In short: Not flat, dangerous bollards, one mile was badly measured (1.1, sorry!) but there were some lovely marshalls... In full: It is for a good cause, so I wish all the best to this race. But in order to get more participants (or retain the previous ones) there are a few things to address: 1. change route or do something about the bollards, I almost ran into one and there were dozens and dozens of them, hidden by runners in front, so dangerous! I spent the rest of the race waving over them to make sure nobody behind me got hurt! 2. The course is NOT flat, there are an awful lot of ups and downs which break the rhythm. I PBed only because my previous PB was really soft, but it was hard work! 3. The finishing 200mt are through a maze of bends. As if ending with a mile + uphill were not enough! Not good! 4. Correct measures are important! I think mile 4 was just badly badly wrong on the plus side. And some mile markers were missing. One mile was marked 3 times at different distances... very confusing! 5. I heard about the lost front runners, but can't comment, was too far behind!;-) 6. The medal had no date; I do not mind not paying a bit more and not having a goody bag for a good cause, but I do not like having a 'generic' medal. 7. Please, no shouting muscle-inflated instructors and blasted music for annoying pre-race warm up! That is so much... 'charity and NOT serious' race (I think for Race for Life, with no official timing and mostly made up of non-runners it is just about OK). On the plus sides: 1. some really lovely marshalls 2. hot showers in the changing room! 3. chip timing 4. good bag storage 5. a few little perks, like cheap massage available.
In short: Friendly marshalls, flat course, some nice scenery on the second part. In full: Yes, the queue at the loos delayed the start a bit and yes the car park queue at the end was a killer for those aiming to a prompt departure. But, the delayed start meant no rush for the queuers (and the late queue is often due to people getting there too late!). Also, you could stop for a cup of tea (or even a massage!!!) after the race and easily avoid the congested exit from the car park, as we did. On the top plus side, the marshalls were real gems, together with a sizeable portion of enthusiastic locals. Regarding the route, the very start with the U turn and the dual carriage way with runners retracing their steps gets a bit congested and by the end of the second small loop you know the car park like a local worker, but as you get out on the long loop there are parts of beutiful countryside scenery worth the trip. At the end more bacon butties please for next year, after the long queue at refreshments we didn't get one! Medals and mars bar at the arrivals were very much welcome, though. It's a nice race, flat and fast, and one of the oldest in the Country, so in the name of glorious traditions and because I like supporting nice people and their running clubs, they will see me next year! Date of review: April 10, 2009
In short: My club race, but objectively well organised In full: Organisation was smooth, wheather glorious and I like finishing on a running track (makes the extra sprint so much easier!). My club race (I am a new member), so that you know my judgement could be a bit partial. Still, it's a very friendly, enjoyable and well run race at 'tube distance' in London... worth the trip! Date of review: December 7, 2008
In short: My first and definitely not my last In full: Yes, everybody pointed out the delays in giving out the chips, but if people turned up earlier (it's a race hosting over 1,000!), it would not be a problem. Also they kindly waited for everybody to be ready, so what's to moan about? Anybody running to another race after this one who was penalize by the half an hour delay? ;-) The race is ondudulating, not many chances of a great PB, but the descents and uphills are gentle and if you play them right, they do not really jeopardise your time. Nice marshalls (and plenty of them), almost perfect temperature and great atmosphere finishing on the track. It made my day and being a beginner (1st my half!) I enjoyed every minute of it, particularly the lovely stretch through the natural reserve! I'll be back! Date of review: November 2, 2008
In short: Small and beautiful, great organization, but not for PB! In full: Gosh, what a tough race. Some hilly parts were so steep that walking was the only option, some descents were so steep and slippery that slowing down was the only option and regardless of the many perfectly placed arrows I almost lost my way a couple of times. Said that, what a scenery! No chance of a PB, but for the sheer enjoyment of it I shall do it again! Last but not least, enthusiastic and very efficient organization and a really quality medal for all! Date of review: September 21, 2008
In short: Friendly atmosphere, smooth organisation, nice weather! In full: As a first timer I did not know what to expect, but everything went smoothly. I receive a comprehensive email with instructions that were spot on. Easy parking, friendly organisers and marshalls, runners of all capabilities turned up so I did not feel out of place. I shall definitely do it again to improve my time (which was better than expected: the course was not fiendish and I felt good!) Date of review: July 26, 2008