In short: This may even challenge Loch Ness for my "event of the year". I loved every minute of it. The scenery was fab, the marshalls were the friendliest yet, and everything was so laid back. In full: Please please please make this an annual event. The massive PB I got isn't colouring my judgement at all! Date of review: April 4, 2006
In short: I'm sure it will be much better in years to come... In full: Ok this has been done to death and I pretty much agree with most of the points on here but here are my thoughts anyway :-
The start was a little bit of a let-down, not enough and badly placed toilets and badly signed expected time zones. Not exactly a disaster though even taking the 15 minute delay into account.
Whilst I’m somewhere between a 1:50 and 2:00 runner for a half, I took position as far towards the front of the start as I could due to the fact that I could see obvious signs of many slower runners being ahead of me – presumably due to the poor positioning / marshalling of the expected time zones and difficult to hear pa system.
I heard the hooter easily and crossed the start after about a minute – again no problems which were worse than some other events I’ve done. I have to say I didn’t notice any particular problems in terms of course bottlenecks anywhere. Anyone who ran last years Glasgow half will know all about bottlenecks on the Kingston Bridge which were far worse than the ones here!!
I always carry a bottle of water with me at the start so I avoid the bottleneck which always is the first water station and plan to make the second station my first water point (maybe a tip others should employ?). I usually also make sure this bottle has a sports cap (they’re nearly all the same size) in case the ones at the event come without (another wee tip). I acknowledge the fact that this shouldn’t be necessary but you learn these things through experience don’t you…
The route was a little boring but I was ready for this as it’s basically the same as part of the Edinburgh marathon and also is part of my local training run. People are right though – doubling back on yourself is absolutely soul destroying and the route really could be easily improved.
I was laughing about the energy drink situation. I passed two stations where I heard someone shouting “energy drink” and handing out cups. Cups!!! Cups in this day in age!!! Come on – either do it properly or not at all (Organisers of the Dunfermline Half please also take note if you still dish out your water in cups!!!). I must admit that I don’t really plan for energy drinks during a half so it didn’t bother me but I would have taken one at about half way if it was in a sports pouch.
People have done the finish to death and there isn’t much I can add… What clever so and so decided that a narrow 180 degree bend just after the finish was a good idea? Dear oh dear – I was Johnny Grumpy from Grumpsville after standing for half an hour… I don’t know if champion chip in itself would have solved that problem given the layout of the finish and I would have been really pi$$ed off if I’d had a champion chip and not been able to register my time at the finish because I couldn’t cross the mat!!!
I have to say that, on the day, I was quite happy with everything except the arrangements at the finish. I did however mention to some of my friends that this was right up there with the worst races I’ve been to in terms of organisation and that, despite the fact that it’s almost on my doorstep, I wouldn’t be running it again for a few years until they get all their problems ironed out.
In short: super big race feel - Do it In full: don't let the negative comments put you of ftoo much, basically there's a super big race feel with lots of costumed fun runners through to fast club runners. it's a shame the logistics of such a big race make things more difficult than they have to be. much easier if you have done the race before. somehow, the sun always seems to mostly shine too. Date of review: April 4, 2006
In short: In general an improvement on previous years, pb course and a scenic end, I thoroughly enjoyed it and will be back. In full: Firstly the course has changed over the last few years, in the same area but this years route was about the best. The wind held you back in the last 2 km when you were tired but had been at your back for 2 km between 5 and 7km. Even the most disgruntled cannot blame the organisers for the weather.
I thought the organisation was better than in previous years, especially the chip timing and army "movers" at the finish line. A 10 min delay was not too bad, and I did get mine and my wifes packs through the post with no problem.
Even though I had an elite start I was surrounded by guys who were never going to, and did not run close to 40 mins.
Even tho I was trying hard I thought the crowd was bigger than previous years and were more concentrated in places.
