In short: Well organised and listened to comments from last year In full: A vast improvement on 2010 and not just because of the weather. The organisation was superb - the marshals encouraging and friendly, the mile markers accurate and there was no repeat of the horrendous toilet queues in 2011.
The course is hilly (for these parts) and not particularly scenic but it's difficult to see how the race could realistically be improved - congratulations to all those involved. Date of review: February 28, 2011
In short: Great race for most runners and all spectators In full: With 12,500 runners, there's always going to be some measure of congestion (toilets at the start, on some of the narrower parts of the course) but any complaints beyond that are in my opinion, overly critical.
Quick course, plenty of water, Lucozade, sweets on the course, all manner of freebies at the end and running through some of London's best scenery (and I live in London) justify the expensive entry. Yes, much of it is in Hyde Park but it means spectators can easily spot you on a few occasions.
Overall, with a dearth of half marathons in London, I'm grateful that the Royal Parks is as good as it is. Date of review: October 11, 2010
In short: Challenging course in horrific conditions after a shambolic start In full: The good stuff:
It's local - there aren't many longer races in London and I do feel that we should support them to keep them going. Not having to drive for miles is a definite bonus.
The marshals - in horrific conditions, they fully deserve everyone's plaudits.
The runners - with people seemingly adhering to the 'no iPod' rules, the runners were generally friendlier and more talkative than in most runs.
The bad stuff:
The start - I arrived at 08:10. Couldn't get parked in the car park (spent 15 mins or so driving in and around the car park before having to leave and park elsewhere). Queue for the toilets was unparalleled (no urinals - seriously?!?!). Then I was running to the start when the gun went off (or whistle was blown, or someone said 'Go'), so I did an extra half lap of the track before joining the back of the pack. Then having to run through London's biggest puddle before we'd even got out on the roads put me in a foul mood!
The course - most of the course was fine (if challenging and mainly uninspiring) but there were a few spots where you physically could not overtake people because of the narrow footpaths.
I may well do the RVHM again. Particularly if the weather's better. But it's a no-frills event and more suited as part of training rather than a target for training. Date of review: March 1, 2010
In short: Aside from the starting pen debacle, the Royal Parks rocks! In full: With the exception of the un-monitored starting pens resulting in very slow runners (in wrong colour bibs) being at the front, this was superb:
Course - flat, scenic and plenty of support.
Organisation - yes there were queues for baggage and loos but with 15,000 runners, that's inevitable. The lack of organisation at the starting pens was the only real negative.
After - plenty of free stuff, chip time texted to me by the time I picked my bag up, post-run food options galore - what's not to like?!
Overall - excellent. I thought the BUPA 10,000 was London's 'second' race but the Royal Parks just blew that out of the water. Date of review: October 12, 2009
In short: Higher class field than average on a course made for PB's In full: With about 75% of runners in club vests, the average standard is much better than your run-of-the-mill 10k. But this, added to the flat course, make it ideal for PB-chasing. The event is no-frills (there are km markers, cups of water and bananas but not much else) but for this amount of money, you can't argue. Not a highlight of anyone's racing calendar but a great place to test yourself. Date of review: September 7, 2009
In short: Quick, smoothly-organised and friendly In full: Three and a bit laps through a generally well-shaded Victoria Park. A couple of extra loos near the start wouldn't have gone amiss but in general, excellent organised, well-marshalled, plenty of on-course refreshment and massive PB potential make me proud to have this as a local race. Date of review: June 14, 2009
In short: Best 10k I've ever done In full: Thoroughly enjoyable day. Expertly organised, incredible course (both to look at the sites and to run - took 80 secs off my PB). Yes, compared to other big events, there weren't that many spectators but it is only (I don't mean that at all patronisingly) a 10k.
I'm still astonished that the organisation enables PB potential when there are so many runners. All other events, please take note!!! Date of review: May 25, 2009
In short: Generally well-organised and quick In full: There are a few minor issues (slightly congested start, dual carriageway running, sometimes very quiet crowd) but in general, I thought it was very good.
A few hills (nothing too PB-killing - you do get to go down the hills too), superb water/drink stations (although i wish they'd taken the tops off at the last one) and the finish everyone justifiably raves about. Good job all round and thanks to the organisers, volunteers and the noisier and jelly-baby-dispensing members of the crowd . Date of review: March 30, 2009