In short: Excellent end of year 10k, as always In full: This was my 4th consecutive Andy Reading and as ever it was well organised, with a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. Perfect for the time of year. I wasn't up to much today, not being well enough but still glad I did it. Marshalling was very friendly and kept me going. Will definitely be back again next year for my 5th Andy Reading! Date of review: December 14, 2008
In short: Right decision made In full: Disappointing not to be able to run but completely agree with the organisers decision. It couldn't have been an easy one to make and the offer to refund was a generous one, showing good faith and proving how sympathetic the organisers were. I'll be donating my entry fee to the Pasque charity though, no question.
Will definitely be back next year to try again and will hope we get that lovely sunshine again ... but a few degrees warmer at least for an ice-free course! Date of review: December 8, 2008
In short: Enjoyable In full: Aside from the queues and delays due to collecting numbers and chips, the race was pretty well organised and had a nice, friendly relaxed feel to it. No big hills so could be good PB potential (though not for me today - injuries didn't allow for that this time!). The stretches through the park were scenic and the plentiful marshalls were all cheerfully encouraging, thank you! Date of review: November 2, 2008
In short: This 10-miler is always a 'winner' In full: My third GSR and enjoyed it as always. My first was in 2005 when we actually had sunshine, so I know it's possible!! The rain again this year didn't dampen spirits though and at least no high winds to contend with.
I was a bit concerned about overcrowding when I read about the record numbers entered this year but needn't have been - the course still catered well for the numbers and there was sufficient space to do your own pace still. The crowd support is always wonderful and the flat route makes it perfect for PB hunters.
Aside from the dire parking situation on the common (only 1 exit - the others temporarily blocked off ... WHY?!!), the Great South Run is always a well organised event and always worth doing.
Will be back in 2009 (but won't be parking on the common next time!). Date of review: October 27, 2008
In short: Outstanding! In full: This was my 10th Half Marathon this year and my favourite by far!
You'd hardly believe this was the first ever Royal Parks Half - it was so slickly organised and had an 'established' feel already.
Same price as the Great North Run which I did for the first time last week and was a bit disappointed by (overhyped and overcrowded - dull route but saved by the wonderful crowd support and Red Arrows display).
The Royal Parks Half turned out to be excellent value for money ... fantastic course, terrific atmosphere, cheerfully encouraging marshalls, mat-to-mat chip timing, great technical t-shirt, loads of freebies at the end, the list goes on! I was grinning like a Cheshire Cat for much of the race and the journey home! It's been a while since I've been so inspired by a race! More loos for next year (was in one when the gun went off, I'd been stuck in one of the many long queues!) and I'd say that Royal Parks has the formula for a perfect race!
Can't wait for next year's event!! Date of review: October 13, 2008
In short: Worth doing this once at least - purely for the atmosphere! In full: My first GNR though not my first Half marathon. For me this isn't a PB course (though I know many did get one still, which I'm impressed with!) - too runner-saturated. I could never once get into my own pace for fear of tripping up over the runner in front of me and little room for manoeuvre, especially after the dual carriageways merged. Actually found the constant looking around for a bit space to move and sudden enforced changes in pace very draining. The crowd support, fantastic bands/music and amazing atmosphere was what kept me going though. Many things too numerous to mention (not least the Red Arrows) made this event unique and special and I count myself lucky to have been a part of it!
If I did this next year, I wouldn't worry about finish time - just enjoy soaking up the atmosphere. Found the support, crowds and atmosphere second to none. Glad I did this! Date of review: October 6, 2008
In short: Lovely scenic 10k In full: Enjoyed it as much as last year and just as lucky with the dry, sunny weather too. Predominantly flat so a great introduction to those who've never done a multi-terrain before. Only a couple of stiles/gates to navigate so not too many real bottlenecks - plenty of opportunity to do your own pace.
Friendly and well organised and the 15 minute walk from the car park was a perfect warm up!
Will be back next year too! Date of review: September 28, 2008
In short: A marathon of 2 Halves... In full: Loved the whole thing! Superbly organised and an electric atmosphere throughout the first half which really keep you going - and lovely changes of scenery from city to parks to keep it interesting throughout.
Very up and down in the first half but flat in the second. I really enjoyed the contrast of the crowded 'citified' first half to the more peaceful mostly countryside scenery of the second half and felt that the support and encouragement on that second half was terrific, very vocal and really helped boost flagging energy levels!
I didn't do the full here last year but can imagine that the rowing lake section in the high winds wasn't much fun. We were incredibly lucky with the weather this year and an altered course meant a bit less time around that endless rowing lake which I was glad of. If this year's course is the same for next year, I'll definitely be doing this marathon again - it was fantastic (and not just because I got a whopping PB here!!). My thanks to the organisers and the fantastic marshalls for making this such a good marathon course! Date of review: September 15, 2008
In short: Good but not Great run I thought ... In full: My least favourite out of all the Great Runs I've done (have done most now) and I think that was primarily because of the route. Most of it along a dual carriageway and back - but still with an evil hill at the end! Loved the bands and choice of music though - that really helped propel me along! Date of review: September 8, 2008