In short: Great value race - a few extra touched would make it even better In full: Really like this one although the quiet country lanes with few spectators are not for all. Personally this is one of my favourites and back most years when I can. Superb value too.
Improvements that would be nice to see include extra marshalls for the loos like you see at Tunbridge Wells! There were two separate queues at one point and a few people getting a bit irate!
Otherwise bottled water would be good and worth adding a pound or two to the already low entry fee to cover.
Biggest improvement though is for the traffic - how the hell do you get out of Paddock Wood after the race?! Best to bring a picnic or go shopping for an hour or two rather than sit in the traffic jam!
Otherwise great stuff, see you next year. Date of review: April 14, 2013
In short: I like this one but more needs to be done to make this an 'event' In full: Race itself is fine - would rather not have the lap of the field first (extend elsewhere) but things like just 7 x loos for 700 or so runners smacks of using this for club revenue generator. This is also shown in the finish with the worst medal you could hope for (I would rather nothing - save the medals for the big races and give us a cheaper entry) and half a banana. Come on for £16/18 and 95% of the race on a prom where is the money going? At least provide some more loos perhaps...
Nice and flat route with a good view out to sea to occupy your mind while you plod on through the 4 x mile straight route along the prom (and back again). Marshalls were all great and you always have the chance to post a fast time here (depending on the wind direction!). I will be back but hope to see some improvements next year. Date of review: March 30, 2013
In short: Brilliant race with some of the best organisation out there In full: Fantastic event - have done this race several times but always look forward to it and 2013 was no exception.
Special note to the marshalls who were brilliant throughout - especially those managing the huge queues for the loos. Great system used to ensure runners progress through quickly!
There is just the one change that I would make to this race - water in bottles please. The cups are so hard to drink from - perhaps introduce just 2 x drink stations with bottles? The other downside with cups this year was the bitter cold - spill it on your hands and I froze! Wow, that was cold yesterday.
Well done again TW - see you next year. Date of review: February 25, 2013
In short: Fantastic race that spans countries! In full: Really enjoyed this one. Chester is a great place to visit anyway and having the race so near the city centre made the whole thing even better for runners. It is clear the race has been put together by runners as they have thought of everything to make this a special race.
Only changes I would ask for are the standard more loos please - the queue was really long! and not so keen on the grass track but not sure how they could fix this as it starts and finishes on Chester racecourse!
Much more bumpy than I expected - sure they were not big hills but there were lots of them and 2 or 3 at the end which made it extra hard! The cobble stones were fun too! Good support from the villages which you found every 5-miles or so with a couple of 2m straights which meant you could see way off in to the distance! Water, gels, isotonic drink stops were frequent and very well managed - think London Marathon and you get the idea. Please change the Sainsbury's orange though - it is so sweet you hate the sight of it by the end! Names on vests meant you got lots of support too.
Great finish with handshakes and a nice welcome from the finish team.
I am sure I will be back for this one (travelled 200m or so for this) so thanks again Chester - great stuff. Date of review: October 8, 2012
In short: Well done to all for a superbly organised half marathon In full: First time for this race and first impressions from West Kent College race HQ were superb. A great location with warm, indoor, areas for changing, warm-up, drinks etc., and very friendly and efficient bag storage - special praise to the lady who looked at race numbers on your vest and directed you left or right to the drop-off area!
This also has to be the first race I have ever been to that had too many loos - no queues! It threw my pre-race build up - felt I had to form a line somewhere for that authentic build-up!!
Course was quite a challenge with lots of hills but all fairly tame - my Garmin registered it as more a series of bumps than hills! Weather turned out OK for a race in the end but felt for the supporters and marshalls who were all brilliant.
Someone else mentioned the markers - I also noticed the half way point was far too early and the last mile seemed a bit long. I registered 13.22m for the course.
Great to see Kaddy Lee Preston and Dame Kelly who was, as always, fantastic and stood in the rain for ages putting medals over the heads of so many very wet (sweaty!) runners!
