In short: What goes up, must come down In full: First timer! Been bugged into doing this race for a few years but it never fitted into my plans.
Pre race - pack was sent out well in advance, and an excellent set of notes to let you know all you needed.
Pre start - They have created a small running village on the green near the start line where you find all the usual stalls, massage, baggage drop. One thing, it would be good if the baggage drop could be a bit more secure...leaving it around the edge of the marquee was a bit unnerving. Issuing a baggage label linked to you race number could be a good option (see Tunbridge Wells HM). The lineup pre race was good, and the start was given extra atmosphere with a rendition of Chariots of Fire booming from the speakers as you crossed the line.
Race - Well, the first 6 miles are generally uphill. For me that is fine, causes me to regulate my pace/effort a bit more! Whilst the incline isn't riduculous on the main drag up Queensway (3mi - 5.5mi) it does go on...and on! The support throughout is fantastic, plenty of drinks stations manned by local scout groups, slices of orange/jelly babies/etc are in abundance too. The last 2mi down the promenade are a scenic slog, but make for a nice finish (although some had a hailstorm to contend with just after 2hrs).
Post race - cold and hot drinks are plentiful. An nice horse brass makes an unusal memento, but one which I'll look forward to adding to in 2015.
In short: Excellent race In full: Really well organised race, but what makes it great is the support from locals. They are awesome! The route is mainly uphill for the first 5 miles, then undulating for another 4-5 miles, then downhill or flat to the finish. A fairly tough race but the support makes you forget the pain! Date of review: March 24, 2014
In short: Great atmosphere, great run In full: Serious PB potential here, wiped 2:40 off my previous best. Steep but very short hill near the start, then a long but shallow incline until about 5 miles. Then pretty much flat and downhill. Great support all the way round, some sections reminded me of Tour de France with the crowd on the road! Nice horse brass medal, something different. Well organised. A few people have reported results issues. Welcome cup of tea at the finish. Date of review: March 23, 2014
In short: A great half-marathon In full: A challenging, interesting and rewarding course. Very well marshalled and supported and very smooth organisation. Nice mememto and fantastic atmosphere. Used the shower/changing facilities at the Sea Cadets afterwards which was great. All in all a great race and I'll be back to take on the hills again! Date of review: March 23, 2014
In short: Hilly but very well supported In full: Thank you to the organisers and all the wonderful supporters for making this such a smashing race. Beautiful weather made the day even better. Date of review: March 23, 2014
In short: Firm but fair. In full: Tried this 3 years earlier on the back of no training - it was terrible. Tackled agian with some decent banked miles and it was a great event. Hard and hilly for 6 miles and then relatively down hill or flat onwards. Great local support and a race that has everything in my opinion. Date of review: April 24, 2013