In short: Why no water at the end?! In full: I was very disappointed not to have water at the end, especially since I didn't pick up a bottle during the first lap, imagining there would be more later on! This is very poor on the part of the organisers. I also found some of the marshalls to be very fed-up looking and one girl stood behind a tree, she did point in the right direction though!
Oddly, I'd do it again, even with its failings! It was fairly hilly in places, so a nice challenge and local to me, so a good option.
Sort it out for next year organisers! Date of review: May 10, 2011
In short: No water at the end on such a humid day was upsetting! In full: Race seemed friendly to start, as with other comments some of the marshalls clearly did not want to be there or interact with the runners, good effort from the guy with the 2k/5k/8k signs, not so good with the young lady preoccupied with her iPhone! Good encouragement from the crowd. Felt very upset that no water at the end, very humid - Why hand it out before lap 1 - and why not in cups instead of bottles discarded virtually full - not impressed. Date of review: May 9, 2011
In short: Easy for Londoners who don't have a car, friendly organisers and challenging hills! In full: This was the first time I'd done the race and wasn't prepared for the hills! The kilometre marking was more of a suggestion than an accurate signpost, but with an event based on laps, it wasn't too much of a problem. Some of the marshals looked like they were being made to stand there rather than doing it thru their own free will, but a couple of supporters cheered us on (especially the builders at the far end of the course!). I was a little concerned that we had to abandon our bags under a tree on open ground, but once I'd run past and spotted a surly teenager in a hi res jacket watching over them, my fears were allayed! Some water at the end would have been nice as it was so humid, but I overheard one of the organisers saying they'd had a lot of people turn up on the day and not catered for such numbers. There was a cafe 100m away anyway.
I'd recommend the race to newcomers to the sport - I made some friends on the way to the course and went for a drink in Del Boy's Nags Head after the race. Date of review: May 8, 2011
In short: A Friendly Local Race, But Could Do Better! In full: This is the third year I've done this race as it's local for me. The marshalls are always miserable (apart from the one guy at the 2/5/8km mark this year)and don't really do anything or even point people in the right direction. I agree its confusing if you don't know the route as there isn't a map and the marshalls are no more than people standing (with headphones, on the phone etc) in yellow jackets. Would have rather had a bottle of water at the end as it was a hot and humid day rather than a t-shirt. A friendly atmosphere and it's only £10. But more water and some encouragement from the marshalls would make all the difference. Date of review: May 8, 2011
In short: I thought it was a very welcoming event and great atmosphere around. I also agree that the 2km marker was a bit off but didn't really matter. Also there was 1 or 2 stewards who lacked the enthusiasm of others but overall very good! Date of review: May 7, 2011
In full: I would echo the comments made here already. Definitely some issue with the placing of the 2km marker as it also took me 15 minutes to get there, but I managed to hit 5km by 25 minutes...and I definitely didn't do 3km in 10 minutes or speed up that quickly!
Similarly, I agree that the interest of the stewards appeared mixed. Some were very encouraging and smiley (particularly the guy at the 8km marker!), but others appeared to have their headphones/phones plugged in. And also there was some definite confusion at the start as to what direction we were supposed to be running.
Also, much as I loved my t-shirt at the end, I would've rather had some water! There was no water available which, in today's humid conditions, was rather unfortunate! Someone told me that the water had actually run out - given that some people still had a lap to do when I finished, the fact they had to run the last bit without water isn't ideal.
Overall, good race in terms of atmosphere and spirits however - and welcoming to new people. Everyone seemed happy and keen to put in a good race. What was also good was that it wasn't over-crowded - so after the usual rush of the first few kms, most people had a decent bit of running space and we weren't falling over each other. Just needs some tweaking on the logistics. Definitely worth it for the low entry fee though.
In short: Friendly but chaotic In full: This was a good spirited event but had a fair few downsides.
The lack of any mile markers until 2k was dispiriting, and the fact that it took 15 minutes to reach the 2k mark, but only a further 17 to reach the 5k suggests they weren't placed too accurately.
The marshals were an odd mix - some were enthusiastic and smiley, making eye contact and giving encouragement (many thanks to those!) whereas others were staring at mobile phones, gazing into the middle distance whilst giving little indication of the route, or, in one case, smoking upwind of the runners. Given that there were no signposts (including to the registration desk - hidden at the back of the carpark), that the route involved "following the man on the yellow bike" and that the starting horn, which came with no preamble, caught pretty much the whole group (who were trying to work out if anyone knew which direction we were meant to set off in) by surprise, more high profile marshalling might have helped.
Nevertheless, this race had a friendly atmosphere and, despite being small, didn't feel scary for a relative novice. If the entry fee had been more I would have felt ripped off, but you can't complain too much for £10 (inclding a t shirt!) Date of review: May 7, 2011