In short: Flat course and nice by the river In full: Congestion from the park and ride, which possibly could have been predicted, meant a delayed start only announced after the warm up. I like the idea of the wave starts, but there are always too many people who are overly ambitious with their finish times and so slow down faster runners. This was made particularly noticeable because of the pavement stretches where overtaking was only possible by running in the road. The water stations didn't work - either not enough helpers or not enough water. I also ran past the first one without realising it was there, so more signage would have been useful.
A couple of other bugbears - too many people running with headphones so not fully aware of other runners around them - not good when people are jumping on and off the kerb to overtake. Also being stopped for traffic to come through a junction just over a mile from the finish was annoying, but safety first.
On the positive side there was a good atmosphere and the goody bag was full over food.
I'd suggest that there were too many runners to cope on the pavements and next year, numbers need to be limited or road closures planned. Date of review: February 21, 2016
In short: Fun Fun Fun In full: Challenging course with mixed terrain. The marshals were really supportive and encouraging and the supporters were vocal - whether they were on, or off, the train. I think the 10K is a harder course than the 14 miles but whichever route you earn your mega-medal and useful goody bag and a whopping cheer from the crowds by the finish Date of review: August 21, 2014
In short: Good value, simple running In full: A great back to basics race: good value and good organisation. It was a fairly small field, but starting pace groups seemed to be adhered to. A scenic course - maybe not as flat as advertised, but no killer hills - with both on and off road sections. I like the simplicity of no chip timing, but a clock at the finish would be a good addition. Date of review: July 6, 2014
In short: No luxury but runs like clockwork In full: Still a great race. There are some hills, but if you're prepared for them it can be a fast course. The friendliness among other runners is great and beaten only by the support of the town - in every sort of weather, as shown today in the freezing temperatures. If you're interested in experiencing a great half marathon - do this. If you're in it for the goody bag, it's not one for you. I did see a long queue, which must have been for the park and ride and that would have been unacceptable to me given the temperature (or lack of temperature) we had today Date of review: March 24, 2013
In short: worth it for the views In full: I was lucky enough to sneak an on the day entry because the race was postponed a week due to the snow. I've do a lot of my running around this route, so I'd always thought that "race pressure" may spoil it for me, hence I'd never entered before.
In fact, I think the race atmosphere helped. The course was very muddy, and snowy in places and there are definitely places where I would have stopped/turned around and declared it too muddy to go on with. But having my number and chip meant I just plodded straight through all the puddles. There are major hills, but it's very beautiful and if you're not worried about where you put your feet for a few strides then do lift your head up to admire the views across the Surrey Hills. As we shivered at the start having negotiated the icy car park, most people were wondering why they had bothered to get up for the early start, but at the end everyone I spoke to was glad they did. I think the chocolate brownies had something to do with that...! Date of review: January 26, 2013
In short: My original and best In full: I did this as my first half marathon 12 years ago and have been back every year since. The support around the town is amazing and you really feel part of something. To top it all the weather was near perfect today. If you're looking for a first half marathon, i'd definitely recommend it, it's tough, but worth every step. Everyone's welcome and there are runners of every ability (and fancy dress) to keep you company. Well done Eric and crew! Date of review: March 25, 2012
In short: A pleasant trip round in the Hampshire countryside In full: I was a little bit worried having read previous reviews about runners getting lost, but fortunately had no such problems. There were plenty of marshalls offering smiles, encouragement and pointing us in the right direction. Challenging uphills and rewarding downhills. The start area was great, with rugby and football clubs adding to the atmosphere. Plentiful tea and coffee and there would be enough warm space inside if the weather was bad. Date of review: October 9, 2011
In short: Beautiful course and great organisation - nice work! In full: A hot sunny day, but plenty of water on the way round - and in handy bottles so you can carry it with you. The sports drink and jelly babies were also welcome and much needed. I hadn't done the full 15 before and "enjoyed" the challenge of those big hills. A fab goody bag, plenty of water, free cakes and brass band make for a relaxed finish area - perfect for the end of the run. Date of review: July 4, 2011
In short: Super spring time race In full: Once again the Hastings half did not disappoint. The hills are still there - both up and down, but all the way round the crowd support is fantastic. Clear mile markers, regular water stops and additional contributions - jelly babies, oranges and bananas at various points. Roads closed means that there's plenty of space to spread out, despite the growing numbers of entrants. I think even the finishing commentary has improved! Well done Hastings Lions! Date of review: March 20, 2011
In short: Excellent organisation and cheerful marshalls in dreadful weather In full: A well organised race, with useful HQ - plenty of space before and after the race with seamless bag drop/collect. On the day I was half hoping that the race was going to be cancelled, but so pleased that it wasn't and that I turned up - the weather always adds to the camaraderie at the start. After a while you didn't notice the rain, but were reminded about just how wet it was with the 3 or 4 full width puddles across the road. Despite that, and the hill, I still managed a PB. A big thank you to the splendid volunteers, the drummers, the cheerleaders and all the loyal spectators around the course. I got a bit confused in the water/fruit/goody bag collection area, but nothing too much to worry about. If we can work on cheering up the angry-looking drivers around the course it'll be perfect! Date of review: February 28, 2010