In short: Not bad In full: I'm local to this race and do a lot of my training on the tow-paths and parks around here. I just don't understand why the organisors have decided to make people run along the (open and busy) Portsmouth road, when there are so many more beautiful places to run. Why not use Bushey Park or the river towards Richmond? Most runners would rather not run two lap courses and at the end of the day, it's not necessary in this neck of the woods. I also think that the cost of the run was a little steep. For a route which uses footpaths next to open roads, I would usually expect to pay a lot less. I liked the early start, and the fact that it was on my doorstep, so for that reason I'll probably run it again.
In short: 2 laps of the same course (mostly on main roads that were open); a bit boring. The camber on the pavement near the end of each lap was knee-wrenching. Would do again but only the 8 mile version. One lap is enough! Date of review: April 26, 2006
In short: Slightly disappointed not to get a medal after 16 miles! In full: This was my first long race. The organisation was OK, wasnt enough loos (are there ever?!) and there was hardly any crowd support on the way round except for in the town centre. The scenery was pretty along the towpath, but unfortunately the traffic was not stopped on the second part of the lap so part of the race was on a rather narrow pavement. A bit gutted not to get a medal after my hard efforts - I already have lots of mugs at home! Date of review: April 15, 2006
In short: Overall the race was good. In full: Train times were poor for getting to the race from London. There was a lot of standing around in the cold waiting for the race to begin. Apart from that, the race was quite good and I enjoyed it. Date of review: April 9, 2006
In short: Average race, not best organised, but good prep for FLM In full: I had done the Running Festival race over the same course with approx 400 people doing the longer race, and what i remembered was a lot nicer than i experienced here. Thought there were a few organisational problems. Like a few people have mentioned, parking is free on a Sunday till 11am, and all the 8 milers and also some of the 16milers could have managed this rather than paying 3 pounds at the eden centre, or more elsewhere. The route seemed a lot more crowded,and not sure the different starts really worked, as had to pass loads of slower 8 milers on the 1st lap, and also the faster women would ahve been hampered a lot by the slower men (i ran with my girlfriend so experienced it) Had to keep resorting to stepping into the road. Seems a bit unfair for the women who are quicker. Not sure if the start is too small for everyone to start together, but at least people would then settle into their pace and place within a mile or so,rather than being hampered by the majority. The only scenic and nice bits seemed to be the towpath, and the rest quite narrow and hard to pass on. Not many toilets as far as i could see, and also see a lack of organisation at the end. A goodybag, with just a couple of leaflets (would have been better with nothing). Also the drinks at the end seemed chaotic, and saw quite a few people carrying boxes or lucozade away without being stopped, with still lots of slower runners coming in after (so wondered if they would run short by the end?).
Good points are, it is flat, local (to me), Nice distance at that stage before London marathon. And it starts early which means you have the rest of the day left.
I would do it again,only as local and its good for training, but i thought it was expensive for what it was, and did enjoy the October version (which was less packed) a lot more. Not sure the course can really cope with that amount of numbers
A lot to be improved on! Date of review: April 6, 2006