In short: Great support, friendly team. In full: My first year doing Fleet but not my first half. A gloriously sunny (and warm) day. Quite a few toilets - bit of a queue but this died down just before the race and I had enough time to queue. Chip timing so although the lineup was a bit of a free for all (no pens and I couldn't see the timing boards - although I spotted these once people started moving), that didn't matter. People also seemed to spread out quite quickly so I didn't feel held up at the start of the race. Course is definitely "undulating" so not for you if you don't even like the slightest hill! It's a downhill finish after the final slope about 12.5 miles. The crowds were amazing! A lot of supporters in the first lap as this is round town. After 6 miles it dies out as you head into the countryside- which was stunning on a nice day. The supporter hotspots round pubs were amazing though- best crowd for a half ever! The downsides were: 1. only cups, not bottled water on the course, and these had queues as it was so hot, so you have to stop and drink if you want a decent amount. 2. At the finish there was a tent in the way of the view of the real finish and just before this were two flags and car parked - so the finish was about 50m further than many people thought. 3. I measured the course long so missed my pb despite running a faster pace. But then I probably didn't run the racing line and it was nowhere near as long as when I ran Reading! Overall, I enjoyed it. May enter again - the crowds were fab but the hills and having to carry my own bottles put me off slightly. Date of review: March 21, 2014
In short: Nice course, great crowds, good organisation...in the diary for 2015 In full: I really enjoyed the course, the marshaling was excellent. If I had one complaint it would be the need for more water tables at each spot, they finish too quickly and if you miss the first couple of table trying to avoid the melee then you run a real risk of missing them all together and on a warm day it really takes a toll on you. Generally a really nice way to spend a Sunday morning. Great crowds really helped! Date of review: March 21, 2014
In short: fantastic race. I love running this one! In full: I have run this one a few times, it is still my favourite half marathon. I hope that it continues for many years to come. The marshalls, organisers & Spectators have done a fantastic job again this year, encouraging us runners on to the finish line. I will be back next year to beat my pb. On a last note I would like to send my condolences to the family & friends of the runner who died during the race. It is the one sad thing in an otherwise fantastic event. Date of review: March 18, 2014
In short: Well run, fast course In full: I'm in the middle of training for the London Marathon, so this was one of my tune up races. Although it was a rather hot day, the race organisers made sure there were plenty of water stations, and the event was well organised. It's a big race, but it never felt as crowded as Reading has done. And to cap it all, I smashed my PB by seven minutes! Date of review: March 18, 2014
In short: Great weather, improved course In full: The Fleet Half Marathon course has changed more than any other race I've known over the years. I think at last, the current one is the best. The start in Reading Rd North is vastly better than the old Leawood Road/Merivale mess. The number of right-angled turns in quick succession is better (although still more than any other HM I've run I think). It's still cluttered for the first mile but it's much, much better. Doing Fleet High Street twice was great for crowd support and it meant half the race was run before you left the town.
Rural support was good (especially by the pubs)
Drink stations were cluttered made worse by the heat. Still need tables on both sides of road where there is full closures.
Support was excellent. As was organisation.
But my run was dreadful (my fault) as was the tuppenny medal at the end.
Continues to be an excellent event. Date of review: March 17, 2014
In short: Well organised and supported event In full: What a wonderful day. The weather was glorious, though a couple of degrees lower would have made it a bit more bearable.
The runners village was well set up, with refreshments, stalls, and most importantly an amazingly well organised bag drop and collection!
Goody bag was excellent too. Sports drink, raisins, chocolate biscuit, cereal bar, sweets - all the things you need after a race. The medal though was a bit disappointing. It was really small. Nicely crafted and good weight/quality and the design is good but would benefit from being bigger.
The course is fabulous. Mildly undulating, there are a few "slopes", mainly to go over roads and railways. Nothing too taxing though. The course is designed to run through the town centre 3 times and the support there was MAGNIFICENT. The town came out in full force it seemed.
When out of the town centre it was more sparsely populated, but thats to be expected, though there were still people all over the place and plenty of kids on jelly baby duty.
There were some great spectator hotspots (Pubs!) which looked to have opened early and also had a great presence at key parts of the course. However, the slope at about 12.5m was horrible!! But thats personal as I was shattered :-D
One of the best events I've ever done. I smashed my PB by 11 minutes (Set in Cardiff in October). Difficult to work out how much of that is attributed to the course though as I trained much harder for this (In prep for the Paris marathon) and have lost a lot of weight, but definitely quick enough.
Highly recommend this race. Date of review: March 17, 2014
In short: HOT! In full: Great course, really challenging but also real PB potential. Crowd support on the warmest day of the year, second to none. Only letdown for me was the stingy goodie bag. Leaflets and cheap edibles, expected better. This is a pre-London, so expected a banana and nice energy bar etc. Medal very small. Date of review: March 16, 2014