In short: A well organised series of races and a very friendly atmosphere. In full: I must congratulate the church committee for staging such a well-organised programme of races. It was apparent a lot of hard work and meticulous planning had gone into making the series a tremendous success.
The pre-race briefing for the main races was excellent and very audible. Probably one of the best I have ever attended, even to the point of alerting runners to a particular point on the route where conkers were strewn across the ground.
I ran the 10km up along the Basingstoke Canal to Scotland Bridge and back again the Wey Navigation up to New Haw lock. Apart from the first small section, which was coned off, the entire course was traffic free. I thought the route was well signed with adequate marshals. In fact this was a race of nostalgia for me as the section along the River Wey to New Haw was part of my old school cross-country course in the 1970s. Apart from the foot-bridge to Basingstoke canal and the M25 aqueduct nothing much has changed since.
After finishing it was a struggle to leave as everyone was so friendly. I hope this race will be held again next year – though because of the “out-and-back” nature of the route with runners passing each other on the narrow towpath it is probably not a course suited for mass entry.
In short: for an inaugural event I think the organisers did well. - but one or two improvements needed. In full: As already there has been commented the start was very congested and there was a lot of traffic on the roads even at 9.00am. Having run both the Surrey Half and then the Brooklands half marathons which had road closures I suppose I expected the same. Nevertheless, for an inaugural event I think the organisers did well. I would suggest the following improvements
a) Earlier start time (say 8.30am) to avoid the traffic – or have a system of rolling road closures along the Walton to Hampton Court road. This could at least be closed to through traffic from the Walton direction for thirty minutes in each section.
b) More marshals at junctions and along the towpath
c) At least one more water station
d) Have a PA system to convey information to runners – only noticed one hand-held manual megaphone
One particularly dangerous point was the first set of traffic lights (junction of New Zealand Avenue, Oatlands Drive etc) where the runners were several abreast and spilled out onto the road. Next year why not start of race on the SHEPPERTON side of the bridge. The pavement across the bridge is wide enough and by the time the runners arrive at this junction they will be spread out further. I have run the Great North Run now 24 times and the Tyne Bridge is one of the high-points of the race. The new Walton Bridge is Surrey’s 21st century equivalent – so why not incorporate this landmark as part of the route please?
In short: A well organised family friendly race around the woods of Claygate. In full: Once again a marvellous race which was meticulously well organised and a credit to the Claygate community. I have run this race now for many years and have seen the numbers participating grow and grow and yesterday we almost had four hundred finishers. Parts of the course, especially the first mile are becoming quite congested. I would suggest in some way that the start is staggered, perhaps with junior runners starting five or ten minutes behind the main group.
There were a fair number of runners with headphones. As part of the course is alongside the busy A244, which is dangerous at times due the volumes of traffic, runners really need to be fully aware of their surroundings. I would suggest, in common with most other races, headphones are banned on the grounds of safety
Anyway a most enjoyable Sunday morning. Thank you very much. Date of review: July 14, 2014
In short: A well organised race, with a steep ascent, magnificent scenery and an exhilarating descent. In full: Just a general Thank You for organising such a splendid race last night. I have done the Gibbet Hill 10km many times previously but still find the steep ascents quite a challenge, however I would rate this race as one of the best in Surrey.
Having the safety announcements on the green adjacent to the start was a definite improvement over last year. Because the route is much more hazardous than your average 10km and I think it is important to remind runners of the potential perils.
Everyone at Haslemere Borders AC was so friendly. At the end you received a quality medal and T-shirt, as well as free cake – excellent value for money.
In short: 5km & 10km races: A well organised event, with extensive hill climbs around 2km and 8km. In full: A most enjoyable and rewarding morning - thank you so much. Clearly the organising committee had devoted many hours to the meticulous planning to make the multiple events an absolute success. Not clear how they arranged such magnificent weather, though this may have been too hot for some competitors.
I have run in all three races and I think the modified course was probably the best so far. In particular the extended route around the perimeter of the playing fields of Charterhouse was a most exhilarating experience at such a prestigious location. I am told there is a cloistered quadrangle at the back of the main building and all you need now is some sort of additional deviation beneath the cloisters.
After the race I was talking to a friend about the congestion along the Wey valley path from the waterworks. One suggestion for improvement would be to stagger the starts of the two main races – starting the 10km at 11.00am and the 5km at 11.15am (or vice versa) thereby reducing the number of people competing for limited space along this single track path.
Looking forward to the 2015 event. Date of review: May 19, 2014
In short: A well organised event at such a prestigious and historic location. In full: A well organised event at such a prestigious and historic location. I think we were also very fortunate with the weather. This time last year I ran the Cranleigh 21 and it was bitterly cold.
