In short: First time - lived up to all expectations In full: This was the first time I had run this race, but I had heard very good reports about it and I have to say it lived up to all expectations. I love local club organised races such as this one. A brilliantly organised event, with a fabulous atmosphere, music, stalls, great crowds, super marshals, excellent medals, samosas at the end and even a dancing pink gorilla! What more could you ask for? Well good weather I suppose, but we were lucky this year and got that too, after last year’s miserably wet version.
For those who do not know the course, it is an interesting mix of road/path and proper off road trail/cross country. The first 3km or so is on road/path, fast and mainly downhill, so a good fast start is possible. However, the next 5km is on tricky undulating woodland trail, hilly and quite wet in parts. In particular, there is one toughish incline where sign-posts are helpfully left to encourage runners with little slogans (‘you can do it’, ‘don’t give up’, etc). Once through the woods (where there were lots of supporters, a band and SpongeBob SquarePants, the last 2km was back on road, for hopefully a fast(ish). Choice of shoe was important. I went for studs which was the right choice I think.
One other thing worth mentioning is that you can buy photos at a very reasonable price and contribute to charity at the same time (http://www.snappyraces.co.uk/search.php?mode=race&raceid=28). This I think is a great idea and a much better way of selling race photos than hawking the rights to commercial companies to sell at high prices for profit and I hope it catches on.
In short: Lived up to its reputation In full: I had heard a lot of good things about this race and decided to run it for the first time with some club colleagues. The event lived up to all expectations as a very friendly and extremely well organised race. The course is challenging, made more so by the unseasonal hot weather this year, but is a good mix of challenges for runners of all standards. A highly recommended half marathon. Date of review: September 29, 2014
In short: Great course but some organisational aspects poor In full: First time I have done this race and was told the organisation was a lot better than last year. God only knows how bad it was last year!!
Bag drop was appalling, as mentioned elsewhere. Left mine unattended in the end, as race start was imminent. Need to do much better on that. Generally start was very crowded and seemingly fairly chaotic. Also just after the start of the race there were a number of speed bumps in the road, which arrived with no warning whatsoever - a real hazard. I woWould expect a marshall to be alerting runners to their presence to avoid any falls.
That said, once on the course proper, the race came into its own. A fabulous albeit tough undulating and 100% traffic free course. Really enjoyable and worth the entrance fee alone. Good marshalling out on the course as well, including paramedics on bikes (hopefully not needed), which was reassuring
So, in summary, great course, develop that, but organisation at start in particular needs to be much better. T shirt and goody bag a bit meh, but I've had worse - I don't enter for the goody bag. As said earlier, cotton t-shirts are next to useless. Don’t give them out and reduce the entrance fee or up it a bit and get technical t-shirts.
In short: Great race In full: One of my favourite races (it is at the end of my road mind you, so not excuses for not turning up!). Friendly, very well organised, lots of great prizes, kids fun run and a special guest appearance this year (after a notbale absence last year) of the sun. Still a tough course and although dry the conditions underfoot were uneven, so made for a challenging race. Will be back next year. Date of review: May 7, 2013
In short: Great event - but beware uneven terrain In full: This is a great event, well organised and perfect build up for London Marathon. The route is flat alongside the river from Putney to Richmond, but beware the teraain is very mixed - road, pavement, cobblestones, trail, track, tow path etc., ad as a result is tough on the feet. I badly aggravating my achilles during teh race which was a shame, but not the fault of the organisers or route. It was just one of those things. Beware though if you do have niggles in that area. Date of review: March 8, 2013
In short: Where's Kelly? In full: Great race as always. Not sure what happened to Dame Kelly tho' - was it too cold?
Fantastic organisation - the communication about the potential snow problems was brilliant. Course tough as always but rewarding. Marshalls great etc etc. Loved the previous comment 'Up yours to some of the impatient rude motorists'. Couldn't agree more!
Lizzie sorry about your issues - I hope the organisers take them on board, I am sure they will.
Great day all round though no PB for me this time.
In short: Challenging but fun In full: This off road run is organised by Beckenham Running Club who are a very decent and friendly local running club. The event is very well organised, well marshalled and they have a great amateur photographer who always turns up and posts great photos on flikr. You also get a nice cup of tea and delicious home made cake at the end! The race itself was hard work for me, as a relative trail novice, as it was very boggy underfoot, although the weather on the day itself was absolutely gorgeous. I managed to finish 28th out of a field of 200 odd in a time of 43.44 which I was happy with, being a good two minutes better than what I have achieved off road before. It was challenging but very enjoyable - I can certainly see the attraction of trail running over road running, even if I don't think I will ever quite embrace it the way some do! Date of review: November 12, 2012