In short: Glorious route, excellent marshalls and avoids the crowds In full: As the victim of four half marathons, this has to be the best I've run. Whilst thousands are trudging around Reading and Fleet a few weeks before London, just a few hundred enter this friendly, intimate race. Others have mentioned the compact start area, the slight challenges of running off road and the bottlenecks around the gates and tunnel, all of which I'd agree with... and it's great to be running off-road (mainly) rather than exploring the outskirts of a large town. Unlike other races at no point did I feel that I was being hemmed in by other runners.
Particular praise must go to the friendliness of the marshalls, enthusiastic throughout the race, and for the fact that most of the entry fee (I believe) goes to charity rather than an IMG-esque organisation.
Of course getting a PB made it even better! I'd estimate that the pinch points at the bridges and gates in the first couple of miles might add a minute to the average runner's time, but the open space of the rest of the course makes up for this. Nice t-shirt and medal too.
I WILL be doing this race again next year!
One request for improvement - more toilets. Six loos for six hundred entrants just ain't enough. And why people choose to wear iPods when running through countryside like this is beyond me... Date of review: March 21, 2010
In short: Friendly, scenic, enjoyable half for a great cause. In full: Really enjoyable race. Lovely (if slightly more taxing!) to run off-road; supportive, friendly marshalls; fantastic drummers and for a great cause. A great morning out. Date of review: March 21, 2010
In short: Great route, organisation, marshals, weather and drummers ! In full: This really is a lovely part of the world, and it's great running by the water. The gates were a minor inconvenience; I counted 30 seconds lost at the first one in mile2 where there was quite a pile up, but the main thing was the breaks in rhythm. Despite the towpath there were plenty of places to pass as the pack thinned out. Great idea to have the drummers at various locations - really gave a lift to proceedings. The weather was very kind and Bisham Abbey is a glorious location. I wish I'd arranged to have the family come too - they'd have loved it. I find any gradient a challenge, but there were only a couple of playful slopes - I found the two bridges near the end the worst! All in all, I'd certainly do this again and recommend it almost anyone. Plus. . . I was very chuffed to do my first sub 2hr half, especially as it's not a road race. (Maybe there IS something to be said for training!) Date of review: March 21, 2010
In short: Fabulous run - 124 very enjoyable minutes In full: This is the best HM that I have run (out of 4) - loved it, loved it loved it with the added bonus that I came in just some seconds below my previous PB too ! :) not the sub 2-hour break that I had planned and hoped for - but the most enjoyable race I have ever run!
Will definitely be back next year!
Great Marshals, great atmosphere and the drumming was also very nice to cheer on and remind you of the background of this race!
In short: Smalll is beautiful - great event In full: Great not to be fighting huge crowds of other runners en route. And the drums start, end and on the way were great - really motivating, with superb marshalls. At the end, just a minute's walk from the end to collect the bags from the baggage drop, and then onto the barbecue for a quick snack and refuel. Definitely one to add to next year's calendar. Date of review: March 21, 2010
In short: Fabulous run along the Thames, virtually no hills, lovely scenery, best marshalls ever, drums and all. And Purple Patch seem to have a hot line to the weather gods - YET AGAIN, the sun shone. (When can I enter for next year? ;-)) Date of review: March 21, 2010