In short: Perfect for a PB but I didn't get one :-( In full: Excuse me if I'm a bit grumpy about this great Half Marathon. I thoroughly expected to break my PB which was recorded at a hilly Maidstone. The weather couldn't have been better in November, the sun was out there was virtually no breeze and the course is flat bar a short ramp down and up from the promenade.
I still have no idea why I didn't get the PB (3 minutes slower) other than you could feel the breeze against you going West and the sun beating going East. The breeze was so slight though....
The race itself was well organised and around the start/finish the atmosphere was very good. The after race cakes and Mars bars were welcome and the finishers medal was probably the best I have had so far.
The only gripes I have were how quiet it was down on the promenade but the sea view made it bearable. The other gripe is the laps. I don't mind laps but I think this is one lap too many. I understand they are trying to change the course, I think most of it is great but maybe too much promenade and one too many laps.
I may be back year to get that blooming PB. Date of review: November 12, 2012
In short: Another Fine Race and Jaffa Cakes are Back! In full: Yay, the Jaffa cakes make a welcome return!
Well done again to Nice Work as this race is getting better year on year. Yet again a warm day but not nearly as warm as previous years. An extra lap of the playing field to add the missing 200m and make it to 10k plus running the rest of the course in reverse of previous years. Not sure which route I preferred and which route potentially gives a quicker time. This years route meant the only two up hills (very slight) were in the last 3km. If you've gone off too fast then that can hurt.
I was slightly surprised by the fact that cars were allowed to leave before the end of the race but as it is the only entrance to the field there wasn't much choice. Previous years have also seen cars driving down the finish which was on the housing estate road.
I was pleased to see a bigger field despite it meaning I dropped outside the top 50.
The Good - Flat course, bags of PB potential, very well organised, scenic, jaffa cakes and cereal bars at the finish.
The Not so Good - Only 1 water station (every other year there has been 1 which you pass twice), the cars having to go through the finish straight gate.
In short: Mud, Waterlogged fields and a killer hill. I loved it! In full: Several weeks of rain made this a painful muddy affair. The first 6 miles were no problem at all other than a steep slippery downhill where I couldn't stop if I had wanted to and a very boggy path. Then we crossed a flooded field which took almost everything before a downhill path that had turned into a stream and a hill that I applaud anyone who managed to actually run up it. It was hard but in the end I really enjoyed it. When dry, I may use part of the course for training runs (I already run Forest Way). Despite the rain it was pretty well organised and well marshalled. The goody bag could have been a tad better but then there were plenty of goodies to fill it with at the end. Jaffa cakes are a welcome sight after any race. Date of review: May 8, 2012
In short: So glad my home 10k is the best I've run In full: I missed this last year as I was running to the beat and I am so glad I chose this one this year. I run most of my training runs along the Worth Way so I know every slight slope which really helped me get a PB.
The organisation was excellent and my Garmin made the length spot on which is often something I gripe about in other 10k's. I will definitely run this next year.
Personally I don't think there was too much wrong with the course. I bit congested early on with some dancing through the stinging nettles but I actually quite liked the road part at the end as I could see people to target with my explosive finish ;-) Date of review: September 26, 2011
In short: Still one of my favourites but where were the jaffa cakes? In full: New organisers, new time and a new day.
The car park could have been better signposted. Having raced the previous two years and having read the documentation I knew we could park on the field but when I got there I just found the field with the gate open and no cars. I was the first! Fortunately others quickly followed.
Last year we had bottles of water at the stations, it would have been nice to have these again espcially as the day started getting warm just as we set off. The last two years we were also given jaffa cakes at the end but this year there were none. :-(
Other than those minor gripes the organisation was good and the marshalls were great. One of the organisers very kindly carried my bag from HQ to the finish so I could grab it after the race. Thanks. The weather was cooler than the last years but it still started to get quite warm. For me however, this was a great race. I knocked 5 minutes off of last years time and because I didn't go off too quickly I managed to overtake a lot of people from 3k all the way to the end without getting passed myself. It's a great feeling.
In short: Loved it , great goody bag, Dame Kelly and that hill wasn't that bad In full: Great race. Was really nervous beforehand as I really wanted to break 1hr50 in my 3rd Half. It was a big ask. The 1:50 pacemakers disappeared but my Garmin paced me much much better. I finished in 1hr48mins48secs which beat my PB by over 6 minutes and the pacemakers were nowhere to be seen. I was petrified about the hill but it wasn't nearly as bad as I expected and over quicker than expected too. I would have liked an energy gel before the hill, fortunately I had my own. The support from the marshalls was probably the best I have received in any race and I was amazed at the support in the villages and people outside their own houses.
All in all, I really enjoyed this tough Half and will be back. Date of review: February 27, 2011
In short: The cold shrunk the course! Freezing fun though In full: Very friendly and well organised 10k. Simply done, burger van for the spectators and runners and a nice medal in a sports bag.
I only have one gripe and that is the length of the course. Mine and other Garmins made the length nearly 350m short of 10k.
I smashed my PB an got under 50mins for the first time ever with 46:23. I was on for just under 48mins if the course had have been correct length. It only needs the grass section to be moved slightly and the length will be correct.
In short: Better organisation and a few tweaks and this could be good In full: I probably don't need to go into all the negatives as others have covered those. Despite being there an hour and a half before the scheduled start I still think it was the right decision to delay the start. Toilets were a fiasco and the bag drop just needs to be turned around 90degrees against the back fence to prevent chaos in the queues.
Agree with the Gatorade and water comments and the first thing my wife said when finishing was "Was there supposed to be music on the course"
I did enjoy the course and the hills were nothing to be feared, they were a lot shorter than I first thought.
My Garmin also put this as 427m over length and you should have heard me swear when I thought I had nearly finished only to see the 750m signs.
I also agree that a goody bag should have been given out. Ok so I have mentioned all the same negatives.....
I might do this one again but only if I can't get into the Royal Parks Half. Date of review: September 28, 2010
In short: One of my favourites but soooooo hot again! In full: This is a really nice 10k race. Great countryside, very friendly, runners of all abilities, jaffa cakes at the end and fairly flat. I know I could have got a PB here but once again it was very very hot. There is little shade around the course, I think maybe 1/2km under trees, which left me with a disappointing time. Maybe one year the weather will be kind to the runners. If cooler this 10k would be almost perfect. Date of review: June 27, 2010
In short: 10km (plus 300m) meant no PB but a fun run nevertheless In full: I'll get the disappointing bits out of the way first. Was it just me or was the race well over 10km. Infact by an extra 340m. This meant I was outside my PB despite being well under pace for the whole time. All km markers were close to my watch 1kms except the 10km. According to my watch I did a PB so I'm going with that. Other than that I really enjoyed this cross country run. The most challenging bits were the small hill (run 3 times) with the longish grass, the short sandy path and the woodchip in the paddock. The woodland area was great as was the bouncy paddock path. The race was pretty well organised but as has been mentioned there was not much support from the marshalls and the atmosphere was fairly flat despite several areas for spectators to get behind their runners. Other than that, I would definitely do this one again and not just because it's near to home. The multi-surface laps made it interesting and despite a field of only 210 there always seemed to be runners nearby to pass or like me, to be passed by. This was my wifes' first 10k and she throughly enjoyed it. Hopefully she too now has the bug.