In short: The WORST organised race ever. Avoid F3 events. In full: F3 are in this business for 1 reason only – to make as much money as possible of trusting people. 5 days before the event they informed people of a £5 charge for baggage drop – this was not mentioned ever. Any questions about this were dismissed or deleted from their face book page. Plentiful toilets were advertised – there were 12 for 2500 people. We were then directed to public toilets. The bag drop Q was immense, for £5 you would at least expect a fast service. No waved start at all, 10K runners were encouraged to start with the half, when it finally started about 15 min late. Huge bottlenecks in the 1st few miles. Hygiene and safety was not high on their priority- people used bare hands to dip cups in water buckets to fill them (at least we had water!) and there are more marshals at a Parkrun. Even a bottle neck on the finish line, just about crossed before standing in a large muddle of people trying to obtain a medal and some water which was fend for yourself. No banana or anything. An absolute disgrace. Date of review: May 22, 2016
In short: worth the drive,, In full: A well run village event,small field but a good 10k race. i hope this is run next year as its worth supporting,nice people nice event,recomended. Date of review: May 22, 2016
In short: Great organisation, enthusiastic marshals, unusual excellent medal. Oh yeah - plenty of hills!! In full: This event's near neighbour, The Chislehurst Chase, could learn so much from the organisation and marshalling experienced today at the inaugural Chislehurst Half. Date of review: May 22, 2016
In short: Dreadful. absolutely dreadful. F3 Events have a bad reputation already and this just makes it ten times worse. In full: Pretty much everything that could go wrong here, did. Water stations misleadingly advertised and badly stocked, insufficient and badly trained marshals, the promise of a wave start that did not happen, leading to ridiculous congestion, appalling communication from the organisers, a £5 charge for the bag drop that was hidden at registration. The list is endless. Avoid F3 events at all costs. Date of review: May 22, 2016
In short: There's some serious safety issues here that need resolving In full: Don't leave many reviews but seriously cross about this race. Beautiful course, very challenging but only 3 water stations on a half marathon? Not enough and needs sorting. And let's talk about marshals- went more than a few miles without seeing anyone so aside from the navigation aspect, how about safety ? Were anything to occur then it was pretty much, sort it out for yourself as there is no way that anyone would ever get to you by the time you died of a heart attack . In summary: More water stations needed & more water in the cups A lot more marshals needed Races shouldn't rely on runners to either navigate or act as the first port of call in the event of an incident- If this was an EA road race it would never get a licence based on the safety aspects so never mind `Love station' focus on keeping your runners safe. Date of review: May 22, 2016
In short: Don't do this race in 2017 In full: Entered this race as part of my race plan for the year. It was only after entering that I stumbled upon some horrendous reviews from previous years. This definitely started alarm bells ringing but I went into the race with a positive outlook, often things that bother other people don't faze me. I don't expect a lot at these events, I just like to run!
Very shambolic organisation overall and the course isn't really all that nice despite what people say. The worrying thing is the same issues I had today have been highlighted over previous years and still nothing has been done.
- No pre race brief, just a series of rambling announcements. - No race clock at start or finish (only time I have ever seen this). - Terriible bottleneck over first couple of kilometres, I don't see how you can have a course with this narrow a start for a large event. - Chaotic abandoned wave start, a fair way from the village. What a disaster. - Drinks stations running out of water. - Poor signage, and the course was too long approx 13.4 miles.
Probably the worst half-marathon I have ever done, and I was lucky some people seem to have had it much worse with bag drop charges, queuing for bibs etc.
