In short: Now you sea me, now you don't In full: A very chilly start, made chillier by a bit of a queue for the loo, so grateful for the school canteen to huddle in. Parking and picking up our race packs was easy. The start sign was a bit difficult to find behind a parked-up Jag, but pleased to see that there were timing corrals; it makes the first few metres a bit easier when you're not tripping over slower runners!
Two laps of the school field then down to the seafront at Hythe and along the seawall; through Sandgate, a loop round the Leas Cliff park and back to Hythe. I was so pleased to see the 1 mile marker on the way out - and even gladder to see the reverse of it on the way back - races so rarely have it!
Medal was a bit rubbish; it would have been nice to have had an engraving for the 30th anniversary - and I could have done with a Jaffa cake or something at the end - but overall a very enjoyable race.
Thanks again to everyone who supported, the dogs who had to share their path with 600 sweaty runners, and the marshalls from Folkestone Running Club. Date of review: March 29, 2013
In short: Mud in yer eye In full: Good pre-race info, managed to find the car park eventually and parked up in the pouring rain. There was chip timing, which was good, but the chips came in an envelope with a number on to cross reference against the results - this was papier mache by the time I finished! We also got handed a free beanie hat which was most welcome until we warmed up.
This is definitely a trail run - uneven ground, very muddy, undulating - so you had to keep your eyes peeled; but very well signposted both in terms of the directions and the km markers. I think the course was a little short - at the 7km marker my Garmin was just over 6.5km but GPS is a bit hit and miss in the forest. It was good to see a variety of adventurous dogs also taking part - hope they all like baths!
Nice downhill finish with lots of support from - by now very wet - spectators, a medal and some water (which was just rubbing salt in the wound, frankly ;-))
The only downside was getting out of the car park. We didn't know we had to register the car to get out - it wasn't in the joining instructions - so we had to haggle via the intercom at the barrier to be let out. Not great when you've just run 10km in the cold and rain. It would have been better to have someone at the gate checking our car park vouchers.
Thanks to the marshalls and supporters - your cheers are also appreciated. Date of review: March 16, 2013
In short: Do you remember your first time? In full: My second time at the Lydd half, definitely much easier than last time, and managed to run it almost 11 mins quicker than 2012 - so a very special race for me.
Organisation was excellent, chip collection and bag drop was quick and efficient. The race started pretty much on time and, despite the rather congested lap of the field avoiding rabbit warrens, the field spread out pretty quickly.
Great marshalling and markers (apart from the missing 1 mile sign). Road is part bumpy lane, bit of track and starts and finishes on a reasonable road so you need to watch where you're going - difficult when you're enjoying the scenery. It wasn't really that windy - try running along the sea wall to Dymchurch - but still glad I had long sleeves on.
Still a bit of a pain trying to negotiate cars leaving the race when you're still running - I nearly went over the bonnet of a Peugeot which pulled out right in front of me near the finish; it would be better to ask people to park in the town - it's only a short walk to the race.
Medal and t-shirt (which I missed) and some very welcome Jaffa Cakes - and hot drinks - at the end.
Thanks again to Nice Work, the brownies at the water stops and the marshalls who must have been absolutely freezing. Date of review: March 10, 2013
In short: A really soup-er race In full: The parking was a bit tricky - thanks to the people of Wittersham for putting up with the badly-parked cars all through the village (and no thanks to the plonker with the blue car who almost blocked us in at the church) - but apart from that, signposting to the village hall and the start was perfect.
The usual excellent on-the-day organisation meant that we had signed up and were jogging through the village to the start in a few minutes. The weather was glorious, which helped; definitely no need for the base layer I'd agonised over.
A short hill at the start, then 5 miles of mild ups and great downhills along some muddy but scenic roads, made for a fast race. The marshalls as ever were fantastic with their encouragement and holding the traffic, and thanks to the water stop crew for letting me dump my gloves with them! One big loop, then a smaller loop later I was hi-fiving kids standing by the village pub and finishing with a PB. There were medals and delicious home made soup (I had the curried parsnip, it was fantastic, and helped soothe the remnants of a horrible cold I'd been struggling against all week)
Definitely one to do again; thanks Nice Work and thanks Wittersham! Date of review: February 17, 2013
In short: Great course, shame about the start In full: Directions to the car parks were good and there was plenty of parking - bit of a walk to the start though, but good for a warm-up! The race HQ was a bit manic and it wasn't clear where the chips were or where the bag drop was - however we found some helpful runners who pointed us in the right direction.
