In short: Great setting,early start,smooth running,terrific medal,great T-shirt,memorable! In full: The idea of running in one of my favourite places- Kew Gardens - made the 10k race unmissable. It certainly lived up to my expectations. The pre race organisation made it simple for me to be ready for the start despite arriving just 15mins before the off. I was quite worried as the race began as I was just getting over the Thames Meander but the gentle pace,fantastic scenery,and wide open space made for a very enjoyable run.The course continued around the Gardens and then left to follow the Thames Path which brought back memories of my previous run.This was a great part of the race as l passed the 4 mile marker with Old Father Thames to my right. Not long now and then the turn into the final run in and then a sprint(!?) to finish and share a high five with the Mayoress. She was great cheering everyone on as they crossed the line. Terrific medal , great T-shirt, food and drink at the end ensured my entry for next year. Date of review: October 18, 2013
In short: Great race, great atmosphere and lots of fun! In full: I ran the 10km and was apprehensive as due to an injured knee I hadn't been able to put in much training, but with great contact from the organisers I was assured the course was flat with minimal hills (my kind of course). The start was set in the beautiful Kew Gardens and was such a lovely run. As someone who loves running but is not very good I can sometimes feel a bit overwhelmed by lots of serious runners together, that I will be at the back watching the race happen. But with this race there was something very inclusive about the whole atmosphere with lots of people doing their first 10k. Overall the course was lovely, people jotted all about cheering on. The markers were on the floor perhaps could have been brighter markers but were still visible and a nice count down in my head!
I loved the atmosphere after the race enjoyed a delicious freshly made pulled pork bun and sausage sandwich and after that also enjoyed a cider from the beer tent and listened to the fantastic live music.
The children's races captured the essence of the 2012 legacy and was so lovely to watch. All of them from reception to teenagers trying their best and finishing with a smile.
My only negative would be the early start but that's really because I am no early bird and generally do not favour mornings! Having said that it was then a nice feeling to have run 10k enjoyed beautiful scenery and get an awesome t shirt all before 10am on a Sunday!
Overall something I will definitely be doing again and will recommend to friends, beginners and those more experienced. Date of review: October 18, 2013
In short: Good fun, great atmosphere!! In full: Excellent race, even though I was in serious pain from running the great north run the previous week, luckily the beer and t-shirt at the end eased the pain. The bottle opener medal is fantastic as it's the medal that keeps on giving rather than gathering dust. The great variety for food stalls, live music and entertainment for the children added to a great day out. It even persuaded my sister, who is a beginner runner and came to watch, to aim for doing the 10km next year. Also quick mention about the t-shirt.....it's awesome!!!! Thanks for a great day! Date of review: October 16, 2013
In short: Much hyped, nice medal and t-shirt but should have focused on the race itself. In full: Beautiful start in Kew Gardens, rest of course was along the tow path so it was pretty. The odd dodgy mile marker, distinct lack of marshalls and the ones round Ham House were awful. Couldn't see the finish line when entering Old Deer Park, no "100m to go" nobody giving out medals - I helped myself, no announcements or encouragement at the finish. Race village was nice but very organic (no diet coke)long queues for beer and tea. Kids race was a nice touch. Too hyped and not enough attention paid to the actual race. Date of review: October 7, 2013
In short: a day to remember In full: had such a lovely day taking part! especially enjoyed starting in kew gardens, couldn't have planned it better. not only was the race enjoyable and challenging but the scenery was spontaneous! organisation was great everything went swimmingly and an overall positive atmosphere throughout the day!! Date of review: September 26, 2013
In short: Great to run in Kew Gardens, but at a price! In full: Very nice run, well-marshalled. It was great to be able to start in Kew Gardens, and the course was all pleasant, despite a bit of mud by Ham Common. I often run down that way so was expecting the rough path, but it may have caught some people by surprise. The mile markers were rather lacking (or misleading). Not enough drinks stations - at 2, 6 & 11 miles, not enough - if you hadn't picked up a bottle of sports drink at the first or second station, you would have suffered. Expensive, too, especially as there are never any small tshirts left by the time I finish - why do they get so many big sizes? Runners generally aren't massively fat. A very nice race, though, and I'd do it again next year. Date of review: September 25, 2013
In short: Tough Multi Terrain Half Marathon In full: My first race for over a year after injury and excited for it to be a race I hadn't run before. Not as fit as I thought I was finishing in 1hr 32mins but found the multi terrain which included grass and the uneven Thames Towpath quite tough. However its more satisfying doing well in the tougher races and I would like to run it again. Organisation was good and the medal, running t-shirt and beer was a good touch. Date of review: September 24, 2013
In full: I enjoyed this run, especially having the festival and kids races afterwards, such a scenic course. The organisation was generally pretty good (except for the t-shirt queue) and the atmosphere was nice and friendly. I couldn't hear the megaphone announcements either, like some people have mentioned on here and also I would have liked to be able to see the finish a bit more clearly, to know where I was going to finish!
My Garmin measured the course at 13.2, which seems fair enough as I probably wobbled off the racing line a bit at times.
But I am starting to wonder if I just hallucinated the fact that there were no water stations between 6 and 11 miles, and that there was no energy drinks at the 11 mile water stop (although plenty at 3 miles, strangely, which seems to be the wrong way around?) Maybe I was just so knackered that I ran straight past the water station without seeing it? Either way, I was desperate for some water by the time I finally found the station at 11 miles, and could finally take my gel properly. The river water almost started to look tempting at one point...
(And did I also hallucinate the teddy bear's picnic, inside Kew Gardens?) Date of review: September 23, 2013