In short: Inspiring setting for PB attempt In full: I found the Olympic rowing course inspiring. The flat predictable course made for a great PB attempt - and I took 90 seconds off my previous best. Date of review: February 20, 2013
In short: Four laps of the lake In full: Not the most scenic but certainly not the least - Race your pace half marathon takes runners around the Eton Dorney rowing lake four times, in an effort to 'race your pace' It's advertised as having pacers from 6 minute miles to 12, which was probably true, but I only saw three (perhaps four) pacers for the whole field of a couple of thousand people. That's a big bus to join! The pacer closest to me, 1:58, was amazing and came in at 1:58 dead - truly brilliant. There was a problem with the car park which was dealt with very well, but the start was delayed by fifteen minutes as it was under-estimated how long it would take everyone to get to the warm up area. We stayed at a hotel 3 miles away and it took us 45 minutes to get there (and around 40 minutes for the way back, as traffic was quite congested). The vita coco coconut water was welcome at the finish, but there was nothing else besides a cup of water. No powerbar (as promised in the good luck e-mail), no banana, none of the usual goody bag fare. The medal was extremely mediocre as well, being about the size of half of a debit card and printed without a year on (in order to be used again, I'd imagine). This race wasn't cheap, at £27. I would not recommend this race for anyone other than those wishing to use it as a training run for the upcoming Spring marathons. There are plenty of other, much more interesting race routes to try which have better facilities. Date of review: February 18, 2013
In short: Overpriced and too many organisational issues In full: Having sworn last year I wouldn't do this one again, it unfortunately fit well into my training schedule so I thought I'd give it another chance. Hideously overpriced for a race with nothing special about it, no goody bag, t-shirt, etc to justify the cost. To ask people to pay £2 in addition for the priviledge of leaving a bag was insulting. Race start delayed AGAIN this year as they can't figure out the parking, and a long wait to get out of the car park unless you were one of the last finishers. On a positive note, the marshalls seemed more cheerful this year - there just weren't enough of them - two people to man a water stand isn't enough. Clearly this is a PB course and if you're desperate for one, this is a good race to do, but just be prepared to turn up early, stay late and spend lots of money! Date of review: February 18, 2013
In short: Very fast course, a few organisational issues In full: Did this race despite all the negative feedback about 2012 race.
The car parking is a bit crap, and a long walk from the race more like 1 mile rather than the advertised 800m
£2 for baggage is a rip off, especially given the parking.
The course was super fast, good mix of abilities, and I smashed my PB my 13 mins!!!
Not much of a crowd to speak of, and getting out of the car park was tediously slow. But if you're looking for a super fast race, then look no further and arrive early!!! Date of review: February 17, 2013
In short: Only enter this if you've exhausted all other options. Utterly un-inspiring and over-priced. In full: I ran the 2011 race so I had a rough idea what I was in for. Following injury, during which I missed 3 of the 4 Autumn races I'd entered, I felt I needed to add another race to the pre-Spring itinerary. Paris beckons and I'm well behind schedule. All that can be said for this dire event is that it's an official 13.1m run with competition. 1) It's pretty flat, but not the best for a PB. Not sure why; maybe it's the sheer monotony of 4 bleak laps; maybe a bit of undulation is preferable. I think this would be a great venue for a rowing event! 2) £27 is a lot to pay for a half. You could be forgiven for expecting something something special. I was astounded at being charged £2 to dump my bag. Totally un-expected, so my cash was buried at the bottom of my kit. Lucky it was there at all rather than hidden in the car. What is the 27 quid for anyway? 3) Parking! I nearly turned round and went home when I realised that once I'd parked I was trapped till the last runners started the final lap. I have work to get to at weekends and this made things rather tense. It was sad to see the post-race euphoria vanish from so many people's faces as they sat in a stationary file of cars waiting to get on with the rest of the day. 4) The race start was delayed by 15mins. Why? No idea. It was typical of this event; it's dressed up as super-organised with all the visual trappings, but none of the basic goodwill and runner-friendliness that assist a positive performance. This race claims no more than to be flat, timed & paced. As I say, I knew what to expect. But the cost versus feel-bad factor mean I won't becoming back. Neither, I would guess, will many others.
