In short: Loved this race. I'll be back (again!) In full: Having done the half last year, I came back for the full this year. Really appreciated the change in course to be fully on the Thames path, though as some people have said it will be good to have the course changed slightly so that the extra 2.5mile section came at the start, not the end. I enjoyed seeing people coming back towards me as they reached the turning point for the half or the full, and I really enjoyed the camaraderie as we all wished each other luck or said well done to each other. Even though I was last for the first 12 miles, I rarely felt isolated because of the out and back nature of the course.
Lots of drinks and goodies at the aid stations and at the end, sadly my tummy didn't want to let me sample the cakes and flapjacks at the aid stations or at the end though I managed some of the other goodies. The atmosphere was excellent and the marshals and aid station volunteers were very supportive.
The surface of the towpath is bumpy at times and some people had trouble - but really, if you're entering a race that is clearly on the towpath, then you should really train to be able to cope with the surface? I spent some time training off-road and so had no problems. My only issues course wise were with the busy sections by Richmond pubs, but what can you do except be prepared for lots and lots of people out enjoying the riverside on a sunny Saturday afternoon?
There could have been more aid stations, I suppose, but I carried my own water anyway as that is what I got used to doing during training runs.
The course is mostly pancake flat in terms of hills and I came very close to running a good time. Next year, let's see if I can get a PB? Date of review: August 24, 2014
In short: Third time I've done this race, will most definitely be back for a fourth time and more In full: This year, the hill at 6 miles finally got the better of me. I will be back for revenge. Beautiful scenery, especially with the luck we got with the weather this year, and such a good atmosphere. It's a testing route, but it's worth it. Date of review: December 8, 2013
In full: I enjoyed this run, especially having the festival and kids races afterwards, such a scenic course. The organisation was generally pretty good (except for the t-shirt queue) and the atmosphere was nice and friendly. I couldn't hear the megaphone announcements either, like some people have mentioned on here and also I would have liked to be able to see the finish a bit more clearly, to know where I was going to finish!
My Garmin measured the course at 13.2, which seems fair enough as I probably wobbled off the racing line a bit at times.
But I am starting to wonder if I just hallucinated the fact that there were no water stations between 6 and 11 miles, and that there was no energy drinks at the 11 mile water stop (although plenty at 3 miles, strangely, which seems to be the wrong way around?) Maybe I was just so knackered that I ran straight past the water station without seeing it? Either way, I was desperate for some water by the time I finally found the station at 11 miles, and could finally take my gel properly. The river water almost started to look tempting at one point...
(And did I also hallucinate the teddy bear's picnic, inside Kew Gardens?) Date of review: September 23, 2013
In short: so much fun! In full: What can I say that hasn't already been said? This race was hilarious, the course was beautiful and quite challenging while rewarding you with great scenery after the climbs. Plus wine. And a personal worst for a half marathon, to boot. What more could you want? This race was an indulgence that I'll most definitely be repeating again! (Worryingly - or reassuringly - this is also the race that I've bumped into the most forumites I knew...) Date of review: September 15, 2013
In short: So good, I will prob come back for the full marathon next year! In full: Best aid stations I have ever seen at a race - I forgot my jelly babies but that really wasn't a problem. Very friendly atmosphere as well, particularly at dinner time afterwards. So many nice touches and such a beautiful course. Richmond Park hill - well we were warned, and it's a great feeling to conquer that evil ******** even if it is slightly horrible on the way up! I'll definitely be back and may even go for double the fun, and trade up to the full marathon?? Date of review: August 27, 2013
In short: Great PB potential in the right weather In full: Enjoyed this. The course is almost completely flat (very PB/beginner friendly) and the start was well marshalled. Lovely stretch along the Bognor promenade for the first few k and then the last 4k, which was thankfully not windy this year. Good support from the locals too, especially at the end. (Shame there was no goody bag this year though! No repeat of the strange plastic dumbells from Fitness first this year...) Date of review: May 19, 2013
In short: The old ones are the best In full: Yes it was cold. Yes it was hilly. Yes, the park and ride seems to be (I got the train, so can't comment). But this race is something special. The locals come out and support, even in bad weather, handing out oranges and jelly babies and telling you this is definitely the last hill (don't believe them!) and tea on the walk back to the station. The local support, as opposed to moaning about road closures etc, has been built up over decades in this well established event and it is what makes me come back to this race. I'll be back again. On the train, of course. Date of review: March 27, 2013
In short: enjoyed today despite the weather! In full: Terrible weather today, especially just at the end where the heavens opened again. That being said, the organisers made the race run very smoothly despite the conditions. Good communication beforehand, and the lucozade in the goody bag afterwards was very handy.
Special thanks to one marshal who gave me the advice when I was running on my own, to try and catch up to a small group in front of me and use them as a pack. Such helpful advice! A step beyond the usual 'keep going, not far to go now, well done' (nice but not half so useful!) Date of review: February 10, 2013
In short: a bit of hill training and *the hill* won't be too terrible, and it's worth it for the view at the top! Fantastic race organisation, great marshals, thanks very much Seaford striders! Will be back again Date of review: January 12, 2013
In short: The great marshals and the mince pie at the end made it all worthwhile! In full: The marshals were great all the way round, really helped encourage you - its not fun standing out there in the bad conditions when you don't even have the fun of running. Thanks to them all. And I was very happy to get my mince pie and fruit at the end - I have an assorted bunch of medals around somewhere that I never look at, whereas the mince pie and banana went down very nicely just after the race, as did the mars bar in the goody bag :) Date of review: December 22, 2007