In short: Ah the heavenly bagels In full: This is my third time doing this race, and as ever, it is friendly, well-organised and incredibly welcoming for all levels of running and, as they themselves said, welcome runners of all age, shape, sexes, levels and sexual orientation. It was great fun, with a goody bag that might not be stuffed with food, but there was a lovely, thick fluffy towel, a drinking bottle and some other lovely touches. The mountain of bagels was the absolute winner, and so it has been every year. Good times, very good times. Date of review: August 15, 2010
In short: Thoroughly enjoyable but hard as nails... In full: Someone should have told me that cross country could be so much harder than a marathon! I've run 4 marathons so far including a difficult trail marathon, and this was by far the hardest race. Yet it was beautiful, magnificent really. Full of lovely, supportive fellow runners and marshalls, generous supply of sweets, biscuits, water, sports drinks and beer (!!!!) at water stations. Help, enthusiastic children (surely future running stars soon...). Very heartwarming experience, with a cake stall at the finish that offered free cake for all. The kind of race that would restore your faith in the human race, but it was physically taxing. I found it hard, but yes, definitely do it again. Much thanks to my friend who recommended it and ran with me on the day (though she was about 30 minutes faster than I). Marijana, I thank you very much for this, I do not hate you for dragging me into this at all :-) Date of review: July 8, 2008
In short: With the entry fee, there really could do with a champion's chip and better goody bags In full: I thoroughly enjoyed this race, though I don't remember the last time I didn't enjoy a race due to any problem with organisation. But there really are a few things that really could be better. I've entered much cheaper races, but they provided efficient timing facilities such as a champion's chip. But that's by the by, mainly, with entry fee such as this one (£30.00), a much better goody bag really isn't much to ask. It was very crowded and full of walkers. The route itself was pure speed, there can be no doubt about that. Over all, I enjoyed this race very much, the support was fantastic and the music was uplifting, if the few problems can be ironed out, then it really would be much more appealing than it was. Date of review: July 8, 2008
In short: Well, these guys do also organise The London Marathon you know... In full: I signed up for this as soon as the newsletter came through, it might have been last year! I turned up not knowing what might happen, as I had just run a very hot and very hard half marathon in Canterbury the day before. The weather made me laugh, as my whole weekend was beginning to feel like a very funny, energetic but big farce of various train stations, running, running clothes, packing, and more running, not that I'm complaining though.
The only reason that I didn't give PB Potential full score, was due to the crowd. All 12,000 of them packed up the streets, the Embankment and the entire course; but then that is never a problem. On such a miserable and filthy day, it is wonderful to see all these other fools out there with one another, battling the element like me and making it to the finish together. It was one of my slowest times - with the half marathon still firmly in my legs - but it is one of the most enjoyable. It is like a shrunkened London Marathon (still by far my favourite marathon, my first race of any distance, best of England) as far as the super smooth organisation and atmosphere were concerned.
One last thing, if that is to be part of the Olympic marathon course, then we really have possibly one of the most beautiful, historic courses in the world of city marathons. Date of review: May 27, 2008
In short: When they say undulating, it should be UNDULATING!! In full: So the weather forecast locally in Canterbury warned of chilly temperature and wet weather ahead. I didn't know how I felt sitting in my hotel room. On the one hand, chilly and rainy is perfect for a race. On the other, the Hastings Half, though a wonderful event and I enjoyed it tremendously, took place in such freezing, wet, filthy weather, resulting in my body overworking and a dangerous drop in blood sugar level, I just wasn't sure whether I were ready for another one like that.
Well, the sun only beat down throughout almost the entire way with very little break. I now have another layer of tan lines to add onto the ones I acquired from the Vienna City Marathon a month ago, and the hills, oh God THE HILLS!! The ups and downs were in turns gentle and severe, I relished the challenge, and I can't speak for everyone, but for me, all hopes for a PB was out of the window. The sharp, long-ish incline just after the Mile 10 marker was just naughty. Though not much support along the way - seemed to be due to the fact that most of the route was along country lanes and there simply weren't places for spectators to stand - those who showed up gave such wonderful support that it warmed my heart wonderfully.
