In short: A nice run, good scenery In full: It was my first time running this race, so I don't know how it has changed from the previous years. Twickenham is a little complicated to get to and there aren't any clear signs for where to park or drop off clothing etc. We never did find the Cabbage Patch pub. Don't rely on the maps that the organisers provide if you intend on driving there (however, once in the town the parking was free and easy to get to). It was very good of the local businesses to provide loo facilities at the start but it was quite difficult to spot them. I am glad to say that the friendliness of the runners was evident from then (pointing us in the right direction etc) and this continued on for the rest of the event. This did make it a really nice atmosphere.
The start was a little chaotic; we were expecting to be led to the start line and so didn't force our placement in the crowd - this didn't happen so we started at the back and ended up having to run round others. I think that it could be explained a little more clearly on the instructions. However we did cross the line fairly quickly and the run started with runners in the road and spectators on the pavement. The roads were not closed off (and the organisers made that very clear) but for the first mile or so most of us ran on the road before marshals took us off the main road and onto the side roads - which is where the run began.
The side roads weren't that quiet (they never are in that area) and the pavements aren't level due to tree roots. It is part of the charm of Richmond/Twickenham but does mean that you do need to look out for obstacles. Also, drivers around there are not patient and polite; the marshals did their best but drivers did try and force their way through when there wasn't really the space (and contrary to the highway code). There were spectators who gave fantastic support, but they were few and far between at points on the course. You are running through residential areas and have to dodge people pulling out of driveways, walking dogs, pushing prams and parking on pavements.
The end of the course takes you through the ground surrounding Ham House and onto the tow path. The towpath was rather busy and you did have to dodge "non runners" and their dogs. Most were helpful and stayed to one side, but not all. This did slow everything up and wasn't as nice an experience as it could have been. The marshals at either side of the bridge were doing a sterling job of getting us up and down the slippery bits in one piece. Then it was back to the towpath (on the other side of the Thames) to the finish. Surprisingly here there were a couple of fallen bodies but I didn't pass any St Johns Ambulance staff in the last 3 miles of the race (maybe longer). They were all being helped, but it does seem that that side of the river may need its provision improved for next year (unless it was a very accident-prone year).
The finish was a nice stretch of rather flat run, good to finish on a high. Water only (no food or goody bag) at the end, with only large T-shirts left when I arrived (I'm a small!). Lots of smiles at the end which was lovely to see! Date of review: October 22, 2013
In short: Warm friendly race, recommended but disappointed they ran out of t-shirts in smaller sizes In full: The sun shined down against the odds on this flat, friendly race with lovely and supportive marshalls. It is a chip timed event except that it's worth being aware that the chip only registers when you cross the finish line. This is due to the fact that they can only close the roads at the start for a short period of time, letting runners out of the holding area just before the gun goes off. So when it does, you don't want to be at the back of the crowd and take ages to cross the start if you're looking for an accurate official chip time! That said, it didn't take too long to get over the start line and there was lots of room to overtake as soon as you got going. It was nice to run along the river with a little bit of footpath/trail thrown in for a lovely autumn race.
The only disappointment for many of us was that they had run out of the famous finishers' technical t-shirts (in lieu of a medal) in smaller sizes by the time we got to the end. Given that we were nowhere near the back of the pack, it would be nice to see them allocated differently in future or to order more of the mediums (it was mainly women who had to settle for a large). I wouldn't mind if it were a cotton one as I sleep in them but a long-sleeved technical top would be ideal to run in, if only it weren't so enormous! Date of review: October 21, 2013
In short: Well organised friendly race (and this is London!) In full: Good organisation and a pleasant course make for one of the best 10 mile races on the London calendar. Marshals were numerous and very supportive and to top it all off the Cabbage Patch pub put on sufficient staff to ensure you didn't have to wait long for a drink or food, very impressed. Date of review: October 22, 2007
In short: Quickish race with strong field In full: First half of the race is lightening fast. It's pretty flat but somehow feels downhill. Second half includes some off-roady sections and less even surfaces, although it's still possible to run quicly over them. Cash prizes and cabbages for top 10 - also the start line photo was a nice touch. Useful long sleeved t-shirt more than justifies the cost of entry. Date of review: October 20, 2007
In short: Great, fast Run! In full: Atmosphere & people were really great! Beginners would love this race as a first long distance race. Would of liked to of seen a energy drink offered midway through the course, but cant have everything I suppose!
Will hope to race it again next year! Date of review: October 17, 2007
In short: Fast, well marshalled event with big race feel. In full: Really enjoyed this race and the route is fantastic. Marshals were all amazing. Two points that seem to be repeated over and over so maybe the organisers should take note: 1. This is a big race and at £17 not cheap. I did a PB but have no offical confirmation as my 'official' time was 48secs adrift of my running time - upgrade your chip technology. Ditto the point that we waited in the holding pen only to see hundreds of other runners push in when we were called forward to the start.
2. The organisers should not be relying so completly on local businesses to provide toilet facilities. The numbers they are entering require chemical toilets at the start.
Having said that, great event and will do it again. Date of review: October 16, 2007