In short: Good potential but let down by poor organisation In full: If you have read other reviews then you will see that the course had to be changed due to flooding - but I would like to point out that the Thames is a tidal river and flooding occurs here to the extent that the paths are impassable approximately every 3 weeks. Therefore the chances were quite high that the route would be flooded and I feel better provisions should have made for this eventuality. Hats off to the marshals, they did a difficult job, but the re-designing of the course was a unfortunate as it ended up with an obstacle course of jumping over walls, going up steps, doing a U-turn in a 1 metre space, climbing steps over a bridge, running down a steep verge and ending the final 600m in a marshy field with all energy dissipating into the mud. Unfortunately the planned parts of the route were often too narrow and a bit hazardous with the ice and verges off the path. Also as has been mentioned the ridiculous queue for the 'goody bag' - a bag of leaflets, and a t-shirt. A better system could and should have been improvised when it was apparent that we were queuing for half an hour in the increasingly cold weather - when the only thing anyone wanted was a t-shirt. Although I have put all the failings of this race I still did enjoy myself and did clock a good time - nice atmosphere and a lovely location. Date of review: April 30, 2013
In short: Beautiful route In full: Really enjoyed the route. Very muddy and icy in some parts because of the unprecedented awful weather but I thought they dealt with this well and adjusted the route at the end, even though the steps were a killer. Liked that the tshirt was actually small that I got! Date of review: April 30, 2013
In short: Nice route, finish could have been better In full: As has already ben said, it was a nice route - the towpath is where I do a lot of my training, so although people have said it was a bit muddy/uneven, if you had looked at the route map this would not have come as a surprise, and was actually quite beautiful. Yes it was a little crowded along Kew Road and in patches of the towpath. An earlier review suggested starting with a lap of old deer park, rather than at the end and this would be a good way to help spread the runners before the naoorw sections. Race village and finish line definitely need to be closer together. And was also a bit disappointed with the goody bag after queuing for 20 mins or so. Nothing special, just a bunch of leaflets. Date of review: April 7, 2013
In short: Fun, picturesque and enjoyable race In full: As an inaugural event, the organisers pulled of a good race in leafy Surrey.
I understand there were a few course changes due to flooding but to be fair I loved the variety of terrain. The stairs at the end were a surprise but again I understand why this was needed.
But the main thing I have to say is that the marshals were amazing. It was -3 when I got there and the marshalls were already out. Big round of applause to them. Look forward to next year Date of review: April 5, 2013
In short: So sad no medal In full: There were things out of control of the organizers, but I'm not loving this theme of no medal. I'm no quick runner, but I do think with a £30 entrance fee a medal is a must. I didn't even get my 'goodie' bag as the queue was too long. I did the Kingston Breakfast run the week before, again, no medal. I know it's not just about that, but it's something to remember the day! Glad I did it though.
In short: Nice route, well marshalled and great pace groups but the "goody bag" left a lot to be desired In full: Race village was great, and showed a lot of great organisation had gone into this race. Plenty of loos and plenty of sponsor support visible. For that to descend to the post race chaos is unforgiveable with long queues for "goody bag" a long way from the finish line, only to discover it's a bag full of leaflets, a can of coconut milk and a tshirt, no medal! Doesn't feel like value for money from £30 entry. Definite room for improvement next year, race village and start/finish area should be closer, get a better goody bag. I think other issues were unavoidable and not planned like the stairs and weather, but maybe sending runners off in waves would have helped crowding on Kew Road, especially since there were pace groups it would have been easy to organise that.
All in all, enjoyed the experience and will almost certainly be back for another crack. Date of review: April 3, 2013
In short: busy In full: Did this race because I live round the corner and knew what to expect from the course (albeit extra mud had been drafted in). Very friendly, good infrastructure at start (maybe not so at end judging by comments on T shirt waiting times)and plenty of pacers which I found particularly motivating. Main drawback-too many people running up Kew Road. One lady got knocked over getting out of a cab. I was chasing the 1.30 pacer so not really interested in overtaking but I felt hemmed in for the Kew Road and all along the river section until it fanned out at Richmond Green-more uncomfortable than any London marathon I've done-there was always the danger of catching someone followed by a multiple pile up. Not sure what the answer is if this is going to continue to attract > 1000 runners....split wave starts? (after all the organiser reminded us we had chip timing). Perhaps do the 1 mile lap of old deer park first to get it out of way if need to include then would have a bit more dispersal before the kew bit Date of review: April 2, 2013
In short: Great scenery on route, last mile horrible In full: Lovely day for it and I managed to get a PB by more than 8 minutes. Nice views along the Thames great marshalls and some good support on the way. Hated the last mile up 3 flights of stairs and down a slippy grass embankment and a round the football pitch. 'Goody' bags were a waste of time just loads of leaflets. Overall was a nice race fairly well organised. Date of review: April 2, 2013