In short: My favourite face every year! In full: Great atmosphere, plenty of mud, well-organised, excellent marshals, friendly faces - just make sure you get your entry in early as it is always a sell-out! Date of review: November 9, 2015
In short: Best First Marathon In full: This was my first full marathon and it was amazing! A really nice route, great support from the marshals and from general public out on walks along the river. I will definitely be back next year to smash this years time, this is a PB running route! Well organised. Pre race atmosphere was super calm and made for an non traumatic entry to the marathon world. Thank you! Date of review: November 9, 2015
In short: Good course, terrible weather, course mix up? In full: I have run this a couple of years running now, and every time there has been torrential rain which has made conditions tricky. The route follows forest tracks, and conditions vary from muddy grass, sandy mud, and muddy and rocky underfoot, with plenty of puddles. And did I mention mud? :)
The 10k route is basically 2 laps of the 5k route - steady uphill 1st mile, lovely flowing downhill 2nd mile, and a lumpy 3rd mile. This year the 5 and 10k races set off together which made for a very congested start, difficult to hit any kind of decent pace unless you're at the front. Good mix of first timers, regular runners, charity runners and club runners.
Water stop after about a mile and then same point on second lap so about 4 miles. Water in paper cups which I ended up wearing most of, prefer bottles but it's a personal preference I reckon.
Well sign posted and marshalled around the route, however this year there was some kind of mix up - previously 10k runners had followed a mini loop on the start of the 2nd lap - however this year we were directed straight on, with only the 5k runners diverted off. Didn't think anything of it until I got to the finish and my Garmin was only showing 9.4k! I heard mention afterwards that it was a health and safety decision to avoid the mini loop, but didn't hear any announcements on the day, or any statements from race organisers afterwards. Bit disappointing.
No goody bag, but lovely big medal (previous year got a t shirt but no medal, this year a medal but no t shirt)
All in all a decent race, and I'd recommend it. I'd put this year's course issues down to a one-off hiccup, but could have been better communication. Date of review: November 9, 2015
In short: Not a long slog. In full: Ran the 7 mile race,quite hilly but downhill at the end so not a long slog. well organised,nice marshals , will run again in 2016...... Date of review: November 9, 2015
In short: Very good for a first attempt. In full: I've done a few new races and usually there are hiccups: Run Hackney Half Marathon springs to mind. This one however was ran seamlessly and was well supported for the majority of the route. In fact the only surprise was how quiet it was in Bath. The route is tough but scenic/ Date of review: November 9, 2015
In short: Mud, medals and puddles In full: So it rained. Quite a lot. I've run in the rain before but for me the challenge was trying to avoid the growing puddles so I didn't have to run with squelchy feet for 26 miles. Other runners didn't care and just went for soaking feet and I had to dodge a few runners who didn't mind soaking me with them. I ran the triple crown and my quick analysis of triple crown times (taking the top 20) is that the Nov times averaged 9 minutes slower than the March time, which must be mostly the result of the weather (same course, same runners etc.)
Trail shoes may have helped on the slippery sections but I ran in normal shoes as a regular Thames path runner and these were fine - though they may be consigned to the bin after the mud and wet of Saturday.
Passing the finish line at the end was brutal, especially hearing a woman in the crowd trying to cheer us along with "only 2 miles to go" as we pass the finish line. Sorry, but that was the worst "cheer" I've had all year! But the route was much better avoiding the Putney rowing clubs.
Excellent spirit from runners and very sociable and certainly a race than first timers can try though you need to be prepared to run on your own for stretches of the Thames.
