In short: Great 10k with something for everyone In full: My abiding memory of yesterday's race is the wind,which (for me anyway) was reflected in a "positive split" of 20.31 for the 1st 5k and 22.20 for the return.
However,Kent coastal races will always be susceptible to the weather and this doesn't detract from a great 10K that's suitable for all runners.
The almost totally flat course means it's got real PB potential but also means that it's a good choice for beginners.
Throw in an excellent race venue,good organisation,lots of parking nearby and a Bank Holiday atmosphere and it's no surprise it sells out well in advance.
In short: Reliably excellent summer half. In full: I try to run this one every year as,accepting the probability that it's going to be hot,it's one of the best half marathons around.The course is varied and challenging but fast times are possible.The organisation is first class and the start and finish in the stadium,together with the adjacent Dartford festival,give it a real "big race" feel.There were loads of helpful and enthusiastic marshalls and plenty of bottled water at the drink stations.The memento (a key ring) was also nice.This year was its 30th anniversary and there was a fascinating display in the clubhouse,looking back to the first staging in 1977.Steve Ovett won it as a 65 min "training run",there were only 5 female runners in the small field of about 125 and my time this year of 1.36 (enough for 77th placing out of 574) would have seen me finish about 110th out of 125! Date of review: July 25, 2006
In short: Challenging,scenic race through the Essex countryside. In full: The first time I've run it.It's a good,all round 10K over a tough,but scenic rural course.I consider myself good on hills,but the final one especially was very tough in the heat.Several nice touches:mile and kilo markers-great for pacing;fun run before,rather than during,the main race;great support,especially at the start and finish;excellent race facilities.Only 2 minor quibbles:11 am is late to be starting a race in mid-July and for similar reasons,the first water station should ideally have been before 6K.However,it's an enjoyable,well organised 10K that offers great value for money. Date of review: July 25, 2006
In short: Simply unmissable-there's nothing else like it. In full: This is a truly great race.As well as fantastic scenery and a great atmosphere before,during and after the race,what stands out is the sheer effort I & I put in to make it as good as it is.The course is very well marked and the marshalls,water stations etc were plentiful and extremely efficient.It's also exceptional value,with very generous facilities at the finish.The weather was kind this year,but it's a hard,hard course and you need to keep as much as possible in reserve for the final 10k.In summary,it's a fantastic race that deserves its growing reputation. Date of review: June 26, 2006
In short: I'd love to run it on a cool day 1 In full: The first time I've run it and it's hard to judge due to the extreme conditions.The course should be fast,as it's flat and open,with definite PB potential.However,yesterday was about getting round as comfortably as possible-it was baking and there was very little shade.I echo what others have said about the marshalls,water stations and St.John Ambulance.They were all excellent and really made a difference yesterday-thanks to you all.There was a great atmosphere before and after the race (again,as others have said,top marks to the "MC").One small quibble-the race was started whilst 2 vehicles (including the lead car)were still in the way,which caused an unnecessary bottleneck.A race this size should also have time markers at the start,as it was all a bit chaotic.Finally,huge respect to the competitive racers at the front- running 1.15 (or anything under 1.20)in those conditions is a remarkable performance. Date of review: June 12, 2006
In short: Tough course, but great setting and enjoyably different. In full: I've reviewed this twice before,so I'll keep it brief.It's a tough race-the uphill section is especially hard the second time round and you have to concentrate on your footing in places.However,the scenery and surroundings are fantastic,the marshalling and organisation by Sevenoaks AC are excellent and there's great support at key parts of the course.Considering the punishing nature of the course,the course record-c.35'50-is astonishing-I wish I'd seen it. Date of review: May 15, 2006
In short: Excellent all-round 10K in great surroundings In full: A really excellent all-round 10K.The course is traffic free,flat and fast (potentially as fast as any 10K race around on a less windy day than yesterday)and offers something to runners of all standards.The organisation was faultless and (with the beach and Waterfront Club HQ )it's a great venue for runners,families and supporters. Date of review: May 2, 2006
In short: Very fast,flat and traffic-free. In full: This race is set-up for fast times and is a great opportunity for a PB.However,it's not easy-most of us aren't used to 30+ minutes at near flat-out pace and it hurts !.The facilities are excellent and the organisation of the race itself was very good indeed.On the downside,the finish needs attention (more water and the line needs to be more obvious) and the presentation wasn't as efficient as last year.However,the organisers have provided a genuinely fast race for a worthy cause and it deserves to grow in popularity. Date of review: April 20, 2006
In short: Still the best Spring half in Kent In full: As always,this year's race was very well organised and marshalled etc.It's a big race to stage in a town the size of Paddock Wood,but the organisers deal admirably with the attendant traffic and logistics.The course is very flat,but this doesn't always translate into fast times.The course is very exposed to the prevailing weather-which this year meant strong winds-and its very flatness may lull runners into going off too fast and paying for it later.The organisers deserved credit for their flexibility in delaying the start for 10 minutes to overcome a problem in the baggage area (and the late queues for the toilets ?).Overall,it's a well organised,potentially fast pre-London half that's probably reached its limit in terms of number of entrants. Date of review: April 11, 2006
In short: Top marks all round to TRR for another exceptional race. In full: A hugely enjoyable race.The course was a distinct improvement on the old one-fantastic coastal scenery and very little traffic.I enjoyed the varied terrain and surroundings (even the urban bits )and the hills made it a great all round challenge.20 miles is the perfect distance:long enough to run at a pace that allows you to "savour" the experience (at least until about mile 17... )but not so long that those ,like me ,whose training is geared towards 10k's and half-marathons will struggle to finish in one piece.Add TRR's usual excellent marshalling and organisation,great cameraderie during and after the race and great facilities and it adds up to one of my all-time favourite races. Date of review: March 6, 2006