In short: Brilliant race from start to finish - except that bloody hill! In full: Great day out - brilliant organisation and set up. Route a good mix of villages, country roads and more rural. Spring Hill is tough, very tough but something about it makes you wanna sign up for next year just to crack that hill! Great medal and nice technical top! As Arnie says ........... "i'll be back!" Date of review: March 2, 2014
In short: Terrific course and event (definately PB if the wind behaves and the ground is dry). Organisation and facilities were just great and rank up there with any city half - highly recommended. Date of review: March 2, 2014
In short: Great crowds, but awful start as always and expensive In full: The start was horrible as too many people crammed in and people were seemingly coming from all angles. If you weren't there very early then you'd be stuck behind slower runners for a while I imagine. Learning from previous disasters at Bath I got to the pens very early, but still not early enough. Difficult access at the venue I guess and perhaps too many runners for that access? Took a long time to get going and a slow first mile. After that the crowds were great and the run was really nice.
Bag drop and collection was good, apart from the ridiculous very first section, which covered 3 X the numbers of the other number categories and subsequently had a huge queue. My brother who is a top 100 runner was close to missing the start because of this.
Good marshalling, fluids and support and a pretty swift exit after some initial queues. Decent goody bag, but pretty punchy price-wise and a pants t-shirt for the money.
Enjoyed the atmosphere on the course. My local race so I will be back, but I probably wouldn't travel for it if I lived elsewhere. Date of review: March 2, 2014
In short: 4th time running this race loved it In full: Great support the course is a bit of a challenge but do able well organised fantastic marshals hopefully be back for a 5th go at that hill Date of review: March 2, 2014
In short: Get in a little hill training, first then you'll love this route! In full: A very enjoyable event, a fairly tough course. The route is not full closed to traffic, but that has no impact at all to your run. A good couple of hills and some steady gradient climbs (hardly noticable) make it challenging but certainly not extreme. A great atmosphere, and some nice people out there. Date of review: March 2, 2014
In short: Great support let down by organization In full: The course itself is excellent with a good mixture of flat and some mild climbs. The support from the people of Reading was brilliant. They deserve better. The baggage collection was a joke for male runners numbered under 5000 - and nobody had the gumption to change it. Then to top it all, I had to queue over an hour for the bus back into town. If I had known it was anything like that I would have walked the short 2 mile walk into town but there was no indication. The longest I have ever taken to get home from a race and I am local. Won't be doing it again and it will be Bath every time for me from now on Date of review: March 2, 2014
In short: No nonsense, bargain race In full: A basic but fun race around one of London's most attractive open spaces. No chip timing, and the bag drop is informal (bags piled around trees at your own risk). Most of the run is on grass or compacted mud and shale paths, which is gentle on the legs. Many people know this route from the old bushy park park run. On a still day it's a flier. The one glitsch was that the leader apparently got misdirected at the end, and ended up running six and a half miles. He still came in around 34 minutes, so hats off and commiserations to him. Date of review: March 2, 2014
In short: my all time favourite race In full: I know that there was some issues with baggage, hence i dont use it. I know every year there is a huge queue for the bus, so i walk back town. This year we waited around 10mins for the bus, so a record. For the race, i love it, my all time favourte race. Crowds, the route, the stadium finish. fantastic run.
In short: Bad baggage collection lets down what would be a great race In full: Good points, very generous goody bag, stadium finish, good course, well supported on course and traffic free Bad points; the baggage collection; the tannoy announcements; plenty of stewards/security rather than willing (and helpful) volunteers. I don’t know what the organisers were thinking with the horrendous baggage collection for the men. Why are their separate baggage tents for men and women? This makes no sense at all. The queues are predictable as the numbers seem to be linked to speed hence the bottlenecks. I.e the first 5000 males runners to cross the line all have to go the same tent, All the tents need to be in a line with big wide entrances so that you get the largest number of runners to the tables at once not queuing one at time. I did Cardiff half in October they used a similar format to the London a long line of trucks where runners can access maximum frontage without having to queue. They could see there was a problem (as there were vague announcements about delays) why did the organisers not talk to the baggage tents co-ordinators and move staff around to deal with the peaks. Rather than sending in the stewards to get us cold and wet runners to queue the organisers should have been sending up to the stadium or under cover to keep us warm. I tried to seek shelter when I realised the monster of a queue but was turned away from the stadium and told to walk around to where the buses where. I was tired cold to I just gave up and sat on the floor.