Avoid this race, they know the issues, if in previous years people have mentioned these problems and nothing has been done, it obvious they are just fleecing people. Date of review: May 22, 2016
In short: Could be so much better In full: Great Scenery along the river and a wonderful mix of abilities. Friendly atmosphere and the finish location next to the river and Castle was a highlight. But as previous people have uggested there a many shortfalls. Firstly, the race is not 13.1 miles its 13.3 - too many people with GPS watches saying the same thing. The kilometre markers are all out of alignment - you'll do a mix of fast and slow times so go off your watch. The start was delayed by 15 minutes as the marshalls hadnt arrived at their places in time. The drink stations were woefully manned - at the 13km station there were two people working as hard as they can but as 6 of us went passed at once we either stopped to wait or skipped the water. £5 for parking (fair enough in Windsor) and £5 to hold my bag? On top of the £30 entry. I ran the Bracknell 2 weeks earlier which had significantly less people but much more organisation, marshals and drinks stations. So a picturesque course but could be such a better event. If you do one thing on this list - get the distance correct! Date of review: May 22, 2016
In short: Friendly and a bit hilly. In full: Friendly and well organised event in beautiful countryside. A couple of beastly hills (for someone from the Fens!). Great atmosphere and a definite race for all-comers. Date of review: May 22, 2016
In short: lovely countryside but "undulating" - oh yeah! In full: Lovely weather and beautiful scenery. Marshalls enthusiastic and encouraging and nice set up for finish. I found the course very up and down and my mile 10 was having a bit of a sense of humour failure re the hills. No monsters just relentless up and down. Final straight along the canal path would have felt very narrow if I was going for a time (thankfully I was just trying to remember to breath by this stage)but it was a beautiful stretch. The start was a bit shambolic, we were all gathered in pens then everyone just sauntered off to a lane and a couple of hundred yards ahead you could see people crossing the start line (about 15 mins late) If we had been led up to the line and held there for a mo there would have been more of a sense of occasion. Most disappointing thing of the day was for my supporter (she prefers the term carer) there was only one refreshment stand - this at race starting in the middle of nowhere (except next to a rugby stadium with a number of (closed) bar/cafes). Meant she had to queue for ages and very little choice. This was the most limited offer I have seen and was disappointing. Wouldn't say never (a lot was got right) but not high on my list of ones to run again. Hopefully the organisers will keep developing the event as really enjoyed visit to Worcester town centre the day before. Date of review: May 22, 2016
In short: Well organised, very friendly race, lots of support In full: Very well organised for their first race with no issues that I could see. Lots of marshals out on the course and lots of people came out to spectate and cheer you on. Even on the quieter country roads you'd see someone stood outside their house to cheer you on. Very good atmosphere and friendly race. Date of review: May 22, 2016
In short: Worth it just for the scenery In full: Really well-organised. Only my 3rd marathon (others were London and Brighton), so nothing similar to compare it to, but I thought it was fantastic, and hope to do it again when the temperature is more enjoyable (33 degrees!) The marshalls and water station people were really encouraging. Great not to have to queue for toilets! Date of review: May 22, 2016
In short: More water stations needed and paper cups please In full: Ran the half marathon this morning in somewhat muggy conditions. The setting in the Bedgebury Pinetum and adjacent forest is spectacular and it's very much a hilly, mixed terrain course with a net uphill.
Pre-race sign-up and communications were clear and race village logistics were extensive. Pre-race parking was well marshalled and worked very well. The start to the half marathon was also well managed and the number of participants was appropriate for the route.
As I already wrote, it was a muggy morning, temperatures maybe mid- to high teens and water was important. But there were only 3 water stations along the 13.1 mile course, all evenly spaced. Many runners carried their own drinks, but many others, like me, did not. The first water station was about 3.5 miles in and the distance between water stations was too far and I believe that the route requires at least 2 or 3 more. One or more of these could be on a section of the course that the route uses both ways, e.g. I'm pretty sure that the 2 mile stretch from Mile 10 to Mile 12 we already ran the other way so one water station there could be used twice.
Other improvements to the water stations would be: * provide water in paper cups or in bottles. Water was in plastic cups and effectively rationed to one cup per runner. Via a plastic cup it's pretty much impossible to take on water without stopping or slowing to a walk. Paper cups can be pinched and drunk from on the run and bottles can be carried and might be the best solution if next time there's only 3 stations. * have the marshals staffing the water station hand cups to runners. At the first water station, the cups were lined up in a tray on the table and runners had to help themselves * provide energy drinks too
Several of the distance markers were up to 200m out of position and my Garmin measured the course at 20.62km whereas a full half marathon is 21.1km. Maybe the course was the full distance and the trees interfered with my watch...
The technical running shirt is excellent and the post race medal and goody bag were impressive.
Thank you to the race organisers, marshals and Bedgebury for allowing the race to use its trails.
In short: this was my first halstead marathon and i will deferently be back next year In full: one of the best races i have competed in in the last 3 years very hot this year but a fantastic atmosphere friendly people and will defferently be in next year Date of review: May 21, 2016
In short: Fantastic! In full: This was my second Halstead Marathon. It's such a great event, I can't recommend it highly enough. First, you can enter on the day if you want, none of that ballot nonsense!! Second, you can go to the loo at the start without queuing for several hours. In fact, you don't even have to wait minutes. Third, it's really friendly, marshals and runners alike. Fourth, you can have your own drinks at your designated water stations and pretend you're a pro (particularly if you booked in advance and have your name printed on your number). Fifth..lovely scenery. I could go on. If you like relentless screaming crowds and having no hope of glimpsing your friends and family, and queuing for the toilet, then this one isn't for you. If you like space, fresh air, great scenery and friendliness by the bucket load, then do it! Date of review: May 21, 2016
In short: first time for me at a marathon. had a good time :D In full: It was extremely hot but everybody was smiling. People giving water and treats on the side, playing music and encouraging. Good job! It would be nice if there was a more convenient way to get there other than a car (from cambridge) Date of review: May 21, 2016