In short: Cracking run along the Thames - friendly with cake - what's not to like! In full: Lovely event organised by Hermes Running - plenty of signage so no navigation issues, loads of cake and crisps at the aid stations, gels and squash in addition to water. Very sociable and quite a few first time marathoners enjoying themselves and the support. Plenty of drinks and cake at the finish to refuel and thanks for the sunshine too! A perennial favourite on my calendar! Date of review: August 24, 2014
In short: Well organised event In full: Lovely weather helped make this a great run around rural Kent lanes. Some tough hills to test you with some great downhills too! Very well organised, great marshalling and regular aid stations with gels, mars, jellybabies, coke, marshmallows, jaffa cakes - plenty to choose from! The burger van at the finish was doing good business and meant people were hanging around for a while to cheer other runners in which added to the very sociable atmosphere. Would definitely come back another year. The only thing I would say is that the medal wasn't anything special for the entry fee - personally I'd rather pay #30 and get a nice custom made medal than pay #25 and get a generic one - not really a criticism - more a suggestion! Please pass on my thanks and appreciation to all the volunteers involved - we couldn't do these races without you! Date of review: November 18, 2012
In short: Disappointing In full: Having run this one in 2010 I was looking forward to today's run in this scenic setting but I was disappointed. Aside from the freezing weather which clearly can't be controlled, the organisation and value for money (which can be completely controlled) really let this run down. An expensive entry fee with an additional parking fee on top for seemingly very little in return - just cups of water and a few SIS gels out on the course, no-one to greet you back at the finish line, pick up your own goodybag with no choice of sizing for the shirt, no medal just a blank certificate and an energy bar and gel. You could afford to customise the tiny plastic goody bag which is in the bin as too small to be reused for anything but not provide a medal or race specific shirt. I appreciate there wasn't a mention of a medal on the entry form but at 35GBP - surely a decent medal or correctly sized race specific tech shirt isn't too much to expect. Why bother asking what size shirt on the entry form if you're not given any choice on the day!?
A real shame as this could be a super marathon.
To finish on a positive note - full credit to the cadets who were out marshalling the course - full of enthusiastic support even near the end of the course. I hope their effort is appreciated and acknowledged by Fat Feet. Date of review: November 4, 2012
In short: Fabulous, my favourite race of the year In full: Wonderful support from the many marshalls out on the course - big thanks to each and everyone of you for giving up your time! A great race over some challenging but beautiful trails, views to die for, hills to test the legs and lungs on. Lovely medal, nice t-shirt, smooth organisation - can't rate this race highly enough. Will defintely be back next year! Well done to all involved! Loved the cakes at the end too!
In short: Very nice route through London showing some unexpectedly pleasant parts! In full: Pros
1) Surprisingly scenic point to point race ending in Wembley through a whole host of parks, canals and waterways that otherwise you'd probably rarely every visit.
2) Very pleasant atmosphere with the other runners, everyone very chatty and positive.
3) The whole race atmosphere from the organizers and volunteers was all very upbeat, can do and knowledgeable (except see below).
4) Aid stations were well stocked and crewed by very encouraging and enthusiastic people.
5) Nice medal at the end.
1) The expo (for a race of 200-250 people) took three minutes to navigate the 2/3 stalls and pick up the number (there was no chip timing to sort out). I'm sure many people found the speakers interesting, but not for me, and making people go to this rather than just pick up the numbers on race morning just means either a lot of extra hassle/expense/driving, or an unnecessary hotel night. Have an expo by all means absolutely but don't force people to attend, for this reason alone I wouldn't do the race again.
2) The maps handed out had gaps in them, especially between map 1 and map 2, which involved several changes in direction...
3) The bus dropped runners off maybe half a mile from the start, despite at one point being 100 yards away, by the time we got there it was 5 minutes and off we go, I am sure I'm not alone in feeling rushed.
4) I was near the back and the "check points" weren't checking people off as stated. By the time we got to check point three the crew were rather frustrated as at least a dozen people had gone through AFTER the sweeper runners... nobody there at least seemed to know who was on the course. Am hoping nobody got seriously lost/injured en route as I don't think anyone would know remotely where they were.
