In short: A Mess In full: From a lack of organisation through to a convoluted and dangerous road there isn't much to like about this one. With even the pacers lining up in the wrong direction at the start you just knew this wasn't good. Also the organisers paid no notice to the bollards on the route. Many runners got taken out. So many twists and turns to fit it in the centre of Kingston meant it isn't a quick one. I won't be bothering again. Plenty of other better half marathons in Surrey for a start. Date of review: March 15, 2016
In short: Excellent Half Marathon In full: They have tinkered with a few things this year compared to last. Firstly there were definitely fewer loos. But if you knew where they were positioned it wasn't too much of an issue. Secondly the course has been altered. This has made it slightly more undulating but you never get the feeling of a hill...more a gradual rise. It still remains a very smoothly organised race on fully closed wide roads with excellent local support its not flat but then again you do your pre-race research so you know what you are facing. Is it the biggest half in Surrey? Well in terms of organisation, closed roads, village and facilities I'd say it's right up there. You want wide closed roads and hassle free set up.....then choose Surrey. Date of review: March 15, 2016
In short: Worth the trip from Surrey In full: Decided to do this for a change as having been racing for years it was nice to d a new race.. Excellent organisation and atmosphere plus great incentives for good club runners. Really high standard but also excellent for slower runners.
In short: Fantastic again In full: This is a great event. Very well organised, fantastic friendly and supportive marshalls and brilliant support all the way round. There were more supporters around the lonely parts out in the countryside this year and the run through the town (after the horrible hill) is brilliant, with crowds of people both sides of the road. For the slower runners (like me), there were still loads of people along the finish straight too, which was very welcome. Huge medal (if a little too much Essex bling!). Good facilities, parking a bit slow to get in to and away again, but no more than you expect at a large event like this. My second time at this one and it gets better every year. Big thumbs up. Date of review: March 14, 2016
In short: I'd do it all again In full: My first half, and what a special feeling. Yes, there's probably faster ones (like I'd notice, stuck in the orange group), there's probably nicer scenery, cheaper, blah blah blah. But as a first timer, the combination of supportive crowds, nice long stretches (and no hills to talk about), good music and good organisation made this a brilliant experience. The wall of noise coming into Queens Square was unbelievable and made my skin prickle. I may not have gone as fast as I wanted, but I have rarely felt such a sense of achievement. The sight looking down at all the runners as we left the start was very moving. The crowds really make a huge difference. I'd do it all again, even with my sore toes! Date of review: March 14, 2016
In short: 2 x10 mile loop on mixture of Airfield, Road and Lanes with some good hills In full: Loads of Parking, very easy to collect race number. Plenty of pre run info. No annoucements (but we were told there wouldn't b) and race started just ahead of time. Cool to run on "top gear race track"...then into lanes and roads. Good marshalls..+ve and helpful. Water, sweets and gels available. Mileage markers well out - but just ignored as on the Garmin. Total race only 19.93 miles. Water & chocs at end. No on course spectators or support at end of race as is pretty much in the middle of nowhere. Results and Photos availble within 24hours. Cool medal! Thanks for organising Date of review: March 14, 2016
In short: What's not to like? In full: A really superb race. A picturesque, traffic-free course by the river. Superb organization with hundreds of friendly marshals. Heaps of food and plenty of feed stations. An HQ with excellent facilities. A bagpiper, who piped in every finisher! And a lovely big chunky medal on a superior ribbon! Date of review: March 14, 2016
In short: Tough but very scenic course. In full: Good organisation beforehand and on the day. (Seemed to be a glitch with posting results on the line but sorted by following day). Knole Park is a very scenic location for a race. There is a 15 minutes walk from race HQ/the loos to the start of race - but on a sunny day that didn't matter. The hill at the start of both laps is hard going - only one runner finished sub 40 mins. Good levels of support made it fun. Nice medal and banana at the finish.
