In short: Beautiful - but only skin deep In full: This race takes you on an epic route, sights of London and the parks in all their autumn glory (especially in the stunning sunshine we had), it truly is beautiful to look at. However this race's beauty is only skin deep. For me the atmosphere was just not there. Just not friendly enough. Was it all them Londoners thinking they were still on the tube? I am from the Styx but I do like my races with a bit of joy in them. Plus SO many peeps running with headphones. So many times I just wanted to chat or smile or have a little moan to someone but it seemed like almost everyone was shut off in their own world. :-( Practically speaking headphone make it hard to overtake people and say Excuse me, as they can't hear you. This was an issue as the race was busy and crowded with a couple of bottle-necks. Plus some marshals were not so good at keeping things safe - several spectators ran across my path, trying to dodge the runners. Loo queue terrible, baggage drop, didn't even bother. Organisation nuffink special. Missed my goody bag, t-shirt terrible. I-phone app good for timings, but not working on the day for my supporters to track me. How to improve? 1. Ban headphones 2. Sort out nutter spectators, 3. More toilets (OF COURSE) 4. Later races start for people coming from outside London. 5. Make app work during race 6. Help people feel the JOY!
In short: My favourite race but its getting a bit crowded In full: Fantastic race, and one I hope to do every year, though I've only ever managed to get a charity place for it each time. 2 main negatives: 1) pre-race baggage drop etc took a really long time this year, meaning no time for toilet, and it was not that easy to find the correct starting pen 2) way to many spectators running across in front of me- its hard enough dodging the people running in the same direction as you at different speeds, but to be cut up many times along the route gets quite frustrating. Date of review: October 25, 2012
In short: Great route, great supporters, great weather, great day In full: This was my first half marathon as part of my training for VLM in April and even though I found it tough (I had a target of under 2hrs 10 which was a struggle for me) I really enjoyed it. The route is great, going through lovely parks and past some of Londons major landmarks was a great taste of things to come in April. The route is very flat and the first part is quite wide through the streets of London and the traffic is corned off. The second half in Hyde Park is quite twisty as it doubles back on itself several times and also quite narrow in places which made it harder to maintain a constant pace whilst trying to overtake slower runners in front. The twisty route could make it hard for your friends and family to follow you....if it weren't for the brilliant iphone app that allows them to ftrack you using your timing chip! How clever!! This allowed my boyfriend to weave around the course and see me at 4 different points which was great for morale! The value for money was pretty good, the medal was nice, free T-Shirt is a good fit and good quality (if I'm being picky the yellow shade is a bit gaudy but can't have it all!) and good drinks and snacks after (look out for the snack stands though, I almost missed these after exiting the finish funnels). The support on route was amazing, at times you were hit by a wall of noise which was just brilliant and very uplifting when I was flagging around mile 10. Overall a really great race that I will definitely do again if I can get a ballot place. One tip - arrive much earlier than you think is necessary - I was still standing in a huge queue for the toilet when the race started! Date of review: October 11, 2012
In short: What a route !! In full: The course was absolutely excellent - taking you through the parts of London that you normally only run through at the end of the VLM (that bit when you're not feeling so good and your keen to get it over with). Several times I wanted to put the run on 'pause' and just drink in the views/look at the sights.
Not a course for a pb, due to the numbers taking part - but very friendly and with good baggage/toilet facilites. Only addition I would make is for a couple of marquees for changing. Date of review: October 10, 2012