Medal is the best of the year, by some margin, though the trophy less impressive. Date of review: November 9, 2015
In short: Should have said Chertsey 10km In full: Arrived to no water, no atmosphere and had high expectations of a fun race around Thorpe Park - well at least I now know where they put the broken bits of rides! Lots of out and backs round cones and poor marshals (apart from 1) who had no idea how to control the traffic of people coming in to use the park and just watched as runners collided with the general public. Very few spectators to offer support and at the finish, once again, no water - oh and no goody bag. Such a shame as with a bit more effort and thought for what runners would like, it could have been such a success. Having run the Yateley Road Races that run like clockwork, this was an absolute disappointment. Date of review: November 8, 2015
In short: Muddy fun along the Thames In full: I've run a few different races along the Thames, including the Richmond half back in September which covers much of the same path but in the opposite direction. The Meander half starts in Kingston and moves down the Thames until just past Kew before turning around again. The path itself is stony and narrow in places so you need to keep an eye out for trip hazards as well as other footpath users, so whilst it's flat it's not necessarily as fast as you might expect. On the day I ran it - the November race - it was also muddy, puddly and lashing with rain. There was a strong headwind on the way back so any chance of a PB went out of the window. It was definitely a challenging run with the mud and wind and I saw one lady take a tumble right in front of me. If you hit it during good weather, then you'd have a chance of getting a good time. There's a bagpiper at the start and it was great to hear him as I neared the finish. The start, in the YMCA, is also civilised as it's warm and there is coffee and cakes for purchase. The water stations were well stocked although water is in cups, not bottles, and you have to take the cup yourself rather than having it handed to you so there's a need to slow down or even stop. I also saw chocolate cake on one of the stations but I can't eat and run so I gave it a miss. Very nice chunky medal, but no goody-bag and you have to buy the T-shirt if you want one. It was a very friendly race although low-key, with no mile markers and not much support (just a few bemused looks from those brave enough to go walking in the rain) but nonetheless it was fun and I would do it again, though maybe the summer one next time! Date of review: November 8, 2015
In short: Moist, muddy and magnificent Meander! In full: Howling gales and torrential rain did nothing to dampen the atmosphere for this fab race. My first time of running it and won't be the last. Excellent turnout given the conditions, and consequently the towpath was fairly free of walkers and cyclists. Out and back course meant it was great to see the front runners of both the half and the full mara en route, with lots of opportunity to support both ends of the fields. Organisation was smooth, and the baggage collection moans I heard could have been avoided by choosing an easily identifiable rucksack. One black one looks the same as the next.... Parking was a bit tight but there were lots of residential roads and Burnell Avenue was a good spot with a v short walk along the towpath to the start as advertised. The rules state no MP3 players etc or face disqualification. However that would have meant half the field today. Maybe use at own risk would have been better than banned, which is impossible to enforce. So the mud and puddles were fun, scenery stunning even with the horizontal lashing rain and headwind, I was literally soaked to the skin and my number nigh on disintegrated in the wet but I had an absolutely brilliant time. Thanks to all at Hermes Running who stood in the rain, at least we runners were moving! Date of review: November 7, 2015
In short: A proper hilly run! In full: Second time at Marlow Half. Great course and better now the road section at Hambledon is gone, but start was a bit long winded and missed getting a T-shirt this year. Still wear my previous one. Will be back. Date of review: November 7, 2015
In short: all good In full: As in previous year's this was a well put together event. The re-development of the HQ site could have been a problem but they secured another car park within walking distance. The support for all runners on the course and at the end was excellent. A good hoodie was a welcome take away from the run. Date of review: November 6, 2015
In short: Great race in my home town...love this race! In full: Great race in my home town. Great finish to the race this year that adds to the race. Great atmosphere and overall planning...great job! Date of review: November 6, 2015
In short: Excellent race and as usual brilliant by Barton and District Athletics Club. My favourite race of the year! In full: The race is my favourite of the year...challenging but when you finish you know you have achieved a top 10km! Great facilities and top notch organisation! Great job! Date of review: November 6, 2015
In short: Challenging but very scenic and very friendly In full: My first hilly half marathon and I really enjoyed it - less worrying about the miles, more about the hills! Date of review: November 6, 2015
In short: Excellent race but not for the faint hearted In full: First time doing Marlow HM. Minor point but the bag drop could have been better. I know all races could do with more loo's but Marlow was cutting it fine. Besides these minor points its an excellent race, lovely views and encouraging marshalls. The hills were tough but that's why we run Marlow. Thanks Striders for a great race. Date of review: November 6, 2015