In short: Quite a tough Autumn half that may be outgrowing itself. In full: The undulating course is a challenge,but the long downhills almost balance out overall. Great crowd support at key points of the course-this seems to get better every year.Some very enthusiastic marshalls in places. However,parking was a problem this year (for the first time in my experience).I ended up parking a long way from the race HQ,which seemed to fill up early. The route along the A20 does need a rethink.It's a shame,as the course from the Pilgrims Way onwards is excellent. The "goody bag" was poor and is a strong contender for the most unusual content in 2010- a newsletter from a local solicitor rather than a drink or fruit! It's still a good race however;it may just be that the numbers have outgrown the venue,1st half of the course etc. Date of review: October 18, 2010
In short: Low key 10K that's really rather good In full: This is actually a very good 10K,that's pretty much the "full package".
Great value for money:medal,good quality tee-shirt,chip timing.
Excellent organisation:well marshalled,especially considering some of the roads are very busy.Efficient pre-race arrangements with no long queue for timing chips etc.Early results available within minutes of the finish.
Good fun-run half an hour before the main race and a nice atmosphere before and after.
It's also in aid of a very good cause,so all-in-all it's a lot better than some other 10K's that have a higher profile.
Interesting course,which is quick overall despite a couple of challenging uphills. Date of review: September 19, 2010
In short: Tough cross-country run that's a great challenge In full: One of my favourite races.It is tough and there can be very few runners who don't walk at least part of the steep hill at halfway.
It's probably the best value race around-a real bargain and organisation is excellent.Race numbers and info sent out well in advance,plenty of nearby car parking,friendly marshalls at all the key points on the course.
Not sure if it's a race for beginners-maybe too tough? Conditions underfoot aren't easy and you need to keep your wits about you on the sharp downhills.
However,if you like cross-country or trail,you'll love this. Date of review: August 30, 2010
In short: A curate's egg of a race In full: First,the good points.Very good 10K course.Challenging 1st half through country lanes and several steep uphills just before halfway.Fast,flat return along the coastal path.
Good atmosphere at the start and finish and the marshalls were all very efficient.
Good fun run for children before the main race,with lots of encouragement from the crowd.
Not so good:
Toilets inadequate for a field of this size.Needs portaloos at the start/finish area.
1st and 2nd water stations are too close together (they almost merged into one).
The race follows the current trend of making runners collect their numbers on the day.While this saves costs,it also means that the organisers need to be prepared to deal with 400+ runners arriving within an hour so before the race.However,the length of the queue for numbers took about half an hour to get through,which combined with the queues for the toilets,meant no time for a warm-up. Date of review: July 27, 2010
In short: That was hot. In full: Scorching temperatures meant it was a real test of endurance today and with little shade,it may be worth starting it an hour earlier in future.
The 2nd water station was a long time coming and should be brought forward to mile 6 and sponges would be nice (many thanks to the 2 guys with hoses-I really appreciated it today).
However,plenty of positives-beautiful scenery,mainly flat with gentle undulations means it must have real PB potential on a cooler day (definitely not today though) and an excellent goody bag. Date of review: June 27, 2010
In short: One of the very best races around-and it's getting even better ! In full: Along with the NDR (quick plug-not that it needs it !)this is my personal favourite of all the many excellent Kent races.
What makes it really special is the atmosphere.HHH and the whole village put on a huge effort and the village green on a sunny Summer afternoon,with its food stalls,beer tent etc and nearby pub and village cricket has something for everyone.
I've always felt this is the perfect first race to hook a beginner-as well as everything else,it's very friendly and supportive.
The hot,humid conditions made it harder than usual yesterday,but on a cooler day it can be pretty quick and it's always competitive at the front,with lots of good,local club runners.
Some traffic congestion is to be expected,as the village is only accessible via picturesque country lanes,but the new "one way" system worked well,I thought.
Another improvement this year was chip-timing and the "targets" in the urinals were a nice touch !
Overall-not to be missed. Date of review: June 6, 2010
In short: Liked the new course and venue In full: So how did it compare to the usual venue ?
Plenty of car parking,plenty of toilets and generally an excellent venue for a race.
On a sunnier day,the surrounding countryside would be superb and the marshalling and water-stations (which also stocked Gatorade)were excellent.
I found the course tougher than the usual one (or I've simply slowed down since I last did it!).No "killer hills" as such,but an awful lot of them and if we weren't going up,we were going down so I'm sure my legs will feel it in the morning.Overall,the course is great-plenty of variety and challenge,with a fast finish.
I probably prefer the new course and venue to the old and maybe there's room for both half-marathons in south east Kent ? Date of review: May 31, 2010
In short: Excellent Spring half,that suits all runners In full: This is always a "must do" and is undoubtedly one of the best halfs around.
Top-class organisation,very fast course,good crowd support and always a great atmosphere.The spacing of the water-stations is exemplary.
The race has probably now reached its limit.There's only really one road into Paddock Wood,although parking isn't a problem as long as you're prepared to leave the car a mile or so away from the start.The race needs more toilets and one thing that always seems to help is a portable urinals unit and maybe having portaloos in more than one location.
Overall though,it's hard to fault-especially when the weather was as race-perfect as it was this year. Date of review: April 13, 2010
In short: 2003 revisited In full: I ran this in 2003 in a howling gale and driving rain-and lo and behold it was the same again today !
This is seriously unlucky,as the weather in Kent was glorious all through the last week.
On a calm day,the course is set up for a PB and the scenery,looking out into the bay,is special.
I must have set a "PB" today for spectacularly varied mile splits : the return leg with the wind behind us was exhilarating-I haven't run as fast for years.However,any kind of forward motion into the headwind was a challenge.
Special appreciation to the marshalls,water stations,officials at the finish etc-couldn't have been much fun standing around all morning. Date of review: November 1, 2009