In short: Friendly, fast course, but for £20 I would actually like an official race time In full: As people have said, start was a bit disorganised with no clear start line. The course, however, was good - flat and fast and despite being made up of laps not too dull as it took you along the river and towpath. HOWEVER - most likely short, as came up as 12.98 on my Garmin. Biggest gripe though is that apparently due to the 'extreme weather conditions' - rain - I didn't even have a time on the results, never mind a non-chip time. For £20 this is unacceptable and so is the excuse, I could go and run 13miles and time it on my own without paying considerable money for the privelege. Annoying particularly as I was in the top 10 for my gender so it would be nice to actually have my name and time recognised in the results, getting smudged in the rain is no excuse. Not returning until they add chip timing. Date of review: September 29, 2012
In short: Great marshalls In full: As stated by others a bit disorganised. The disappointment is with the results feedback. "Some results may be omitted or wrong" not really good enough for £20 and blaming the rain is simply a poor excuse!. There was no monitoring of how many laps people did and not clear at end who was doing time keeping. If they cannot do the times then get someone who can or chip it Date of review: September 26, 2012
In short: Good flat fast race. Enthusiastic marshalls, great goody bag but organisation could have been slightly better. In full: I really enjoyed this race. The idea of 6 laps around Hackney Marshes was not terribly encouraging but in fact the lap was fairly varied and contained lots of different scenery, terrain etc. Certainly not boring! Also probably the flattest, fatest course that you will run on and would have been even faster in the dry. A real PB opportunity.
The 6 lap thing also means that there are always plenty of people around while in some races you can feel that you are completely alone even if it is a bit depressing to be lapped by the faster runners.
The marshalls were extremely enthusiastic and 2 water stations a lap meant that hydration was never a problem (particularly as it was cold and wet all race). Goody bag was excellent (flapjack and bagel - just what I needed after running 13 miles), certificate was a nice touch and facilities were first rate.
Only slightly negative point was the organisation. As many people have commented the start was a little chaotic. Also it would be worth while the organisers looking into chip timing for future years as the only record of my time was my own watch and it is always nice to get an official time for these things. Date of review: September 25, 2012
In short: Short but fun In full: One big negative - the course was at least 200m short; anyone who thinks they ran a pb, didn't. It doesn't count.
That said, not many other complaints. Organisers were friendly and efficient. Changing facilities were good. Nice goody bag. Start seemed fine to me, although can understand people finding it a bit chaotic Date of review: September 24, 2012
In short: Flat course, great pb potential, shambolic start! In full: First of all, huge thanks for the effort from all of the organisers. Appreciate it can't have been much fun watching people run around whilst it was pouring with rain on an exposed playing field. They were brilliant, loads of encouragment and the pre and post race food was perfectly judged.
This is the second consecutive year i've run this race and start line problems again i'm afraid! Having run it last year, I knew what way round we were going to be running, so lined up on the start line directly facing about 300 people who had not been properly instructed. When everyone was told what way around it was, people simply turned around, not instructed back behind the start line, which affected the distance and meant me having to fight through a big crowd of people. Just having somebody stationed at the start line to direct people would have been all that was needed, as opposed to 'go over there and we'll come and organise you afterwards'. I'm not super-quick, but always run for a time so very frustrating from that point of view, no 'faster runners at the front' type announcements. We were also a few minutes late setting off.
Sounds like a big whinge up but it was just the one thing that STILL needs to be worked on, despite the feedback from last year. Very simple to fix. Sort the start and it's a clockwork race. Thanks again guys!
In short: great race, great atmosphere In full: negative- as a few others have stated the start line needs sorting out, just a couple of cones to mark it would do the job rather than us having to guess where it is
positives- everything else. a fantastic race on a dead flat course, I'm sure I've run hillier races on a track, perfect for beginners but also great pb potential. the marshalls were fantastic, 2 water stations on a 2 mile loop meant no one was ever going to go thirsty. jelly babies, flapjacks and energy drinks beforehand and more of the same after along with medals certificates and a fantastic goody bag (I'm loving the bagel, butter, jam, knife and napkin)
this is one I'll definitely be back for Date of review: September 24, 2012
In short: A fast, flat race with a great atmosphere, but organisation could be improved In full: This was my second time running the UFD half, and I know it's a long-running gripe but it would have been nice to have the distance certified, as we started a long way back from where we did a couple of years ago! The start was pretty shambolic, with nobody being able to determine where the start line was or even what direction we should be running in!
Those complaints aside, it was a really enjoyable race - the organisers and marshalls were more enthusiastic that at pretty much any race I've run, which was doubly impressive given that they were standing around for hours in the freezing rain!
I think lapped races are like marmite - you either love or hate them, but there's no denying that this race has huge PB potential; you won't find a flatter half anywhere!
All in all, an enjoyable morning, and a PB for me! I'll be back agin, hopefully for a distance-certified half...... Date of review: September 24, 2012
In short: Good fun, enthusiastically marshalled, not the greatest organisation In full: Pre-race communications were a bit of a muddle, and the race didn't start that well as there was no real start line, just an area where people amassed (initially all facing the wrong direction). But the pre-race warm up and DJ were good fun, the marshalls were some of the most lively I have ever seen (despite the rain) and there was a decent goodie bag and free food before the start.
The race itself - I thought 6 laps would be dull, but the actual route was reasonably varied and the laps helped with pacing (as there were no mile markers). It was flat as a pancake and I took a few minutes off my PB. All in all, well worth it, especially if you are local. Date of review: September 24, 2012
In short: Very friendly if mildly chaotic In full: Good changing facilities at Hackney Marshes. Stewards and staff all very helpful, friendly and encouraging. A bit chaotic when we got led to the start, not helped by the rain to be fair. Could have done with a megaphone for pre race instructions. Course pretty good, thought it was going to be laps of the football pitches but it takes on paths along the river. My first attempt at a HM and would certainly go back. Date of review: September 23, 2012