In short: Impeccably organised, certain one of London's best In full: This was my third half marathon and the only race I'm doing this year due to injury - I had been planning to take the rest of the year out but was talked into doing this one by friends.
As London road races go this must be one of the absolute best, of any distance. Having done things like the British 10K, this race is significantly cheaper, has better support and the organisation is worlds better.
I forgot to inform them of change in address and arrived early to be safe but was numbered up and had dropped my bag within 5 minutes with no trouble. Special mention to the stewards who said hello as I walked into the park at 0730 while still setting up, a small but unusual touch.
Having gone out very hard I didn't really take in the scenery, but for the most part it's running through suburbs, there are occasional park bits. I wouldn't describe it as special scenically, it won't touch some of the runs around areas like Richmond either in my view, but I do agree with the views below that it is nice that you're often seeing other people as you double back. The leader got a really nice bit of applause from runners as he came past us on his return.
The support was pretty good, there was one odd moment of having somebody preaching to runners that Jesus loves them early on!
The course shouldn't be great for PBs. It has a lot of turns, especially early on, and it does undulate. Having said that I knocked 4 minutes off my previous PB, so something must have worked!!
One final note from my essay is for the pace setters. Although there were only signs for 1:30, 1:45, 2:00 and so on, they actually also had one for 1:40 and I suspect for some other paces, all carrying balloons and easy to spot. They were also very friendly.
I definitely will plan to do this again next year and I think the one thing that truly sets it apart is its flawless organisation. Date of review: October 1, 2013
In short: Great first half marathon In full: This was my first half marathon and I'd read good things, it really doesn't disappoint.
The route is very clever, the 2 loops through the town at the start with all the roads lined by supporters are a really nice way to start and absolutely fly by.
It then goes into a rural area that isn't glorious scenery but passes through some nice little villages with friendly support and lots of friendly people handing out water and jelly babies.
The course gently undulates but I only found I really noticed it towards the end of the race coming back into the town.
Organisation was brilliant, a good number of loos, didn't make people wait for ages, good caller at the finish line.
This just seemed so much more smooth than the 10Ks I've done and I will be back next year without a doubt. Happy with my first half marathon time of 1h38 and hopefully I can knock some time from that in 2013. Strongly recommended, well done to all the organisers. Date of review: June 29, 2012
In short: Flat, fast and great atmosphere, excellent for beginners In full: I've done this one twice now, the 2 races in 2011. The Spring race was my first competitive race and a great introduction that gave me the bug.
The Autumn race this year had perfect weather, a friendly group of runners, a nice medal plus water, sweets and bananas at the end with no goody bag of tosh accompanying it.
I would definitely recommend it, even knocked 45 seconds off my PB. Date of review: October 15, 2011
In short: Toughest race I've done but really satisfying and the views are worth it In full: The course is focused around 2 big hills that are very steep. You start by climbing for about 2.5km on mud (it didn't help that it had rained the day before). The second climb is shorter but steeper and on sand. At some points the terrain means that even if you have the energy to run up the hills you can barely get above walking pace.
The views at the top of each hill are breathtaking.
A time of 50 minutes was better than I'd expected but I'm going to have to do it again to see if I can run the whole thing. Recommended. Date of review: August 29, 2011