In short: Good course, bad organisation In full: The well organised run is the exception rather than the rule, so as a runner you expect that things will not always be smooth or perfect, and take it all in your stride. Clubs are well meaning, and events are often run and manned by volunteers. However, the organisation of this event has to take the award for the worse ever. When the poor organisation interferes with your enjoyment or even participation of an event then it has to be bad.
Everyone else sends out the numbers, this club asks you to turn up on the day, then doesn't prepare adequately for that. They inform you they have parking facilities, and then take on more runners than the facilities can cope with, and make no arrangements for back up parking. Either limit the numbers, use a different venue, or tell people there is limited parking, and advise them in advance of where to park. Take a look at what other clubs do.
The hall, as people have pointed out, was very crowded. There was very poor signage, so it wasn't easy to find out where you had to go to collect your number. My name wasn't down, even though I had paid by cheque in advance. I was sent to two different places to sort out matters, and at the late entries stall I was told they couldn't help me as the laptop didn't contain all the information. I said that their inability to organise matters effectively shouldn't mean I couldn't run - after all I had paid. The man at the stall said, Are you calling us poorly organised? I said, you lost my application, and are now telling me you can't help me, what do you call it? They gave me a number.
After time lost to finding somewhere park, and then to get my number, it was too late to get any of the refreshments that had been promised, nor to find the toilets. I had lost my running partner in the number chaos, so had to make my way to start without him. Who thought it was a good idea to have the start facing the direction of the HQ so those arriving were faced with runners blocking the road, and various wires and equipment blocking the side? Grrrr. At this point I was very frustrated and thinking that the organisers were perhaps rather inept.
I paid little attention to the water stops. My experience of most races is that water stops can't be relied on for slow runners, so I always carry my own. Marshals were out, and - given it was a cold day - did a decent enough job. The course itself was pleasant, and at places very attractive; while it also had pot holes in section, it was on the whole a decent course - challenging, attractive, and with a down hill finish. My sort of course, and I would be willing to consider it again for the course, and that it is handy for a visit to Canterbury afterwards.
The finish was poorly indicated. Even though there were useful signs on the road saying 400 and 200 yards to go, it still wasn't clear where the finish was until you were on top of it, and a marshal pointed it out (you had to leave the road and use the pavement). There was no water by the time I finished (1.45). The medal was fairly pointless, and I would have preferred the money had been spent on some fruit or sports drink. Date of review: January 31, 2012
In short: Crowded, parking horrors, OK jaunt. In full: Arriving with 30 minutes to go, the queues of cars were backed up to the main road. Hopelessly inadequate parking. Had to drive into far off insalubrious local housing estate to wedge in. At least the jog to collect chip/number was a warm-up. The parking fiasco meant we missed chip queues.
The start was approached from the hall, so a total jam as late comers (us) tried to push pour way to the other side of the start line.
The course fine. Potholes galore, macho elbows at eye height for the first couple of miles. Then an OK jog. Would be lovely in summer, but the race was 4C wet & bracing. The hills not a big deal, quite short. Generally an OK course.
Marshaling at start was hopeless (youths playing with mobiles rather than being of any help). But the sardine squeeze in the hall after the race was OK, and good to get out of the cold. Results posted fairly quickly. Organisers in hall friendly. Never found any drink after, but I'd not be able to find anything in such a crowded space. Couldn't see the faces of any winners as award presentations were hidden from all but giants.
Seemed rather expensive.
But I'll expect in future to find my own parking far away. I suspect the venue was stretched beyond capacity.
As to medals, they seem a waste of time and money. Suggest leaving a bin for recycling (meaning re-using next year).
All in, an OK day out. Felt the organisers were trying. Date of review: January 31, 2012
In short: Course fine/organisation messy! In full: Massive queues for race number collection/no toilets/parking difficult/start congested/should be slick after many years organisation Date of review: January 31, 2012
In short: Really scenic race, well organized and def one of the best in Kent In full: Done this a few times and thought it was as good as ever, the race start was a definite improvement. Dont really get these people moaning about wanting a decent medal etc, we are all adults and surely we pay for the race itself not some stunning momento we think we deserve, similarly with the hall itsef, ok it was a bit cramped but the organizers have to work with what they've got, they cannot always magic up parking spaces so someone can park right outside.Stop whingeing and enjoy the run!!! Date of review: January 30, 2012
In full: delays in colecting numbers. limited car parking. some sections where there was a lot of traffic. to big a gap between water stations. very cheap mrdal with name of club only rather than event. djisappointing. Date of review: January 30, 2012
In full: Would have been better if numbers had been sent out in the post and had the medal been inscribed. As one of the slower runners I was disgusted that there was no water left at the finish and no marshalls. Date of review: January 30, 2012
In full: Lack of parking & bad organisation ruined what was actually a lovely run, not to challenging & quite scenic. I was rather disappointed to receive a medal with no date, distance or place on it. I had to pour my own water at the end of the race & there was no snack etc to speak of. Considering the race cost £17 I thought it was a poor show really! Date of review: January 30, 2012
In short: Popular 10 miler. A couple of serious hills, but generally quite a comfortable run. In full: I've done this a number of times and its good one, and popular[nearly 900 finishers].A bit crowded at HQ, nearly a thousand people using a school sports hall and all runners needing to queue for their numbers and chips;still suitable facilities are hard to find.A good course,a bit bleak this time of the year with a hint of drizzle,two serious hills and some off road stretches.Would have been nice to have the medal indicate what event it was for and which year.Still a nice run,many thanks to Invicta for staging it. Date of review: January 30, 2012
In short: Not value for money - no food provided and only water around the course. Medal was given but not enscribed with race location or distance. Doiisappointing for the cost. Date of review: January 30, 2012