In short: Always improving half marathon In full: Nice venue and easy to get to. Lots of side street residential parking if needed. Smooth queue to pick up numbers as long as you split yourself into the surname queue you need. I would say enough toilets and portaloos as YMCA had 3 as well. A small enough event to line yourself up to your pace time but if it got larger then maybe pace signage so runners lined up in their time zones as it can get narrow on some paths near start. A nice flat trail run with some mud as some light rain previous day and 30 mins before 10am start. Road shoes still was fine for surfaces for me but do watch your foot. The aid station were very nicely stocked and are stocked with a range of fuels from fluids to solids but I dont really like to slow down to pick my own cups of water, energy drink, fruit juice, energy gels, jelly babies or flapjacks. I also prefer bottled drinks as I run past, grab and keep hold of. However, for value of money entry fee, I expect cups of water. The aid station by the half way point was a sharp turn around point with the aid station right in front. This particular station I had to completely stop to collect fluid, the 2 runners in front stop right in front of me. I had to stop to look for an energy drink but picked up fruit juice by mistake as I didnt have time to ask the "1" lady manning the station. The runner behind me had crash into me as well. The aid station although well stocked needs to be spaced out to 3-4 tables as it may well get very crowded when runners have to browse for which drink.. which table holds the energy gel... Maybe big sign/cardboard in front saying water , energy drinks, energy gels, fruit juice otherwise you stop and scan around and hold everyone up. They couldnt hand out water at this half way point because tow path was too narrow. This is my only complaint. Way too near turnaround point and both marathon n half marathon runners used this station. I was happy to see nice big medal with relevant neck strap labelling with winter half marathon. But, organisers should have put the year 2014!!! Its great to see medal has improved and different from last years too. Finish line goodies to help yourself to was great. I only took 1 piece of flapjack, 1 cream biscuit, 1 banana. But if i hung around i would have ate more flapjacks as they were yummy. I will be back for the summer one but i hope they organise the aid station better as i do like a isotonic drink but not have to search and wait and ask for it. We want to grab and run on. I recommend this race to all beginners as very race friendly for newbies. I am sure i would have got pb if it was cooler on 2nd half of race, maybe next November will be cooler. Overall nicely organised and I am sure improvements will be made as the organisers do seem interested to improve the race every year and I have seen improvements myself every year and also heard of them word of mouth so kudos to David and Mel. Date of review: November 4, 2014
In short: For a local event is well organised In full: Easy to park nearby. Nice big park for family to goto as kids mile as well. No clif bar stand this year might be tight on budget, was expecting to eat some sample energy bars etc.. before the start. Urinals welcome and this year the signs were more clear so bigger queue. Getting to start was easy as I knew the short cut to the front pen. This is a average speed course as undulating, the ups brings downs so it still is possible for pb. but this year the weather was warm so that didnt speed me up. The finish was swift, medal water , clif bar and banana and you can ask for 2nds n they willing to hand out. i thought they were well stocked and nice of evian to provide enough water stations for this half. i think 6 water points which is plentiful. This years medal not as nice as 2013 though. I would do this again and with 25% off for past runners is tempting but there is so many half marathons which havent announced their dates in september so I havent decided as too early. Date of review: October 12, 2014
In short: Value for money clubby 7k in Bushy park In full: Very well organised 7k in a Royal park. Value for money entry fee and you get a nice Technical Tshirt. This is clubby event but beginners are made welcome. Date of review: August 8, 2014
In short: Worth the money to run in closed London roads and parks In full: This is well organised and has a great atmosphere for runners and family. The race village was made for celebrations and picnics, my kids loved the food festival and activities availiable. Kept them so busy that they didnt bother or have time to queue at the finish to cheer me or take pics of me.
The race pens were good, most people did follow them but I was orange which was the first colour and I was still surrounded by greens, there are ways to slip in so this was not good if i wasnt use to weaving in and out.
Being in the first pen I ran my pb on this glorious day at 1:38 as it has massive pb potential as wide roads ahead.
Had plenty of water stations with bottled water and lucozade which is great for a half marathon race.
Signs were clear on the course as well as some good marshalling.
Lots of cheering crowds motivating you and everyone.
At the finish it was full of goodies and a proper goody bag. With water and lucozade as well.
For the organisation and family friendly race village, I would pay £50 to do this again and again. This race is worth it and no wonder it has ballot system.
And the day was great for running and a picnic. Date of review: October 20, 2013
In short: Good turn out for potential rainy saturday run near muddy riverside In full: The race is a potential PB as flat course out and back. Very mixed terrain and slippy due to previous rain and obviously muddy. Good staggered start to avoid congestion. Great PA woman at the start creating an atmsophere and trying very hard to get runners motivate before start. This fast 10k so I didnt like the cups of water as I cant sip them properly as this is potential PB course which I did PB! The finish was great to be recognised by name. Great to have free lucozade and some sweets and a sweat band.
Also a immediate finish time check and a print out. I even used the £5 engraving service to have my pb time put on the nice shiny medal. Medal has improved from 2010 and has richmond riverside on it.
Would do this again for another crack at pb on mixed terrain. This run definately worked out my legs especially quads as I had to watch my step on mud, pebbles, stones etc...not my usual run surface so toned me up.
