In short: disappointing atmosphere but some lovely scenery In full: My first time at this distance and not being in training for the FLM I had anticipated that I would be near the back - however as I was doing 9-10 minute miles I was not best pleased to be addressed as a "straggler" - on the first lap! - by one of the very few marshals. It was like a training run but a bit more crowded; very limited atmosphere and very few supporters around the course, by stark contrast with the Hastings Half last month. I would rather have a medal than a mug, on balance, but if it's going to be a mug I do agree that those who have strained for the 16 miles deserve their own.... Overall, the river sections are great, it's a nie place to run and the water stations were in the right places, but I don't have a warm feeling about it as a race. Date of review: April 3, 2006
In short: well organised. Low admin race In full: the only negative would be the goody bags. All I wanted after my race was a banana and there was none available. also the bottle neck at the end was rather frustrating and how we could actually get "out" once we had finished the race - had to cross the road where the 16milers were running. Also I would pay more to get a free T-shirt for the race and not have to pay for it separately. Date of review: April 3, 2006
In short: Good event, but becoming a victim of its own success In full: I've done the 8.2 mile races for the past few years, and enjoyed this first crack at the 16 (although the huge blood blister on my left foot might not agree). It's a good, fast course, with clear signage, friendly marshalls and a good atmosphere.
However, there are two problems. Firstly, it has become very popular, and the organisation is beginning to creak. Secondly, runners' expectations have risen, but this event is much the same as it has always been. So, yes, please sort out the start and finish arrangements, go for chip timing, and sort out the goodies at the end - that ASICS bag was a bad joke. If some of these changes cost money, perhaps local businesses will help, because the event brings thousands of people into Kingston.
Overall, though, it's a good event, and my thanks to the marshalls and volunteers who made it possible. Date of review: April 3, 2006
In short: Great race, shame about the weather... In full: My first half marathon and my first race after a few weeks off injured, and couldn't wish for a better race to start on my doorstep. Very well organised (although there MUST have been more ladies loos somewhere in the school?!), mostly flat and field size was just right. Good support from the villages too. The wind was a killer from mile 7 onwards, but we were all affected by it. Will be back next year - hopefully for a windless race! Date of review: April 3, 2006
In short: Organisation?? In full: First the positives:
The course itself is a very good one, No major hills, fairly scenic and improved route than last year. The parking and road closures were excellent. The toilets were far better than last year. The crowds were great. If a little close at some points!!
Unfortunately there are a number of negatives on the organisation of this event including: Race packs being sent out without stamps meaning that they had to be collected from the Post Office and fines had to be paid. This is the reason most athletes choose to utilise the Runners World website so that they pay a little more so they do not have to deal with stamps. I am still awaiting re-imbursement from the fine from the race organisers.
Race packs not sent out at all. My running mate had a 60 mile return journey on the Sat to ensure we didn’t have to fiddle around on the morning of the race!!
The wait at the start. I have never been in a race where there was a slow hand clap from cold and annoyed athletes!!
The seeding of runners. Once again slower (and even slower) runners were near the front of the start. But who can blame them? The predicted time signs should have been much higher and visible and there should have been marshals 'inviting' people to stand in the correct zone.
The choice of compere for race starter. The chap who was doing the warm up was superb. Clear and concise. The starter (who it is far more important needs to be understood) was less so. Whoever it was needs a few public speaking lessons or stop drinking on Sunday mornings!!
