In short: Thank you for getting me to love running again In full: As the date of this race grew nearer I was feeling more and more daunted, in particular because I felt I hadn't done enough training and knew the course would be hilly - but I loved it. It seems ages since I've enjoyed a race and it was such a relief to feel joy in running again.
The marshalls were great, the hills manageable (apart from the one when I took an opportunity to have a quick chew - haven't yet got the knack of being able to get stuff out of my back pocket and eat, without walking yet) - and the one where I managed to trip over a tree root and fall flat on my face (fortunately no observers - just the dirt all over me being a bit of a give away).
I didn't do a fast time, but I was just so pleased to enjoy it.
In short: Tough!!!! - but great support from the housing estate! In full: I was doing fine with the course until mile 9 where I really started to struggle and ended up having to walk the majority of the rest of the course to the end (though I did resist the temptation to walk the lap of the running track at the end). Must do more training for my next one!
Marshalls were amazing and there were so many of them - did feel guilty every time I walked past them as they tried to encourage to start running again with the comments "it is all down hill from here". The support in the housing estate was also well appreciated - couldn't believe the numbers who were cheering from their windows and outside their houses.
Yes I will probably do it again next year - but definitely with more training!!!!
Also - more portaloos please at the start............. Date of review: July 11, 2010
In short: So long......... but great supportive marshalls In full: Of the 3 half marathons that I have done this year, ironically I found this the hardest - even though it is the most flat of the 3 - probably because of the heat - and my lack of ability to run and drink water at the same time - so resulting in me having to walk in order to drink and then finding it *so* difficult to start running again.
The marshalls though were great - and as I was towards the back, there were loads of other people walking so didn't feel so bad. Still managed to run the first 6 miles so was pleased about that - and I still finished in a fairly respectable time (for me).
Special thanks goes to the old gent that finished one position above me who was very encouraging and came over at the end to say well done - and to my husband who again was in his supportive role - and ran along beside me for the last mile where I so wanted to walk again - but he wouldn't let me.
That last stretch to the finishing line felt like it was never ending and it was such a relief to pass the finishing line.
The race was superbly organised and the marshalls very supportive and caring making sure that we were all ok especially when they saw how much we were suffering in that humidity.
Hopefully be back again! Date of review: June 7, 2010
In short: Nice race - shame about the result board - I'm the only person that didn't beat Mo! In full: This is a very pleasant race. My first "biggy" race and I really enjoyed it. I was worried about over crowding but the wave system works really well (though why we were told to go to our section for 9.15am only to have to wait an hour in the cold for "my" wave to set off I'm not sure).
Route is well sign posted, and great opportunities to over take people (and to be overtaken). Loads of toilets (though more nearer the start and on route would have been handy).
Only blip is that the results are obviously wrong. Typically my husband got a much better time than he actually did, completely leaving Mo Farrah behind - whilst I got a lot worse time............ I must be the only person that didn't beat Mo. Hopefully they will be able to sort the results out soon.
In short: Sorry but got bored In full: Am fast coming to the conclusion that paying to run round a park is not for me - I get too bored... running down one side of the lake - only to see runners running along the opposite side knowing that I've got to go all the way round and back down again doesn't really inspire me - and great we get to do it twice!!!!
The big plus were the marshalls who were all friendly and inspiring - and the St Johns Ambulance crew who looked after my husband at the end, having completed his first 10k after about 2 months out with injury - by putting ice on his ankle.
But no, I won't be doing this next year. Was very surprised to hear the number of people raving about how scenic it was. Pleasant but there are so many runs in lovely countryside out there that I really wished I had gone to one of those instead. Date of review: May 31, 2010
In short: Loved it In full: Having read the reviews for previous years I was feeling slightly nervous - particularly when one of the reviewers said that the course organisers had found hills that he was not even aware of and he regularly trained in the park. I had run in Knole Park previously, completed a 5k and 10k race but had always struggled with the hills.
My fears were unfounded. I started off slow and soon found myself at the back of the race but then I had the joy of "picking" off runners and overtaking a few - at the pace i was running the hills were manageable, so different to previous runs here, must be getting fitter. Ok there were a couple which made my legs ache but at about mile 2 I realised that I could do this and ran around with a big smile on my face - much to the surprise of my husband who was waiting in his supporting role at the top of one of the hills and was fully expecting me to say "I can't do it", instead I ran by with a big smile on my face.
My inspiration runner - Tina Oldershaw - was also there - and I briefly had her in my sight (ok it was only whilst she lapped me as I was heading for the 3 mile marker). Congratulations to her for being first female home.
