In short: Oh how I hope I get in again next year! In full: This was my second London Marathon and quite simply I love this race. I love everything about it: the atmosphere at the start, the route through such varied London scenary, the spectators who are extraordinary, and as for the finish! This year I took 45 minutes off my 2010 time, which I can't complain about, butI was on for even 45 minutes quicker, a 4:30, until some body in a pink fancy dress costume tripped me at mile 16 after which I developed a problem in my right leg. But I'm not complaining, merely stating facts. I absolutely loved it again, and please, please Mr Virgin London Marathon, pull me out of the hat again for 2014! :-) Date of review: May 13, 2013
In short: A staple in my calendar In full: I have now run this race for the past 5 years and love it, though I never know why! I don't find the route inspiring, it has always been a bogey course for me where I can't get anywhere near my PB, yet I keep coming back! I love the atmosphere, the organisation is top rate, the spectators are fantastic, and the finish in the Stadium is quite simply the best. But that all changed this year! Suddenly I found my pace, I thoroughly enjoyed the race, and I missed a PB by a matter of seconds. The bogey is broken! I can't wait until next year! Date of review: May 13, 2013
In short: An excellent race on a freezing cold day In full: Last year, the first time I ran this race, I made some scathing comments about the baggage drop, the goody bags and the medal. This year it couldn't have been better. The organisation was like clockwork, and on an absolutely freezing cold day this was one great way to warm up! Even the medal didn't look quite so much of an advertisement for Lifestyle Renault! In fact it was such a good race that I took 10 minutes off my time last year and a cool 6 minutes off my PB! A great race. I look forward to 2014! Date of review: May 13, 2013
In short: One of my favourite races In full: I have run this race for the last four years, and 2012 proved to me why I love it... I have been fighting for a new PB for 2 years and at last beat it in this race (of all races)! This is most definitely one of my favourite races. The organisation is good, the route is scenic and challenging, and, quite simply, it's fun! Date of review: May 13, 2013
In short: An excellent, challenging and well organised race In full: This was my first Weald St George's 10k though heaven know why because I only live in Sevenoaks! It was brilliant! The course is challenging and interesting, the organisation is great and friendly, and the touch of the church having an Open Air Service before the race and the lady vicar running in the Fun Run resplendant in her vicarly robes was simply great! Date of review: May 13, 2013
In short: A brilliant race as always. In full: Reading has become a staple in my calendar. I certainly don't do it for the scenary which is dull, dull, dull, but the brilliant organisation, the support, the drummers under the underpass, and the finish in the Madejski stadium all help to make it one fantastic race and a favourite in my running year.
My only complaint was the Mizuno shirt this year, which I returned. In my view it was nowhere near the quality and fit of the great Adidas shirts of previous years. I've never bought a Mizuno shirt and am certain that I now never will! Date of review: May 7, 2012
In short: Fantastic fun. Most enjoyable, slowest and muddiest Half ever! In full: This was one fantastic outing. Forget PB potential, I was 10 minutes slower than my slowest ever Half to date, but it was more than made up for by laughing all the way.
I can't think why the previous comments have mentioned the mud... or then perhaps I can! I haven't enjoyed a mud bath so much since I was a kid!! Frankly there was no point in trying to run in places (especially as I only had road shoes), and staying upright was a challenge in itself, that I actually achieved!
For a first effort and with not a huge number of Marshlls I think Dave and Mel did a brilliant job. The brown painted arrows on the road were a great comfort at times when i was completely on my own and not knowing if I'd gone the right way. And I found the whole event friendly, welcoming and great fun.
My only two comments for next year are 1: it would be helpful to have mile markers (I accidentally stopped my watch so lost track of where I was), and 2: the precise finish line could have been clearer.
Dave and Mel, thank you so much for this. I thoroughly enjoyd it. I look forward to next year... And it was a great training run for the (hopefully dry) Bewl 15 in July!!!!! Date of review: May 7, 2012
In short: Fantastic race. Very poor organisation. Atrocious medal. In full: This was my first Tunbridge Wells Half, but I've been looking forward to it for several years based on what others have said about it. Also it's one of my local races.
