In short: A gem of a race In full: Beautiful scenery (it's the first time I have had to give way to deer!), an undulating trail course (a mix of cycle paths, gravel and lightly wooded earth/grass)and a village fete atmosphere, what's not to like about this race? Whilst it is low key compared to road races, it has everything you would expect of a bigger race (chip timing, photos, video of the start) but many things you don't usually get with larger events (such as free parking at the start and finishers sitting around on the grass post-finish, ready to cheer on later finishers such as myself). Plenty of aid stations, with water. jelly babies and bananas (cut up for easy eating). Marshalls and aid station volunteers were enthusiastic and encouraging. The only minor gripe was lack of route flags around the 22 mile mark - I did go slightly wrong, but luckily another runner put me right. I loved the goody bag - a Mars bar (which was cold despite the heat!), an event buff, a pen, running magazines, an event water bottle and a lovely medal. I debated whether to wear road or trail shoes, but given the dry course (there had been little rain the days before) I found road shoes were perfect; if it had been raining trail shoes would have been advisable. OK, only 2 portaloos, but the organisers had provided a jar of 20p to use in the main toilets to ease the queues (and to be fair, the toilet queues were not as long as many other events I've done). I note that some runners had problems with cyclists - I didn't experience this, and in fact received a few encouraging comments from them, which was totally unexpected. This race definitely is on next year's 'must do again' marathon list. Date of review: May 23, 2016
In short: Excellent event very well organised, nice location In full: Really well organized and marshaled throughout. Big thanks to all of the support team on drinks stations etc and the road crossing marshals. Nice location and scenery - pity not all of the cyclists were willing to behave reasonably or share the paths fairly.....!!! Date of review: May 23, 2016
In short: Richmond Park Marathon 2016 - beautiful but tough In full: A wonderful day spent in the glorious park. My tip for anybody (like me) who has previously only completed road marathons is to train on the same type of topography and surface as Richmond Park - obvious perhaps but I think I was not the only one who underestimated the challenge, especially towards the last 10 miles when the direct sun and light breeze did their best to make it harder! The marshals and the overall organisation for the event was excellent, and I would like to return. Other tip - take some 20p coins for the toilets. Date of review: May 23, 2016
In short: A well run marathon In full: A well run marathon, the marshal's on the road sections of the park were brilliant, personally I could have done with a few more signs on route, indicating the way as there were a few sections I could easily have gone wrong at if I wasn't with someone. The 2nd and 3rd loops pass a café with a great toilet area, if you need to use the facilities and I even saw a couple of runners off buying ice creams from the vans.
The start only had 2 portaloos so a huge queue, but there were toilets at the gate just round the corner requiring a 20p (Which the organisers provided) the race literature advised to use the portaloos, but I think that the alternative toilets should have been advertised to those at the back end of the queue or a sign saying alternative loos this way.
There are some hills in the park, but they are not the longest (Especially for trail runners) a total climb of 1,161ft regisered on my garmin, the whole park is rolling up and down but you didn’t really notice this, so many other runners, cyclists and children out playing which is great, but you do need to constantly watch where you are running so not the most relaxing of venues, but the deer’s and parakeets make you smile on the way round.
Great presence from St Johns ambulance service who also cycled round to keep a check on all runners, first class !
The aid stations were frequent, which was great providing cups of water and some cut up fruit, personally I would have loved some plain crisps or something different for those of us that don’t eat fruit while running, they had crisps and other things at the end, but all the crisps had all been eaten by the time I finished.
The medal was a lovely solid leaf design but it is tiny !, the goody bag had a neck scarf, bottle and pen and a couple of magazines, in (Although the bottle and pen were annoyingly missing from mine, but the person I ran with had them and I didn't realise till we got home)
It was a beautiful sunny day, if not a little too hot this year, so the shade under some of the trees was a welcome change.
Mainly gravel tracks and paths, so I wore my road shoes and feel this was sensible.
In short: Stunning scenery in a well organised race In full: Some lovely scenery of open grasslands, woodland and herds of deer - not what you'd expect this close to the Centre of London. There was a wide mix of runners from the first timers to (if I heard rightly) the 600 timers! Liked the starting straight with the union flags on each side. The marshalls were friendly and did a great job controlling the traffic and giving encouragement. There was some good support on the route as well. This one was tough too so I left feeling a great sense of achievement having completed it. A good medal, t-shirt and pen awaited as a reward at the end, and with Olympian David Weir as guest starter there was nothing more you could want really. Likely to be back again next year. Date of review: May 19, 2015
In short: Excellent morning spent in the park In full: Well organised with ace marshalls, this is a great race round Richmond Park. A morning spent running in the sun passed deer and over the undulations of Richmond is always a morning well spent. Have done it twice now and will be back again. Date of review: May 19, 2015