In short: Great pre-Christmas race In full: Excellent no nonsense organisation again from the Ealing Half marathon team. A lovely race in the grounds of a national trust property. I loved the varied terrain and even the bit on the road was fine (a quiet residential street). Lovely cheerful and encouraging marshals, great signage ('right turn ahead' etc), quality medal and a mince pie at the end, what more do you want. Oh and no problem parking on the street outside the park. Date of review: December 19, 2015
In short: A wee bit disappointimg In full: I've always heard good about this race and it was extremely well organised with echoes of VLM definitely there in the race pack and excellent runners-only baggage and start area. However I found the route so crowded I spent the whole time trying to dodge people weaving in and out, lots of barging, and headphone wearers blissfully unaware of anyone around them. The route was quite dull and I hardly noticed where we were although to be fair I live in London so was all quite familiar. Good atmosphere, lots of supporters and marshals. The goody bag was a real let down, two sachets of hair conditioner and a mini tube of toothpaste. And yet another ill fitting mans cotton tee shirt - is it really so unthinkable to provide women runners with a women's teeshirt?. Finally I was surprised not to receive a text or email of my official time. Overall a bit of a let down for me. Date of review: May 26, 2015
In short: Well organised, well supported, and harder than I expected! In full: I thought the twists and turns on the route would be troublesome but it was the 'undulations' which took me by surprise, constant ups and downs for the first ten miles then thankfully a flat final 3 miles to the finish. Genius idea of having big signs telling you which way the next turn was so you could always find your race line. Lovely little touches such as the signs welcoming runners from different countries. Agree that local support was amazing, second only to the London Marathon in my experience, and really fun - loved the guy standing at the end of his drive playing Chariots of Fire. Really feels like the organisers have put a lot of work into getting the local community on side and making this a great day out for everyone and it really works. Marshalls were fantastic too. Thanks to the marshall shouting 'only 15 minutes of running left!' near the end I managed to squeeze a pb. Was knackered at the end but will be back next year - the 25% discount to this year's runners is hard to resist. Well done to everyone involved. Date of review: October 12, 2014
In short: Fantastic local support + lovely race In full: Did this race last year and weather couldn't have been more different, hot and sunny - not best for running but made for great atmosphere. Lovely route along country lanes, really well supported by the locals, much improved finish and great marshals. Recommended. Date of review: March 16, 2014
In short: Terrific support despite awful weather In full: I really enjoyed this race the first five miles around the town flew by and meant that by the time you headed out into the country you were nearly half way (ish). Lovely little country roads must be lovely in good weather! Despite the cold and rain marshals were unfailingly cheerful and encouraging and so many locals came out to support - huge thanks to all involved. My second HM after the (overrated) Royal Parks half and pb'd by 7 minutes so I'm happy :).
Hopefully the locals will forgive us for turning Calthorpe Park into a mud bath ... Date of review: March 18, 2013
In short: Flat course great for beginners stepping up the distance In full: Only my second ever race after a Race for Life and I'm so chuffed to finish the 8 miler in a respectable time. Lovely first 3 miles to Hampton Court along the river then fairly boring roadside run to finish. Forget about the goody bag and head for the Ascis stall selling 40 quid shoes at the finish! Date of review: October 14, 2007