In short: Overall brilliant event, final mile could improve In full: Richmond Running Festival is a definite highlight in the London racing calendar. My third time, but first doing the 10k. Perhaps that's why I really noticed and struggled with the final 3/4s of a mile or so winding pointlessly around Old Deer Park. After the stunning start in Kew Gardens, and beautiful stretch on the tow path, it really hit my motivation to end up pointlessly following tape around a big flat field to make up the final distance. Support at the finish line was great so I did get a final burst of energy as I approached the clock and realised a PB was still within reach. My only niggle is that final stretch being so uninspired... Marshalls, bag drop, water stations, medal, beer, t-shirt, and finishing festival stalls are all superb and will keep me coming back year after year. Date of review: September 8, 2015
In short: Almost Perfect In full: Having done many races now it is easy to compare this 10k and it comes out extremely well. The start and finish are as good as you will find anywhere. The first 2 miles in Kew is the best scenery and surface anywhere. The only two things that stop it being 100% perfect is the course is clearly short and the towpath part of the route isn't great. But for a great day out this race is tough to beat. Up there with BUPA 10k. Better in many respects. Date of review: September 8, 2015
In short: It just gets better In full: Absolutely lovely race, Starting in Kew and wending it's way around the gardens, then onto the river path, a little residential area and then into the end-field. 4 water stations, which is so very over generous for a half marathon, a spangly medal, tech T and goodie bag (with even a beer) at the end - what more could you ask...oh yes...a music festival! This was number 56 and I can honestly say this is one of the best HM races out there...well done to the organisers and all the marshals - you are stars! Date of review: September 7, 2015
In short: Possibly London's most scenic race In full: This was my fifth half marathon of 2015 and certainly the prettiest I've done. Starting in Kew Gardens, the race moves along the Thames, through Richmond and back to the deer park where you'll find all manner of stalls and attractions. There were plenty of toilets at the start and also some midway along the course and at the end. Marshalling was energetic and spectators provided encouragement along the route. The only negative for me was that the drink stations were a bit chaotic. The first was fine, but the second comes at a very narrow section of tow path and I skipped it as it was mobbed when I ran past. By the time I got to the third, there was no water left. I was in the second to last wave sent off but I'd already overtaken a lot of people by that point so there were still many behind me. I could only find an isotonic drink at the fourth station but would have preferred water. Nonetheless, I had a good race and got a big PB. The course is flat (there are a couple of tiny inclines but nothing to slow you down, really) and starts on the hard paths of Kew before moving onto stony trail along the river. You have to watch your footing here as there are quite a lot of things to trip on, but signs do warn you of this. The deer park finish is grass and fortunately, despite the recent rain, not too muddy. Drink stations aside, it was very well organised and supported. The race is pricey but you the medal is very good (very bling!) and you also get a tech T-shirt. I'd definitely do it again for the setting and atmosphere. Hopefully they'll have enough water next year. Date of review: September 7, 2015
In short: Friendly race in a gorgeous setting In full: My second Half Marathon and it was very enjoyable. Perfect conditions which is just as well as the towpath would be very tricky to negotiate should it rain. It was quite bunched up at the start as we moved through the park. It didn't bother me as I was aiming at 2 hours but may not be ideal for the faster runners looking for clear space.
All in all it was very well organised and left me wanting to sign up again. Date of review: January 17, 2015
In short: Good fun run In full: Having been quite experienced at 10km and half marathons I found this race fun and quick. I started towards the back of the red numbers...even though I had a yellow number and had no problem with overtaking and bunching as in previous 10km. As previously ran the kew 10km last year improvements had been made where needed. The tshirt and medal are even better than last year and had I been in good fitness I definitely would have achieved a PB. Lovely atmosphere during and after the race. Would defo do it again Date of review: October 5, 2014
In short: Beautiful scenery, flat course, fun atmosphere In full: I'm quite an inexperienced 10km runner and wanted to improve my PB which this flat course enabled! The great atmosphere along the way and at the end made this the best 10km I have run. Can't wait to do it again next year! Date of review: October 5, 2014
In short: Race for all abilities and fantastic family fun day out! In full: I have run many races 5km, 10km, half marathon and marathon around the country and beyond and found the Richmond Running Festival one of the most welcoming and encouraging of races. From the start with the beautiful Kew Gardens scenery to the finish with fantastic bands, beer and atmosphere. My highlight was watching the children's races at the end, watching children from reception class and above try as hard in their 500m/mile race as those adults running the half marathon...really inspiring to watch! Overall what I would say about this event?... 1. Awesome tshirt, 2. Great (flat) run 3. Fantastic atmosphere with amazing volunteers....would I do it again? Where do I sign up for next year?!?
In short: Scenic, fast, great freebies. In full: Fantastic scenary, very flat and well organised. Used the bag drop no problems. No chance of getting lost as the course is well marked and marshalled. The goodies at the end were fanastic; a quality medal, ace t-shirt and coconut water, ice cream and a beer. The best race I have ever done. Date of review: October 2, 2014