In short: What Hill? In full: This was my first half marathon. I had a great time. I thank all the people involved in organizing the event, the villagers for their support on the way round and the Tifosi at the finish. I agree with criticisms about the kids race and the jumbled start. As for all the fuss about inclines, well they are just part of the course which make it all the more interesting. I've got the bug now so I'm off to do the Folkestone Half and will certainly be back here next year. Date of review: August 30, 2012
In short: Tough and very pleasant In full: The scenery throughout was fabulous: as a city dweller, I loved running through rolling countryside on a pleasant late summer day. The race was well organised and marshalled, although the water stations were positioned slightly eccentrically: why have one after 2 miles and then nothing for another 5 or so?
The atmosphere in the villages was excellent and it was nice to see so many families stand outside and cheer us. As for the race itself, it is easily the toughest half-marathon of the eight I have done. The hill at about 5 miles was very long and then the one at 10-11 miles was sheer murder. Although my time was 9 minutes above my PB, it felt like a metre-for-metre PB.
Having Jaffa cakes at the end was lovely, although the medal is average: the organisers could at least have had the year (or date) of the race engraved! That said, overall well worth running and I would love to turn up again. Date of review: August 29, 2012
In short: Very tough and hilly, however amazing atmosphere and will do again! In full: So much for Kent being the flat Garden of England! Very hilly, much more than I was antisipating, especially the climb at about 10 - 11 miles which felt like scaling Everest! (Allthough I only have myself to blame for not doing any homework before hand)
However, the scenery was amazing and support through the villages enroute was fantastic. The approach to the finish offered an absolutely stunning view of Canterbury Cathedral which I will always remember.
Everybody was really friendly and I would love to do this race again (With a bit more training behind me!) Date of review: August 28, 2012
In short: My first ever half-marathon! In full: This race was chosen as my first half marathon due to the time of the year that it was being held (convenient for me!) rather than it's location or the organising company involved.
I read the description of the race prior to completing the entry form and did not get put off by the term 'challenging' (incidentally the description appears to have been changed to 'very challenging' in the organisers recent follow-up email). As it transpired I actually enjoyed the hills as I had done all my training on the flat and I did indeed find them challenging!
I thought the route was well thought out although I was surprised that the run did not really take place in Canterbury at all. The villages that we did run through were well populated with villagers supporting all the runners fantastically! And very welcome it was!!
Whilst on the whole I had a great time, enjoyed the race, hitting my target of running (non-stop) in under two hours, I do have a few observations to make that will hopefully be received in the same constructive manner they are made;
1. The downloadable map of the route was terrible!! Black & white with unclear information and difficult to make out route! In addition the second page contained out of date information i.e. the location of the race HQ. Quite a problem for first time visitors/runners! In this digital age surely improvements could be made without too much trouble! Indeed, a previous reviewer has done a fantastic job for you, mapping out the route with fantastic detail including gradients!
2. The pre-race information both on the website and in the pack that contained the race bib clearly stated that in addition to the half marathon there would also be a "fun run AND children's race". The problems with the children's race using the same route, at pretty much the same time, as the half-marathon runners is well documented in other reviews. However, another issue was that there was no separate 'fun run' at all, the only two adults who had entered for this race were bundled up with and required to start alongside the children! I am confident that this was not what was envisaged by the participants. If you list the event as three separate races, then hold three separate races, preferably on differing routes.
More positive observations;
1. Great stewards who did a great job and gave loads of support themselves, thank you! 2. I saw plenty of St. Johns Ambulance volunteers and never felt isolated from assistance. 3. The great crowd at the finish who must have all gone home hoarse from all the cheering they provided all the finishers! 4. The VERY welcome biscuits at the end, I really enjoyed that!! :-)
Hope this helps guys!! Date of review: August 28, 2012
In short: excellent. marshalls brilliant and were ready for the front runners, great local support, no annoying cars, start was clear and on time, farm a great base, lovely route Date of review: August 28, 2012
In short: Well organised and good to have back. Memento was poor hence average value. In full: Good course, challenging but fair. Well organised but memento (medal) seemed half-hearted...No engraving of the year and not printed on the ribbon either; a shame - it let down what otherwise was a quality event.Great support from villagers as we ran through. Date of review: August 28, 2012
In short: Excellent way to spend Bank Holiday Monday. Pretty route, challenging in all the right places, great support from the marshalls, well organised, like the medal, like the jaffa cakes more! Welcome back Canterbury Half and thanks Nice Work. Date of review: August 28, 2012
In short: Harder than I imagined !! In full: A great race which on the whole was well organised - for me though there needed to be more water ready at the drinks stations as I had to stop at a couple - either that or I should have run faster to keep up with the front runners !! Date of review: August 28, 2012