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.
In short: Sooooo hot! In full: This was my first run after 2 months out with various ligament problems. Managed to get around, nice course not too difficult but very crowded on the first lap going around the first few tight corners.
It was so hot and found myself having to walk for a short part - suffering from not having run more than 2 miles recently.
Marshals were excellent
Shame clock at finish wasn't working
Thanks to the St Johns Ambulance people who provided a nice cooling ice bag for me at the finish.
In short: A spectators view In full: Due to recent injury i was unable to run the 10 mile, the organisers were good enough to put me into the 5k but unfortunately still wasn't strong enough to do that so i supported my wife around the course.
As i drove around and met her at various points and also as she was one of the last to finish I can hopefully add a little to the comments below and some constructive advice.
A bit confusing having reviews for the new 10 mile, 5k and old 10k in same rating - Hopefully RW can sort that one out?
Having the old 10k reviews and links to the old 10k still up on both RW and the organisers site when we entered earlier this year had led us to believe it was a 10k but never mind we had paid the entry fee and enjoy the area, just wish we had known a bit sooner.
It would have been a good idea to have signage advising that there were some toilets at the start - and a few more of them. I noticed a lot of people turning up late for the 5k start.
Oh and a sign to the start - as those turning up late or stuck in the toilets in Denbies had no idea where the start was and most of the marshals had already left the reception area.
5K event - This did seem as though it was a last minute thought, no route published in advance and from what i saw at the start a little chaotic. Hopefully next year the organisers will have had the time to plan this one better. Providing a route in advance might also encourage more to take part.
Overall i would say the event was well organised, road crossing manned well and the marshals supportive however it would have been good to have had one at the gate leading into the hill up to the Ranmore Common car park. So many weary runners at the back were struggling at this point and a cheery person opening the gate with a bit of encouragement would have spurred them up the final hill. As i had a longish wait for the wife i ended up holding the gate open for a few runners and they seemed very appreciative.
Distance - Maybe just shy of 10 miles but as with most cross country events that is down to the route you take and also GPS connectivity in woods that could shorten the distance. My wife and the lady behind her both had Garmin's and both had a different distance. It was probably close enough to 10 miles.
Medal. This was a shame, definitely advertised and after such an effort a medal would have been a nice keepsake, given the location a nicely designed medal would have gone down well.
Water at the finish. There was definitely water when my wife finished ( close to last ) a bit out of the way and perhaps not obvious if you were tired crossing the line. Perhaps this should have been next to the people giving out T Shirts - just after where the person giving out the medals should have been/
Couldn't do it this year but it is already pencilled in for next and hopefully the organisers will have taken most of the comments on board and this could turn into one of the highlights of the local running calandar.
In short: Nice flat 10 mile route In full: Very pleasant race. The way to the Green at Hythe could have been better signposted, particularly with the road closures, but apart from that it was fun. Shame there was no fruit at the finish though.
Nice to get a PB. Tempted to try the Folkestone Half Marathon next.... Date of review: April 3, 2010
In short: wet rat at the back but happy and still smiling In full: Didn't want to get out of the car for this one but very pleased i did.
Managed to get race ready (completely soaked ) so wasn't too upset that the people who were going to give us all a pre-race warm up didn't turn up and as the roads around the common started turning into streams I couldn't really work out why a lot of runners were cramming into the tents after all we were going to get wet.
A shame that the tents only blew over at the end of the race!
Very well organised and despite the hill a run that encourages you to a pb - which i might get once the results go online.
Thanks to all the marshals - especially the guy just before the last 2 k (causeway) who gave everyone so much encouragement and asked if i wanted an ambulance when i was 'recovering' against a tree after finishing.
cannot wait for next year, bright blue skies sun shining down on us as we softly tread the footpaths of Wimbledon on a Sunday morning. Date of review: February 28, 2010
In short: great park so why did we run around the football pitches In full: Confusion and poor organisation let this event down with marshals not knowing where the race started, only two offering any encouragement to the runners, one sending everybody the wrong way on the first lap and the 8k marker was almost at the finish. My Garmin showed 5.45 miles. As i slowed down to a fast jog rather than pushing for a time after the first lap of 3 but still finished in an unbelievable '10k' time of 47 minutes when i struggle to do 5k in 25 minutes i would guess that the course was at least half a mile short.
Can only agree with posts on the forum asking for something to be done about those responsible for this event and will certainly not enter any of the other races in the series advertised by the same organisers. Date of review: February 21, 2010
In short: boring course but ok for a first crack at the distance In full: marshals were great and a few bystanders gave a welcome cheer but a pity that the water station was only available on the first lap, just after the 3 mile mark and was taken away for subsequent laps.