In short: Nice but hilly In full: From a pure running point of view the course was very hilly, not recommended if you want a PB. If you just want a nice run it's fine, very beutiful scenery. Date of review: January 9, 2013
In short: The delay at the start ruined it. In full: It wasn't the organisers' fault that there was an October heatwave, nor that lots of runners were delayed in traffic (although I managed to get there from London on time). However the decision to delay the start at the very last minute was frankly irresponsible. In the 30 minutes spent frying with all the other poor souls who had made it on time, I drank all the liquid I had with me and felt ready to drop before I'd even started. As a result of overloading with liquid I also needed a pee as soon as I was able to. The delay also meant that we were running in a very exposed part of the course during the hottest part of the day. This was my ninth half marathon and I've never stopped once until this one - simply because I was over-heating. It's also the only half I've not enjoyed. I take pride in running the full 13.1 miles and I'm pretty sure I'd have been ok without the unnecessary sunstroke session. People shouldn't complain about hills - if you aren't fit enough to run one of these things you shouldn't enter. Or if you need a flat course enter a flat race. Date of review: November 18, 2012
In full: This was a great race. After entering I read last years reviews and this made me slightly nervous as it sounded terrible, infact I nearly didn't go. I am so glad I did. It was well organised, a beautiful setting and the run although slightly hilly was amazing. Obviously some people moan about nothing. I would do it again without a doubt. Date of review: October 10, 2012
In full: Having read some dire reviews of the 2011 run - and tales of hideous hills - I nearly didn't enter. But I'm glad to say neither was a problem. The BHF did a great job, the setting was magnificent, the atmosphere convivial and my son and I were glad we'd pitched up. Even to this non-athlete the warnings about the hills turned out to be overblown; yes, there are a few, but they're punctuated by long stretches of flat paths and roads. The generic medal is a bit poor and the goody bag is pointless (I'd much rather the BHF didn't waste time and resources). But these are trifles: it's a fine event and I'm pleased we were able to raise £1,000 on the back of it. This was my first half marathon and I trained following an ASICS plan which turned out to be brilliant. All in all a great experience. Date of review: October 9, 2012
In short: Scenic, not a stroll but if you train it's doable and enjoyable In full: This was my first half marathon but I have been training at various events to get used to the race atmosphere.
Overall, the race was nicely organised, the t-shirts were good, and the course was stunning. Yes, there were some rolling hills, I wouldn't say that they were unmanageable, but they were frequent.
Plenty of water at the water stations, though it would have been nice to get a banana or something at the half way point as has been done at other races. Not a deal-breaker, come with gels if you need the boost.
I wouldn't recommend this race if you haven't been training and are doing this for a bit of fun (stick to the fun run!) OR if you haven't run in a race before, solely because the terrain, although paved, isn't flat and could come as a shock.
My only criticism is that towards the end (I think it was at mile 11, by the white tents), the finishers and guests were walking on the course, which was not only distracting and unsafe, but a little disheartening to those of us still running (this was about 2 hours in, not the very end!).
The atmosphere was great, people cheered along the course, including the marshals and locals, which compounded with the gorgeous view, made it quite enjoyable. The runners were also polite, I saw a few people slow every so often for those that were struggling to make sure that they were ok - it was a congenial group of runners generally.
I'm excited to participate again next year and hopefully beat my time! Date of review: October 8, 2012
In short: Lovely run in beautiful surroundings In full: Lovely run in beautiful surroundings, well organised and a nice touch to have Roger Bannister start the race.
Very enjoyable run held for a great cause so no complaints on a generic medal - all monies raised go to the BHF, so what isn't spent on the run goes to helping someone who really needs the BHF's support. Well done BHF.
For results, which aren't yet up on the BHF website, go to: http://www.chiptiming.co.uk/results.php Date of review: October 8, 2012
In short: Well organised and great scenery In full: Second year I have done this and some tweaks from last year made a definite improvement e.g. more toilets, better marking of the off-road section for the 10k runners, better t-shirt. Medal is still a generic 2012 BHF one, so if the medal is important to you then you'll be disappointed (though you could get it engraved for £4). There are indeed a few hills on the course, but this is more than made up for by the scenery as well as the support (though this is clustered around the palace really).
Overall a really good race and will definitely be back next year. Date of review: October 8, 2012
In short: Lots of long hills which can be demotivating In full: I live in a fairly flat area so was not prepared for the hills which were steep and long. Had I trained better, I would have enjoyed the run much more. Date of review: October 8, 2012