In short: Potentially a great race, but depends on a few things being tweaked. In full: First of all before I have a bit of a whinge I'd like to sincerely thank all the little kiddies out on the course at the water stations and various other points, they were so brave to be out in freezing conditions yet seemed so happy to be there. A true inspiration. Also a big thanks to everyone who gave their time to help this race happen from the marshals to the registrars. I know without them these races simply don't happen. However, I was mildly disappointed with the race as a whole. My main gripe is with the medal, it was real poor effort from the organisers. I know opinion is divided between runners as to the importance of a good medal. I'm sure some people just lob it in an old shoe box with all the others but I'm the 'sentimental fool' type who takes pride in these race mementos. I expect more from a half marathon. I also know that a lot of runners will run a greater number of races over the years and many of more importance, grandeur, and significance, but to some completing a half is a massive achievement and could be the biggest race they are ever going to run in? In short I just think the technical t-shirt could be dispensed with and the budget for that spent on the medals. Think of it this way, I could buy a tech t-shirt myself but if I brought and engraved my own medal that would just be weird! Also the facilities for changing and showering etc seemed to be just two tin sheds that were crammed full of spectators trying to avoid the cold weather. So had to change outdoors. Not to mention there were far too few toilets -only 9 portaloos- for a race with 600+ runners. Completely chaotic last few hundred yards! Cars and people everywhere! I don't know how much money the sponsors 'Brett' put into this event or what it's spent on but it's fairly evident where it doesn't go. Aside from that the bag storage was well organised and efficient, the start was punctual and timing impeccable, with results available rapidly. The course is lovely and flat and definite PB potential although the wind on the day coupled with the lack of hedgerow protection from it probably made that hard for most! Of course it's no way the fault of the organisers. Just bad luck.
And my photos made me look fat Date of review: March 11, 2013
In short: ....of all the days for the sun to finally appear! In full: Very hot day and a scenic but challenging course. Made sure I remembered the sun cream as it was scorching hot even though it was a 9am start. 3 big climbs but I was determined to run them all.....and did....just! Dipped just under my pb too so I was chuffed to buggery. Good organisation and encouraging marshalls. Would recommend. Date of review: July 23, 2012
In short: Fluid event all round. Recommended In full: Well organised, friendly and very charming run in the beautiful Knole Park. For some reason the first 1.5k feels uphill on the legs even though it appears fairly flat to look at, after which you approach a very steep and unneccasary hill that completes the first 2k and is an aggressive challenge. To make matters worse the course is a 2 x 5k loop, so you have to do that whole section again between 5k-7k. After the first loop I was dreading the second as I knew what was coming which I think distracted and worried me a bit, but then again the sense of relief after it's done twice makes the last 3k a breeze!! Not ideal for a PB but I suppose it could be achieved with a little help from the downhill-ish sections that follow the steep parts. Organisers could maybe look at changing the course (if thats possible- I dont know) Overall very enjoyable and will be back next year. Date of review: March 28, 2012
In short: Decent race....plus a PB so musn't grumble. In full: Nice little race around rural Ashford, felt like a very fast first 4k as it seemed to be either flat or downhill. But....what goes down must come up! Sure enough there was a challenging uphill section at 7k that seemed to take it out of everyone as well as it being quite a hot afternoon. Can't complain about the organisation at all, everything went smoothly even the much mentioned car parking problems. Due to the change of date I don't think it was a full field of runners which made the start less congested as I'd heard it has been previously. Well worth the drive down the M20 and would come back next year. Date of review: March 28, 2012
In short: Tough course, rubbish medal In full: Too windy high up on the common to hear the instructions through the megaphone, this wind also hindered my first 1k and my last 2k as it seem to be pushing me back no matter what direction I was running in...the incline between 5k and 6k is a bloody killer, really took it out of me....yet I still managed a PB?!? A race full of good intentions but not very well organised. Nice crowd though and scenic route. Quiet marshalls apart from one who give me a very encouraging high five!! Date of review: December 18, 2011