In short: Excellent race considering it was the inaugural half marathon. In full: Fantastic event with unparalled support at the village of Leigh, for which I must send my thanks to them all for giving me a much needed boost. The race was extremely well organised considering it was the inaugural event although, I agree with some other comments about the starting gates and no side entrance. I would also say the starting gates need to be spaced out more, as putting the 1.45/2.00 hour finish time together mean't a lot of people trying to get into a small space for the start. Perhaps in future, the starting gates could have boards for every 15 minutes along with pace setters for the respective time, so you've got someone to chase to achieve your desired finish time. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed the day and I am very much looking forward to next year already. Well done and thank you Tonbridge. Date of review: September 26, 2011
In short: Overal thought brilliant race with excellent organisation. In full: Was a very tough course, knew it would be but on the day with the heat it felt even harder than I expected. Only thing was the side access to your start time by the time we got to the start it was almost impossible to get down to the kind of times we were aiming for. Made my day having Dame Kelly present medal, which is a really nice one. Think organisers should be proud as was really impressed with everything about the race thought really well done. Date of review: September 26, 2011
In short: Great event, well organised, something for everybody In full: Although this is the inagural event, the whole thing was very well organised. I liked the fact that the preferred car park was very close to the start and teh changing area, so close that I did n't bother with the baggage area at all. Slight holes to pick- the start was cramped and impossible to get to your predicted finish position (or perhaps everyone had got there early). Weather helped, and thank you to the chap in one of the villages who was blasting out disco tunes on his ipod - that really helped! Date of review: September 26, 2011
In short: Excellent race with a lot of potential In full: Great first effort by the organisers. Particular plaudits for the organisation (good pre-race instructions, lots of road closures, plenty of water stations, plenty of toilets, easily accessible HQ etc) and the quite amazing support throughout the route - from the marshalls and the spectators. It really makes a difference having so many supporters cheering everyone on.
The course was tough, especially in the unexpected heat but it was very well marshalled and traffic was never a problem.
As others have said, it was great to see Dame Kelly Holmes giving the race so much support.
Only suggestions for further improvement - a couple of sponge stations would be good and I agree that there should be some way for runners to access their time-zone from the side.
All in all though, a great first effort and a race that has the potential to grow into one of the biggest halfs in the South East. Date of review: September 25, 2011
In short: Very challenging; organisation good - couple of improvements possible In full: I found this a tough run. I ran throughout the London Marathon but had to walk a few times here (although I had trained less). I am an old charity runner so I'm not going to do great times but I was 15 minutes slower than both Brighton and Norwich Half Marathons. As mentioned, the starting pens need to be larger with access other than from the rear. I had no problem with water stations but I was aware that one station was running out of water for the backmarkers - that mustn't happen. Next year? Just a 'maybe' but mainly because I'm getting too old for long hills. Date of review: September 25, 2011