In short: Enjoyable In full: This is the second time that I've done Sidcup and is one that I enjoy. I like having the laps as it means you know what is coming up and the second lap is quite entertaining as the other runners come whizzing by with words of encouragement.
The marshals are great - happy and cheerful and very encouraging - whether you are a fast or slow runner.
Good to see that they kept the water station out for the duration of the race, as last year it disappeared after the first lap. Date of review: February 13, 2011
In short: Pleasant race but where was the finishing line? In full: Pleasant race with a nice mixture of ups and downs. It was also nice not to be on my own towards the back. Friendly mrshalls - but one more drinks station would have been welcomed.
The big disappointment was the finishing line - where was it? No finishing banner, no funnel - just the chip line "rug" and a clock in the corner. I was so surprised that I had reached the finishing line that my husband had to call after me to say "you can stop running now" as I continued in search of the finish. So no customary sprint to the finishing line for me this time.
I wonder how many runners left without their momento - a mug, which was available hidden away in the sports hall (quite a way from the finish). The other poor thing was that the people who were handing out the mugs obviously got fed up and disappeared, so those people who came in right at the back, came into the sports hall and had no idea of where to go or what they were really doing in there. My husband came to the rescue and handed out the mugs instead. He pointed this problem out to the people counting the chip tags, but was just greeted by shrugs. What a poor way to treat runners - you got the feeling the organisers only valued the faster people and did not care about the slower runners at all. Date of review: January 30, 2011
In short: Challenging but great fun! In full: This is a very hard, challenging race but boy what a great feeling on finishing having battled all that mud.
The marshalls were fantastic - so supporting and cheering - and chatty!!! You were all great - especially the ones at the 3rd water station - you gave me a real boost in continuing.... and the lady marshall in the green wellies who popped up all over the place and was always so encouraging.
Also well done to fellow Liz on completing her first 15 miler - having never done more than 6 miles before. What an achievement!!! Date of review: January 23, 2011
In short: Thanks to the cheerful supporters and marshals!!! In full: This is the first time I've done the Knacker Cracker. We had been a spectator last year and had been really impressed with the runners and the race - in particular the staggered start - which inspired us to enter this year.
I was really disappointed when we got the e-mail saying that it was going to be a mass start. I was looking forward to being in one of the first waves as I'm a very slow jogger (particularly if there are hills involved). Still it was enjoyable running down the hill and seeing all the other runners charging back up again - inspiring me to run back up the hill further than I had ever managed before (normally as soon as I place a foot on that slope I go from a jog to a walk)...
I was soon at the back, but the supporters were great, cheering me on as the "Christmas tree" - and special thanks must go to the sweeper at the back who was so encouraging. It was also great going down the steps, passing the runners who were going back up and who were also very encouraging - giving opportunity to admire all the fancy dress outfits as they went past.
I was relieved to reach the finish but it was disappointing to be told "sorry, run out of medals - oh and t-shirts, but we might be able to post them on". Likewise although we could see empty cups of soup, I guess that must have all gone too - though my husband did manage to scrounge a roll from somewhere.
We also missed the prize giving which was a bit of shame - particularly as there was a raffle based on your race number, which as some of us were still on the course, and you had to be present to win, guess made us ineligible, which is a shame. I for one would vote for the staggered start again if at all possible for future years.
All in all though it was an enjoyable start to the new year and I would do it again - so long as the cost doesn't prohibitly go up!!!!
In short: Yay - I won a spot prize too!!! In full: In the route description, sections of the route were described as "slightly uphill" - hmmm don't think there was anything "slightly uphill" about it - at least not according to my legs which were soon complaining. So I was dreading the "steep section" which was at mile 6 - needless to say that was "steep" - infact very steep....... my only consolation was at least I was going slightly faster than people who were walking up it.
The views were amazing, and with the sun shining and the sky blue - it looked great. Definitely a great day for a run.
The last "mile" seemed to go on and on - my Garmin bleeped to say mile 10 had been and gone - but still the leisure centre and the finish was still no nearer. At last I could see the finish line and with one final sprint reached it - and was very chuffed to have a "spot prize" notice pushed into my hand. Now I would like to think it was due to my impressive sprint at the end of a 10 mile race, however I have a sneaking feeling it was more to do with the fact that I was covered head to toe in mud - due to a spectactular mud bath dive that I had taken at just after mile 8 - and the amusement factor that I subsequently caused to anyone who saw me....
