In short: Still one of the best 10K's around In full: This is still a very good 10K with a quick,challenging course and excellent organisation.
It's definitely good for a negative split:invariably,the first 5K takes me 1-1/2 minutes longer than the second,although overall,the course was a little slower this year due to the off-road final kilo.
The section between around 6 and 8K is a little "hairy" due to the proximity of fast traffic,but overall it's an excellent course for a 10K.
Only real criticism is that it needs more toilets at the start.
It's taken "stick" for being expensive,but that's rather unfair as it's good value if you enter in advance and unfortunately,the cost and difficulty of putting on an urban race are getting higher every year. Date of review: October 26, 2008
In short: A very good,no-frills race. In full: Sad to hear it's future is in jeopardy,as I'll certainly miss it if it goes.
It's a great Autumn half:no frills-just a varied,challenging race that offers something to runners of all standards.
The course starts and finishes in the suburbs of Maidstone,but the scenery along the Pilgrim's Way is great and there was plenty of appreciative crowd support and friendly marshalls and water stations etc.
Minor negatives:the "goody bag" was a bit of a misnomer and more importantly,the finish was "sloppy" and needs to be much better marked.It was very hard to tell where the line was and I saw several people stop running before they'd reached it.
At heart,it's a good,old fashioned club race and God forbid that these kind of races disappear and all we're left with is the hideous "Nike Run London" type of commercial operation. Date of review: October 19, 2008
In short: Must now be the best half in Kent In full: So much about this race is top class:fantastic views over the sea,top class marshalling,great goody bag,great PA at the end,excellent and growing crowd support,"interesting" course.
It was decidedly warm today,which made the last few miles very hard-and that hill is an absolute killer.When you reach the top,there's another mile or so of "gentle" incline which really finished me off today !
Agree with the only 2 points for improvement-a race of this size needs more toilets and the 1st water station-especially on a day like today-needs to come earlier.
However,taken overall,it's a "cracking" half marathon. Date of review: September 28, 2008
In short: Very enjoyable all round. In full: Lots of exceptional touches:bottled water and sports drink at the water stations;varied,challenging course;great selection of cakes and a brass band at the finish.
The overall package is very good value and the race is genuinely different.
The course is pretty quick up to mile 10,but those hills at the end were tough !
Overall,I really enjoyed it and sincere thanks to the organisers and all those involved for putting on a really special event. Date of review: July 6, 2008
In short: Still No.1-and getting even better ! In full: I find the NDR difficult to rate objectively-it is so damn good that normal criteria go out the window !
The course itself,the way the course is marked out and prepared,the amazing marshalls and other helpers (where on earth do you get them all from ?) and in fact,the whole "package",are simply off the scale.
It has been my favourite race of the year for some time now,and it just keeps getting better-even though it really does make me ache in places that no other race will manage until next year's NDR !
The free cakes at the end,the top quality tee-shirts,the barbecue and bar etc just add to what is,for my money,the best race I've ever entered.
Never mind "one of" my all-time favourire races,this is the one. Date of review: June 15, 2008