In short: Great race, nice course, excellent marshalls, a good time to be had! In full: The route is fairly flat with only mild undulations so I think a shot at a PB time could be had here. It's all on roads, apart from about 150 meters on grass at the finish, and you have at least one side of the road to run on except for one section on a main road where it was a bit narrow (2 or maybe 3 abreast at most) which isn't ideal. I really like getting a T-Shirt at the end; I know some prefer a medal, but not me; I do like a nice running shirt. Slightly odd was the 'half' banana. Not quite sure if the budget didn't stretch to a whole banana for everyone! That minor quibble aside, a fantastic run, and I've already pencilled this one in for next year. Date of review: October 7, 2014
In short: Great scenery,great route, great support, great cameraderie, great organisation. Just a great race In full: Fourth finish out of 4 races, and have entered for next year too. The views from the course never disappoints me, and though the hills don't get any smaller, it's still fun to meet them. Great atmosphere for the inexperienced runner too, and the public support is great when you run through the villages en-route. Keep up the good work guys! Date of review: October 7, 2014
In short: for an inaugural event I think the organisers did well. - but one or two improvements needed. In full: As already there has been commented the start was very congested and there was a lot of traffic on the roads even at 9.00am. Having run both the Surrey Half and then the Brooklands half marathons which had road closures I suppose I expected the same. Nevertheless, for an inaugural event I think the organisers did well. I would suggest the following improvements
a) Earlier start time (say 8.30am) to avoid the traffic – or have a system of rolling road closures along the Walton to Hampton Court road. This could at least be closed to through traffic from the Walton direction for thirty minutes in each section.
b) More marshals at junctions and along the towpath
c) At least one more water station
d) Have a PA system to convey information to runners – only noticed one hand-held manual megaphone
One particularly dangerous point was the first set of traffic lights (junction of New Zealand Avenue, Oatlands Drive etc) where the runners were several abreast and spilled out onto the road. Next year why not start of race on the SHEPPERTON side of the bridge. The pavement across the bridge is wide enough and by the time the runners arrive at this junction they will be spread out further. I have run the Great North Run now 24 times and the Tyne Bridge is one of the high-points of the race. The new Walton Bridge is Surrey’s 21st century equivalent – so why not incorporate this landmark as part of the route please?
In short: Lovely varied route, superb organisation, race venue perfect In full: This is a superb marathon, the organisation was flawless and friendly and helpful marshals. Only 2 negatives:- 1. allowing headphones, very damaging to the race atmosphere. 2. the shirt, nice design but I have a Small and it's huge, I measured it and it's 42 inches!!!! straight into the rubbish bin, what a shame. Date of review: October 7, 2014
In short: Hidden gem! In full: What a fab race, sometimes these big half marathons can be soulless Tarmac pounding affairs, but this race quickly transports you to lovely country lanes, there is a few hills to keep you entertained but it's worth it for the views. Organisation was second to none and they even organised great weather again!
If your looking for a quality event in the south of England, then this is it. But you will have to negotiate a few hills before your moment of glory.
Great support from local residents, especially clidesdden, you guys rock!
