In short: A challenging hidden gem in the race calendar In full: I entered the Banbury 15 miler not expecting much. I usually stick to the bigger events like the Reading or Nottingham halfs. I was hugely surprised at how much fun this event was! Glorious sunshine and amazing scenery made for an enjoyable run through the North Oxfordshire countryside. The course is hilly but not overly challenging and the organisation friendly. I will happily try this race again! If I have to find one negative I would ask for more marshals at the water stations. Overall great race!! Date of review: March 10, 2014
In full: This was my first Bristol Half Marathon. The parking advice on the website was a little sketchy leading upto the event. The first real decent bit of info came in the race pack but only offered park and ride which would have left me driving through Bristol to get to the other side. Not Ideal. Would be good to get better facilities and more info next year.
That said the actual race was pretty well run. The staggered start seemed to work well. The run was well marshalled and there were lots of people out there cheering you on. They set up a decent runners village and there was a nice goody bag and T shirt waiting at the end. I enjoyed it!
My one gripe is that I think the water station positions need rethinking. The first was around 2 miles. I think this is too early. But the second was around 6 miles in! How about moving the first to 3 or 4 miles in like most other half marathons? Date of review: September 18, 2013
In full: This was my first St Albans Half Marathon. Its a new route this year. I didnt like the starting leg from through the park. It was too narrow and bottle necked easily. Please make it wider next year. Also please organise the starting pens. Some very slow runners positioned themselves near the front of the start. This caused a little chaos at the bottle neck. On the plus side this was an otherwise a well put together event. Ok Medal, decent marshalling, good countryside views and an ice lolly at the end. Date of review: June 9, 2013
In short: Work in progress In full: This event seemed a little under managed to me. For a race event that encapsulated a 5K, 10K and Half Marathon it seemed a little unimpressive. The Radio anouncer was depressing at best. The Radio Sponsors retreated into the local shopping center to play music leaving race tent area and start line feeling a little flat. There was no atmosphere hardly at all. Water stations should have been larger and there were not enough marshalls out and about. Also I'm not a fan of events that make you do repeat laps. The signage around the course was confusing because of this reason.
Make this race a single lap course. Bring in a better radio announcer who brightens the atmosphere up. Get the local shops more involved (I could see a few of them were trying to get involved in the custom). Make the radio station play music outside and near the race event. employ more marshalls and this event will improve dramatically. Date of review: March 11, 2013
In short: Run like clockwork In full: I have run this event three times and have never been able to find a fault. The course is challenging but PBs are possible. I broke my half marathon PB here twice. Date of review: February 26, 2013
In short: A model 10K In full: A great race. Pretty well organised. A bit congested in places but once you got going and the field spread out it was really enjoyable. Good medal, lots of different snack options at the end. I think add a race T shirt and you would have the complete package. If you run a club and are thinking of setting up a 10k have a look at how this event is run. Date of review: February 4, 2013
In short: Good if you want to see a famous rowing venue In full: On the positive side a fairly good oportunity to visit the Eton Dorney rowing venue. The course was flat and offered a decent chance of scoring a PB.
I hated the running chip. In nearly 40 races I have never seen anything like it. It would have been more efficient to have a marshall standing at the finish with a clip board. Poking your fingure into a hole to register your time is stupid. Please sack the designer!
Having the 5K, 10K and 20K runners on the same course doing laps is not ideal. If I were a slower begginer trying out a race for the first time it would have put me off as the fastest runners lap me. Please rethink this.
Onsite Parking right by the finish is good but making it so the cars leaving the car park have to drive accross the course was a little silly. Theres load of room at Eton Dorney to park. Please rethink.
Other than these points this race has potential. Get a few more marshalls on the water station, extend the course or stagger the race times and most importantly change the chip. Date of review: February 4, 2013
In short: Suprising value for money In full: I didnt expect that much from this event having booked only a week and a half before. I was pretty desperate to find one last event to try before christmas. So was amazed at how well the day went.
From the start parking was easily the least hassle Ive ever had from an event. Westgate is full of space. Turning up 45 minutes before the start I was happy to find a place only a couple of hundred metres from race hq. HQ was well organised and led the runners to the start line in time for the race. The race itself was flat and fast. I really enjoyed running along the coastline through Westgate and Margate (apart from the cold December breeze). It was pretty fast and only slowed by the strong wind. I cant fault the event T-shirt or medal at the end either. Both great value!
If I had anything critical to say at all I'd ask them to add timing chips and give the marshall on start line a bigger megaphone. I couldnt hear him at all.
Overall a great event! A must do Kent event! Date of review: December 3, 2012
In short: Hilly but with PB potential In full: I thought this race was fairly hilly. At least as much so as this years Tunbridge Wells Half Marathon, but no where near as harsh as the revised route of the 2010 Dartford Half Marathon.
No real issues getting to the event. I followed directions from the race day instructions by car without any problems.
All in all a good race day atmosphere in perfect calm but cool conditions. Nice anniversary medal to remember the day. Date of review: October 19, 2010