In short: Hilly but fast if you train hard In full: This is my local race and I've spent months training on the course route with my running club CPRC, up and down those hills in the heat (just in case there was a repeat of last years heatwave!) The training paid off for each and every one of us. For every up there is a fast down section which offers definite PB potential. Running on closed roads was a delight after dodging cars in training.
Organisation was great, easy car parking, chip & tee collection, big queue at the baggage tent but the St Michaels Hospice volunteers seemed to be coping. The marshals along the route were superb as were the spectators. My family were in Cliddesden and received lots of high fives and positive comments from the runners for their vocal support.
It is a tough race no doubt but I'll be back year after year as it is my home race and the buzz during and after was fantastic. Well done Felicity, Nina et al and a big thank you :-)
Louise Chineham Park Running Club Date of review: October 8, 2012
In short: Hilly race that can net you a PB if you train appropriately! In full: The second Basingstoke Half didn't disappoint. Cool and misty weather rather than last year's boiling hot conditions should have suited most runners, and gave it quite a different feel. I actually got a PB (1.20.20) and improved on last year's result by one placing. As my subject indicates, if you train by going up and down hills, or ramp up the treadmill gradient then you'll be ready for this race. Running alongside a Kenyan lady for most of the distance definitely helped propel me to a PB as well, but I couldn't keep hold of her coat tails towards the end! My only slight grumble is that although there were more water stations this year, there was a strange absence of an energy drink station. I resorted to carrying my own for pretty much the whole race and used a gel near the end, and that helped me out! Date of review: October 8, 2012
In short: Excellent Race In full: not as hot as last year - so managed to bag a PB on this hilly course. Great support on the way round from the villagers (thanks Cliddesden). Water stations great (it is still such a waste though - 2 sips from a bottle before it gets chucked)
Great organisation - so nice to run on roads without traffic - local kids in Cliddesden, were out on their bikes before the race on the traffic free roads.
Be back again next year - thanks organisers. Date of review: October 8, 2012
In short: Year 2 and it got better In full: So after last year's unseasonal heatwave which made this race pretty tough we got the usual cool damp and foggy for 2012 event. Organisation great. Chip collection fine (although I never see point in posting number if you still need to collect chip). Giving out t-shirts before race can also be a pain if you don't want to bag-drop. Loads of toilets.
This race is an unusual road half marathon. Firstly it is almost entirely run on small rural single track roads through Hampshire farmland. Secondly, it is pretty hilly. In fact, most of the first 4 miles is on an incline. The first big hill really is quite a touch climb but is followed with loads of downhill. A few more smaller climbs but it is deceptive and the last 3 miles downhill make this a pretty fast course, definitely some PB potential here.
Support from the marshals was excellent as was the turnout in the small villages around the course. Little disappointing that the crowds in the Memorial Park for the finish were much thinner than at the inaugural event. I would also still prefer that strange sharp turn onto the (long) wet grass finish straight to get changed.
Water stations were much better located this year and more frequent.
For some reason the race number was huge and also made of a very odd thick paper. As such I folded it down to wear for comfort. Just when I got over the line, I really didn't appreciate some old guy telling me that if I did the same next year, I would be disqualified. There is a time and a place and I don't need that immediately after 90+ minutes running and before I even get my medal.
One other point, I did feel sorry for the Kenyans at the start line. They were late and were trying to climb over the fence at The Lamb in Hackwood Road to get to the front. This big bloke came around shouting at them (bar staff or landlord I guess) as he didn't want a damaged fence. He then got pretty nasty and I thought he was going to attack a chap that was with them. Not very nice at all and many runners commented on how they'd avoid that pub!
This is a really good event for Basingstoke and the course is excellent. Hope is stays now. Date of review: October 8, 2012
In short: Challenging country road course with incredible local support! In full: Lovely course darting out the south of the town to the country lanes and the big hills. The course is far from flat but plenty of people smashed their PB! Support all round this course by the locals is incredible and really gives you a boost especially through Cliddesden and Ellisfield. Will be back next year for sure! Date of review: October 8, 2012
In short: Recommended In full: Lots of toilets, plenty of retailers (food, sports stuff) local-radio etc at start. Roads closed for event, good marshals, enthusiastic locals. Lots of water-stations with water in bottles (no jelly-babies etc) good basics at finish - medal, water, chocolate, banana and a quality tech tee. The course is perfect, nice little hills with fast downhills to follow - last 3 miles flat/downhill. Date of review: October 7, 2012
In short: Challenging! In full: The hills make your quads ache like never before but the atmosphere is amazing and very well organised.. It was my first half marathon and I WILL be entering again Date of review: October 7, 2012
In short: Number 1 half marathon In full: In all respects the best half marathon I have run. Superbly organised and marshalled, outstanding course, great start and finish, brilliant support, it doesn't get any better than this. Date of review: October 7, 2012