In short: Half-marathon? Not when you misread the map and take the wrong pathway!! In full: Very well organised. I cannot understand why many more runners don't try this next summer, it makes a nice change from the normal road events. And you get a longer than anticipated session when you go off-course and for no extra cost. Date of review: September 12, 2010
In short: Sheer pleasure from start to finish In full: A marvellous experience - glorious weather added to the brilliant and varied scenery. I'm not an orienteer but nothing beats finding you've read the map right and the check point is where you thought. I've run about 30 races a year for 10 years and this has to be one of the top 3. Date of review: September 23, 2008
In short: Not a normal half-marathon; a good introduction to orienteering In full: Very well organised "mass-start" orienteering event, which basically means that there are people to follow if you get confused with the map reading (but you do still have to navigate, otherwise you could end up following someone going the wrong way!). The best park in london to do it in but it does involve a few hills, including one right at the start. A very good event if you're looking for something different from normal running races. Date of review: September 23, 2007
In short: Orienteering along the Thames, Ham and Richmond Park In full: I got lost as well, which was embarrassing as I live nearby. My excuse is that I jog around the Richmond Park, but I have no idea what is in the middle and totally lost my barings and added about 20 minutes to my time. 12K run - more like 16K, which was a bit more than I bargained for.
The organisers are a friendly group who did a great job and I was surprised to get a welcoming cheer from a group of spectators at the end given the smallish size of the field. Date of review: October 2, 2006
In short: How many ways can you get lost in 13 miles? In full: I do a lot of map reading/navigation, often in very wild country, so no problem, I thought, I'll give this orienteering lark a go. Things started to go wrong when I followed a group of runners along the Thames path after the second checkpoint - no need to navigate yet, I thought, just follow the herd. Trouble was, this particular herd was nothing to do with the race and by the time I'd realised I was already 5 minutes off the route ... Retracing my steps, I then decided that I liked the Thames path so much that I ran up and down a 400-metre stretch at Richmond four or five times looking for a tunnel that someone kept hiding every time I went past it. I was 15-20 minutes off the pace by the time the time the backmarker pointed me (and three women who thought they were entering a 'normal' half marathon) in the right direction. I hope they made it home in the end, along with the two men who I kept bumping into along the route when one or other of us took the wrong route again. It took me the best part of three hours - a PW! I'll definitely do it again, but be a lot less cocky about the map reading bit next time! Thanks to the organisers for a good event - I even got to watch a half-decent Sunday league football game afterwards at the Hawker Centre (those of you who live round there are damned lucky to have such facilities). Date of review: September 25, 2006
In short: Cerebrally challenging - not just head down and follow the lemmings in front In full: Hot and humid for the time of year - managed to lose my way again but so what. Very hard graft, should have taken more water on board before the start. Scenery, save for the short episode around the houses, was glorious. I'll have another bash next year - work permitting - and find another way to get lost! Date of review: September 24, 2006
In short: Orienteering style run - great fun In full: You are provided with points on a map you must pass, but no pre-set route - that's for your to work out along the way. I found I ran a good time, despite some wrong turns, because the route finding made the run more interesting and took my mind away from the pain. I would definitely do another race of this type. Very friendly and accommodating organisers. Date of review: October 12, 2005