of the support team on drinks stations etc and the road crossing marshals. Nice location and scenery - pity not all of the cyclists were willing to behave reasonably or share the paths fairly.....!!! Date of review: May 23, 2016
In short: Beautiful, but not to be repeated F3 should be blacklisted from further events In full: So many things wrong with the organisation of the event, from hidden charges, missing race packs, huge queues, lack of facilities, lack of portaloos, disorganised start, running out of water at stations, water stations missing altogether, no water at the finish line... the list goes on....
If the F3 company held their hands up and apologised, accepting their inadequacies on the day, I possibly would not feel the need to post a review, instead, however, they deleted reviews on their social media pages, deleted any negative comments and blocked anyone who questioned or gave negative reviews.
To make such huge errors and risking the safety of runners at an event and then trying to cover up their mistakes is unforgivable.
Enter at your own risk. Date of review: May 23, 2016
In short: Loved everything about this race! In full: I'm amazed that this was the inaugural race as it just seemed to go perfectly! Apart from a couple of short sections along the A20 (which were fine) the course was absolutely beautiful and the fact that the course loops were planned so you didn't actually feel like you were running the same sections over and over again was a big plus for me. The course is pretty hilly but the hills are completely manageable so I'd describe it as only mildly challenging and fine for first timers. The marshals were so bubbly and enthusiastic I'm confident they all had the energy to run the course themselves. Twice!
I will, without a doubt, be back again next year as the Chislehust Half Marathon currently stands as my favourite race so far in 2016. A massive thank you to the organisers, the marshals and the great supporters on course! Date of review: May 23, 2016
In short: Tough, muddy, slurry, cows Awesome ! In full: My second half marathon in 2 weeks and by far the best race of the whole year so far (all distances). Not a first timers half certainly as despite the relatively flat tracks on the ridge lines there are some horrendously steep hills (don't even mention the semi vertical mud slide type ascent through the trees that goes on for miles - ok not miles but it seems that way).
That said it is the friendliest race I've done with loads of banter and chat from your fellow runners. Plenty of encouragement and looking out for those that look like they are struggling.
Good organisation and atmosphere. Signed up for my first marathon with WSR on the back of this race so watch this space. Date of review: May 23, 2016
In short: Richmond Park Marathon 2016 - beautiful but tough In full: A wonderful day spent in the glorious park. My tip for anybody (like me) who has previously only completed road marathons is to train on the same type of topography and surface as Richmond Park - obvious perhaps but I think I was not the only one who underestimated the challenge, especially towards the last 10 miles when the direct sun and light breeze did their best to make it harder! The marshals and the overall organisation for the event was excellent, and I would like to return. Other tip - take some 20p coins for the toilets. Date of review: May 23, 2016
In short: A well run marathon In full: A well run marathon, the marshal's on the road sections of the park were brilliant, personally I could have done with a few more signs on route, indicating the way as there were a few sections I could easily have gone wrong at if I wasn't with someone. The 2nd and 3rd loops pass a café with a great toilet area, if you need to use the facilities and I even saw a couple of runners off buying ice creams from the vans.
The start only had 2 portaloos so a huge queue, but there were toilets at the gate just round the corner requiring a 20p (Which the organisers provided) the race literature advised to use the portaloos, but I think that the alternative toilets should have been advertised to those at the back end of the queue or a sign saying alternative loos this way.
There are some hills in the park, but they are not the longest (Especially for trail runners) a total climb of 1,161ft regisered on my garmin, the whole park is rolling up and down but you didn’t really notice this, so many other runners, cyclists and children out playing which is great, but you do need to constantly watch where you are running so not the most relaxing of venues, but the deer’s and parakeets make you smile on the way round.
Great presence from St Johns ambulance service who also cycled round to keep a check on all runners, first class !
The aid stations were frequent, which was great providing cups of water and some cut up fruit, personally I would have loved some plain crisps or something different for those of us that don’t eat fruit while running, they had crisps and other things at the end, but all the crisps had all been eaten by the time I finished.
The medal was a lovely solid leaf design but it is tiny !, the goody bag had a neck scarf, bottle and pen and a couple of magazines, in (Although the bottle and pen were annoyingly missing from mine, but the person I ran with had them and I didn't realise till we got home)
It was a beautiful sunny day, if not a little too hot this year, so the shade under some of the trees was a welcome change.
Mainly gravel tracks and paths, so I wore my road shoes and feel this was sensible.
In short: Small event with friendly atmosphere (but hillier than expected) In full: This is a small, friendly event, only around 250 finishers for the full marathon, but more for the half. As a result, the pack thins out substantially for the second loop, and I found myself running alone for quite a few stretches.
Water stations were great - bottles of water, cups of isotonic. Marshals were friendly and helpful - clearly most of them were runners themselves, and that makes a huge difference.
Scenery is very pleasant, a few small, picturesque villages, and rolling countryside.
BE warned though - the hills don't let up! It felt like I was either running up hill or downhill the whole way - not sure there is a flat section at all! Watch clocked up 277m of elevation.
Finish at the stadium is nice, a good spot for supporters. Obviously, it is a countryside race, so will never be as well supported as a city race, but those who did come out were lovely and supportive. Date of review: May 23, 2016
In short: Great race , interesting course lots of twists, turns , off road , on road etc . Lots of hills so hard but well marshalled , good facilities at HQ , will definitely do again . Date of review: May 23, 2016
In short: Great friendly local run In full: This was the first year for this race and it turned out to be a well organised friendly little event (about 200 runners on the day). 1 mile fun run for the kids was a nice touch. Good route, not closed roads but rural lanes so very few issues. Nasty little hill at about 8k but other than that fairly flat/gentle. Good marshalls, slickly organised, chip timed, easy parking near the start/finish. Only one water station (5k) and it was very warm, so perhaps another one would have been a good idea. And the start set-up was a bit odd, we had to walk past the timing mats then loop back on ourselves to line up - this could be resolved by moving the start slightly further down the road and making the finish (which is on the field behind the village hall) just come a bit further in to the field? Other than that, a very enjoyable morning out. Here's hoping it does become a regular event, I'd definitely come again. Date of review: May 22, 2016
In short: Shambolic In full: Most disorganised race ever entered. Most already been said today but to reemphasise - shambolic start, posted wave start never materialised. First half of course entirely inappropriate probably even without the start problems - far too narrow and crowded, frequent standstills - many runners have earphones (which was encouraged by start marshall) making awareness and passing even more difficult. Not enough and poorly manned water stations necessitating more stops, dangerously few marshalls on course, badly signposted, zero atmosphere. Note dozens of negative comments have been deleted from race social media site today covering the above and many other issues suggesting that, as apparently in previous years, they are not serious about addressing issues. Avoid this race at all costs - I will in future. Unfortunately I only saw previous years negative comments too late. Date of review: May 22, 2016