In short: A proper trail half marathon in London In full: I'd intended to do the October 2014 race but had to defer due to injury. Fortunately, today's (March 22nd) race had perfect conditions - cool but sunny, with virtually no mud. It's a two lap race with a couple of steep climbs at the beginning of each lap. The rest is pretty flat with a fast downhill stretch near the end. I managed a PB but then this was only my second half and I'm on the slow side. Organisation was good and I'm very happy with my Womble medal. There is also fruit and flapjacks at the finish and a T-shirt, so it's good value for money. The only downside is that it's on the "wrong" side of Wimbledon Common, public transport-wise, so I got a cab there rather than mess around with buses I was unfamiliar with, particularly as public transport tends to be a bit crap early on Sunday mornings. I walked back to Wimbledon station to get some blood into my aching legs and that took quite a while so I wouldn't recommend it as a means to getting there. The Womble medal is cool and they're different depending on which race you do. However, they gave a tennis racquet medal out for the race that took place around Wimbledon last year so if you want a Womble, pick Spring or Autumn instead. Date of review: March 22, 2015
In short: The Womble's is back in town In full: Having done this course twice...I finally cracked it and got a pb on the course. Yes, a little bit of organising at the end would not go amiss with the water but I did enjoy the course and the scenic and the challenging hills. Date of review: October 13, 2014
In short: good trail run In full: Really enjoyed the race and the route. I am generaly not keen on laps but on this race you really did not notice when you started the second lap. Slowstart with hills and mud but able to pick up the speed with downhill running. Overall the course was very good and far better for the knees than running on concrete. The nearest to trail running you can get in London!
Just a small grumble needs more attention to detail after the race. Many runners had to ask where the water was, the person giving out the medals did not know. I was told to ask the guy at the bag drop off but he did not know. Eventually came across a table right at the far end. 2 extremely large container water bottles were left with no organiser there to help. Very difficult to lift two of us had to lift to pour whilst another held the cups. One guy became a bit fed up with everyone asking him to pour the water whilst he had the large water bottle lifted as I think he was in much need to just drink water:)
Also did not pick up the teashirt after crossing the line no one there giving them out so like the water you had to go and look for them and it went of of my mind after the race.
In short: Where was my womble medal?!! In full: Lovely race!! Really enjoyed the course, though the hill at the start (and again at miles 6-8 ish) was tougher than I'd anticipated! Was more trail-y than I had imagined too, so would be hard to get a pb unless you were very used to trails. Lots of marshalls and enough drinks stations and accurate mile markers, except 3 was either missing or not well located as I didn't see it on either lap! A pretty route, didn't get as congested as I'd thought it might, but I did get trapped behind some iPod wearing big men who couldn't hear me behind them and just blocked the path! I didn't get a Womble medal but a TINY tennis racquet one?!! So I'm not sure what happened there - I came about 140th out of 700 approx so unless they only gave them to the top few I don't know what happened?!!! Booooo! Cos mine was crap! Really small, the size of my door key! But you did get a tshirt, flapjack and fruit so for £24 I thought it was pretty good value, especially for London. Would definitely recommend and run again as really enjoyed it. Date of review: July 28, 2014
In short: Underground, overground, wombling free... In full: Wasn't overly looking forward to this race as I sheltered in my car from the pouring rain before the start of the race but turned out to be a pleasant experience!
There is free parking at the venue, & when I got there about an hour before the start there was plenty of places but it's not a massive car park & was quite full when I went back to my car at the end. The venue was a sports ground but there wasn't much to do for supporters while we were out running. Not many toilets but there weren't long queues as there wasn't a massive field of runners.
For someone who doesn't overly enjoy lapped routes, I found this route nice enough to enjoy on the second lap too. The recent rain had made the route extremely muddy in places which did slow you down a bit, especially at the start of each lap with a little climb.
There were a few supporters & marshals along the way but the rest of the time you get to enjoy the peacefulness of the route. People cheering you on at the end though & best of all was the Womble medal! A brilliant choice by the organiser. You even got a t-shirt too which was good considering it was a low priced HM. Date of review: May 12, 2014
In full: Nice scenic course, although not really a PB course due to it's off-road nature. I enjoyed not setting foot on pavement the whole way round! Very good value for money with nice medal and t-shirt and great marshals. Only problem was it was difficult to get to the start due to it being on the opposite side of the common to the tube/overground. Maybe the start/finish position could be altered to take in the same trails but provide easier access? Date of review: May 12, 2014
In short: Cheap, fun no frills scenic half marathon! In full: This was my first trail race, and I found it fun! The course is not a fast one - especially because of the rain leading up to it, which made some of the course a mud fest - but it is scenic, has lovely cheering marshalls with no fuss organization. The medal is fantastic and different - a Womble and you get a t-shirt all for a bargain price. Recommended, especially for the summer one when it should be drier and faster! Date of review: May 12, 2014
In short: Womble-tastic Half Marathon In full: Well the half marathon route was an enjoyable treat. Didn't think I would be running in and around for 13 miles in woodlands and in muddy conditions. My watch gave me a distance of 13.45 miles but I suspect due to the weaving of the puddles. But it appeared we deviated from the actual map route course in the middle? I enjoyed the challenge but wished I wore my trail shoes. Definitely not a pb course if weaving is involved or has been raining but the last 1 mile seems to go on and on especially when watch shows I should had finished!
There was a dangerous moment during a bend if you do look up as a big broken log could potential inpale into someone eyes.
Great Medal and organisation! (albeit the baggage..but then I didn't have any). Date of review: May 12, 2014
In short: Lovely trail run and a great mix of muddy hill climbs and fun at times. In full: Lovely trail run and a great mix of muddy hill climbs and fun at times.
Not a fast course , but a fun one. No fuss organization on the day with all mostly going smoothly , ( although the baggage drop was a bit or a mess , but there was one and it worked mostly ) . The 40m+ climb on muddy hills for the first 3K at the start was a bit of a drain however and 2nd time round it wasn’t as fun as the first time. AS with many trail runs there were many places where single file was required to pass , and even more so due to the mud in places. Many places as well where significant concentration was required to avoid stumbles and trips . The medals were a wonderful touch and the womble makes a lovely distinctive addition to my collection. Might not do it again this year , but would consider it next year again in perhaps its late summer slot when the ground might be firmer.