The changing tent was not better, muddy floor and a long walk from the kit tent. The nail in the coffin for this race was when I had got changed and was eating some hot food was the tannoy telling people to hurry up and collect their bags as they queues had now gone. I went home for fear of a serious sense of humour failure.
In short: 3rd time I've raced the TW half, love it. Great support, plenty of drinks stations, good medal and useful tech tee too. Thank you TwHarriers. In full: Scenic route with plenty of ups and downs to keep it interesting and challenging. Would definitely recommend. Date of review: March 2, 2014
In short: Best "small event" around In full: Well organised event and well worth the price with the great bling and tech-T (in women's sizes too!) Mailing out bibs and tags was great and prevented the always annoying queue to register- just pick up your T, drop off your bag, and off you go. Lots of loos available (and thank you loo queue volunteers for keeping things moving!). Terrific friendly volunteers and lots of them. Band at start and several times en route was also great. Water stations were plentiful (4) and well manned (though a sports drink candy wouldn't have gone amiss). I didn't see any loos on the course (but thankfully I didn't need one!).
Challenging and scenic course, but really, is Spring Hill necessary?
Of the smaller events I have done, this was by far the best organised and had the best treats (shirt and medal).
Would definitely do it again (though may find a detour around that hill!). Date of review: March 2, 2014
In short: Tough, scenic and friendly! In full: Such a good race this. Certainly one of the classic off road marathons down south. 4th year running for me and 2014 didn't disappoint. Mudfest and headwinds made it extra hard. Very friendly marshals, fantastic new medal, super breakfast on top of a hard to beat course. Highly recommended. Book early for 2015. Date of review: March 2, 2014
In short: Great support round the course but a few organisational issues In full: The race itself was fine, excellent support and results texted almost as soon as I'd finished. I guess I was lucky in that I didn't use the baggage tent and parked in the yellow car park, so avoided most of the issues others have commented on. Nevertheless, I wonder if this race is getting a bit too big? It's hard to be properly warmed up and ready to go when you have to get to the start so soon. I think the "wave start" was a good idea, but it would have been nice if they'd said who was starting when: I heard the first gun but wasn't sure if it was for just the yellow block or yellow and red until we started moving. Date of review: March 2, 2014
In short: Great race in beautiful place In full: Great race with few cheeky hills. Great organisation Only moans are that water in plastic cups doesn't work in my opinion, and the slate medal wasn't a medal it's a coaster????? Why???? Date of review: March 2, 2014
In short: Far too many runners In full: I have not run Bath half for a few years because I was disappointed the last time i ran it, This time was was actually worse.
There were just far too many people, the queue to get to the start was ridiculous, by the time I actually reached the start line, the clock had been running for 12 minutes!
I was shoulder to shoulder with other runners the whole way round making it extremely difficult (dangerous in some cases) to pass slower runners. The road was divided in half and on the first lap we were told to keep left of the cones, because the front runners were coming through. Why they needed half of the road I dont know, the road should have been divided 60/40 or 70/30 to give the mass runners more room.
At the finish there was another ridiculous queue for medals, de-chipping and T-shirts. I was freezing cold by the time I reached the runners village, why wasn't there anyone handing out foil blankets?
And a cheap cotton T-shirt at the end, don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with a cotton T-shirt from a race that costs say £15-20, but Bath is £42! Unbelievable!
In summary, poorly thought out route to the start, poorly though out course, poorly thought out finish. Either sort it out or stop being greedy and accept that the course isn't big enough to support this many runners! Sorry Bath, but this was the last time for me. Date of review: March 2, 2014
In short: Good atmosphere, excellent water/fuel points, speedy enough route: overall very good. In full: I did not receive my race number through the mail; on arrival I was very quickly helped with a new number. I lucked in on my baggage due to my number but I could see there was a long queue already forming in the first half of the red numbers. Great race village set up and good bag and drinks at the finish. The finish in the stadium is fantastic. Date of review: March 2, 2014
In short: Well organised and supported race but very busy after the finish In full: The race is always extremely well supported - a fair bit of it in the City Centre with crowds out to watch.
Overall it is well organised and the t-shirts in the bag were a nice addition this year. I've never left baggage at this race before and probably won't again - I could have done without the queue in the cold at the end. Date of review: March 2, 2014