In short: Organisation shambolic, especially the start. Route very narrow in places. Very nice scenery along the river for the last few km In full: It's my 1st 10k race so I'm pre-registered and on site 45 min b4 the advertised start time. No queue for timing chip. All good so far..... then I turned around and noticed the massive queue for people paying on the day / registering. Hmm don't think we're starting on time! The chap on the PA is making increasingly frantic requests for one of the organisors to come over to registration as he could see it was all going south. I'm freezing my nuts off so let's go for a run around the field (is this really a park??. Looking forward to the organised warm up. We're called to the start, 'great, time for the mass warm up, I'm freezing'... nope, it seems we're off!
I'm about a 1/3 of the way back so no worries following the herd around a football field. Corners are being massively cut, 'cos there's no tape, just some plastic discs on the floor. Marshalls standing around looking bemused. This doesn't resemble the route I saw on the website!?
Out of the playing fields and through a car park full of traffic trying to park, past a rugby pitch with motorists trying to turn in for a kiddies rugby game. I'm actually feeling sorry for the drivers. Along a narrow path, half the runners are in the cycle / bus lane. Then along the high street, dodging cars, bollards, post boxes. Eventually we're onto the Thames path, lovely views, it's a little narrow, but relaxing now. Going to be easy to -ve split this, given all the obstacles in the 1st 5k. Across a narrow bridge, uphill sprint in thick grass and we're done. Mmm nice sweeties and medal.
Timing chip worked a treat. Route was 10k exactly according to my GPS. Results online that night, photos the day after. Date of review: November 22, 2010
In short: Realy dangerous in places In full: If I'd read last years reviews I would never have entered this race. I think a large field were lured by the title which seems to promise misty morning trees and iconic London deer. In fact you run round a football pitch, past a toilet block and then onto a main road where Sunday shoppers and families are pushing trolies and buggies and the (few) marshals are swopping F words with irate drivers trying to turn into the car parks of all the nearby rugby and football pitches. Over a thousand runners running from 2k to 6k along narrow pavement???!! Overtakers had no option but to leap into the cycle lane but buses were screaming up these only inches from jostling runners shoulders. This race is frankly lethal, I'm amazed no-one ended up under the traffic. Do not enter until they sort themselves out. Date of review: November 22, 2010
In short: Interested observer In full: I didn't run. This is though 'my manor'. I live just off the course and its a morning lossener for me. The course chosen is pretty suicidal for any numbers over 500 and I am surprised that the council let it go ahead ! I also drove along the A316 three times that day dodgeing undirected runners crossing the road at various points looking hugely depressed to be there. I am flabergasted that it was a commercial event. I actually thought it was organised by the 1st St Margarets Scouts and was going to have a word with one of their leaders about how poor it looked. Date of review: November 12, 2009
In full: Poor organisation, bad route. A lot of people running inches from cars speeding along and plenty of bottlenecks meant a PB was impossible and broken ankles likely on terrible sufaces. Not enough toilets and race started late with no announcements to inform when. Goody bag with cheap products and to top it all off the chip timing system failed. bad bad bad. Date of review: November 12, 2009
In short: shockingly bad organisation - avoid at all costs In full: Truly awful lack of organisation. Almost a text-book case of how not to organise a race: too few mashals, inadequate signage, runners forced to run down a busy high street pavement or road, no PA, late start/no start gun, no chip results, choked finish... etc, AND to add further insult I have been debited TWICE for my £11.50 entry fee!! Please do yourself a favour and avoid this event next year. Date of review: November 10, 2009
In full: I trained for this!!! The race start was delayed by about 45 minutes and despite getting there in plenty of time at this point I was still standing in the queue for the baggage drop-off. So starting eight minutes after everyone else was not nice, spent the whole race weaving in between backmarkers. And sorry to you, I hope you had fun and I am sorry if I bumped you as I went charging past, but dealing with traffic is not what I want to do when I've enter a race. On the finish line I, and everybody else, had to come to a dead stop because of the bottleneck of runners waiting to pick up the goodie bag. And then to top it all there were no chip times because of an electrical fault. Energized Sports - who are these clowns!! Never, never, never again.
In short: Somewhat disappointing In full: I can't believe that this race had a UKA licence. If it did it broke all the rules. Where was the licence displayed and the list of runners taking part. The marshals were lacking, water and first aid were inadequate. No signage. I know organising a race can be difficult but you need to get the basics right and that's why the UKA provide guidelines. Date of review: November 10, 2009