In short: Fast race on a flat course In full: This is one of the flatter and faster half marathons I've done; although I didn't get a PB, many of my friends did, so the potential is definitely there. Quite a bit of support round the course (no doubt helped by the two-lap format), and plenty near the start and finish. Baggage drop and reclaim was a bit slow, but better than last year, and having it inside the building was a definite plus had the weather not been so kind. The underpass was a definite bottleneck (though OK when I passed through it), but there's little alternative. All in all, a good race and one I'll do again. Thanks to the marshals, who were encouraging us all the way round. Date of review: September 16, 2012
In short: Flat and inoffensive! In full: Not bad for a "lap" half marathon (the lap repeats miles 2-6 ish as 7-10 ish!), and the flat course definitely has pb potential.
The marshalls were friendly and cheerful and there was a great spread of people around the course: some awesome cheering by youngsters!
It's a shame that so many runners were wearing headphones, as I witnessed several near-misses as swerving runners hadn't realised that others were behind them. Besides which, in what was a mixed and friendly field, they missed out on the banter and encouragement given by other runners!
A nice race which I may do again, but it's not a classic. Date of review: September 16, 2012
In short: Flat - potentially fast - got the trappings of a big city run In full: The start through town and the underpass bottleneck added a minute to first mile - but perhaps set me off at a proper pace. Conversely the finish through well set out town centre with good crowd probably took 45 seconds off! The lap wasn’t an issue as you didn’t have to back through start (always depressing) – and views were worth a second look. Very impressed with all the road closures for a relatively small race, and a good level of support compared to the usual ones I do out into the country. Baggage recovery was potentially an issue, though to be fair when I joined the queue, which looked v long, it moved quickly - but tricky if it was any colder/wet. Not worried about goody bag - majority have bits that get stuck in the cupboard and peered at a year later. Apart from bottleneck flat and fast with real PB potential. Professionally organised. Date of review: September 16, 2012
In short: Great race spoilt by obvious bottleneck In full: I love the route and scenery and thought the support and marshals were excellent. My only gripe and hopefully this won't be repeated next year was the bottleneck at the first subway. First mile was over 2 mins slower than the rest. If this was sorted I thnk it cold easily be a pb race. Date of review: September 16, 2012
In short: Quick good opportunity for pb excellent scenery! In full: Better route than last year, quick and good start location. Small point but seemed a bit tight as only a banana given at the end. Date of review: September 16, 2012
In short: Nice course, but got cold queuing at the bag drop afterwards! In full: I didnt mind the course change from last year, the bunching at the underpass was just a good opportunity to have a drink (I was not chasing a PB!). The scenery was still nice and there was sporadic support around the course, great support in the town. My main gripe concerns after the race.... No goody bag.. small point i know. The worst thing was queuing for 20 minutes to pick up the bag from the bag drop and getting very cold! We used the trucks last year and didnt have a problem so not sure what happened this year. Cost saving perhaps? Date of review: September 16, 2012
In short: Underpasses need to be missed out In full: Like everybody else the funnel start, underpass at the start will need to be sorted out. Got stuck behind a motorised chair in the park towards the finish.
The mix of the thames and the nice houses make it. Does have pb potential, i think small bottles at the water stations would have helped. Car parking and actual location of the start perfect. Date of review: September 16, 2012
In short: Good 2011 race, made better In full: Basically last year it was already a good regional race on a fastish course and as it was the first year they had a few minor issues with the course and baggage store etc, but they took everyones input from last year and nailed it. Cant fault it really. Organisation was great, course was flat, support a little low, but to be expected in those ruralish locations, field wasnt too crowded, baggage store was fine. This is a race you do for a PB, not to wave to the crowd. So if you are dressed as a camel and want to raise money, you'd do the great north run. If you want to put on your club vest and nail your pb, do this one. If we can get water in bottles instead of cups next year it'll be perfect. Date of review: September 16, 2012