In short: Very enjoyable but not perfect In full: This review is for the 2016 Isle of Wight HALF MARATHON!
The race itself was very enjoyable. I have never ran this before, I read some reviews saying the old route was very hilly, the new route definitely isn't, there are maybe 2 slightly challenging uphill parts but nothing even a beginner couldn't handle. I would definitely say it has PB potential. For the most part it's flat or downhill road running. The route is well signed and marshalled in my opinion, I was never unsure where to go.
The scenery is a bit of a let down, you go through 2 nice sleepy little towns and mostly on roads surrounded by forests, but as on the Isle of Wight there are countless areas with beautiful views, unfortunately this race doesn't take in many, but it's nothing depressing or terrible either.
The atmosphere overall was very positive, the marshalls were extremely friendly, helpful and motivating, there was also plenty of support from others watching the race along the route. Other runners were very pleasant too so no issues on this front. I do think given the size of the Isle of Wight and the somewhat secluded nature of the place the event should be made bigger and more popular on the island itself.
As for organisation, the start was a bit confounding. I followed everyone else to what I assumed was the start line, most people lined up facing one way just to find out 2 minutes before the start they have to line up facing the complete opposite way. Whilst people were walking around parked cars trying to line themselves up the starting siren suddenly blasted out and before I knew it I was running. I think this could most definitely have been better signed and organised. Otherwise no issues, regular drinks and sponges stations, clear signage, easy and quick race registration.
I kind of hoped for at least a goody bag (and a t-shirt wouldn't go amiss) alongside the medal (Which is nothing special but is also nice and simple), unfortunately it was just the medal for completing the race (though the winners got awards of course), but that's not the point of the event anyway, especially given that entry was very cheap so the value is good.
Overall this is a very good event with a nice route for running so I would recommend it. Date of review: August 21, 2016
In short: Hill upon hill upon hill In full: VERY hilly course. Every one I talked to during and after the race agreed this is a tough course. I will probably do it again, but not until I'm a lot fitter. Date of review: September 3, 2014
In short: Did this for my first official half marathon, managed to beat my PB (1;57). Would definitely recommend lots of hill training (fortunately I had done this!).. I was very nervous (being my first) but there was a good man dressed as a tin of spam who In full: jollied me on every few miles and lots of cheers and applause from passer by's :) definitely challenging at times but made me thirsty for more!best of all was going to bed with a huge smile on my face... Date of review: August 18, 2014
In short: Nice, VERY hilly and not for the faint hearted. In full: This was my first half after lots of track, cross country and short (5, 10km, 5 mile) road racing, so def a step up. I wanted a challenge for this, so I can come back and defeat my half 'PB' (but I run 13.1miles faster in training on the flat than I did in this race...!) the next time I do a half. Weather was a bit iffy as it was pouring until about 15mins before start time, then it was blazing hot. Possibly could have done with more water stations and few sponges, and a few areas were a bit dodgy with traffic (nearly had a run-in with a double decker). Will be back for 2014! Date of review: December 10, 2013
In short: Challenging course, but with rewarding views of picturesque setting In full: This race took me back to my childhood as I hadn't visited the I.o.W since I was a young lad. The nostalgia started when we caught the Hovercraft from Southsea, and continued right up until the celebratory ice cream on the sea front in Ryde after the race.
This course does exactly what it says on the tin, it is challenging and hilly so is not for the feint hearted who love flat races. There are however some lovely downhill stretches to enjoy before rounding the next corner and finding another slope.
The scenery is fantastic and some of the views out over the Solent are well worth the climbs. I would sum it up as a race that takes you back in time and away from the hustle and bustle of the mianland. I would highly recommend it and loved doing it, just remember to carbo load, rest up and accept you might not run a PB unless you're a machine! Date of review: August 20, 2013
In short: As said before tough & hilly In full: I thought Seaford half was hilly but this was even more so, can't remember much flat! my slowest half out of 5 run this year, put 10 mins on my pb. Still enjoyable run though on a lovely sunny day, it did really hurt for the last few miles, should have paced it better, will know next year. Date of review: August 19, 2013
In short: The hilliest half ever! In full: Me and my hubby decided to do this race while on holiday on the Isle of Wight. It is one of the hottest, hilliest and hardest half marathons we have done but we thoroughly enjoyed it. I admit cars were a bit of an issue at the start however I didn't have any problems with finding my way round the course despite being near the back for the whole race. It was extremely hot and I was very grateful for the offer of additional sponges and water poured into my hands in the last few miles. Everyone was really friendly and I thought it was a well organised race done by a running club with a lot of experience. My hubby was much nearer the front and enjoyed the cameraderie with the other runners, especially the encouragement up those hills. This is a challenging, no frills race with a medal but an enjoyable one. Date of review: September 8, 2012
In short: A great half marathon, I thoroughly enjoyed it although the uphill sections were very challenging. In full: I had just turned 17 less than a fortnight before the race, so I have a feeling I was the youngest there. I hadn't done much training over 20km (once or twice), but with help and support from the locals I managed to run it in 1:56:56, so I am very happy with how the race went. We spent the day at Sandown after the race, the scenery was spectacular. Very impressed :-) Date of review: September 4, 2012