In short: 2nd year of the excellent Ealing Half! In full: This was my 2nd year of running, and in fact the 2nd year it has been on, for the fantastically organised and very enjoyable Half marathon. Scenery is very good for London, the course has mild hills but I got a PB both years of running it so they can't be that bad at all! Recommend for beginners and non-beginners a like Date of review: October 3, 2013
In short: Very well organised race. In full: From entry, to receiving my number, to dropping off my bag, everything worked like clockwork. There's a few inclines, but nothing to worry about and it seems to be a decent course for potential PBs. And for what is fundamentally a local race, the crowd support is amazing. Thanks to everyone involved in organising the race. Date of review: October 3, 2013
In short: Twisty-turney-undulating but cracking atmosphere In full: The course featured some changes from last year which (in my view) made it a little harder; it seemed more undulating and there were more turns which slowed things down a bit. However - it was very good for spectators who could spot their runner at various points around the course. I really enjoyed the atmosphere and will hopefully be back next year. Date of review: October 3, 2013
In short: Friendly, meticulously organised race In full: So there are flatter races out there with more PB potential. There are courses that are more naturally endowed with famous landmarks and beautiful scenery. But I don't think I've run in many races that have had as good an atmosphere, or were as enjoyable. .
For perspective, this isn't a review written in the rose-tinted afterglow of a PB; I went into this run in the throes of a horrible cold and a niggling Achilles, and was never in danger of recording a good time. But I still loved it. Ealing shows the value of getting the little touches right. From the no-hassle bag drop, to the lovely medal. From the signs put up around the course welcoming runners from different countries or wishing runners happy birthday, to the warm-up which was clearly led by a running coach, not a local radio DJ trying to recreate a Davina aerobics video. From the friendly and enthusiastic marshals, to the spotlight given to the local running clubs. Well done Ealing! Date of review: October 3, 2013
In short: Friendly and fast In full: How wonderful to have a race in London on entirely closed streets. The residents and marshals made the runners feel welcome and valued and there was a carnival-like atmosphere, some street parties on the way. The water stops were very well organised and conducive to barely breaking your stride. Plenty of room to run and very little congestion. A few mildly challenging hills but plenty of flats too (and downhills obviously). Route goes through nice residential areas and parks too, including a nice lap-of-honour at the end. Slick organisation, a genuinely useful organised warm-up, and appropriate stands and tents in the start/finish park. I ran the whole thing with a big silly grin on my face, decimated my PB, and will definitely be back for more next year. Date of review: October 2, 2013
In short: Buzzing atmosphere, great for all abilities - good fun! In full: People say London is a lonely place full of lots of people but the Ealing community proved otherwise! The support from locals & volunteers made me feel rather emotional, Ealing half really displayed the spirit of why running is so much fun. Ill be back! The hills aren't that bad btw! Date of review: October 2, 2013
In short: A must-do race. In full: What makes this race so special?
1)Brilliant organisation - from plentiful toilets, great baggage drop area to the course being very well signposted.
2) Great support on the route from residents and marshals
3) Mildly undulating, yes. But what goes up must come down, right? I went easy on the uphills and easily made up the time on the downhill stretches and bagged a pb by over 5 minutes. Don't let yourself be put off by talk of hills, otherwise you will miss out on one of London's best races.
4) The race manages to create the feel of being a truly big event, with over 5,000 runners, including a band of elite male and female athletes (64 minute being the winning time in the men's race). This feeling of taking part in one of the major events on the racing calendar is further emphasised by the fact that it is run on closed roads throughout and the race starts and finishes in Lammas Park, the site of an impressive race village.
5) Whilst the event is now undoubtedly one of the major races around, it retains an appeal for beginners as much as elites. The sheer number of marshals on hand, all of whom seemed to be ready to dish out a friendly hello or an encouraging smile and supportive cheer, ensure this remains the case. There was also an abundance of pacers, ensuring the goals of the not-so-fast runners are rightly catered for, as much as the elites. In addition, there were lots of shouts of encouragement from others runners as the route came back on itself - this is what running, in my view, is all about, all of us in it together, regardless of ability.
In short, do this race in 2014. Personally, I cannot wait. Date of review: October 2, 2013
In short: Ealing opens its doors and welcomes runners of all levels In full: The four features that stand out for me are: fantastic organisation, every little detail is thought through eg bananas that are ripe to eat given out at the end. Secondly the warmth of welcome from the community- Ealing wants us to be running through their streets, I had so many offers of jelly babies! Thirdly the breadth of the runners, from world class elites to first timers like me, we had the chance of seeing the elites running as we passed each other, it gave a sense of a whole race and not just the part I was in. Fourthly the support of the Marshall's and water station churches, I was cheered on all the way. It's a really unforgettable half marathon, highly recommended. As they say, it's run by runners for runners, and they have succeeded Date of review: October 1, 2013