In short: Did this 4 years in a row because it was my 1st ever event in 2010 In full: So this was my 1st ever event in 2010 and I vowed to do this every year as an anniversary run regardless of cost and organisation but I still give my honest views.
The hill at the end took 40secs out of my pace but I have been training for this as I studied the route profile well in advance on the website before they sent out the race pack. I write what comes in my mind which may not be in order.
This years new race route allowed me a PB of 1:38 and I was in the white zone of 1:30-1:40. It took me a while to find the white zone but I managed to queue at the back of the pen before the 20 min late start. I have always run in my predicted race time zones for this event and have never had problems with race pace.
I didnt experience any delays at the barracks probably because I was with the faster than average runners so missed any congestions. As the average finish time is 2hours 10mins, that means yellow and black runners probably faced the queue at the barracks as you all run the same times. But, the gate entrance/exit is way too small.
The pacers with flags did not run the correct pace. As at 5k the 1h40m was racing ahead of me and I paced myself strictly to my garmin. So dont follow the pacers as they fell behind after 6k anyways.
I dont mind the loops especially at the end where I got to see my family twice without pre planning as this finish route was new to me. The hairpins didnt slow me down so not bothered.
No venue parking at this new race route caused everyone to take public transport. If you do big races often you will know to arrive 1.5 hours early as I was on time and got on the trains easily with family in a double buggy and had time to use toilets twice before the start. Even managed to get the whole family a free vita coco sweatband each.
Was not impressed that there was no stalls which sold energy drinks or energy bars as I was hoping to get an energy bar before the race to top up my carbs.
Vita coco was not ideal sponsor for drinks as we need energy drinks back for next year. Although vita coco are big on marketing this year but I didnt bother with trying one at the barracks. At the finish I wanted an extra bottle of water and I took an extra one regardless of the head marshall saying 1 only. Why would you stock 19,000 water for 19,000 potential runners and have none extra when you used cups of water to save costs already along the route.
The park was surrounded and closed off for the route so it was so difficult to find the way out. You would expect the route you came from the station is the way to get back. The stewards guarding the crossing zone near start were clueless and really unhelpful. They did not want to help me or anyone find a route to the station. They didnt give a crap.
No other marshalls were seen around the festval village to give help or guidance.
I will only run this race again as I do it every year as its my anniversary run. Otherwise, every year you get less value for money. From energy bar to no energy bar. From energy drink to coconut water. From branded water to locally branded water. From family welcome race area to a park with nothing for kids and babies. At the 02 there is the 02 indoors. Date of review: September 10, 2013
In short: Expensive city run but still worth doing scenic run + support from crowd In full: Yes, its kind of rip off 10k but race pack booklet gives all information you need from start point to finish areas, where to get drinks, medal and even tiger balm gave me a goody bags. Volunteering marshalls did their best and i found the baggage marshalls helpful even though i didnt have baggage. With the red and blue wave start, if people climb over fences and runners give room for late comers to do that then you make other runners who came early have to wait longer as we cant be bothered to stop them. How can 1 volunteering marshall stop runners climbing over and lifting fences. For example the National lottery olympic park run they couldnt stop people climbing into pens. How can 1 marshall stop 10 runners!! Its all the same we are human beings some of us are that selfish. I was near the front as I queued up early and squeezed forward like most smart runners because I wanted a PB and I did that. My first 2k was sub 4min/km and even bupa london and brighton marathon has slow runners who register to run in faster waves and pens, the norm is to weave past and besides waves was only introduced this year in British 10k it has gradually improved by a minor fraction as compared to 2011. I missed 2012 as it was Olympic year and it was sponsored by Nike so i guessed it was for an olympic show and advertising the Nike brand to tourists so didnt apply to run with sightseers and tourists. I would maybe do this again if I check the uppdates on whats new and what minor improvements there are as there is plenty of spaces even up to last month of the race. Its not as packed as the GNR but GNR invested more money into finish time choice and printing race numbers according to colours. GNR set the system from registration. British 10k didnt lay down the protocol from registration point.
In short: Simple budget race in park in 4 laps, pretty flat In full: Flat 4 laps around park of paths and grass. Very accurately measured by mcc so improved on previous 10k's which they always get slated on. 1 very nice lady marshall who encouraged alot and called out the current lap times as we dont get chip timing when we ran past. Everyone got a goody bag with medal, tshirt and help yourself on bottle water. Good bargain for £10 and it was nice warm morning. Fast registration and pick of numbers. To be honest it is well organised compared to 2011 reviews. Date of review: February 27, 2012
In short: £10 race with medal, water and Tshirt, worth doing again as practice race In full: This is what I expected for a £10 race. Good value for tenner to be honest. 10k are my practice races for longer races. The purpose is to have other runners motivate me to run faster in race atmosphere. I dont usually run on grass so it is a different surface for me. Plus there was some slight inclines adds its challenges. On top of the wet grass and mud as it rained the night before. Yes it was 450metres short from 10k but I kind of knew a low cost race may not be accurate. If you have GPS, I would personally track my progress from pace per km so 450 metres out doesnt bother me. I thought it was good enough organisation for this small event, Nice generic medal with event engraved on the back, could have put the year as well to add further value. A nice budget tshirt to keep warm after race. Plenty of water to take during race and after. Not as bad as i expected when i read previous reviews on the organisers. Maybe Reigate was bit better and improved. Date of review: February 21, 2012