I think the best thing i took from this race is that it reflected how I've improved since I first took up jogging (back in Sept 09). I struggled with all the hills then - walking up most of them - now I can run them - hence the big smile.
The organisation was great (though the starter needs a much louder microphone - people had difficulty hearing what he was saying), the marshalls friendly and encouraging. And finally a big thanks to my husband, who was so hoping to take part after recovering from injury, only to tear his achilles tendon on his other foot on Thursday, so was struggling to walk again. He however was so encouraging and it was good to see him at the finishing line, with a group of fellow parkrunners and the Petts Wodd runners crowd all encouraging me to the very end.
I will definitely do this again next year - and who knows I might be able to give Tina a proper run for her money ;-) - well I can dream anyway. She better watch out if i get a marathon place. Date of review: May 10, 2010
In short: ps In full: ps - meant to add to my earlier review - thanks again to my husband (who again wasn't able to run) - for his support. It is appreciated!!! It was good to see him cheering me on at the half way point - just a shame hae had such a long wait in the pouring rain..... Date of review: May 2, 2010
In short: Great day out despite the pouring rain In full: I opted for the half marathon, and even though I found the hills hard, really enjoyed it. Plenty of water stops, several marshalls and reassuring that at about mile 7 they were checking your race number to see if you had made it that far.
Would love to do it again, though I hope next time there will be more toilets. The ladies were quite a long way from the start and there were only 2 that soon got blocked.........
And hopefully next time I won't take a tumble. Thanks to the ladies who helped me up though - just after I'd overtaken them and was on a roll (literally) going down hill. Date of review: May 2, 2010
In short: Overall - sorry I was bored.......... but intrigued why the Lib Dem politicians were there with their rosettes In full: The reviews were promising - beautiful scenery - but sorry I was bored..... one lap of a field (yawn), massive queue for a stile (double yawn), running through fields (sorry I hate that) - treble yawn... oh big hill that everyone is walking up - groan, now even more bored............. run round another field - yawn, ok..... now dismantled railway - oh great, see if I get run over by any cyclists.......
Sorry, I was so bored on this route. The marshalls did try to encourage but ......... ....
classic bit was at the end........ gasping for water, I approached the table with water on it - "do you want a medal" - "no, I already have a medal - I would like some water please". "do you have a cup - I can refill your cup" - "no, I have only just finished" - "sorry, I can only refill those with cups". "the others have cups in their hand" - "no sorry, I can only refill those with cups"......... eventually I got my water.
Sorry, this reminded me of an old fashioned country fete. Mid Somers Murders came to mind. Would the very sinister looking Liberal party officials who were just walking around holding yellow rosettes take even more advantage of a captured audience and commit some crime, were they covering something up and just trying to blend in and look innocent? Limited toilets 1 gent 1 ladies in the HQ, one of which then refused to flush, so even more limited....... organisers appeared to be more keen on the BBQ - hey I'm vegetarian and also gluten free - so hard lines not likely to be buying a sausage in a bap after i run 10k but would like to get rid of the breakfast ............Stiles within 5 mins of the start - all stacked up so massive queues........ switched off just wanted to go home. Date of review: April 18, 2010
In short: I thought this was a 10k???? In full: When we entered this earlier in the year we understood that it was a 10k, so imagine my surprise when we found out it was actually a 10 miler (gulp). With my husband unable to run for the last month due to injury, i ended up carrying the flag, though the organisers did swap Kev's entry to the 5k, but unfortunately in the end Kev decided not to risk his ankle and instead stepped in to the role of cheer leader/photographer (again).....
The race was hard and I was soon towards the back - I had practiced a few times for a 10k on the "old" route so was confident that I could (slowly) do the first hill, but was not so sure about the second main hill which we noticed after downloading the new route kicks in at the 7 mile mark. Whether it was psychological or not having practiced that second hill I ended up walking that section - but that last down hill section towards the finish - wow that was great. Got up to 9.5mph which I have never done before and was pleased to get under the 2 hour mark (just) arriving just as the organisers were beginning to pack up (though there were still several people behind me).
Nice race, would definitely do it again. One gripe - Kev said he saw people walk away with goody bags. So many times I have gone to races and there are never enough goody bags to go around, so the people who are towards the back always miss out. Why oh why - we can't all be fast - and it would be nice to know what is in them..... also would have been nice to have some fruit at the end as well.
The Runners World blurb mentioned that all runners got a medal and t-shirt - there was definitely a t-shirt, but no sign of any medals. Date of review: April 11, 2010