Thank you to Seaford Striders for organising an excellent event - the marshalls for being so supportive and encouraging (especially after I had fallen) and the excellent goodie bag and medal (even if it was different to my hubbie's who finished much higher up the table than me). Date of review: December 12, 2010
In short: Were there really chocolate gold coins at the finish??? In full: Please someone tell me that there weren't really chocolate gold coins at the finish - that my husband was just pulling my leg..... otherwise he is in big trouble for not telling me at the time....
All in all I enjoyed the race though there are areas for improvement - in particular the registration process. Having to queue to give the name - then to wait whilst they shout to the back of the marquee for them to get the number - and then another queue for the chip....
Next - the drinks station: there was only one on the route - which was hidden away just past the finishing banner on the right hand side of the road - shame that at this point slower runners were being yelled at to stay on the left in order to let the faster runners go by..... no notices pointing out the water station, no obvious people handing out cups..... It took me until the last lap to even spot the drinks station - though I'm not the most observant of people.... (and where were all the sweets that the earlier reviewers referred to.... I only saw a pile of jelly babies thrown on the floor once i had finished)
However praize definitely should go to the marshalls - they were all fantastic - being so supportive - even though they were standing out in the torrential rain.
And I loved the route - I enjoyed it being laps and seeing the runners go by on the other side. I so hope the wheelchair competitor finished as he looked like he was having a hard time in getting round all the corners - but still persevered, very inspirational! Date of review: November 16, 2010
In short: Loved it ! In full: This is definitely my type of race - loved the terrain. None of the hills were overly hard and they were in the main all followed by great downhills - no doubt contributing to my PB.
Some very great supportive marshalls and spectators - great to see them several times around the race, cheering the runners on.
Only slight grumble was that even at the back of the race some of the other runners ran 2 together across some of the narrow paths, refusing to move out of the way to let faster runners past. Didn't appreciate having to climb up onto a bank to get past them !!!!
One thing I was unsure of was which side of the road to run on the Pilgrims Way. Ended up going from one side of the road to the other.
Definitely doing it again next year!
Having something in the 'goody bag' would have been nice - didn't even get the club newsletter that should have been there and maybe some fruit at the finish? Date of review: October 17, 2010
In short: Great race with fantastic support In full: Loved it! Very pleasant 10K. Nice route, very supportive marshalls (great to see some familiar faces), friendly gorilla (and a great name to boot - Woody!)
Shame about the problem with the race packs (but I guess the Post Office were very happy with the extra cash they made) - but all in all a great race - well recommended!
In short: Well organised - just not keen on the road sections with no pavements In full: Did the 10 miler. Race was well organised, with cheerful marshalls, who remained smiling despite the rain.
Only thing I wasn't keen of was running along the busy countryroads, with no pavements, with the cars coming up behind you, so weren't really sure where they were. Not sure if there was a reason why we couldn't run facing the traffic. To be honest I'm amazed there wasn't an accident - in particular one runner in front of me who decided to run across a junction without looking to see if a car was coming - a very narrow miss!!!! Also concerning to see a number of runners running with headphones despite Events to Live threatening to disqualify anyone who did. The roads were narrow, so commonsense not to use headphones in order not to put yourself, or any of the marshalls at risk.
Also agree with the person about the pre race instructions on how to get to the aerodrome - definitely could be clearer - in particular saying Stovolds Hill was off the A281 - when in fact it was off another road. A bit of sweating whether we would find the place in time.
All in all a fine race and hopefully in Spring will be up for the 20 miler..... the excellent medal is definitely an incentive to run it again.... Date of review: October 4, 2010
In short: Ok race In full: Basically an ok race. Good field of runners - including some slow ones to keep me company towards the back.
Some very enthusiastic marshalls - others not so keen - but then it was a bit on the chilly, breezy side. Enthusiastic PA bloke at the end to cheer you through the finishing line.
Nice to see cheerful Serpie lady runner cheering on a fellow (slow) Serpie as she went past in the opposite direction. Your cheer was much appreciated. (Plus the cheer from hubby, Kev - and then yet another fellow Serpie, George, also all helped. One good bonus of the race looping back on itself, so could see all the other runners streaming back in the opposite direction).
This is a run to improve your stamina, rather than a challenging fun run. As my stamina needs improving and I want to improve my PB, I will hopefully be back next year.
Shame they started clearing everything away before everyone was back though. Date of review: September 26, 2010