See you all next year Date of review: October 7, 2014
In short: Well organised friendly event In full: The marathon is well organised, lots of pleasant marshalls, lots of water stations although in the latter stages it would have been nice to have something with a bit more taste than pure water, toilets a plenty especially at the beginning , excellent commentary at start and finish and baggage well run. However, too many switchbacks for my liking and going through the finish at 18 miles especially as it was followed by two inclines was not only cruel to tired runners it just should not happen. When I finished other runners were going through the line with 8 miles to do, which must have been really hard on them. The medals and t shirts are good but unless I was mistaken every race that weekend 10k, half marathon , marathon all got the same ones which seems to be happening a lot nowadays at races. Come on organisers distinguish between races. Infact the 10k was Saturday and thus I already new what I was getting the next day as I was already in town for my race. The start was along way from the finish which wasn't good for spectators. Date of review: October 6, 2014
In short: Pretty good, but not quite great In full: Well-organised, with friendly marshalls. I'd have preferred energy drinks to gels; in any event, whatever they had needed to be available earlier than 10 miles and more frequently. Expensive: and parking plus event bus ticket added another £12. The run along the beach front away from the finish from mile 21ish is particularly dispiriting. Still, all in all a nice day out, and the sporadic crowds were cheery. I was particularly impressed by the elderly people from a care home sitting around in comfy chairs drinking champagne at 1030. Date of review: October 6, 2014
In short: Fantastic! In full: An uncrowded straight-ish trail winding down from Parsley Hay to Ashbourne. On a trail path so some loose stones in places. Open public access, so a few cyclists also. Well organised, base at Ashbourne for bag storage etc. regular water stations at roughly 3 miles apart. Great finishers medal. Good value for money. Stunning countryside! Also great PB potential too! Date of review: October 6, 2014
In short: Tough course but well worth it In full: Second time of doing this race, and took 22 minutes off my previous time. Despite the hills nearly killing me this time. The pace makers are a great idea and the whole event was well managed, slick and local support was inspirational. The only improvement would be more water and energy bars at the end. Date of review: October 6, 2014
In short: Lovely course, Nice medal & T-shirt and overall a great race In full: This is the first time I have participated in this race and I was pleasantly surprised how scenic the course is. The route mostly consisted of quiet undulating country lanes.
The whole event was very well organised, with good facilities at the HQ and the marshals were very supportive.
At the finish we received a nice medal, a florescent Technical T-shirt (great for training in the evenings) and a goody bag which included a choclate bar, packet of crisps, Sweatshop Voucher and a sample of SOS. All this for less than the price of most 10k races, what great value.
Well done Sittingbourne Striders, thanks for a great event.
In short: Signed up for next year In full: My first half marathon, challenging, but worth it. Some of the hills are a bit daunting, but when you get to the top really rewarding. I didn't expect to do as well as I did, so pleased with my result. Great atmosphere, pretty route, great marshalling. Date of review: October 6, 2014
In short: Superb event! In full: This is an excellent event that offers something for everyone.....from the relay race to the marathon distance. This to be one of the best organised and friendliest off-road marathons in the country......with wonderful scenery that captures the beauty of Wiltshire and Hampshire. Well done JJ and your team! Date of review: October 6, 2014
In short: Half Marathon In full: Just about perfect this half marathon. Great weather, glorious coastline views. First six miles plenty of down hill bits. Then flat along the sea front including run along two piers! Would say big PB potential. Crowd support good in places and organisation was flawless. Well done Bournemouth. Date of review: October 6, 2014
In short: Well organised, good event In full: The second half of the race felt like a continual steady incline to me, but that could be because I was under prepared and tired by about mile 12! Would recommend this as a small but friendly event around a nice place. Organisation and volunteers were faultless. Date of review: October 6, 2014
In short: A great race! In full: Love this race, overall downhill (although it doesn't always feel like it!). Path is a bit narrow in places, but it's good. Will do it again :) Date of review: October 6, 2014
In short: Brilliant, well organised event In full: I have previously ran the full Chester marathon, but having struggled with an ankle injury for much of the year I opted for the Metric option as I knew I'd struggle with the full but wanted to do something a bit different to a regular half.
I think this is the fourth event that I have done that has been organised by this team and as always it was as close to perfect as you can get.
Great support, marshalling, friendly youngsters giving out the water/drinks/gels. It really is a good as it gets.
Only the tiniest of quibbles is that it got a bit congested where the Metric met the full, but otherwise top, top marks.
Thanks to all involved. Date of review: October 6, 2014
In short: My favorite half marathon race! In full: This is my second time running this race. I was injured last year and was able to defer my place for this year. I ran on Sunday and the weather was perfect; the views amazing and the organisation is second to none. It takes runs like this to make you remember how much fun running can be. Being a gradual downhill route, you just know you will run a PB for a half marathon and it just allows you to enjoy all your hard work. I'll be back next year! Date of review: October 6, 2014