5) Disappointed at no tech t-shirts this year, or any t-shirt for that matter. So for £40, it's not great value.
6) The route requires a fair bit of navigation and a lot of concentration to get around, I must have spoken to a dozen people who had gone wrong to one degree or another. I think perhaps the navigational aspect needs to be highlighted more and people ready for that, whilst there are many signs, the styles/locations/sizes vary and it's just very easy to miss one and if you're not 100% on the ball where you are, you're quickly off route...
In short: Great low key event - awesome way to end and start the year In full: First time running of this lovely low key event. Course was as flat as you'll ever get - 4 laps of the river Mersey promenade. Shame the fog didn't really lift to show the view! Zero support from spectators apart from the bewildered looks from locals out walking dogs and with children but the camaraderie and support from fellow runners and organisers was second to none! Checkpoint included snacks and water to keep you going. Lovely unusual medal - shame the t-shirt and memento for the doublers' hadn't arrived but given recent weather chaos I don't think it was down to poor organisation - I'm still getting christmas cards posted over two weeks ago - looking forward to getting ours in the post soon! All in all a great event and very pleased we made the trip up there. Well done Kaja and Sergei - lets keep this one on the racing calendar! Date of review: January 2, 2011
In short: Well organised flat and friendly winter marathon In full: Mainly offroad with varying terrain - gravel, mud, tracks, and seaweed! Interesting views round the marina and Farlington marshes. Fuel stations were well stocked and well spaced - friendly supportive marshalls - (thanks for being out there - it was a cold day to be standing around for several hours!) Flat and easy to follow route. Friendly atmosphere - was nice to get support from the front runners as they passed us slow runners on the return stretch. Appreciated the voucher for a bacon roll and cup of tea at the end. Nice goody bag and medal for the entry fee. All in all a very friendly well organised marathon. Well done!
In short: Well organised, undulating with good atmosphere In full: Did the half marathon and found the course to be undulating but scenic through the parks and round the city centre. Didn't get a PB as was caught up in congestion for the first couple of miles, so will remember to start in a faster start pen next year. Well organised, plenty of toilets for a change, nice goody bag and a decent medal. Lots of support out on the course, well stocked aid stations. Parking was straightforward and easy as we got there early. Was quite expensive but I'm happy to pay a bit more and get a decent medal - liked having the option of buying a t-shirt. Well done Nottingham! Date of review: September 12, 2010
In short: Excellent run, well organised In full: Despite horrendous weather conditions this was a great run. Well organised, excellent support at the checkpoints (huge thanks to all the marshalls out on the course - couldn't have been much fun in the weather - and huge thanks to the photographers too especially the one at the top of the hill at mile 15/16). Course was well marked out in addition to the map and written instructions and were much appreciated with the very poor visibility on the downs. There were a couple of turns which were difficult to spot in the foul weather but short of putting a marshall at those points I'm not sure what more you could have done. Generous goody bag, liked the trainer memento although personal preference is always for a medal! Checkpoints were well stocked with water, squash, jelly babies and biscuits, and at the end the bananas, biscuits and cups of tea were much appreciated. A small event and everyone was very friendly and supportive - runners and marshalls alike. Previous years may have been short but no problems this year. The wet weather made the chalk slopes incredibly slippy and the stretch along the river was very muddy and slippy - nearly lost my trainers in the mud! Definately one for trail shoes as minimal road work. Hope to be back next year with nicer weather so we can enjoy what I'm sure would be fabulous views! Well done Seaford Striders! Date of review: August 22, 2010
In short: Superb trail marathon In full: Great organisation, well marked and marshalled, plenty of supplies at the aid stations, glorious scenery, challenging hills and lots of them, but with some lovely long gentle downhills to make up for them! Besides which the views made every uphill step worthwhile! Very friendly and low key. Gorgeous weather just added to what was a great day! Nice medal, t-shirt and goody bag. We'll be back! Date of review: June 12, 2010