In short: This marathon was plain sailing for the majority of the runners, but not for me. In full: This marathon could make your day and possibly even your year. If you train correctly, it could also guarantee you a personal best Marathon time. What I liked about this marathon, was the spectacular organisation, it was simply flawless. At the start of the race there was plenty of parking and toilets. Every Marshal, helper and Cadet (hundreds of them) were all first class. The Abingdon locals were the most vocal spectators I have ever encountered. What I also liked about the race was that there were plenty of water station s, energy drinks and jelly babies. The downside of this race was the scenery which was dull and boring for the first five miles and in other areas. There were times when I was just looking at Industrial areas and tall dry grass. Three things that caught my eye were the Turkey Farm, St. Helen’s Church (with its chiming bells) and the field which looked like field filled of Calliloo - West Indian Spinach. This was a chip timing race, which meant the race results should have been up within 24 hours after the race. I just checked the web-site this Wednesday morning 3 days after the race, and there is still no result! My legs did not feel right from Thursday’s training and on Friday my legs were feeling heavy and aching, especially my left leg. I did some crazy stretches to revive my legs but the damage was done. I realised I had over trained. ‘It should not have happened to a Vet runner’, I should have known better! The day of the race, my legs felt a bit better but were still heavy and tight. When I started the run I knew I would be in trouble. The race was not completely flat; it had a few inclines, the last mile almost broke the camel’s back. It was the hardest, toughest and longest mile of the race. I was hoping it would not be a track finish (because the race started on the track). But there and behold waiting for me at the finish was one lap of the track. I was not pleased so I gritted my teeth and made a mad dash to the finish line. I was in absolute agony. I did not get my sub 4 hours, but over five hundreds smiling runners did, out of 706 runners (that’s impressive) I suppose it’s better than me coming last - which I am very good at. When it comes to organisation Abingdon Amblers know a thing or two, they were able to perform and delivered the goods with a smile. I’m glad I did this race it has taken me 3 years to participate. It was cancelled in 2007, oversubscribed in 2008 and here I am in 2009 kicking myself. Once again well done Abingdon Amblers, in 2008 you were ranked 25th as Runners World Readers Top Favourite Race and you have done it again in 2009. Just one more thing Suzanne Dando, former British Gymnast Champion and I used to attend the same Secondary School. Susan fired the gun at the start the race. I think this would have made my great and late Head teacher Mrs Fisher really happy and proud; two of her former pupils participating in such a big and important race. I would like to dedicate this race to you Mrs Fisher and thank you for enriching our lives and being such a perfect role model, such an inspiration, and feeding us with your words of wisdom. God Bless. I shall continue to do my best to make you proud.
In short: if you are looking for a race with a difference and bit of va va voom (speed) look no further. v In full: I’m not that keen on running on the track or doing track races. But I must confess I’ve got a soft spot for Thurrock Harriers track races. I agree running the laps are boring and not mentally stimulating, but on the other hand the running experts say it will help you to run faster:=). On the night of the Thurrock Harriers races there is a choice of three races or two races, which are 800 meters (two laps) one mile (4 laps) or 3 miles (12 ½ laps). The night of the race it was only the 1 mile and 3 mile race (due to a small turnout of runners). The one mile race started first, followed shortly by the 3 mile race. The field was small and had a good mix of runners but is was mostly male dominated. Personally, I preferred the small field but Dave Staines the head Coach and Race organiser said he was very disappointed with the poor turnout of runners. He made a remark on the perfect weather condition but I was thinking ‘shiver my timbers it’s absolutely freezing’. After running the two races, I was sweating like a pig and turned my car into a hot and steamy sauna. I guessed the Coach was right it was an ideal racing condition. I think I got a PB in the mile race but messed upon my third lap because I thought it was my fourth lap! The next two races billed for this year are at 7.30pm and are on the 11th November and 9th December 2009. There are more details on the Runners World web site. I shall try my best not to get lost and be there. This race is suitable for all types of runners or joggers, whether you are with a club, no club or with a few clubs! This race will guarantee to make you S.W.E.A.T and that’s straight from the horse’s mouth! Thurrock Harriers thumbs up to your new club house. For all you Runners who have got races coming up ‘Break a leg’.
