In short: H4 put on a great race, impossible not to embrace their energy In full: Really enjoyed this race. My first time running the Harvel 5, and I’m looking forward to doing it again. The organisation, both before, during and after, was excellent – and the atmosphere was suitably relaxing, not too clubby despite a good turnout from local club runners. The route itself was a bit more off-road than I expected, but that’s good in my books – although the recent rain had made it a bit boggy and slippery in places. A nice fast last km certainly lifted my mood having been in the doldrums in the middle mile…a combination of heavy cold and hayfever is not the best mix for hard aerobic activity!! A nice medal too – if you like that sort of thing.
In short: probably the happiest most organised run EVER!!! In full: Like most the thought of 17 laps did concern me ,but infact it was a refreshing change The spectators got 17 chances to cheer you on seeing the other runners having a chat and the words of encouragement from them The marshalls and organisers were fantastic The laps are challenging with a nice hill ,but it would be boring if it was flat Great to finish with a smile on my face
In short: Welcoming, well-organised and with a properly varied field and lots of good value extras. In full: Was a bit nervous about doing a marathon (my 3rd) among such a small number (less than 400 runners), but the field varied from sub-3hr speed merchants to 6hr+ walkers, so I fit comfortably into the middle. The organisers and runners were a cheerful and welcoming bunch, and the whole thing ran like clockwork. The course is hillier than you might expect - nothing murderous, but the effect of a few short, sharp inclines each lap mount up over 17 laps - but that said, I still comfortably came home with a PB. Having toilets, a cafe, massages and – bliss – showers on site would have been bonus enough, but the organisers also threw in free race photography and some frankly gigantic medals too. From a spectating point of view, my wife and daughter had a great time, getting to recognise and root for other runners as well as me as they went past each lap. Overall, one of the most enjoyable running experiences I've had. Well done! Date of review: June 3, 2013
In short: Great organization and facilities! Great for parents with small kids! Would be perfect if it is flat! (I did not enjoy 17 times up the hill) In full: The organization was brilliant, and people friendly. For runners who have small kids, I would recommend this race: they can see you 17 times! and there is a fantastic playground on the side of the track, from where they can wave at you.that was brilliant for my 2 y.o. I was in good shape, and expected a PB,... but I did not make it. The hill is a proper hill, and you feel it in the second half of the race. I don't think I could ever do a PB on this track. Beginners were welcome, but most participants seem experienced people, with many marathons under their belt. Date of review: June 3, 2013
In short: Wigan's hidden little gem. In full: What a great day, it was hard to believe you were running in Wigan, shining sun and a glorious scenic trail over two laps around Amberswood. Definitely one to do next year. Date of review: June 3, 2013
In short: Great comradery, fantastic atmosphere amongst runners and the biggest medal you've ever seen! Great organisation, free race photos and good quality massage for a fiver. Free showers and changing. Cannot ask for more in a race In full: Really loved this race. Yes, it's 17 laps but it doesnt feel like 17 laps! A lot of great comradery amongst the runners. Everyone says hello, everyone is encouraging and everyone is positive - it's a refreshing change.
I had a great day out and the laps were fantastic for me because you got to know parts of the course and there were no surprises.
It's the little touches that make this race great: Free race photos, free changing/showers. Good goody bag, fantastic medal and organisation that ran like clockwork.
There is NOTHING that I can fault with this race... well except the 'hill of doom' ;0) Date of review: June 3, 2013
In short: Great fun - challenging, well organised, virtually traffic free, scenic, great cake In full: The organisers deserve more support for a well-run event which is challenging enough for the speedies and friendly enough for the social joggers. It's only three years old - I hope it will continue to grow Date of review: June 3, 2013
In short: A great event I couldn't run due to injury but.. In full: ..I went to support my wife & her sisters who both ran, one was racing for the first time. There's such a great atmosphere from the moment you drive into Harvel & there are people in fancy dress giving directions! The village green was the centre of activity & it was buzzing, really good with beer & pimms available plus ice creams for the kids! All runners I spoke to said it was tougher this year, but they all enjoyed it, especially my sister in law who's now caught the bug! A great race!
One extra thing to add, thanks whoever it was that decided to place pics in the men's urinals, I managed a full 30 second burst in the face of one of the Woolwich murderers, the most satisfying p*ss of my life. Date of review: June 3, 2013
In short: In full: Friendliness organisational team I have experienced in 10yrs. There was nothing they wouldn't do for u pre race, on the day and afterwards. The event ran like clockwork, lots of nice little extras like timing bands, lap bands, friendliness photographers (free) that I've ever meet. Excellent venue for the family and spectators. My 5yr spent 4hrs in the park (which over looked the course) which kept him entertained. All in all a fantastic day out which clearly had a lot of planning time and effort spent on it. 5 stars from me!!!!!! Date of review: June 3, 2013
In short: Very well organised 17 lap marathon with a great atmosphere In full: I stumbled across the Kent Road Runner marathon on the Runners World website when I was looking for a fairly local marathon without a huge number of entrants and therefore not too crowded or congested.
The pre race instructions were very clear and detailed and when I arrived in the morning everything was organised with military precision but also with a very welcoming atmosphere.
The race itself is 17 laps on a good tarmac surface which is nice and broad so no real congestion at any point. There were no mile markers but I think this makes absolute sense considering the nature of the race, mile markers would have been very confusion and timing each lap made much more sense to me whilst running the race and the 16 throwaway bracelets worked really well to keep track of the number of laps.
The water station was just after the start of the race so after you finish each lap there is a chance to grab some water or squash (or even some biscuits or other more conventional energy goodies!). Each lap is just over one and a half miles long so you never go that long without a chance to grab some water.
If I had one criticism for the whole race I would say that the water station could have been more spread out to allow runners to keep running without having to stop or a few of the volunteers could have been allocated to hand out water to runners as they ran past rather than having stop to get water off the tables though to be fair this is only important for people going for a PB and there was a separate section where people could set up there own personalised water and drinks tables.
There were also two portaloos and a urinal provided which was ample considering the small number of entrants.
I wasn’t running to get a PB but I think this course has some PB potential for people who don’t mind running multiple laps (17 of them) and don’t mind an undulating course (the course is most definitely not flat). The hills aren’t that bad but not to be ignored, especially towards the last few laps and be warned – it is an uphill finish.
Overall it’s a great race for anyone who wants to try something different to a huge marathon like London with tens of thousands of runners. The atmosphere is much more laid back and definitely a marathon where you can run all the way without having to fight through a huge crowd or being jostled and this is probably one of the best organised and stress free marathons you will find anywhere in the world.