In short: Wonderful organisation by Dartford Harriers. A truly challenging course not for the faint hearted. Beautfiul weather on the day. Good value for money with some nice touches in the race pack afterwards. I liked the ASICS key ring and water bottle. Date of review: August 1, 2011
In short: an interesting race for runners In full: First time I have run this event and a pb for me (only by 1 minute, yet they all count)
I enjoyed the race and found the route interesting and challenging, much better than some out and back routes. Finished in 1.46 and the goody bags had all gone, although a friend of mine who finished in 1.42 had one and to be fair, I didn't miss much
A big thanks to all the marshalls throughout the course who were very encouraging. I will race again and who knows, maybe next year I'll run fast enough for an illusive goody bag Date of review: July 29, 2011
In short: Grrr! Makes you work hard. You will know if you've trained for this one. In full: All time favourite for me - must be the 7th time I've done it. Much better medal now (used to be horse brass). The route is nasty in places (I forgot about the Gills Road hill), and the dreaded "Gore Hill" is a real tester of the legs. Weather was quite warm which brings the pains on. Have to say that the organisation was very good, marshals were top draw. Support from local residents was nice. I got my 2nd best time (1hr47) and still didn't get a goodie bag, so I was a tad disappointed. Have to say that the bloke doing the commentating at the end left a little to be desired - certainly didn't get the crowds motivated for finishers. All in all, I love this event as it's my local 1/2 and it's a brute which keeps me on my toes (pun). There is no getting away with being unfit 'cos it'll show. Thanks Dartford. Date of review: July 27, 2011
In short: Going downhill... In full: I used to love this run. I haven't done it since 2008 (when I did it in 2.20), so this was my first time on the new course, and it is likely to be my last.
I didn't like the extra hill loop which breaks up the long straight. I didn't like the different hill at mile 10 which replaces the old climb at mile 9. The previous climb was pleasant and under tree shade. The new one is along an ugly, dirty road, exposed to the sun. I didn't like the awkward switchbacks and various tunnels and road crossings with few marshals to help out. I hated the frustrating extra loops around the park at the end. Those loops could be done at the start. And it's a shame that there were not enough bananas and goodie bags. It's not nice struggling in at the end of a long run to see others eating bananas, and evidence of the bananas everywhere, and nothing left! It has to be fair to all. My money went to pay for those bananas as much as everyone else. I should have known though, as this race has a history of running out of water at drinks stations. It was because of this race's poor organisation of water that I now make sure I always carry my own bottle during long runs. Unless, of course, I am running a properly organised race such as London Marathon. It's better to have too much water and bananas than not enough - and better to ask everyone to pay an extra £1 each to make sure there is enough than to try and keep the run cheap, and then skimp on these important details.
I am prepared to put up with a few faults on a run, but the faults on this run are mounting up. Date of review: July 26, 2011
In short: Brilliant challenge In full: Second time for me and enjoyed it more than the first time. Well organised and great marshalls . Nice to have a challenging hilly race through such nice scenery. The last hill is tough but the challenge makes it all the more enjoyable. Will be back again next year! Date of review: July 26, 2011
In short: Well organised race In full: Well done Dartford Harriers , a well organised half, good challenging route, friendly encouraging marshalls and I enjoyed the banana at the end. I thought the baggage storage worked well. I didn't know there was a goody bag but it is not exactly the end of the world that I didn't get one,lol. Date of review: July 25, 2011
In short: Decent, hilly race but needs work to make it great In full: There was much made about the fact that this race is in it's 35th year, so it surprised me a bit that it wasn't that slick an operation. From the big queue to drop off baggage because we had to wait for a label to be written for each person, to the unclear, poorly signposted winding route in the last mile, to running out of goody bags at the end of the race (and I finished in 2hrs so wasn't one of the last) - it just didn't seem as organised as I'd expect when everyone's had so much practise. However, the marshals were excellent, the water stops frequent (and even stocked with bananas), the locals were very supportive and the hills, although horrendous, were a positive challenge...and the medal was pretty good too! Generally the route was around pretty countryside, although I didn't particularly enjoy the narrow path along the main road. All in all, a good morning's work, but glad I didn't have to travel too far for it, as this wasn't the historic race I was expecting. Date of review: July 25, 2011
In short: Really nice event - but very tough ! In full: A very well organised event - excellently marshalled.
The course is tough - the first 6 miles are up and down then there is a steeper climb at 7 miles. Miles 8-9 were in some ways the hardest - flat but along a main road into a headwind. Then that very steep climb at 10 miles. For the first time ever I was reduced to walking at the top! Last 3 miles were easier though and nice to finish on the track.