In short: An excellent well organised race, especially on its first running In full: Everything went very smoothly, although there appeared to be no attempt to pen the runners within the waves so there were a few slower runners to weave around for the first mile or so, but not too bad. Conditions were dreadful, with the strong winds and rain along The Embankment making life tough and slowing me by around 30 seconds over the first half, and you really had to watch out for the metal manhole covers which were deadly in the wet. The cobbled area (through Leadenhall Market?) was also particularly treacherous. I would also agree about the comment regarding foil blankets. I realise they wouldn't be needed every year, but I think in conditions like those with an event that attracts a lot of new and inexperienced runners they should have them in reserve. Beyond that however it was an excellent first attempt, although we'll have to wait for another day with decent weather when half the field don't stay at home and there are 20 times the number of spectators to see what it's really like, but it has definite potential to become something really good and to produce some fast times. Date of review: May 26, 2008
In short: Excellent straight forward local race In full: My 4th time at this event and again it was smoothly organised with no dramas. I think the squirrel may have got a little over-excited and sounded the hooter before everybody was quite ready, but at least that will have spread out the field for the couple of narrow gates onto the cycle path just after the start. The marshalls were excellent and very encouraging, and the whole event was spot-on from start to finish. And I ducked under 41 minutes for the first time, which made it even better. Well done Runnymede Runners & Staines Strollers. Date of review: May 18, 2008
In short: Another well organised race, except for the start In full: Another good Marlow 5 on a scorching hot day. Everything went like clockwork with a great medal and goody bag, but again the start was disappointing. I know it's individually chip timed, but I lined up about halfway back in the 30-35 minute zone yet was passing much slower runners for the first mile. It might help the finish time signs were put up on both sides of the course and also if they were facing in both directions - people entering the start zone from the front simply don't see them, and it soon becomes so congested that people stop trying to move back, even if they do notice them. A minor complaint though for a very well organised race - I'll be back next year and hopefully it'll be cooler so I can break my PB again :) Date of review: May 11, 2008
In short: Straight forward 10k race In full: My third time at Shinfield, and once again it went smoothly with no dramas, and for the third time I broke my PB. The field at the end was a bit boggy, and the unmade road just after the start was a bit iffy with the parked car right on the corner and the water-filled potholes, but they aren't exactly things that the organisers have much control over. All-in-all it's a simple unpretentious 10k race that does exactly what it says on the tin. Thank you Reading Roadrunners for another good event. Date of review: May 5, 2008
In short: Amazing from start to finish In full: My first marathon after several injury-aborted attempts, and what a day. The organisation is quite simply amazing - everything was easy, everything was where you expected it, and it all went so smoothly. All in all it was a remarkably drama-free day, and I'm struggling to even think of any constructive criticism, let alone any negatives. I wish that all races were this well organised. And to cap it all I beat my 3:30 target. A very happy customer :) Date of review: April 17, 2008
In short: Well organised event in excellent location In full: Despite the weather forecast, conditions were pretty good with sunshine for much of the race and the wind wasn't that bad (except for mile 9!). Nice venue with proper car parks and and easy to get to. A minor delay at the start due to late arrivals didn't really cause any problems, and the course itself was fine and well marshalled despite the couple of drivers who seemed determined to ignore the fact 100's of runners were running up narrow lanes. Hope the guy who collapsed and was taken away in the air ambulance is ok. Date of review: March 21, 2008
In short: Well organised and ideal for London Marathoners In full: The map sent out with the numbers was too blurred to read street names, but thankfully there were enough runners around to find the way. Obviously the heavy rain had played havoc with the start/finish area, but the baggage tent was well organised and a welcome shelter from the rain. The path to the start line though was a bit of a shambles, and I would imagine meant many people were late arriving. The army cadets did their best to provide a bridge over the swamp, but it was a little late. Beyond that though the course was undulating enough to keep you honest, and the marshalls did a great job to keep it running like clockwork. The goodie bag was a little thin - feel sorry for whoever had to stuff them. Pity about the wind in the last 2 miles that meant I just missed out going sub 1:30, but that's my own fault for not going a little faster earlier isn't it. Will I do it again - almost certainly. Date of review: March 16, 2008
In short: Another excellent Wokingham Half Marathon In full: This is an excellent race, with traffic free running in very pleasant countryside, good marshalls and great organisation. But then I ran a massive PB, so I would say that wouldn't I :)
BTW I believe your chip time is taken as you cross under the wire strung over the finish line, not when they scan you with the wands. You hear the machine bleep as you cross the line. As for the cost - do you have any idea how much it costs to close 13 miles of public roads, hire toilets for 2000 people etc? I think a few people should try and put on a race, then they'd understand why big races like this cost what they do. Date of review: February 10, 2008
In short: Another well organised race In full: 4th time in this race and was as good as ever. An easy journey by train to the start & got there early enough to avoid the major queues for toilets and bags. Course enthusiastically marshalled as always, but the towpath up to Richmond Bridge seemed rougher this year, or maybe I was just more tired than usual at that point. Two constructive comments however: 1. The pub and the available toilets are getting a little stretched for a 2000 entry race. 2. The start - we lined up behind the barrier in the side street as instructed, but hundreds of people pushed in at the front when they started to walk us forward to the start line. As a result the first couple of miles were an obstacle course trying to get round people who really should have been further back. There didn't appear to be any attempt this year to ask slower runners to start further back.
And a request to people who insist on running races whilst listening to music - please have the volume low enough so you can actually hear your fellow runners when they come to pass you. That way you're less likely to run them into a bollard!
In short: As good as always In full: The fact that this race has been running for years and regularly sells out says it all really. Good organisation, good atmosphere, good spirit and a good route - couldn't ask for more really. And I got a a PB by 30 seconds this time - perfect :) Date of review: August 1, 2007