In short: Cant believe the moaning - Your alive aren't you? In full: Cant believe all the moaning. There are people dying out in the world and all these wingers are worried about is 4 laps, wind, rubbish car parking.
Okay so it is not the greatest of views, I dont believe the organisers were responsible for the weather and to moan about drinks stations, what are some people on.
Thanks RW and the pacing team. 1.41 and Im bloomin happy.
In short: Not perfect, but not as bad as many people seem to suggest! Great to have an event on a Saturday! In full: I think that people are being a bit harsh with this review, although I agree that there are elements which could be improved. Parking was a pain, I was a good mile from the start line, but there was an email sent out, and I do have legs, so I can walk that far, some events require a shuttle bus to the start/finish, so a 15 minute walk isn't the end of the world. 4 laps around a lake is always going to be flat and a little dull, but we all knew that when we signed up so it's unfair to be too critical. Medal was awful, but I dont usually keep them anyway, a training t-shirt would be much more useful. £27 is pricey to be fair.
Improvements would be a good PA system so that co-ordination could be much improved (and people could hear the delayed start time), more water at the end, even a banana would be good.
Great PB potential on a less windy day, nice supply of water and lucozade on the way round, pacers for almost all abilities has to be commended, and although it has received criticism for being repetitive, Dorney lake is a lovely area in which to run.
In short: PB potential was the only saving grace but rip off - organisers could learn the basics from smaller races In full: Flat as a pancake course, but then so is an athletics track and I wouldn't do multiple laps of one of those for £27. I'd have jumped into the lake through boredom except that it was so windy, I wouldn't have succeeded. Car parking dramas as others have said, no proper announcements system, and did anybody other than my friend and I find that the course was 0.1 mile too long? Could've been both our Garmins...)
There are far better-organised (by smaller running clubs/organisers) race events than this that are better value for money. For what we were paying, I felt utterly ripped off by the whole event.
(Thank you to the lovely marshalls, though) Date of review: February 21, 2012
In short: Too pricey for a very basic race In full: If it wasn't for the race location (Lake Dorney) and the Olympic-ness tied to the venue then one I would not have entered. Far too pricey for the minimal marshalling required for a simple 4 lap circuit. Before the race it took over 30 minutes to park up on what should have been a simple task - this resulted in a late start - thank goodness! Once the race started I could not believe that drinks were been given out within half a mile of the start (and that people were stopping to get drinks!!!). The medal was disappointing too. Having said all that I got a pb for the distance by 3 minutes so believe it or not I was happy. There was a strong cross wind on the day which made for running challenging at times. The marshalls were excellent especially those brave souls out at the west end of the lake in the wind - well done to them. Date of review: February 20, 2012
In short: The worst race I have ever done - I spent initial 2 laps angry and thinking 'I am NEVER doing this again'. The big plus was it was on a Saturday - please can we have more Sat races! In full: I wanted to do this race purely to run with a pacer - I'm trying to step up my speed and this flat course seemed ideal to run with a pacer and try to stick with them. As per previous people - I arrived over an hour early to sit in traffic for about 45 mins and then park about 2k from the start. Severe lack of toilets meant I actually missed the (already delayed) start - as such any plans to run with a pacer went out the window and instead I started about 5 mins after the last group. I spent the whole course overtaking... 4 laps of trying to get past people was enough to really test any patience and meant I spent the first half physically angry and repeating in my head 'I am NEVER doing this again'! Unbelievable wind which the organisers coudlnt' help added to the misery And then we finish to be given a tiny medal with no race name or date on. The worst memento I've received from any race.
The only good thing was this being held on a Saturday morning - and to any race organisers reading this - more Saturday races would be fantastic and definately make me enter over the same event on a sunday. It was great being able to go out on Sat evening for a meal or whatever you fancy without the overhang of knowing you ahd a race the next day! Why don't we have more event on a saturday (especially the smaller ones which peopel don't tend to travel for anyhow?) Date of review: February 20, 2012