Based on my experience of dozens of other races over the past 5 years, for me this was most definately an event of two halves.
Out on the course it was brilliant. A great, fun course offering challenge and the potential for a great time (I was amazed to come within 3 minutes of my PB in spite of 'The Hill'). The marshalling was very good, the drink stations were thoughtfully placed, and there were spectators most of the way round. It was a thoroughly enjoyable run.
But the other half? I'm glad I'm obviously not the only one to think this way. The HQ organisation was appalling. One long crocodile to the toilets that required a marshll shouting "one here". Urinals placed indiscretely in full view. Another long crocodile to the bag store (after you've negotiated yet another crocodile going down stairs). No goody bag (and even no water for a while) at the end for we slower runnners (isn't it the slower runners who have put in the most effort for the longest time who deserve the goodie bag and water the most?), disinterested 'officials' when I asked where the bags had gone, and the medal? What can I say about the medal? This is without question the most garish, ugly and boring one in my collection. When every other club can put together attractive and interesting medals, how come Tunbridge Wells come up with something that is basically no more than a clunking great advertisement for Lifestyle Renault?
If this was the "most improved event in 2011", either the organisation has slipped back astonishingly, or it must have been truly appalling before!
Come on! This is *Tunbridge Wells*. Surely you can do better than this?!
Still. At the end of the day I loved the run, was surprised by my time, and will certainly be back next year. I just hope I'm not posting a similar comment again this time in 2013! Date of review: February 27, 2012
In short: Another Maidstone Half; yet another hill; and a surprisingly fast time! In full: Boy do I enjoy this race! Especially as I trimmed yet another 3 minutes off my time this year and came within a few seconds of my PB.
This is such a friendly race; the marshalls and locals round the route are great and certainly help you through the tough bits,and the views from Pilgrim's Way are stunning. The route also allows my wife ("The World's Greatest Supporter") to pop up all over the place with her pink brolly, cheering everyone on!
This race has the feeling of a welcoming club outing rather than a massive commercialised event. I love it.
Thank you Maidstone Harriers once again! :-) Date of review: October 17, 2011
In short: Absolutely fantastic inaugural race. I'll definitely be back. In full: This is now my local race so I dropped out of the Bexhill 10k for it. The Bexhill 10k had been a regular and favourite fixture for me; we had already booked our usual long weekend by the seaside, so we hoped that we'd not be let down having to come back to Tonbridge for the race.
We certainly weren't! For an inaugural race this was extraordinarily slick; far better organised that the Brighton Half in February!
I know there was a problem with water at the back - 3 of our 'SANDS' team were in the last 7 home and had no water at 2 of the stations when they really needed it. But I am sure that lesson will be learned.
I also agree with the comments about the start; but apart from what the organisers can do, surely the lesson is for runners to arrive at the start early enough (also you have a chip, so your time isn't affected)!
I was expecting there to be somebody calling us out and encouraging us up to the finish line. That there wasn't was perhaps my only disappointment - well, that and missing the T shirt people.
I agree wholeheartily with comments about running through the town and finishing in the Castle, as I have commented on the blog. That would be absolutely fantastic and other events manage it. But that may make it difficult to plan a route. Food for thought perhaps?
The people of Leigh deserve a tremendous round of thanks. Running through there, especially on the return, was like running through a bend on the London Marathon. A fantastic atmosphere! Thank you all so much.
And what can one say about 'our' Dame Kelly. What a fantastic touch that she was still there to give me my medal when I crossed belatedly in 2:25. She waited especially for me! ;-) Can we have her there next year again please?
I could go on!!
I had run the course in training, so was prepared for the hills, nonetheless on the day I found mile 10 onwards a hill (or 3) too far, and my hope of getting round in 2:15 rapidly disappeared. Nonetheless, it was one fantastic day out and I'm really looking forward to next year.
Very, very well done :-) Date of review: October 2, 2011