In summary, superb location, organisation, facilities, marshalls... I could go on. Brilliant. Date of review: September 24, 2012
In short: The best 10k in my race diary! In full: Absolutely love this race. The organisers put on a great even with the centre of Battle closed off to cars for the start which sees a fair amount of the local residents come out to cheer you on. Superb stuff and well worth looking out for this race next year.
The course has a fast downhill for the first third then up you go before a gently downhill to the finish where you find a huge number of supporters and a band to welcome you home.
In terms of improvements I would suggest posting the results as they come in rather than to wait until the last runner is back. Otherwise perfect!
See you next year - thanks Battle. Date of review: September 2, 2012
In short: The best organised race there is! In full: OK, I may be a Wadhurst Runner but I ran the event and therefore qualified to review! For me this event is the best there is - the attention to detail is simply stunning with so many plus points for both the runner and friends/family it is hard to detail them all.
Special mention though to Albert for the hard work that goes in to this event, the girls (girl guides?) who ran the 5m water/lucozade station (with great encouragement given to the runners) and the beer at the end!
The course was trick today with some mud around and a tough call in terms of road/trail shoes. I went with road but wish I hadn't! Otherwise everything lick clockwork - perhaps too many drink stations as I felt guilty wasting so much and 2 x sponge stations too - was looking out for the on-course massage but no trace!
The finish is great with a brass band, cakes, beer (new for 2012 and very nice) and a goody bag that is well thought out. Plus more drinks/bananas should you need them.
I encourage anyone interested in this type of race/distance to come along next year. You will not be disappointed. Thanks again everyone. Date of review: July 1, 2012
In short: The best marathon in the world In full: Not much else to add to the comments given other than to say thanks to all of the people who turned out to watch and cheer the runners plus to all of the marshalls who did so well.
Only change I would make would be at the green start - why do the celebs start on the front line? They should at least have a dividing line allowing the pen 1 runners to go passed on the left of right.
Other than this it is perfect - have run it many times and it is always the highlight of my year to run it again. See you in 2013 London. Date of review: April 24, 2012
In short: Good for goats! In full: This is my 2nd Sussex Marathon and wow, is this one hilly. Last year was about 1,800ft of climbs and I thought that was hard but the new course was more than 2,300ft. It was quite relentless with, it seems, hardly any flat parts at all. I know you have the downhills but with tired legs these are just as punishing as the climbs!
Weather was superb and the organisation and marshalls all excellent - great encouragement from marshalls and St Johns Ambulance people throughout. Nice to have bottled water on the course too - you need this in order to take on fluids which is much harder with cups.
Timing - being 3-weeks before London - was better than the 2-weeks last year and this allows sufficient recovery for those of us attempting both.
Not sure about the course distance - I measured just short of 26.5m and others I checked with on the day all similar long mileage (not quite as bad as mine).
In terms of improvements for next year I would welcome a look at the course - it is largely a 2-lap event and the final mile up the hill, which you do twice, is a killer. It would be good to have some areas that flatten out to recover.
The jump up to the village green at Rushlake Green was also unwelcome (and the jump back down to the road) along with the long grass.
Ultimately though this is a very tough race but one that is extremely well put together. Thanks for everything yesterday and hope to be back next year. Date of review: April 2, 2012
In short: Fantastic race that is, in my opinion, the best Half Marathon out there! In full: Amazing weather for this year (same as last year!) and this helped to swell the size of the support which, for those who have not had the chance to run London, rivals the big marathons in terms of atmosphere. Bands, supporters and half of Hastings must have turned out.
Everything runs like clockwork that to Eric and his team. The extra stalls on the green were a nice diversion while you waited to start. Hats off to the French guy who ran in chainmail (1066). Sat on the beach afterwards and he went in up to his neck in some very cold water!
Thanks again Hastings - see you next year. Date of review: March 25, 2012