In short: One of the best In full: I was looking forward to this after missing it for a couple of years. One of my favourite races, a perfect balance of family atmosphere and competitive running, a blend of good club and recreational/charity runners. Organisation unobtrusively efficient. Mini-Minch responsibly and warmly managed. Three generations of our family enjoyed a super morning. Date of review: March 14, 2016
In short: Fabulous local event. In full: Nice course, very relaxed vibe, highly recommend this event for runners' who aren't interested in the dullness of a pudding flat course, as there is a nice incline from mile 10-11. Despite this there is a great PB potential available. Date of review: March 14, 2016
In short: Great crowds, beautiful city In full: Great support from the crowds lining the route and the many bands. However, the first 3 miles were very congested if you weren't a frontrunner, with bottle necks as the runners were forced by marshals to only use half the width of the route, to allow 2nd lappers to come through. Forced to a walking pace at times, as we all converged. Better after about 4 miles. Potentially a fast course, as long as you're not stuck behind slower runners in the early part of the race. It would appear that anyone who submitted a greater than 2 hour estimation were all lumped in the same back pen....either that, or there were some very optimistic finishing times submitted! Date of review: March 14, 2016
In short: Very poor value, medal was only redeeming feature (10k race) In full: I don't know about anyone else, but I came away feeling that I had done nothing but boost the income of a commercial business that had put on this race. £27 for entry to a 10k race feels steep, but when you consider that all you get in return is a meal (admittedly quite nice), and a promotional goody bag, but no T-shirt, technical or otherwise, no energy drinks, almost no-pre-race or post-race communication etc. I felt was the worst value race I have ever run (and I have now done about 20).
The course was described as flat and fast, but there are so many twists and turns in it that I did not agree with the description and despite the claim that the course was accurately measured and that the 10k race was hardly over-crowded (so you could stay on the tightest racing line ) My Garmin disagreed with all the distance markers and I clocked up 10k well before the finish line. Given the tight turns I would have expected that my Garmin might, if anything, have under-estimated the distance rather than the other way around.
I thought the organisation was pretty poor. Before the race I received an envelope with my race number with integrated time-chip and a note saying I could find everything else online. I received no email notification of results or photos after the race and it took me several attempts to find the results online. The Half marathon course looked deathly boring with three "surbiton loops" involved and I am just relieved I didn't enter that and waste even more money. I will not be recommending this race to anyone. Date of review: March 14, 2016
In short: Challenging but extremely rewarding In full: Parking at the event was well organised as too was the registration. The course it's self was very challenging especially the much anticipated Gore road! what a hill! Finishing on the track was a nice touch. Overall a pretty decent event. One massive negative to report....They had run out of water at the finish line! i had to purchase a bottle from the cafe, i could understand if i was the last to cross the line but there were over 300 runners that finished after me! Date of review: March 14, 2016
In short: I really enjoyed the run. Urban at the start, then a large chunk of scenic countryside, then back into the town to finish. A couple of quite daunting hills but this lead to some great views! Extremely well marshalled. Date of review: March 14, 2016
In short: Very disappointing for a Race organised by a running club. In full: I was looking forward to this as I knew this race had a long history and being organised by a running club they should know what they are doing unlike some commercial races. No official baggage area, just leave your bag in a big hall, the marshalls at the road crossing were very unassertive and I had to stop as I wasn't confidence they were going to stop the traffic even though one marshall had told me to cross. The medal is a cheap one, I don't care about medals so that didn't bother me, but after doing a 20mile run the least they could have done is provide some food. No fruit or cakes or energy bars. Just some water in a Finchley 20 bottle. Very poor, apparently they were selling cakes in the club house. Very money grabbing. Also no refunds or transfers (within 60 days) this is the sort of thing commercial races do, not running clubs. Other years they had provided tech t-shirts but they didn't this year, which is fair enough if they didn't advertise it. But its very hard to justify the £23 entry fee? No road closures. No posting out of race numbers No baggage area No food at the end Clapham chasers 20 miler race entry was £14 and you got a who lot more. Gade Valley (training run) £5 on the day entry. I won't be going back in a hurry for this one. Money grabbing so and so's!
In short: Dull route, poor goody bag, horrendous parking In full: Once you get over the novelty of being on the F1 circuit, this is a very dull route. Very flat, so good PB potential if the wind isn't blowing; it is very exposed to the elements. As you would expect from a race run by the people who bring you the London Marathon, much of the organisation is very good. For example, plenty of toilets, no waiting to deposit or retrieve bags, plenty of excellent marshals . But the goody bag is poor given the price of entry-a cotton rather than technical t-shirt, for example. The worst part was getting out of the car park after the event. I finished the race at 2pm and finally got out of the car park 2 hours later. Complete chaos, and not a marshal in sight. For that reason alone, I wouldn't do this race again. Date of review: March 14, 2016