In short: Fantastic event, shame about the mud! In full: I actually managed to take 9 minutes off my PB with this race, but that would be because my PB was very slow than because the course was easy, the mud made some bits (especially the climb between 2 and 3k) quite tricky, but the course was lovely and more than made up for the challenge. I'll definitely be back to do this one again. Date of review: April 4, 2006
In short: Very muddy and hilly - well worth the slog - it's all for charity!!! In full: A very nice course set in West Wycombe Park, which challanged even the most experienced runner. A few more toilets would have been better, and more marshalls to help with the 'sticky' parking situation. Even after the race I still had the energy to help push and direct over 100 cars off a muddy field. All good fun!!! Looking forward to the Autumn schedule. Date of review: April 4, 2006
In short: Gernerally good, some minor concerns. In full: Generally good. Would benefit from a bit more excitement and joie de vivre at the start/finish - a band would do the trick if that could be summoned at 7.30am on Sunday! Water stations would be improved if bottles rather than cups could be provided - obviously drinking from a cup while running means spillage. Chaotic bag arrangements both before and after. And if it had rained would all the bags have got soaked? Those are a few minor concerns. Overall, very scenic course along the river and passed Hampton Court. Also, particularly good communication prior to race day. Shame that you can't enter direct to Human Race online. Date of review: April 4, 2006
In short: Only let down by terrible weather In full: This would have qualified as "special" in overall summary if weather had not been so awful - sleet and temendous headwind meant full fun of race difficult to appreciate. On a nice spring day it would an absolute delight. Excellent cakes!! Date of review: April 4, 2006
In short: Tough, windy, hilly, but oh so satisfying! In full: This was the longest run I have ever done, and it was very tough running uphill into the very cold wind! Was lapped by the fast runners, before I had even done the first lap, but this wasn't a competitive race for me!
The marshalling was top-notch - and very encouraging. Drinks stations were great. the only downside for me was the lack of toilets at the start (long queue), but then again I should have turned up earlier!!
Definitely a race I would do again!! Date of review: April 4, 2006
In short: This was my first ever race and it was absolutely fantastic. The atmosphere was amazing, all the girls together. Really nice place to run, too - who'd have thought it was in the middle of London? I'm going back for the 2006 one! Date of review: April 4, 2006
In short: A great first 10k for me! More hilly than expected, but well worth it at the end. Fantastic atmosphere - shame there weren't more competitors though. Will definitely be back next year. Date of review: April 4, 2006
In short: Being a first-timer, I enjoyed the course and set a time quicker than expected. In full: On the first lap the mile markers came quite quickly and the water stops were in the right places. Only complaint would be that my goodie bag was missing its goodies Date of review: April 4, 2006
In short: very pretty run, five mile wind tunnel on return leg - extremely hard work! In full: The route was slightly different this year and it made the hills (yes there are hills on the Suffolk/Norfolk border!) more manageable. The return leg from Beccles is reasonably flat, very pretty but is a wind tunnel, even on still days. This year was VERY windy and the last 3 miles were sheer torture. All I can say is one lap was fine for me. I couldn't have done it twice for the marathon! Date of review: April 4, 2006
In short: Good warm up for london but geting too crowded so difficult to pass people on naroow sections. Signage to the start is non existant and difficult if you don't know kingston. In full: I enjoyed the event but was a bit frustrated at the bottle necks - startingthe 8m lap first seems a bit odd as it just made things more congested for faster runners. The first part of the cousre is nice by th tow path, but the road section is dull and too narrow. Well mrshalled though and friendly. Personally, I like my collection of Kingston mugs as at least they are useful rather than amedal which gathers dust or a mens XXL t-shirt which is usually big enough to house a family of 3 and as I am a ladies size 10 usually goes straight to the charity shop. this years mugs weren't as good tho as the sponsor stuff has taken over so you can't see the event. I agree the asics bag was a bit pointless and i would rather have had a bottle of water at the finish than an energy drink. But overall a nice enough race though a horribly early start if you aren't local. Date of review: April 4, 2006