In short: Not good on a windy day! In full: The race had already started by the time I made it to the start, we had to go through a narrow alley way which quickly backed up. If you'll really fussed about getting a good start then head over there a little bit earlier & you'll be fine.
The course was ok, a few bottle neck areas at times when going down steep steps, through the kissing gate etc but I wasn't time chasing so didn't mind.
Parts of the route where very open, not much fun on very windy days like we had.
According to my Garmin, it came up 0.25k short but given how knackered I was by the end I didn't mind!
At the end you had to do a bit of a weaving round a field before the getting to the finish, very frustrating when you can see the finish line but you're not quite there but a nice welcome when you finally made it.
Didn't make much use of the race HQ but there seemed plenty to do for the family to do. Date of review: May 23, 2011
In full: Decided to do this one again at the last minute after pulling out of a half due to illness. Still not feeling 100% come the start of the race I'm glad I turned up. Beautiful day & nice scenic course.
The hills were just as I remembered - frequent! Nothing really steep & they're over quite quickly.
Despite being a very small local race, it is well organised.
In full: Really enjoyed this race, lovely scenic route although it did seem to get hillier the closer you got to the finish! Nothing too bad though.
I found everything in a good location. Managed to get parked up easily enough in a nearby school & it was only a short walk to the start. Race HQ was in a big field with a few stalls & a playground. Collecting my race number was quick enough & although I didn't use the toilets there didn't seem to be a huge queue.
Well organised & a nice medal at the end.
Race organisers - If you're going to state in bold, capital letters in the race pack that iPods are banned then please enforce this!! Date of review: April 11, 2011
In short: Nice small fun run but watch out for hills! In full: Easy to find, no parking at the school but easy enough to find parking nearby.
Race HQ was in the school, no queue to collect the number & there were refreshments available too.
Please bare in mind that this is a fun run, there were kids mixed in between the adults so don't turn up if you want something ultra-competitive.
The route wasn't overly inspiring, down to a point and then back, 95% of the time on the same road. It had been closed off though which was good. There was very little flat parts, you were either going up a hill or down it.
Overall it had a lovely local feel to it & was very well organised. You got a decent medal at the end so at £5 it was an absolute bargin! Date of review: March 28, 2011
In short: Scenic route & great organisation In full: Great scenic route with lots of friendly marshals along the route. The only thing which slowed me down a bit was a few steep bridges but apart from that it was a pretty flat trail route.
Free parking very close to the start was really helpful although to get to it, you did have to go down a single track road so if cars were coming the opposite way it was a bit tricky. The convenience of it outweights that though.
As you came in to the finish you got your name called which is always a nice touch. Decent medal, banana, bottle of water & goodie bag at the end to top a good race off.
Race HQ was quite good, I got there quite early so didn't have to queue long for the toilet & managed to find seating before the start of the race. There was a couple of stalls including a BBQ for the non-runners.
I'd heard that Purple Patch organise good races & I wasn't disappointed. Apart from the races being delayed by a few minutes, I think they did an excellent job. Date of review: March 21, 2011
In short: No starting pens makes this race an no go. In full: The biggest issue for me was the start. Why oh why do they not have starting pens? It's just plain stupid & potentially dangerous. I'm not a fast runner but certainly capable of doing the whole race without stopping. I wasn't after a PB but I found it so frustrating that I spent the whole time dodging walkers and slower runners. The only time I got to a half normal pace was when I moved onto the pavement going along Embankment. I doubt the organisers will ever change this as it seems to have been an issue for a while now.
They haven't considered runners who don't need to use the baggage bays. Everything was based around them! I would have like to avoid the area but I heard people being refused goody bags in the past as they had no bag to collect so I took a drink in a bag to leave there. The toilets are nearby with awful queues and there was a stack of water bottles left on a free for all basis. The start line was quite a walk from there and it didn't seem to be sign posted. In the race pack, it stated that you had to go to the baggage area first and be escorted to the start by stewards, I don't think this was the case on the day.
I'd heard that the water stations normally run dry so I made sure I only took one bottle towards the end. The water stations seemed to be ok as I passed but I feel sorry for people further back as I hear that despite the organisers knowing we would be having a very hot day the water stations still ran dry.
Having to collect the goody bag at the baggage area is just a joke, why bring unneccesary traffic over there? They had the space to hand them out at the end. There didn't seem to be any logic to who got a goody bags, they tried to give my boyfriend one who only came along to spectate! The medal looked cheap & nasty. The only thing worth having from the goody bag was the Nature Valley bar & even then the organisers must have got a cheap deal on them as there is about a week left before they expire!
The cost of the race was very pricey, I decided not to pay the extra £5 for a chip as I'm happy start/stopping my Garmin. The road closures were impressive but I don't know where the rest of the money was spent.
The only positives about this was while we were lining up to start there was some bands which were a nice touch. Also despite the routes being very similar, I think I enjoyed this one slightly more then Bupa 10,000.
If you want to do a good 10k through London then stick with the Bupa 10,000. Cheaper & so much better organised. You still get to see many of the famous landmarks.
In short: Hot & hilly but nice race. In full: Starts and finishes at the recreational ground so lots to do for the kids while you're out running. Slightly more hilly then undulating but nothing that is a total killer. Could do with an earlier start for a hot July day. The route isn't the most inspirational, mainly running through the residential streets of Bushey. Lots of friendly marshals on route though, plenty of water stops and a bargain at £9. Date of review: July 4, 2010