In short: Not so good for people toward's the back In full: The organisation before the race was excellent: race number arrived in plenty of time; race HQ very well laid out; plenty of toilets so no long time queuing.
However surprisingly this event was badly let down this year by the lack of support for people towards the back: some marshals had left marshaling points leaving runners to negotiate road junctions by themselves and having to wait for traffic to pass in order to cross roads; traffic cones being removed (even though I know there was still a few people behind me); a band had stopped playing and the pavement was littered with their instruments so difficult to negotiate. All in all very disappointing. Although there were volunteers at one of the final water stations none offered any water, leaving a self service system. This made me feel like the poor cousin There should be more support for people towards the back of the race: to encourage them on, not have marshals leaving, and to provide safety when at road crossings as runners start to tire.
I appreciate that it was very cold and they had been out there for sometime and I was appreciative of those that had stayed but to be honest I have never come across such a situation before.
What was good though was the encouragement of pedestrians, encouraging us to the finish!
In short: First time I've been given a posy of flowers during a race :-) In full: This is a hard 10 miler and my goal was to try and run as much of it as I could - which I did (apart from one very small section towards the top of a hill - had to stop to open a gate and couldn't get going again). Marshals were very supportive and encouraging as were passerbys - but the highlight was being given a posy of flowers at about the 5 mile mark by a little girl and being told "I deserved the best prize". Made my day and I proudly carried them all the way, with a big smile on my face. Date of review: May 20, 2012
In short: A lonely race at the back............. but at least good support In full: I knew that it would be a lonely race at the back when I was left behind before we'd even reached the first corner and soon the runners in front were long out of sight. This was my first event back having been out with injury for nearly 8 weeks so I just told myself treat it as a training run - and the scenery was gorgeous. People passing by were all very encouraging and cheerful which I appreciated, as were some of the runners who lapped me - especially the first lady (I hope she won - I've not dared look at the results yet to see how far behind I was)who took the time to shout encouragement as she went past. Another big thanks to the marshals for waiting for me, especially to Richard who ran the last mile with me, whilst carrying signs - and the people who waited at the finish line and cheered me to the end.
Numbers seemed down on last year, which is a shame, as it is a great event in a beautiful park. (And maybe I wouldn't have been on my own at the back -well I can dream anyway). One suggestion for the future is better signage from the leisure centre to the race HQ as there were a few people looking lost.... Date of review: May 13, 2012
In short: Fantastic marshals and supporters In full: It is the support that you get around the course which makes this such a special race: the downhill section to the end is amazing - a whole wave of support carrying you to the finish line. One of the bonuses of finishing towards the back: is that you get the finishers all cheering you on as well :-). People who were stuck in traffic jams around the course were also very encouraging: cheering through the car windows. Thanks to Ian Corless (commentator) for the namecheck.
The only slight downside (as previously mentioned - and unfortunately happens in *so* many races) is that the slower runners missed out on getting a medal from Dame Kelly and also the goody bag. Ironically probably the ones who deserve it the most as a lot more effort and struggle to get round. At least this time we didn't miss out on not having a t-shirt (or one in your size) as Tunbridge hand out these in advance - yay!
All in all this is such a great race and I will be back. Final thanks goes to the toilet marshals for doing such a great job in keeping the toilet queue moving so quickly!!!!
In short: Nice run round Nonsuch Park In full: This was a lovely run - not too taxing or hard. Very enjoyable, people at the back to run with, very friendly marshals, pleasant scenery - and good to see the mayoress not only start the race but stay around until afterwards, encouraging runners through the halfway/finish point. Nice event!!!! Date of review: January 29, 2012
In short: Thanks to the runners In full: I was actually one of the marshals at this event and just wanted to say thank you to the runners for making this such a wonderful race to be a marshal at. I was marshaling on Juniper Top (:-) - and had the task of sending all the runners back down the slope to the snowman - so they could run back up again). Although there were some slight curses everyone was really cheerful and friendly - never had so many thanks before. It was really appreciated and helped make this such a fun event to marshal. I will be back!!! Date of review: January 2, 2012
In short: Fantastic marshals and supporters In full: I love this race because of its 4 laps format - seeing the other runners on a constant basis giving each other encouragement is a great motivator: particularly in seeing familiar faces from Bromley parkrun (yay).
Marshals and supporters were great and encouraging - and it was also nice to be recognised by some of the marshals from last year: impressive memories guys :-).
Will definitely be back - I just hope the new route will continue to have laps. Date of review: November 13, 2011
In short: Great marshals In full: This is the first half marathon that I've done where I became unwell during the race. Was doing fine until after the first drinks station (about 4 miles): when I started to get stomach ache/feeling sick and dizzy. I wouldn't have completed the course without the support and encouragement of the marshals. I came in last as I had no energy to run for the last few miles (sorry to the driver of the sweeper car who had to drive very slowly behind me) but the occupants didn't seem to mind as they encouraged me on. Also thanks to the marshal who alerted my husband that I was struggling so that he came out to look for me and give me some much needed encouragement. Hopefully I will be back next year to do this course proper justice! Date of review: November 1, 2011
In short: Thanks to the marshals for their support!!!! In full: Big thank you to all the marshals and supporters - but especially the marshals by the mini roundabout (I think) at about 12.5 miles who started screaming and shouting as soon as I came into sight. You were very motivating and encouraging and kept me going to the end.
There didn't seem to be as many runners at the back as last year which is a bit of a shame as I enjoyed the company but spent most of today's race on my own from nearly the start trying to catch up with Tunbridge Wells Harriers man - only to catch him up at about the 9 mile mark - for him to zoom off and leave me way behind.
Unlike others didn't get a PB this year - infact was about 30 mins slowewr (ooops). I blame it on having Jersey marathon still in my legs. But still enjoyed it and lovely weather to top it off as well. Date of review: October 16, 2011
In short: I got a course record!!!!! In full: .....sadly not for the fastest running time, but for the slowest time that the course has been run in. But still chuffed that I got a record; and that I finished!!!
Great support from both locals and the marshals: especially the two sweepers on the bike who were very patient whilst having to continually stop and wait for me; the 2 marshals who filled up my bladder bag; the marshal who had brought along bananas as emergency food, as no food was supplied, and the police man who followed me on a scooter for the last 5 miles when all the other marshals were pulled from the race and was very encouraging even when I kept stopping to walk along the promenade - and all the people at the finish who encouraged me over the finishing line - including one of the finishers who came over to shake my hand - much appreciated.
I loved the relay teams starting 30 mins after the main race: it was great having all those encouraging comments as they went past, and then the hoots from their cars as after they had finished and were making their way back, were still encouraging me on. It all helped!!!!
Finally a big thank you to my husband, who despite finishing the marathon way before me, came back along the course, to encourage me along the last mile to the finish. Date of review: October 4, 2011