In short: Wet, windy and hilly! In full: This was my first half marathon and it isn't very local but the alternative was filled up before I entered so I decided to sign up for Roding Valley.
I didn't realise it was hilly until a few days before but I guess everyone has to start somewhere.. The weather was terrible and the start did seem a little chaotic however the weather really seemed to affect everything - even the mood of other runners! I definitely got the impression everyone wanted to get round and get warm again ASAP!
I found it nice to explore a new area and the downhill section at the end of the big loop was good.. There were people cheering despite the rain which made it enjoyable
Most marshalls were encouraging and very brave! Overall it was enjoyable and the irony is that the weather has been perfect every day since the event! (a week has passed now!) Date of review: March 7, 2010
Shame about the weather - marshalls did a great job encouraging you and also with the road crossings. Really appreciated the supporters under the bridge.
Nice atmosphere in the clubhouse.
Not as tough as expecting but a challenging run all the same.
Had to check my stride a couple of times for drivers pulling into junctions too fast but that's road races for you.
Not everyone used this run as a Marathon warm-up/training run so resent strongly being labelled as precious/purist for having the nerve to expect an accurate time. Perhaps this was the/a 'big race' for some people, and their traing had been geared towards getting a decent time and run here, and not merely a stepping stone for other races? You can't dismiss constructive criticism and feedback by wrongly labelling it as just a marathon warm-up/training and thereby any problems or negatives do not matter, and by describing those making the comments as moaners and whingers.
Also strongly disagree that those that missed the start had only themselves to blame for going the loo in the last ten minutes. The quesues were massive at 8.30-8.40.I'm sure some people would of been waiting 20 minutes plus to go the toilet but still missed the start. Someone mentioned the extra toilets in the clubhouse - that's well and good but how many people knew they were there? I didn't see any signs indicating they were there - maybe I missed the signs or maybe they weren't any put up? I've been to races where there are signs and directions to all the loos to prevent unnecessary and preventable queues. Also many people had trouble parking which all took time.
Taking all that into account and given the conditions I thought there could of been some more leeway at the start. Didn't actually affect me but I felt for those that the race started without. It's very disheartening to see a race start without you, especially for the on the day entries who could of stayed in bed on a very rough and wet Sunday morning but made the effort to enter and support the race, especially too if you've arrived in plenty of time for the normal pre-race rituals. Those joining the race race either ran short (400 metres upon joining the pack) - or ran long - (800 metres upon realising that they had to do an extra lap; but they did two full laps from the gate at the 100 metre start instead of starting from the 300 metres start at the opposite end of the track) - instead of the actual 600 metres.
Would probably do again as feel the toilet and start issues can and will be resolved and knowing that the race organiser is taking all the feedback into account so will be looking into preventing those problems in future. Date of review: March 3, 2010
In short: Good training for marathon but not exactly stimulating sights In full: The 2010 race was a very dismal wet day, in fact I wondered why I was there. The course isn't exactly inspiring (most of my other runs have been quiet country roads) but that's more to do with the nature of the location rather than something the organisers could have done better. Despite being a late on line entry, I did get my map & race no. in the post in time. In terms of organisation - The lap of the race track could have been better organised as it was a bottle neck trying to get out on to the main roads. Marshals were present (despite the bad weather) but not exactly enthusiastic. You did well if you got a word out of them. Would I do it again - may be. If you're training for a marathon it comes at a great time otherwise I wouldn't rush back.... Date of review: March 2, 2010