In short: More of an event than a running race In full: If you want a start in iconic Kew Gardens and a finish village with lots of noise and spending opportunities than this is the event for you. If it is a running race you want, then there are plenty better.
I didn't see any portaloos at the start (perhaps Kew don't allow them) but I did see queues long enough to be sure that most wouldn't be able to go before the start. There were about 8 loos at 4 miles though (?!).
It is a lovely course although a bit rough underfoot and very congested, in Kew Gardens and along the towpath - there are simply too many runners for these sections and I wouldn't be surprised if other towpath users complained, as did many of the cars being held back on Richmond Green. How did the event get approval for those road crossings?
The worst part was the water stations, where they seemed to be pouring individual cups for each runner - slow and frustrating for many. The marshals also seemed to have little idea of distance or when the next water station was. "Only 2 miles to go" at 2.5 miles out. On the subject of mileage, 11 and 12 markers were spot on but 10 was at 10.25 and my Garmin finished at 13.3 instead of 13.2 - something quite wrong there.
For this price, you want a smoothly organised top quality event. Less than half the price will get you a much better race organised by runners with marshals that understand running - not that I would want to criticise anyone that gives their time (are they paid?) to support these races.
Another pet hate (I may be sounding hyper-critical here) is allowing headphones on races that cross roads and pass through narrow sections. This is really quite dangerous.
My advice would be to enter races that are organised and marshaled by runners. Date of review: September 21, 2014
In short: Hats off to Dr Rob and the Wonderful Marshals! In full: 4th time and another course record (from 2:53, 2:40, 2:16 down to 2:11) - 2 hours can't be that far away now...
This is a premier league race for all the reasons already noted. Dr Rob and co always know how to keep you going on those long, tough ascents (and descents) and you definitely feel like you have earned the sandwiches and cake at the end.
Deep respect to the Picnic marathon runners - boy that course twice would be tough as nails, and then some...
You simply have to try this. It's the stuff of legends and as much of a mental test as a physical one. Still hurting the next day though. Date of review: June 19, 2011
In short: Hard as Nails but as friendly as they come In full: This and the Knacker Cracker on New Years Day are my season favourites. Organisation is great, fellow runners are friendly and the course makes you feel like you have really been tested. The Picnic marathon starts two hours earlier, which is great because you get to run with and marvel at the sheer balls of those doing the full 26.2. Hats off to those that were doing this as their first half marathon - nutters! Date of review: June 20, 2009
In short: Mad as you like - ideal New Year's resolution In full: This is s great way to start the year - hills, more hills, some mud and more hills. You won't get a pb but you will get a huge sense of achievement, lots of friendly support, sore legs, the feeling that you might have walked a little less up the hills and a mug of hot soup. As usual this Trionium race is organised expertly by friendly and supportive marshals. A genuine highlight in the race calendar. Date of review: January 1, 2009
In short: Usual brilliant and friendly marshalling and great course In full: West 4 harriers always make this a great event - friendly and encouraging marshals, good atmosphere etc. The course is fast, sharing towpath and pavement, much of which is next to the Thames.
Even the snow didn't seem to dampen the enthusiasm this year. Great to have another TTT glass for the cabinet. Date of review: April 6, 2008
In short: Potential for a good race but organisation could be a lot better In full: I dropped out of this race due to injury and spectated for my wife, who was in training for her first marathon.
This could and should be a good race but a number of things let it down: 1 - where were the medals for the later finishers? We were aware of at least 108 people (those who deserved it most) not getting a medal. The organisers were clear about numbers in advance. 2 - One choccy bar does not a goody bag make! 3 - What happened to the miles markers? The rather erratic positioning (especially 1 and 2) really doesn't help for those trying to pace their race. 4 - What about a course profile in the race instructions? It looks flat until you try and run it. Runners will usually still run a challenging course, but beter to be up-front about it. 5 - Why did the marshal just before the 8 mile markers tell runners they were near the finish. Yes, technically they were about half a mile or so away as the crow flies, but over 5 miles from finishing.
Don't get me wrong, there was a lot f good organisation in this race and I take my hat off to anyone who takes time out in the Winter weather to marshal a race, especially a long one. The thing is marshals should have a better idea of where they are on the course, where the next water station is etc.
Maybe this is a feature of a race not organised by runners, but with such excellent competition these days, these details can really make the difference between coming back again and again and never repeating or recommending the experience. Date of review: February 19, 2008
In short: Killer cure for the New Year hangover In full: Deepest respect for Dr Robert and crew, who made this a race to remember. A real "hard as you like" introduction to the year and a kick start to serious 2008 training. This race has hills, humour, fancy dress and a carrot for each finisher! Borat deserves a special mention - boy that suit must have chafed... Date of review: January 3, 2008
In short: As usual, an exceptionally well run and fast course In full: This is a great race, especially when the towpath is dry underfoot. Marshals were excellent and in abundance and generally the organisation was excellent. My only gripe is the start and finish on a rather uneven field. If there was only a way of adding the extra distance on to road, track or path. I managed an average 7:15 mpm pace, but 8:55 for the first mile, albeit starting from near the back. With a faster start and finish this race could rival the local Cabbage Patch 10 for PB potential. Still, an excellent event and well woth teh trip. Date of review: April 13, 2006