In short: Lovely course, very good event In full: Overall this was a very good race, and I would happily do it again.
The start was well organised - different pens depending on the finishing time and pacers provided for various different times. The course itself was very good, passing through some very pleasant bits of Richmond and Kew and following the Thames for a lot of the route which ensured some excellent scenery as well as flat route. It was a mix of road, trail and grass which made things a little more challenging, and if I had one quibble it would be to try to change the balance of the off road/road sections so that there was more off road in the first half when the legs are fresher! The trail sections in the last quarter especially were more tricky, but it's only a minor point and the course is definitely one the best I've done.
There was a good number of marshals who were pretty good at encouraging the runners, the signposting was clear, but there were a couple of mile markers missing which would be good to remedy in the future.
Though there were no labels at the baggage area, it seemed to work fine as it was split into sections and overseen by marshals, so it ran quite smoothly. The post-race details were good - volunteers were very friendly, decent t-shirt and goody bag, and a good number of loos so you didn't have to wait too long. All in all, a jolly good way to spend a morning. Date of review: March 24, 2015
In short: Superbly organised. Great race. In full: This race defies its youth; only 3 years old but feels like it has been run for decades. It is brilliantly organised; superb start and finish with pens for various time groups, excellent facilities for non-runners, lots of loos, very friendly marshals, excellent distance markers, a challenging multi terrain route with only a couple of odd twists. And a superb tee shirt and neck warmer AND goody bag that would make most other races blush. This is a must run, that will run and run. Kudos to the organisers. Date of review: March 23, 2015
In short: Great village but other issues In full: I think the 2014 comments about traffic and lack of marshall issues are very valid at this race. It felt quite difficult for the 2k-5k with quite a lot of junctions. The actual running surface is a mixture of everything going from grass to pavement to towpath to pavement to grass. Never felt entirely comfortable under foot but it is flat and thus fast. Village at start was excellent and baggage drop smooth. Medal / t-shirt and goody bag all okay. Easy place to get to. Good race but you'll go quicker elsewhere. Date of review: March 23, 2015
In short: Some good things, some bad things In full: There are some things that I really liked during this event but unluckily not everything was at the same level. I'll start from what I liked. A good scenario along one single lap on different surfaces made the course never boring. It was plenty of loos, there were a good number of pacers and the participants have been divided in different waves at the start. On the other side, I didn't like the unsupervised baggage area (apart from a single small table to leave valuables), the very narrow path in some sections, the open-traffic roads (we had to stop at a certain point to let a car go through), not enough marshals at some key points. The goody bag was barely sufficient (I've got more stuff at cheaper events) and they ran out of tech t-shirts very soon, when I completed the half there was only small size available. I'd run it again only if at a cheaper price (I've paid £30 in 2014). Possibly they should put the t-shirt (not remarkable at all) as optional during the registration process. Date of review: March 30, 2014
In short: very enjoyable half with great views along the river In full: well organised half with great views along the Thames, well supported along the way and a nice atmosphere in and around the race village, nice to see plenty of loo's at the start, oh and have to mention a nice technical t & medal, well done perseverance events. looking forward to the london enduro 12. :-) Date of review: March 24, 2014
In short: Nice location, but not a great experience In full: I thought for the £30 entrance fee there were a few issues with this race - the lack of security for leaving baggage - essentially just a couple of tables which had access too, running along a main road into Kew was awful with cars weaving in and out, few race marshalls, water stations that were literally just that - and there were only three of them en route. A very underwhelming beginning to the race, no atmosphere, just a bingo-caller style, chap on the tannoy telling us to have a good race, wasn't impressed with the medal, t-shirt or goody bag either. I love this part of the world but having also done half marathons in Bath and Cambridge this month, they were in a different league Date of review: March 24, 2014
In short: Scenic race, great goody bag! In full: A lovely half marathon along a flat and scenic route. The first three miles or so are a bit congested as it follows the (open) road alongside Kew Gardens but once you hit the tow path it's great. the tow path itself was a little slippery, but what would expect with the weather we've had!! Great goody bag with medal, technical t-shirt, running socks, water and banana and the running village area was good too. Would definately do it or the 10k again! Date of review: March 24, 2014
In short: Good race, slightly tricky course In full: Well-organised race with a good start village, decent number of toilets (always vital) and well-organised start with good division of waves, and a reasonable number of pacers.
The course itself is attractive, but often narrow with occasional very narrow areas either on pavements (as roads are not closed) or along the tow-path, which makes up much of the course. This wasn't a major problem for me as I was in the first wave but it may have been tricky for people in more crowded groups.
The course is pretty flat, and reasonably fast although the tow-path is slightly uneven and there were a couple of muddy and slippy areas, so probably not the fastest course in the world.
In my opinion, there weren't quite enough water stations, although I appreciate opinions will vary there. I think there were a total of four, which is not too bad on a half-marathon, but at each station all I got handed was about a third of a cup of water, so by the end was feeling a little under-hydrated. Also no en-route nutrition, but that's fair enough - it's really down to each runner to take the nutrition they need/want/like.
Finish area was good with reasonable goodies: the goody bag itself was mostly leaflets, plus a couple of random free samples. TBH all I want at the end of a race is a nice medal, a technical t-shirt and some food/drink to recover. I got that, so I was perfectly happy.
Surprisingly not a huge amount of support despite going through busy Richmond - I guess that may be down to the fact that most of the route was along tow-paths. Not really a big deal though.
Good race, and one I would do again as it's so easy for me to get to. Probably not one I'd travel miles for though. Date of review: March 24, 2014