In short: A well organised traffic-free half in London - brilliant! In full: I really enjoyed this race (which is odd as I generally run on trail). I'm putting it down to great organisation, a decent atmosphere and a good route which had enough undulations to keep me interested but wasn't too hilly. The 'hills' (it is still west London after all) maybe add a minute or two to your flat time, not steep and the downs were there too. For a suburban race it was nice enough - the park sections broke it up a bit. Excellent signage; mile markers and even indications of which way you're going to turn next. It was a bit twisty but no hair pin bends. Surprising level of support for Sunday morning - and enthusiastic marshals. Well done Ealing Eagles! I'll remember it's a 9:15 start next year (yes I know all the info said it but I had 9:30 in my head - was nice to see three-quarters of the field during my run!). Date of review: September 29, 2013
In short: Super route, lovely marshals, good mix of hills and flats and a bargain! In full: Nice low key race and only £7 on the day attached entry meant there wasn't the medal and t-shirt that very few would've wanted anyway. The route and hills were enough of a memento. Great, encouraging marshals and a really runnable route (except the two ploughed fields which were challenging!). Thanks Royston Runners for a super morning run. Tea and cake at the finish were a really nice touch - impressive cake! I'll be back next year. Date of review: September 22, 2013
In short: Superb race - well organised and great route In full: I thought this route was great - some decent hills and lovely trails with some sweeping downhills, the last of which was very welcome! Good route signage and marshals at every turn meant it was easy to race and the water stops were plentiful - 3 in 10 miles is more than adequate. Really friendly atmosphere and good touch to have a medal at the end (all for a £10!). Teas and cakes were pretty good too.
Rather a surprise to get a trophy for 2nd SL but very nice.
I think it'll become a classic - hoping to bring a lot more from our club (Serpentine) next year, really not that hard to get to from Waterloo. Thanks all! Date of review: August 4, 2013
In short: Lovely race through pretty countryside and good organisation! In full: A great 10 miler with a decent mix of quick and not-so-quick runners. Nice minutes silence at start for Remembrance day. Route was quite despite all road and a tiny bit of undulation made it less dull than a flat race. Nice atmosphere and medal. Definitely on my list to come back to. I did a 3 min pb, but that's more a reflection of it being 2 years since I last ran a 10 miler! Date of review: November 11, 2012
In short: Great race, good organisation and lovely route! In full: Good race with super marshals, challenging hills and a few muddy patches! Worth keeping something in the tank for the second half which felt a bit hillier. Date of review: October 9, 2012
In short: Bad organisation and not an inspiring course! In full: Most of what I thought has been said here before so I'll be brief: (the weather being the least of the problems) 1) a muddy track doesn't belong in a road marathon (and it's muddy all through the year that bit!) 2) The baggage tent fiasco was appalling and organiser were very lucky a serious incident didn't occur 3) the route - apart from Old Trafford stadium - was dull. 4) the start was ridiculous with no distinction betwen fast and slower runners, and spectators mingling throughout.
I've run in over 50 marathons and ultras - this was the worst yet, with the possible exception of Hull - at least the course was the right distance and there were mile markers, it was also one of the most expensive. It was my Mother's first and even the pride in her finishing didn't detract from the feeling of regret for this being her first. See blog for full write-up: www.runningandbaking.com Date of review: May 1, 2012
In short: Good intentions but lots of learning if it goes ahead again! In full: A city marathon needs lots of planning and it felt as though this race was planned in some areas - sponsorship, good website - but in the vital areas that affect runners it was poor. No mile markers for a marathon is awful, especially with so many first-time marathoners. I provided a useful 'shouting out the mile from my Garmin' service for those nearby!
I was worried when on the Friday night an email with maps was sent out - but assumed we didn't need to take them with us! The route could not have been run by a runner before - there's no way anyone who's previously done a marathon (I've run over 50) would think the doubling back on a thin path round tight corners was a good idea. The turn around point was a bollard with no sign and a marshal about 20m away. Some marshals were shouting 'keep left' others 'keep right', though at least there were a few marshals there - the rest of the course had very few. The water stations were ok.
The wide road and section to the bridge was much better to run on and though sparsely supported (well it was an 8am start on Easter Monday - that needs changing!).
The road blocks were poor - the signs needed to be at the start of closed roads not the point where it's closed; I actually felt for the motorists having to U-turn! And the rent-a-security guys seemed not to have fully woken up.
So for next year: 10am start, get local running clubs and relatives of runners as marshals, number sent out or at least longer hours on the Saturday to pick up, mile markers, a PA system at start/finish, more signage for the route where not marshalled, a timing mat at half way and no wiggly route through the narrow docks!
In short: Super race with great atmosphere and lovely course In full: Wonderful 2 loops of a varied cross country course - some flat running on the field and hills in the woods. Pretty dry underfoot and lots of tree roots (and a fallen tree!) to make it worth watching your feet.
80 runners this year enjoyed the support of plenty of marshals and lovely cakes at the end. All round great race for the end of the cross country season. Hope it's on next year! Date of review: March 18, 2012
In short: Brilliant undulating course through the forest with a decent amount of mud! In full: Great organisation and Orion Harriers friendliness make this an ideal end to the xcountry season. Tough but rewarding race, definitely in the calendar for next year. Date of review: May 4, 2010