In short: Filled a hole. In full: I wanted to find a last minute race to get some tempo/speedy miles in and found this. Enter online a few days out, jobs a good'un. That was grand.
I didn't expect much from the race and it filled expectations. A few niggles here and there, nothing outstanding, just run of the mill. I wasn't expecting much and got that.
The start line has no expected finish time markers which may help on such a thinned route for the first km within the sports ground.
I didn't trust the look of the baggage area so preferred my car boot. Number pick up on the day was a bit disorganised. Toilets I had to go scouting for, no real obvious signs to show where they were. Post-race goodies were fine, water, banana, crisps, cereal bar. The medal is a bit tacky with a simple engraving on the back of a bog standard generic design. The speaker system/PA is old, busted and inaudible.
The route is fine, it's hard to squeeze 13.1 miles in along the river near central London. I had no issue with the twists and turns personally. I felt sorry for Bishop's Park and the total state left by the Boat Race spectators, not the race organisers fault that at all. Putney Bridge will always be busy so pedestrian weaving was par for the course.
The one thing that I really wanted to get off my chest from the morning was the marshals. There were a few great ones, and I would like it noted that an Eastern European lady just before Hammersmith Bridge who was giving high fives was excellent, and I believe someone else was doing this too early on. I love that enthusiasm and expect it - it should be fun and the runners appreciate it. A few smiley faces from others here and there. However, there were some who obviously would have rather been anywhere else. Headphones on, leaning against lampposts, mobile phone staring, sitting down showing nothing but total apathy on their face. It deflates the mood, especially on such a gloriously sunny day as we had. As someone who is passionately vocal when marshalling myself this really gets my goat. Get people who care, not just a job filled. It spoils the overall impression. Having marshals just stare at you when you say thank you, or half-heartedly clap sticks in your mind. It really let my feel toward the race down. Engage with local running clubs if possible, ask if they'd help provide volunteers, people who are runners, who have empathy, and watch the level of energy around this revolutionise your race. Also, I was a little let down I had to inform a poor elder chap that the marshal had sent him into the finish from the towpath after he'd only done one lap as I passed him. He had to turn back, luckily not too late on. If you had runners or people from the running community, not just what felt like agency staff, they'd know the difference in pace, so if someone is being lapped they know to direct each party the correct way.
All in all I was happy to get a half done at some pace, so what I wanted, it did. Had it been a big event on my calendar, I'd have been disappointed somewhat with a few things. The car park exit didn't help - traffic lights, other sports events, the Wetlands Centre all adds up to an hour long queue to go 500m. Leave early, park elsewhere or just hang around afterwards in the sunshine is my advice. I'd run it again, but not as a destination event, just as it's convenient in date and place. Date of review: April 13, 2015
In short: All the the great things you'd expect In full: On the same day as Reading Half, and if this happens again I'd always stick to Fleet. For runners, by runners and you can tell. Date of review: March 26, 2015
In short: Great In full: What goes up for nearly 5k must come down for nearly 5k! Certainly a negative split kinda 10k course! Thanks to all for putting it on, quaint surrounds and bravo to all the volunteers and marshals. Date of review: November 18, 2012
In short: Enjoyed In full: Thanks to all the marshals and volunteers today and all at Epsom & Ewell Harriers for putting this race on. Playful 10 miles around Epsom and enjoyed it plenty. Date of review: November 18, 2012
In short: Fun In full: First did this race 7 years ago, and for the first time for some reason I realised what a great job the marshalls do. I was well aware of just how many are out on route on all the major spots and do a great job to see us through safely. And this has always been the case everytine I've done this race. Great job 26.2 once more. Date of review: February 14, 2012
In short: I saw some cows In full: Huge praise to the Fire crew for marshaling at major points on the course and stopping traffic! A real good slog up for 4k, but you get it back, and it's no, bland ordinary 10k round a road. It has much more to offer. Great fun. Date of review: November 13, 2011