In short: Great, scenic course with a nasty long hill! In full: Traffic into Henley does get busy so get there early. Parking no problem and not that far from start. First few miles I found congested. Route is fairly flat except between around 7.5 and 9miles. Hill starts off ok but then gets very steep. I managed to jog it all but was tough. Nice downhill section after the hill. Could be a good pb course if you do some hill training. I saw the marshalls stop runners so cars good pass just before the hill. That's annoying. Found the finish chaotic. Overall, a good race but I do feel improvements could be made with the organisation and perhaps closing the roads to traffic. Date of review: October 11, 2010
In short: First half marathon, great day out. In full: I had run a few 10k's so attended this race with apprehension. Left early from London with family in the car and parked just before the rugby club. Good organisation apart from the usual not enough toilets. Was worried about the hill on 8 miles so took the first bit easy and actually found myself jogging up while others were walking. From 10 miles onwards was running on willpower. Finished in just over 1 hour 51 minutes so very pleased as had set a 2 hour target. Date of review: October 11, 2010
In short: Good honest half In full: Well done Henley ! i love this race 4th time now and always look forward to it! That hill dosnt get any smaller! one + you can run fast down the other time, think i passed about 10 runners on that down hill bit, This is a great warm up for the Marlow half now that is very very hilly!! Date of review: October 11, 2010
In short: Lovely scenery and a nice long hill In full: My first half and would have got a slightly quicker time had I not put my back out the day before, making EVERY step painful!
Lovely scenery throughout the race but it was pretty crowded between 1st and 3rd mile markers so it was quite tough to get a good rhythym going. I would suggest having the runners line up by expected finish time at the start of the race since a lot of slower runners possibly held others up as overtaking wasn't easy along the narrow lanes.
Having said that, the race was well organised and marshalled with good local support (the kids cheering us on towards the top of the hill were great support).
The hill wasn't as bad as I feared it would be - it was just long and went on and on and on. So it definitely added a good 3 nor 4 minutes to my time. Perhaps a marshall on the steep downhill bit is needed as I thought that was the most dangerous bit with potential for someone falling over and hurting themselves.
It was a nice touch to get a text message with my time on within minutes of finishing and well done for posting results by 2.30pm on the same day.
All in all it's a very enjoyable race. Date of review: October 11, 2010
In short: Stunning scenery In full: This was a really interesting race. Varied surfaces keeps you on your toes and makes each section different. Beautiful scenery along the way is great - my favourite was running alongside the Thames and seeing the rowing boats.
Some parts of the route were a little crowded - perhaps having some staged or staggered starting groups would help with that... but no-one fell in the river (as fas as I know), so it can't have been so bad.
Definately a race to return to, if only to attack that great hill again... Date of review: October 11, 2010
In short: The race has a bit of everything for those who like variety! In full: Nice to be able to run sections off road, especially along the Thames and the doubling back through the town is good for spectators and runners alike. The hill hurts, especailly the last 400 metres of it, but that's what makes it Henley and the downhill after is fast, even if you do feel drained by the time you start it! Date of review: October 11, 2010
In short: A great race but I hated that hill In full: Only my 2nd half marathon (1st was GNR so a little different!) and I really enjoyed this race. The organisation was good, apart from a slightly shambolic pre-start (wasn't that clear when it had begun) but I am a slower runner so knew to start near the back & chip timing meant it didn't much matter. There can never be enough toilets but the queue was bearable if you got there in enough time. The route was lovely but even though I had read the reviews & done some hill training, that hill was still horrid. It is the steepness of the incline. I lost minutes on the damn thing & it meant that the last 2 miles felt tough, even though they were slightly downhill & shouldn't have. Also therefore missed out on my target time by 28 seconds (ahhh....) which is so annoying. All in all, a great race - wish I could run it again next week to do it faster & will definitely run it next year. Many thanks to the organisers, the marshalls (particularly the encouraging ones) & to some friendly spectators too. Date of review: October 11, 2010
In full: Let me start by saying that I did really enjoy the event and I will do it again. The course was lovely and the finish was well organised.
This said I can't help feel that with a few tweaks this could be a really great medium sized race:
Suggestions for next year:
Warn racers clearly that Henley traffic is awful even at 8.30 on a Sunday morning.
Loads of urinals but not enough "sit downs" for the blokes
The start is too narrow and frankly a shambles. Why not announce for sub 2 hr runners to congregate in one zone followed by Plus 2 hour runners.
Ban Ipods etc. Not safe, or considerate to non ipod wearers, on such a narrow course.
First water station close to a blind corner that is also open to oncoming traffic??????
Loads of marshalls but not in the right places ie around mile 4 (by the river) a marshall was standing 50 metres past a cattle grid and not before it.
ie six marshalls within 100 metres shepparding runners into to the rugby club at the end (runners on a pavement) yet families and all parked competitors fending for themselves 150 metres up the road trying to get back to their cars after the race.
I am perhaps being over critical here...it's just that with such a great course it should and could be loads better.
In Fawley Court you need a marshall to warn their is a stop sign approaching rather than four frenzied marshalls (out of sight) suddenly shouting at you at te road with no warning.
the course was excellent and I will do this event again but I can't help feel the event could/should be better .....