The race was late starting, and it was another walk to the start, which was on a narrow lane. We didn't even see the timing pens so were stuck at the back; when the race eventually did start it was tricky weaving through the slower runners while avoiding potholes and gutters. The usual frustrations of trying to get past groups running 3 abreast on a narrow lane soon appeared - a bit of consideration for your fellow runners would be appreciated, especially if you're not fast or taking it too seriously!
However it began to thin out after about 2km and you could relax into the run - which was mostly flat and downhill with 1 gentle and one slightly more taxing hill at 7km. The last 1.5km was downhill and you could see the finish from the road which spurred me on.
I managed a PB but my Garmin had only registered 9.92km, and I noticed that my provisional time on the Nice Work site was over a minute slower than I clocked - as was that of my running companions - what's happened there???
Finish was good, lovely medal but I totally missed the water and chocolate!
Thanks to all of the supporters and volunteers who must have surely been freezing. Date of review: February 3, 2013
In short: Scenic route, shame about the parking! In full: Great warm-up and plenty of info from the comperes before the fog eventually lifted and we all set off at 1.05pm along the slightly crowded Long Walk. It's an undulating course, but nothing too taxing for most runners - one big loop and then one smaller loop before heading back down Long Walk for the final mile.
The marshalls and water station volunteers were great but it would have been good to have had water (and maybe some electrolyte drink) on both sides of the path as it got a bit crowded in parts.
Crowd were smashing, no problems with spectators running across the path, and great fun high (or low-) fiving kids along the way.
The only other grumble I'd have was the management of cars exiting the field; the car park attendants where we were seemed to just be standing around, which meant that a few people lost their minds and weren't waiting their turn to join the queue of traffic. It took us an hour to get out - not great when you're tired and just want to get on the road. Date of review: October 7, 2012
In short: Great race, now where's the baa? In full: A flat, albeit slightly pot-holey run along New Romney's beautiful country lanes in the brilliant sunshine.
Very good organisation, from our efficient last-minute registration through to excellent (if a little quiet) marshalls who kept the traffic at bay, two water stops - and top marks for having a 1km marker!
It was a nice touch to hear my name and number read out as I crossed the finishing line. Medals were presented by the mayor and there were delicious cakes at the end. Shame that there were only XL t-shirts left by the time I finished - will have to run faster next time! Date of review: July 15, 2012
In short: 'Pretty hilly' In full: Organisation was good; I can't even resort to my pet gripe (the lack of a 1km marker) as the km markers were excellent, as were the marshalls. It was a real shame that we didn't get medals rather than t-shirts, especially since - by the time I finished - there were only small and large sizes left.
The course is quite challenging - plenty of ups and downs - but certainly enjoyable to freewheel down after a couple of longer climbs. I didn't manage to take in that much scenery but it was a very enjoyable run, with excellent support at the finish. Date of review: July 8, 2012
In short: Here's mud in your eye! In full: My first trail race since school cross-country across soggy Exmoor - definitely agree that the website needs to be clear that most of the race is off road. After the first km, you do two laps of Hamstreet woods, which I wish I had known beforehand as the staggered km markers were incredibly confusing (and as usual, that crucial 1km marker was missing!)
The trail was muddy in places and there were a couple of hills, but nothing you couldn't run up. And, what goes up must come down, so some long downhills provided a bit of respite.
Marshalls and crowd were fantastic as usual; you can never underestimate a bit of encouragement! I nearly got taken down by a stray whippet but most dog walkers were good enough to keep their pets on a lead.
Nice atmosphere at the start, very efficient registration for those of us who hadn't signed up beforehand and best of all cakes at the end, baked by the generous ladies of Hamstreet. Date of review: June 10, 2012
In short: A great first marathon In full: Brighton 2012 was my first marathon, and I was really impressed by the overall organisation; plenty of supportive emails, no queues at the expo, fantastic support from crowds and marshalls on the day, a really lovely route which was challenging but incredibly scenic.
The only drawbacks were that some of the mile markers were missing (or on the wrong side of the road) the Road to Hell (especially at mile 22 when the smell from the sewage overcomes you!), the water pouches (which took a bit of getting used to) and the fact that there were only three single-deckers taking people back to the Mill Road P&R (yet a whole fleet to the unis) We queued for over an hour for a bus in the cold, not great when you've just run 26 miles.
Other than those small things, which didn't ruin the day, a brilliant event - would definitely do it again. Date of review: April 16, 2012