In short: A fun race and another PB In full: Strangely the incline which starts at about 7.5 miles seemed harder than last year but both times I've walked the final steep bit (probably adds about 2-3 mins to the overall time). Nevertheless I beat my last year time by between 3 and 4 mins (still waiting for chip time - they only texted me the gun time). Either way its a new PB for the half marathon for me.
Well organised, nice course and scenery, a nice goody bag too. My wife likes the hand cream. All in all a great day which gives me encouragement for my next HM - Next Sunday in Amsterdam... Date of review: October 11, 2009
In short: Never race after a night on the ale! In full: Our preparation was suicidal quite frankly so a challenging course (nothing like as tough as St Albans or Burnham Beeches though) punished me adequately for that folly. I actually think my running partner deliberately nobbled me with the alcohol as I was 2-1 up in our 2008 race series and he could think of no other way to beat me! lol.
Poor prep aside, I thought it was a great course; Pretty challenging to about mile 9 when thankfully a lengthy downhill stretch appeared in front of me to reward the constant puffing and blowing from the gradual uphill over the first 9.
I liked the scenery, the organisation was like clockwork and I wolfed my bacon butty afterwards.
All in all its a race well worth trying and I'll definitely be back in 2009 but NEVER AGAIN will I do race after a night on the ale...
In short: Certainly a PB course and Very Good organisation In full: Not what I expected from the runners world description of fantastic views across the solent but, having done several genuinely scenic events in the last few months, it was a pleasant change not to have to battle against hills for once.
I was very impressed with the organisation and the marshalling is the best I've seen so far. The event had a homely, friendly feel to it which made for a relaxed start. Yes it was congested but for quite a short time and hopefully this could (easily?) be put right in future years.
I don't understand everyone who moans about parking or not getting to the start on time etc. I never have problems at any event on this point, just get there a bit earlier and you have plenty of time to sort these things out!
The airfield was rather monotonous and felt a bit like an industrial estate at times so not what I expected from the runners world comments and reviews.
Nevertheless my race went to plan and I managed to overtake my friend about mile 10.5 to post my first sub-1:50 (and 4th PB in a row) and put me 2-1 ahead in our race series which continues through to April and the FLM 2009.
Would I do it again? Yes but I hope they can make the course a little more interesting and more inclusive of spectators next year. Date of review: November 17, 2008
In short: The downhill compensates for the up hill and a 4th PB in a row In full: Well I was hoping to go sub 1:50 for the first time and missed out by a minute but still 3 minutes better than previously. The first 7 miles is pretty flat and scenic by the thames a fair bit. This gets you a good start before the hill at about 7.5 miles to 9. This is very gradula which in all honesty isn't too bad, There is then a relatively short steeper section which, i have to be honest I walked. Having recharged the batteries I could then take reasonable advantage of the downhill section. I felt sorry for the 10K'ers though. Why didn't they start first???? Next stop Gosport in Nov for that tantalising sub 1:50. I met the RW mob (fellow formites) in red tutus before the race which was nice after all this time. I hope you all did as well as expected.... Date of review: October 12, 2008
In short: Lovely scenery, lovely weather, a bit too hilly but another PB In full: I really enjoyed the day. Quite well organised and the route was safe and picturesque. After doing my last 2 HM's as undulating I wasn't really ready for another challenging one so I adopted an aggressive pace on the flat and down hill and simply walked the up hill stretches. Despite this I still got another PB (3rd in a row) by 5 minutes. The marshalling and water/sponge stations were very good and efficient and there was quite a lot of support. The last 2-3 miles are flat/down hill which makes it a nice finish. Date of review: September 21, 2008
In short: A most enjoyable event and a PB to boot In full: As others have said the hills (inclines) really) kill you on the second circuit. I was targeting my first sub-2 and got 1:58 so very pleased. This despite walking up the last couple of hills.
The atmosphere is very friendly and I loved the tree-lined route. I also liked the fact they called your name out on the finishing straight. I enjoyed the awards ceremony and was very impressed they had the everyone's results to date pinned up even while people were still on the course. Date of review: August 18, 2008
In short: Hot and Hilly although hills are not killers just a lot of them. Fun though, gwell marshalled In full: Hot and Hilly although hills are not killers just a lot of them. Scenic well organised (all except the finish with the ridiculous queue for a cup of water and a medium t-shirt. other than that no grumbles. not for the faint hearted though! Date of review: June 8, 2008