In short: A race of two halves In full: Pre - warned about the trek to the start so came as no suprise but that said it didn't create any sense of anticipation or build up to the event which, if you were at the back of the crowd, you dont realise is starting until you hear the hooter.
First 5 - 6 miles along A20 not as bad as I expected, the narrow paths and little space for passing helped me to settle into a nice easy pace.
Second half of the race was much better along rolling country lanes, none of the hills too hard.
Finish area a little chaotic, with people crossing pathway in front of the finishing funnel and nowhere to then go and rest and wait for other runners afterwards without getting in the way or cold.
Fruit, recovery drink or energy bar at the end would help bearing in mind, car, warm clothes, food and hot drinks are a reasonably long walk/hobble away after running 13.1 miles.
Given list of sponsors the bag at the end was very poor, perhaps an apple - reflecting the insurance company sponsors logo and a discount voucher from the sports shop might have bulked it out a little.
In short: So good I wish I could have gone around twice In full: Not many better ways to spend a Sunday.
Very close to home but the route opened up parts of South London I wasn't aware of making this a really enjoyable trail/road run.
All the good bits: The sun didn't really start to shine until i had finished making conditions nice and cool for the run itself and warm enough to sit out on the grass resting afterwards.
The route - slightly challenging, a few nice hills, lovely forest trails and minor roads with a railway bridge thrown in just remind you that the centre of London is only 30 minutes away by train.
Marshals - great support, wasn't quite expecting to hear the split time being announced by someone lying in the brambles at half way.
Start was very well organised - with the time pens making the first few KM less crowded - apologies for not fully adhering to the intended pause between groups but I blame those to my right for sneaking off and breaking the tape first
Slight gorilla gender confusion, certain he was a she but whatever nice one Woody ;)
Spectators - First Class. Especially the crowd at 7k - you could hear them all the way through the woods. lots of locals out in their gardens clapping and most drivers showing great consideration and stopping for the marshals on the road section.
Almost ran a PB - slight miscalculation and brain misfunction at half way split made me think i was not going to do it - so i eased off, settled into a nice pace telling myself the route is hilly, not made for PB's and enjoyed the views.
Quality gong at the finish, Ms Woody distributing bananas and the ladies from the local hospice serving tea and cakes. The PB can wait.
In short: Good effort, shame about the weather In full: Only did the 10 and slightly relieved as I finished just as the rain started to get worse, felt sorry for thise with another lap to do.
Course is 3 miles on the airfield followed by 7 on not so quite, undulating country roads which call for some care and attention on the part of runners, some of whom wore headphones despite being advised not to do so.
Fantastic marshalling which is always one of the big plus points on events run by this organiser.
A decent run to build up mileage, many using the 20 as last minute prep for the Amsterdam marathon.
And a great medal to finish with.
Thumbs down to a few things beyond the organisers control. The weather - Temepstuous during the latter stage of the 10 and final half of the 20. Portaloos - the hire company placing them on the boggiest piece of grass in two blocks meant that half were hidden from view and the gents totally obscurred - with an ankle deep in water splodge to get to them. Bike race on same roads - local police should have been aware that having two events using same roads at the same time might cause problems given the narrow roads.
Thankfully the marshalls made up for the dismal weather and organisers were powerless to do anything about the cycling event.
In short: Proper, proper trail running. Tough but fun. In full: Won't dwell on the freebies, T shirt, beer, cakes etc, this race is memorable for the following: Views - even if they became a little blurred after mile 4 Pace - Never going to win this sort of thing but great to run along trails with a group of friendly people who didn't worry about fences, bogs and streams but just wanted to enjoy themselves. Marshals - Fantastic support all the way around. Waiting for the wife - Not quite last but as always finishing with a big smile and nice to have a group of other runners and spectators still at the end to clap and cheer her home - the beer tent might have helped this :) Location - Feel lucky to have been able to run around such a picturesque country estate
Fun course - should have run with the info sheet that had some wicked names for the various obstacles as i couldn't remember them as i joggled along - any chance of having some of the names set up on signs?
Could have done with a few more WC at the start - or just some ladies only - easy for us guys to pop behind a tree but not for the girls - acknowledge the limitations of location though maybe restricting number of portaloos.
In short: A run to put a smile on your face and keepit their despite the pain In full: Might not be the Alps but there is nothing like a run around the beautiful North Downs. Did I say around? Maybe up and down and up a bit more with views to keep that smile on your face.
Not really one to enter if you are looking for a flat blast, The Badger is something to savour and take your time over - still I managed to knock 7 minutes off my PB.
Thoroughly recommend this run, great organisation - even if lack of proper chip timimg took me a few seconds over 2 hours dead.
Great T shirt, this one is not going to Oxfam.
Marshals supportive, plenty of drinks stations and the beer at the end was a nice touch - even to a non drinker! Date of review: September 5, 2010
In short: Ouch! Where did those hills come from In full: First half marathon, not prepared for the mileage or that final hill - fist time i have actually stopped dead unable to move, thankfully got going again rather slowly, on my knees.
Superb marshals and the local support was quite unexpected - plenty of encouragement and sprinklers/ hoses supplementing the water stations.
In short: well organised race In full: Re comments about the late start
The reason for the short delay was that there was a little concern about not having an adequate police presence at the first main road junction in order to close the road and ensure the safety of competitors.
I think that whilst this could have been relayed to the runners the organisors were justified in waiting for the road to be closed before starting Date of review: June 7, 2010
In short: Great atmosphere,one to do again In full: Only my second run for a while, had to walk in a 10k last weekend so I was hoping to run all the way today.
Thankfully the cool, cloudy conditions made for great running weather, but a little bit too cool to have to stand waiting for the start, understand the need to get everyone off smoothly but perhaps runners were called to the start a little early. This is the only negative on what was an exceptionally well organized event.
With such large numbers going around the first km a slow starting pace and the crowds along the Embankment helped switch my mind off thoughts of having had to walk/jog my previous 10k and before I knew it i was heading for the 5k turn but not before we were all cheering on the front runners as they flashed past on the other side of the road. Then settling into a nice steady pace past St Paul's before heading back past the crowds along the Embankment, thanks for the Jelly Baby and hoping that the guy being attended to by the paramedics was ok, the event had great medical services in attendance along the route, before turning back into Horseguards Parade and the Mall. 400 metres to go I was sprinting for the line, well in my mind anyway - in reality according to the Garmin I wasn't going any faster but at least my legs were going to get me to the finish and rather surprisingly only 1 minute outside my PB.
Lots of space in the finish area to wait for the wife, who did a PB.
Lovely medal and a goody bag with useful stuff - i am going to try out the joint massage cream in a few moments. Baggage collection was a breeze, the lady had my bag out and ready even before i had approached the barrier.
Enough water and juice to rehydrate and plan for next year.