In short: What a race! I was able to distress and re-charge my batteries all at the same time. Hats off to you Paul and your fantastic team of merry helpers. In full: It’s no secret that I would have preferred to run the The Great Clarendon Marathon. However, in 2007 I made it to start line too late. Hence the reason why I decided to only run the half marathon because of the later start. The Clarendon half marathon is a very tough course, very hilly, more ups than down. Last year’s course was tougher; it was very muddy and slippery. The bird’s eye views were breathtaking, and the panoramic views were out of this world. I liked the fact that the countdown was backwards from 13 miles to 1 mile. I just can’t fault this race, everything was just spot on. The organisation was just perfect. As we came to the finish line, some people were just movers; others were just shakers, as for me I was huffing and puffing and rocking n rolling right to the finishing line. Well done to everyone involved. This race has made it once again in Runners World Readers Top Favourite. Oh yes, I got a PB thanks to my old man’s Grenadian fruit cake (please can I have some more). R.W- I would like to let you into a little secret my parents are also from Clarendon -in Jamaica. Thanks Paul for giving me a good run for my money :)
In short: This was no picinic or walk in the park, intead this was NEG-New Eltham Joggers hard core trail of 27 miles. In full: It was no picnic or walk in the park, instead this was New Eltham Joggers hard core trail, 27 miles Green Chain Walk (GCW). The race started around 08.30 but prior to the race the runners were given Dir-Directions and a map of the GCW-Green Chain Walk. Following the route was difficult because there was not enough SP-Signpost or RM-Route Markers. Occasionally I found myself and my running partners did not know whether to TL-Turn Left or TR-Turn or even BR-Bear Right, or BR-Bear Left. It made me feel X-Cross and frustrated at times for being lost. At the 8 mile stage I met a kind gentleman who had ran the race the last year, and I immed- immediately Flw-follow him for the next 8 miles. We stopped at two CP-checkpoint together and ran Ah-Ahead towards the Fld-Field, FP-Footpath or FP-Footbridge. Sometimes but not often it was hard to know when to go L-Left or R-Right due to no signs. Then I met up with two other male runners who were in a similar predicament and we decided to ran as group for the next eleven miles. At about the 22.5 miles our band was joined by another male at CP-Checkpoint 6. However by this stage we had covered more miles than that. The group cont-Continue past CP-Checkpoint 7 - X-Cross the road R-right Thru-Through to the finish. Along the route all the Marshall, including my friend Joe, were friendly and helpful, however more sign post would have been helpful. I really enjoyed running with the young gentleman who also ran Margate Marathon, the guy in Bobby More Vest and a Vet male Runner from 100 Marathon Club ( the one who is always full of beans). Also the lady with the rainbow colour socks. Thanks for your support and navigating skills, without your help I think I would have been stranded in the Woods somewhere. I would also like to thank the good Samaritans who offered their help and for pointing me to the right directions. Just one observation I noticed everyone had dogs, some were odd looking canine on four legs, was there a local open air 2009 Crofts Dog Show??? On completing the race I thought never again. However on reflection I felt really privileged running with some of the best runners in the county. I felt that NEJ- New Eltham Joggers, had bend over backwards to make this race a success. Well done to the Race Directors and NEJ-New Eltham Joggers. Next year can you provide more RM-Route Markers. I really enjoyed running with a group of runners I met during the race. I suppose I’m just not a good map reader. I like the medal and emerald green baseball cap. I like the T-shirt but made a bit of a boo boo- I choose the wrong size. In closing well done to Eddie Izzard for completing 43 marathons in 51 days – That’s absolutely incredible how did you that??? There’s me struggling to do one; I take my hat off to you.
In short: If I had to rant and rave about a race this is definitely be one of them. In full: Kent Coastal Marathon is sometimes called the Thanet Marathon, but I like to call it the Margate Marathon. Margate Marathon is ranked as my top favourite race. This is because it is held in Margate which brings back fond childhood memories travelling with my Dad and Sister to Margate 'Dreamland' in his sky blue Morris Minor Traveller (my poor Mum had to work). Also, what I like about this race is that it is extremely well organised, everything seems to work like clock work. The course is challenging, there were roller- coasters hills at the first half and second half had twists and turns with one killer hill at the finish about a mile long. In this race you were provided with energy gels and water. (I had slight accident with one of the gels and smudged it all my face and photographer had taken a picture of the evidence). There was plenty of water in bottles - just what I like!
Just a couple of things I like to mention, why did you change the shape of the medal? Also, why did you choose the clolour white for the T-shirt?
To the Race Director, Thank you for making this race a firm favourite me. I really hope to get the time off to run this race next year. I love Margate.
