In short: Excellent new race that deserves to get bigger In full: Even though a combination of the extremely hot temperature and a tough, hilly course meant I recorded an all-time 10K "PW" by a considerable margin, I really enjoyed it.
It would make a great venue for a Kent X-C league race. The scenery was outstanding and the whole event was very well organised with a friendly, relaxed feel.
It needs to publicise itself more. I only knew about it because I live about 3 miles away (nice to leave the car at home and jog to the start - not so nice to have to jog back afterwards !)but I'm sure it could attract a much bigger field when the word gets around.
Think of it as an "Eridge Park" style race but over 10K and you can see the potential. Date of review: October 5, 2011
In short: Excellent race with a lot of potential In full: Great first effort by the organisers. Particular plaudits for the organisation (good pre-race instructions, lots of road closures, plenty of water stations, plenty of toilets, easily accessible HQ etc) and the quite amazing support throughout the route - from the marshalls and the spectators. It really makes a difference having so many supporters cheering everyone on.
The course was tough, especially in the unexpected heat but it was very well marshalled and traffic was never a problem.
As others have said, it was great to see Dame Kelly Holmes giving the race so much support.
Only suggestions for further improvement - a couple of sponge stations would be good and I agree that there should be some way for runners to access their time-zone from the side.
All in all though, a great first effort and a race that has the potential to grow into one of the biggest halfs in the South East. Date of review: September 25, 2011
In short: Off-road racing at its best In full: A "must do" race for me. Great value, great organisation and a fantastic, challenging course.
I'm surprised it doesn't attract a larger field (although if it did, it might put pressure on the facilities at the clubhouse and cause crowding on the narrower parts of the course) but if you enjoy cross-country or off-road running, this is an absolute must.
All for under a "tenner". Date of review: August 29, 2011
In short: Really enjoyed it; fast course in nice surroundings In full: My first time at a relatively new race on the calendar.
I thought it was very good and really enjoyed it. It's advertised as a "PB" course and it definitely is. Although my PB days are alas, gone for ever, it was my fastest 5 mile time for several years and I'm more than happy with that.
Great value. The bacon rolls and hot drinks afterwards were excellent and the cricket club bar was ideal for those who needed something stronger !
Just 2 points for the organisers to consider: the finish could be moved to a less busy country lane, rather than the main road (although I realise that would involve changing the course) and more importantly, it definitely needs some portaloos at the start as toilet facilities at the clubhouse were very limited.
Taken overall though, I thought it was excellent and I'll definitely be coming back. Date of review: August 7, 2011
In short: Exceptional all round. In full: My first time over the full 15 miles and boy, it was tough !
However, it's an absolutely brilliant race and scores top marks for scenery, organisation (loads of bottled water at frequent intervals, lots of encouraging friendly marshalls, plenty of car parking, good race venue ), atmosphere (very friendly, the brass band at the finish is a nice touch) and value ( home made cakes !quality medal and very decent "goody bag").
The organisers really "go the extra mile" with this race and it's the perfect Summer off-road race, but definitely not one to take lightly. Date of review: July 3, 2011
In short: Best event of the year In full: I've been a big fan of this race for years and it's simply the best all-round race event I know.
Organisation, course, facilities etc are all faultless, but what really sets it apart is the fantastic "sense of occasion" that makes it a really great day out, both on the village green and in the village pub after the race.
It's superbly organised, with lots of special touches and is all done with great good humour.
It's unmissable and thanks again to HHHH for another great H5 and I hope you get a big turnout for the "open hash" next saturday. Date of review: June 5, 2011
In short: A great, all round half marathon In full: I first ran this in 1996 and it's grown a lot since then.
It's now one of the biggest races in Kent and is a very fast, very well organised half that's ideally timed for a final tune-up before a Spring marathon.
It's usually blessed with good weather too and this year was no exception.
The crowd support around the route seems to get better each year and there was great support from all the marshalls, water station helpers etc.
The only issues are a result of the way the race keeps growing: traffic and parking means this is defintely one to try to get to early and as the organisers are already aware, more runners and spectators means a need for more portaloos, although I can remember when there weren't any and we had to make do with the facilities in the auction centre. Date of review: March 31, 2011