In short: Some spectators came to cheer me on; they've entered for 2017 already. In full: Yet again, a fantastic race organised by Ian and his team at tzruns. We even managed to arrange for some weather to suit al of the runners in 2016 (unless you like running in hail, fog or snow).
21 laps = 21 groups of spectators, and with names on the bespoke running numbers, it's like running at a much bigger event. However, with the spectators being in one part of the course only, you do get some time to compose your thoughts. It also means that friends and family can see you every few minutes, without worrying that they might have missed you, like at bigger events, and the facilities for spectators at the Cyclopark are also fantastic (even the showers were still hot, when I finished just under 5 hours). Running laps may not be everybody's cup of tea, but being encouraged by the faster runners, and being able to encourage the slower ones, just helps to add to the atmosphere. If you've never tried it, you don't know what you're missing.
The medal for 2016 was enormous - the biggest yet - and with beer for all finishers, I'm thinking of signing my wife up for 2017, as she doesn't like beer! Date of review: May 29, 2016
In short: Top-notch, low-key marathon In full: Any marathon in Spring can be subject to warm weather, and 2016 was the hottest Halstead marathon I have done, although I believe that 2007 was warmer. Nevertheless, the aid stations were stocked with the usual goodies, and had sun cream and electrolytes as well, and even some of the locals took pity on the runners and provided extra water, hoses and even ice poles to help keep us cool. A technical tee-shirt, large medal and decent goodie bad, along with a can of Pepsi awaited us at the finish, but by that point I had set my sights on the ice cream van, and one of my fellow runners duly obliged... Date of review: May 8, 2016
In short: If this is not on your "to do" list, you must already have done it. In full: This is the fourth time I have done this race, but every year has been fantastic. This year, I had the pleasure of running in a large group of fancy dress runners. I set a massive personal worst, but it really did not matter as we had a great time, and we stuck together for the full 26.2 miles. I was thinking about doing something different next year, but after yesterday, I may very well be back. Date of review: September 14, 2015
In short: The Isle of Thanet at its Best In full: Really well-organised race along the Kent Coast, and blessed with beautiful weather to boot. The marshals were all very encouraging - the smiles on their faces showed that they were enjoying themselves too, and as a regular, it is always good to be greeted by name. The second half can be a bit of a lonely experience, but this year I had a couple of club mates to help keep me going, and I set a personal course best (and still got beaten by the same lady who is usually 2-3 minutes ahead at the finish... by 2-3 minutes) Date of review: September 8, 2015
In short: Already on the list for 2016! In full: Although running laps is not everyone's cup of tea, it tends to make the time go rather faster than it can on single loop marathons, and the smooth surface, coupled with the fairly gentle gradients, and the fact that you know exactly what's around the next corner mean that I have always done well at this event. The organisation is faultless because it is organised by a runner for other runners, and it's great for spectators too, as even if they miss you on one lap, they know you'll be back again in a few minutes' time. Date of review: May 31, 2015
In short: Hot and hilly in 2012, but I shall certainly do it again. In full: This is one tough race, although the wine did little (if anything) for my time. I was pleased I opted for the fancy dress as it helped me to feel more part of the event, even if I suffered somewhat as a result of my choice of clothing (because of the heat). If in doubt, do it! Date of review: September 11, 2012
In short: Once run, never forgotten. In full: This was my fourth attempt (and failure) at beating the train. The course was slightly different from previous years in that it featured sunshine. This improved the views, but made it tougher than it sometimes is. My boys did the 3.5 mile version, and want to do it again next year... Date of review: September 4, 2012
In short: Much better use for a cyletrack than cycling! In full: Any race involving laps can be a bit dull, but it also makes it much easier to get the organisation right, so with 16 drinks stations, the facilities are good. In compensation, the laps mean that you can see how you are doing in comparison with other runners, and you can get the chance to run with those you might not see in a single loop. Also, if you want to wear headphones, you can as there are no cars to worry about! Date of review: September 4, 2012
In short: Any race organised by Thanet Roadrunners is one you can rely on. In full: 2012 was warm for the first half, but as we went on, the weather cooled, and the last 10 miles or so were ideal. This course was a slightly amended version of those we have done in previous years, but as it took out the horrible loop round the houses in Minnis Bay, and gave those in the start/finish area an extra opportunity to cheer on their loved ones, I would say it was a big improvement. Date of review: September 4, 2012
In short: A tough, but fair 20-miler In full: The 2010 edition of this course showed that the organisers had listened to what people said last year, and had acted upon it. As always, with a Thanet RR event, it was well-organised and the marshals did a great job in distinctly chilly conditions.
I'm still waiting for the "cabbage for all finishers", though! Date of review: March 8, 2010