In short: This race is like marmite you either love it or hate it. In full: Joydens Wood is a 5k series race, which is held on the last Wednesday of June, July, and August. You can do all three races or less. The Joyden Woods is situated in Dartford, off Summerfield Drive. It is very deceiving as it appears small from the outside but is absolutely massive from the inside. The race is famous for its short, sharp sinister hills, which makes it different from any other 5k race. I’ve done this race about 10 times, and I always forget how tough it really is, especially on the lungs and thighs. The last time I did this race I was very ill, and was advised by my family not to do the race. However, I could not resist it and completed it in 30 minutes. I was not pleased with my finishing time. In the August race I was looking forward to smash my time and get a pb instead. I missed the start of the race because I missed my turning off the A2. I started the race last and finished last! The good news was that I received a bottle of wine. A special message for the Marshalls: Sorry for being late and thanks for staying on the course for bit longer, and for your positive comments and clapping. I couldn’t have done it without you. I rate this race highly and that includes all the Marshalls, keep up the good work. Some other good news I just found out that Orpington has won the Ashes, oops I mean the Laces. Well done Orpington – That was Team effort.
In short: I like the BBC 10k race because there is something special about. In full: I like the BBC 10k race because there is something unique and special about it, which makes it very appealing. This race is so popular that it fills up extremely quickly. The participants consist of fast club runners (not me) and slower runners. It is a three lap course which is nice and flat in Regents Park near a modern building called the Hubb. The BBC Running club also does 5 mile and 5k races. I was sorry that I missed these races this year as they are another favourite of mine. Steve Wehrle is a busy man he belongs to a few clubs (naughty man). Check out Orpington Road Runners on Marathon tips, written from the man himself. A message to Steve: Please could you email me with the 10k results and also next year’s race dates – I don’t want to lose out on my favourite races.
In short: The friendliest race on the calendar. In full: When I compete in this race, I get such a tremendous joy that I just have to rate it on Runners World. Sri Chinmoy or Self Transcendence, also referred to as Run and Become races, are my favourite races on the calendar. Why? You may ask. The race is beginner friendly, the organisers and the marshalls are always professional cheeful and smiling. The race has a good mix of club runners and non-club runners, from young kids to people aged 65 plus. All the runners seemed friendly and approachable. The start of the race is fast but the pace does slow down for some of the runners -just like any other race. This race is nice and flat and has pb potential. Here's the best bit, at the end of the race you can help yourself to as much orange squash as you like.
Run and Become fit as Chinmoy Kurmar Ghose 1931-2007 (founder of Sri Marathon Team 1977). Date of review: August 14, 2009
In short: I did not like this race...I loved it In full: I had problems finding the start of the race, the bus drivers and the locals had never heard of Hampton high street or Hampton hill, except for one jogger! I eventually found the start of the race and I realised what a beautiful park it was. This race was chip timed – which you attach to your trainers. At the start of the race a gentleman explained that the Wedding day 7k race was to celebrate the marriage of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. During the race I had no choice but to take it easy; because throughout the race, I was carrying an injury and I also recently I had my wisdom tooth taken out. The race started and finished on grass and was generally on a flat terrain. I give my thanks to the Marshalls who shouted ‘well done Orpington’ during my race. Despite my injuries I managed to finish the race and secure myself a green ‘Wedding Day’ t- shirt for my effort and a voucher for a bottle of ‘for Goodness shakes’. I’ve always wanted to do this race and I was happy it did not disappoint my expectations which allowed me to ignore the pain. This was a well organised and a well marshalled race. I would also like to give a tribute to Sir Bobby Robson (18 February, 1933 – 31 July2009). You are the Greatest Manager that ever lived in England. Rest in Peace, and God bless.
In short: A Beautiful race supported by 'Wonderful Marshalls' In full: I got to the race late thanks to my little gadget Tom. A Kind gentleman came to my rescue and let me follow him by car to start of the race - I had no time to thank him. I would like to thank him one day and buy him a pack of Supermalt. I shall never forget that type of kindness. The Marshalls were smiling; giving me so such wonderful support. The Runners were so friendly and cracking jokes. Also thanks for the quick Marshall and Runner who rushed to my rescue when I fell flat on my face. I will remember this race for many reasons- for The kind helpful gentleman, the wonderful marshalls and the friendly and talkative runners. Not to forget the beautiful scenery. This race will always be a favourite with me and with all runners. (Runners World Runners Don't take my word for it- try it for your self).