The scenaries were simply breathtaking, the best of England. Rolling green fields, farm houses and animals. At times muddy, but never to the point where running became impossible. Lovely, personal touches from the organisers. It was overall a wonderful experience. Date of review: May 26, 2008
In short: Jesus says "RUN" In full: Being ill for the 2 weeks leading up to the race, and still feeling terrible the day before. I did not expect a good time, and just went out and enjoy it. Enjoy it I did!! Oh what miserable weather, but what incredible support all along the way! If I weren't running the race, I can't imagine myself being this supportive! Even when their friends have run past them, the supporters didn't leave and didn't stop clapping. Some were just there to support anyone who ran past. It was a true testament to their spirits on such a terrible, cold and drizzly day. And children too! They were happy to help out with handing out water, saying a kind word, high fiving anyone and everyone. There was a church along the last couple of miles, with the congregation standing outside the entrance yelling and cheering, with a gigantic sign above the door saying "Jesus says RUN". That would make my whole year every time the running gets tough. Thank you thank you thank you. I wish I could thank all of you individually. I only wish that you all go onto runner's World website and see this review, and know that there is a runner in Blackheath, London, who will always be grateful. I will return next year fit and healthy and run a good time. Date of review: March 17, 2008
In short: And I thought that I knew what was coming In full: Living locally in Blackheath, and having Greenwich park as my regular running patch, I thought that I knew what the race might be like. It was not far from what I imagined, but I just wasn't sure which uphill the organisers would pick, and how many times uphill. The same, gradual but long uphill for the second time in the last km was horrible and perfectly exhilarating at the same time. Beautiful, sunny day, did a better time than I thought I would as had been bothered by a mild stomach bug for the entire week leading up to the race, so I ran on empty on the day, let's just say. But it was enough, and the crowds were friendly and encouraging. They were all there for their friends and families, but were all generous in giving a complete stranger a smile and a word of encouragement. Will definitely do it again, hopefully in 100% good health next time :-) Date of review: March 3, 2008
In short: A new PB with overe 10 minutes off my previous time In full: This is the first time I do the Brighton half, ironically, before I became a keen runner and a regular visitor to runner's world website, I did use to think how Brighton would make such a good setting for a race! With only a 10k 2 weeks prior to the race and almost no training whatsoever, I showed up thinking that I would gauge what a race this might be, and to gauge my own physical condition, as I will soon be preparing for a number of half marathons and marathons. The atmosphere at the start was wonderful, like all races are really. Love the course, love the seafront view, and was delightfully bemused by the fast runners, and how much faster they are than the mere mortals, as the course loops backwards and we all came face to face with them. The sight of Roedean coming into view when we emerged from the tunnel was a wonderful surprise. Why, I have not seen my school since the speech day! Beautiful view, beautiful clifftops, wonderful crowds, and 10 minutes off the PB I set in the previous year, even if the organisation had been bad I would have enjoyed it anyway just for that. Didn't give organisation more points out of 5, is because I heard that medals ran out for the late finishers, the guys who probably would want it the most. That for me was the only glitch. Date of review: March 3, 2008
In short: Friendly marshalls, friendly crowd and simply enjoyable!! In full: The first of this race, and here's to the next four! There are teething problems in the beginning, as there are confusions such as, race packs were sent to some people and not others, I received one, but know that quite a few others didn't. When they did enquire, they were told that things were to be done over e-mails instead, but then some others did receive their race packs so... just slight confusion, no big deal though.
Fantastic friendly marshals, one of them, Hanna, read of me on the Five 2 Go forum on runner's world website, and actually called me by name and encouraged me. I am just sorry that I wasn't able to stop and shake her hand properly, as that was just a simply wonderful, uplifting touch! This is my first trail marathon, and I do find it harder for me than road, but it is quite an experience and a change of scene from big city marathons which had been my experiences so far. I got quite disheartened around the trail park as I was left by myself for most of that time, but that is my personal mental issue, not being used to smaller scale marathons at all, nothing to do with the friendly and hardworking group of marshalls. Even for the ones looking after stragglers, there was not a single sour face, but full of encouragement and good intentions. Even though I was running none-stop, I was cold, so I can only imagine what it must have been like for them! Yet there was just... no sign of any grumpiness. The general atmosphere was simply incredible. When the runners looped round, the ones right up ahead and the ones much slower came face to face briefly, all they would do was yell encouragement at you (i.e. slowie like myself) and clap before they ran on. What more could one ask? Date of review: November 10, 2007
In short: Always a pleasure... In full: A wonderful idea for winter, as I tend to get lazier in winter times, the lights, temperature outside, etc. This series keeps me on my toes. What a very friendly and efficient race director to boot!! Date of review: November 3, 2007