These issues really do need resolving and if they do then this can be a superb event. One that such a magnificent city deserves. Date of review: April 3, 2006
In short: fun in the sun (and wind) In full: a playful course, well marshalled and well organised as usual by the harriers. The last mile as you run passed the finishing line and wend your way through a housing estate (and round the playing field) is awful - brought back dark memories of school cross-country runs. The other 19 more than make up for it. Date of review: April 3, 2006
In short: Shame about the shambles at the end! In full: Having been in my bed all last week, the long wait at the finish a contributory factor, this is the first time I've had a chance to see what others thought. I had nothing to judge this race against as it was my first half marathon but the abidng memory is the half hour wait at the finish to be logged and then get my medal. That kinda shocked me. That apart I enjoyed the race and will certainly do it again. Date of review: April 3, 2006
In short: If you want a 20 mile PB find something flatter, If you want a challenging workout 3 weeks before London you'll not find better ! In full: 'Undulating' seems to be a bit of a catch all ! Certainly towards the hilly end of the undulating spectrum, but senic, efficient and enthusiastic marshals (who must have been freezing at the end), lots of water stations, and little traffic on route. Wind made it tougher this year. Generally well organised and planned, and really decent polo shirt thrown in. Big Big shortage of toilets before the race - perhaps just due to the building works at the school this year ? Otherwise just about perfect as a pre-marathon workout. Date of review: April 3, 2006
In short: A well organised and friendly race In full: A nice local race for me and as well organised as ever. No PB but was only 28 seconds outside last year's time. Thanks to all involved, especially the friendly marshalls who had to brave the elements. I've marshalled this one twice and so know what it's like. Will definitely be back next year. Date of review: April 3, 2006
In short: Totally enjoyable In full: This is my second ASICS Kingston Breakfast Run and it was a very enjoyable experience. The start was a bit busy only cons were the left luggage was unsecured and the goody bags left a lot to be desired, which incidentally were just Asics bags with literature in them (what a waste of plastic!).
In short: Lovely scenery, fairly flat, but heat and wind a bit of an issue this year In full: Fantastic first half marathon. Lovely scenery, plenty of water/sponge stations, traffic not a problem, fairly flat(although what hills there were seemed to all come in the last 3 miles!). Heat a bit of an issue until mile 6, but then good neutral conditions until last 3miles against the wind. Appreciated the fruit at the finish. Quite a few supporters, but no-one clapped people as they finished!?!?!? (except me when I'd finished). I'll be back. Date of review: April 3, 2006
In short: My first "serious" 10k, a good experience. The day was a great advertisement for Lincoln; not such a good advertisement for Lincoln City Council organisers In full: (a) Pre-race pack - couldn't they run a spellcheck on it all? Riddled with mistakes and typos! Nothing catastrophic, but it looks unprofessional. Reading the map from the ring-road to the leisure centre was difficult. (b) Getting there - the road signs were good, and the car parking well organised if you were early. Thanks for that. A pity no thought had been given to how to get people out of the car park at the end of the day, but it was an opportunity to further unwind and reflect on the successes of the day... (c) The start - unavoidable delays, but well explained by the announcer. Shame about the non-runners at the front, but hard to stop the selfish ones being selfish. (d) During the race - MISERABLE race officials! Wouldn't have done them any harm to smile!! They are part of the "show". Spectators were encouraging. I liked the band outside the (?)BBC offices. Thanks for that! The water bottles were an unnecessary hazard - at least plastic drinks cups would have crushed underfoot: a water bottle could have wrecked my ankle. Not well thought through. (e) At/by the finish - The dreaded cobbles were nothing like as bad as I'd expected. The finish was relatively uncongested, and the crowds were great! Even the rain held off. (f) After the finish - sadly, a shambles! Poor signage meant it was difficult to find a space blanket quickly (and there was no mention that they would be available in the pre-race notes, so I carried a top round with me unnecessarily). It was quite easy to find my medal (EXCELLENT quality - thank you!!) But impossible to find the toilets. Poor quality race T-shirts: not many people wanted just ordinary cotton, and the Ts didn't sell well. (g) Leaving the grounds - if no other comment gets read, I hope this one does. CROWD CONTROL IN THE CASTLE AT THIS EVENT IS A TRAGEDY WAITING TO HAPPEN. The poor signs made it difficult to locate the exit. The exit was seriously obstructed by metal fence panels. There were no visible marshalls. If there was a security alert or panic at this point, there would be many injuries, because people could not get out: they could not even see where to get out. I am amazed that the Health and Safety experts on Lincoln City Council have allowed the organisers to get away with this. (h) Walking the ~2k back to the carpark - not as big a deal as I thought, an opportunity to chat with other runners (some complete strangers) (i) Very impressed at how quickly the results were on the websites, as promised. The chip worked for me, and I was really pleased to have an "official" time. And that was a personal best, stripping more than 3 min off my previous PB. Which was nice. Date of review: April 3, 2006
In short: Excellent race despite the wind and the rain In full: An excellent race. Organisation was brilliant and the marshalls were all very encouraging and friendly - a huge thank you to them for standing out in the bleak conditions. The course was as flat as was made out in the details, and I'm sure next year will be much quicker for me. Date of review: April 3, 2006