For an inaugural event I thought the organisation was impeccable. After a long gap of no half-marathons in north-west Surrey there is suddenly an influx. The Surrey Half marathon, three weeks ago, probably eclipsed this event and now we hear that there is another in October from Walton on Thames.
The road closures meant that there was plenty of room to run at the start of the race towards Webridge station. Not only was the route cleverly designed so as to keep the closures to a minimum but the use of a professional company to marshal the junctions was an interesting, but presumably expensive concept, and because of the extraordinary early start there did not seem to be any visible issues with either upset residents or irate motorists. (See letter in the Woking News and Mail this week to see how some residents were perturbed with road closures during the Surrey Half).
Perhaps on the negative side I was surprised there was no race clock at ten miles or even intermediate timing mats to deter cheating along the course. At the Great North Run you spot the finish gantry one mile away, but at Brooklands when you joined the former airfield strip you could see the finish gantry clearly but still had two miles to run – this was most agonising.
Having the use of the excellent facilities (catering, toilets, chairs) at Mercedes building was an added bonus.
I hope you will continue to hold this in future years – though clearly there were enormous costs involved – road closures, hire of Mercedes complex, payment to marshals for car parking and traffic control. At the Surrey Half the capacity of the roads was probably at a maximum, but at NO stage during the event, even doing the “Swiss-roll” during the first two miles, did I feel my running was restricted by the volume of runners, so plenty of room for additional runners in 2015 and beyond.
I am just wondering, if there are many adverse comments about the tedium of the two miles at the start and finish, what I call the swiss-roll, would it be possible to amend the route slightly so that you arrange to run through the Brooklands Museum site which is accessible by an adjacent gate? This would make the race a very unique course indeed.
Brooklands has been famous for motor racing, cycling (both pedal and motor) all pre-war, and it may be worth trying to make a play the historic connections with these endurance sports and saying that this continues in the form of an annual half-marathon in the twenty first century.
In short: An excellent race – very well organised. In full: Considering there were around 5300 competitors the organisation and logistics behind the race were impeccable. I have run the Great North Run from Newcastle to South Shields 23 times, and I see no reason why you could not develop this race in the same sort of direction. As a first step why not rename the race “The Great Surrey Half”.
Several people have commented on the potential cost of the race in 2015. If I can make a constructive suggestion…
When I driving back to Woking I turned up from the Maybury Arms up Maybury Hill and was confronted with loads of cyclists with numbers on their bicycles. Clearly there had been some sort of cycling event in Woking. As I drove towards the Six Cross roads the cyclists emerged from Walton Road. Why not contact the cycling organisation and offer to share the route (and therefore some of the road closure coasts in 2015). The time I encountered the cyclists was 1.00pm – well after most runners had completed the course.
In short: Well organised but a muddy course In full: I last ran a race at Nonsuch Park in October when conditions were in total contrast to the Perch XV. Despite the incremental weather the race was incredibly well marshalled at every twist or turn in the course and in other parts directional flags had been placed at regular intervals. As commented elsewhere the exceptionally wet seasonal weather had made the off-road parts of the route extremely muddy making it difficult to run at a sensible pace. Fortunately for me I was able to go immediately after the event for a shower at the adjacent David Lloyd complex. Date of review: January 31, 2014
In short: A well-organised race on a hilly course through most pleasant and picturesque countryside. In full: A belated response.
As commented by other runners the course this year was significantly revised to take an alternative route around Charterhouse School. The exit from the school was by a long downhill zigzag path in the Wey valley at the rear of the school playing fields which was most exhilarating though you had to watch your footing checking for roots to avoid tripping.
I know the results for 2013 were originally promptly posted, but checking the AAT web-site currently for results you just get a blank page. Can these results be reinstated please?
In short: A well organised end-of-year race. Possibly the best road race in Surrey. In full: A very well organised race with marshals at all the significant junctions. I think the most significant feature of the race is that the new route was retained for this year’s course. I can’t believe it has taken all these years for the club to realise that the old route was far too dangerous with the additional traffic generated by the Christmas shopping spree. The new route has all the features of the previous course(s) with the quite steep hill climbs but is even more picturesque. This has to be one of the best road races in Surrey. When heading towards the finish you could see the gantry from about 800 metres away and it was all-downhill so the final stretch was just a sprint. The only suggestion I would make for next year is the grass field being used for car-parking was inappropriate because cars were getting stuck in deep mud even before the race. Could hard-surface car-parking on the other side of Loseley House be utilised in 2014 please?