In short: Excellent local race In full: One of the best in the area, challenging course in pleasant countryside, friendly encouraging marshals, toilets without a queue, an organiser who responds to queries Date of review: June 22, 2009
In short: Little gem of a race starting and finishing in the lovely Danson Park, although taking in a path alongside the less than lovely A2. Well worth making the trip for. Date of review: November 12, 2007
In short: This has to be one of the best races anywhere - if there is a better one, please tell me! In full: It is a race with everything – stunning scenery with all the best of the North Downs, fields full of poppies and daisies, steep hills, lovely woodland, delightful churches, villages and pubs; a very challenging course with strength sapping climbs and scary descents; awesome organisation – an amazing attention to detail, brilliant marshals, plenty of water stations, every potential hazard marked with tape or paint, a good T shirt, free cakes and bananas at the finish as well as a free swim, all for just £12! It’s a race to savour, rather than to chase quick times, enjoy the camaraderie of fellow runners in a way you just don’t get elsewhere, but treat it with respect and make sure you have enough energy left for the small(er) but testing hills at the end and you will be rewarded with one of the best race experiences anywhere. Well done Istead & Ifield. My only regret is that I didn’t ‘discover’ the race earlier – I can’t wait for next year.
In short: A great race as always, but with some ‘buts’ this year In full: The FLM is one of the best races in the world, this was my 7th, it’s my local race too. It shows off all that is best about my city – great sights, great people and the ability to showcase the best in sport (roll on Le Tour’s Grande Départe in July). The organisation didn’t seem quite so slick this year, although I strongly suspect that my views this year may be a little coloured by the inconsiderate actions of another runner who ‘cut me up’ at the drinks station on after 11 miles which forced me to ‘retire’ a few miles further down the road. The main ‘could do better’ points are: • Why can’t FLM move into the 21st Century and have on-line entry – small races up and down the country manage it, why can’t the best, and 2nd biggest? (If they are worried about places being ‘traded’ use photo identification like Glastonbury) • Why do ‘Z’ list ‘celebrities’ who only intend to walk and marching squaddies need to be at the front at the Green Start? • As always happens when it is hot, there were problems with too many drinks stations with insufficient drinks for slower runners (please don’t blame quicker runners for the organisers failings on this as several other posters have), • Several drinks stations volunteers didn’t pay attention or having water ready – I had to miss out at two because of this. • The organisers need to spend more time educating first time/irregular racers about ‘etiquette’ in particular o If you are going to walk for any reason pull over to the side of the course don’t just stop in the middle and expect faster runners to zig-zag around – this was happening from the first few hundred metres onwards; o If you drop something in the early stages of the race don’t put yourself or others at risk by stopping, turning round and trying to retrieve it – you know who you are man in black who knocked me over at 2 miles and then shouted at me as if it was my fault; and o Don’t make sudden movements in front of other runners and if you do need to cut in front of someone who is running slower than you are, ‘indicate’ with your arms – someone failing to do this forced me out of the race through injury • The bag retrieval for those of dropping out was something of a shambles – it took the best part of 25 minutes hanging around to get mine back without access to any drinks, food etc. The idea of the holding area for us non-completers though is a sound one – I only wanted to be around similarly dispirited people! I’ll still be back next year – I’ve already got a ‘Good for Age’ place but it won’t be with quite the same level of enthusiasm as with previous years, although ask me again in 11 months and I’ll probably be as excited as ever.
In short: Excellent, well organised race - even the 30 degree temperatures this year In full: Really pleasant, well organised race - mostly on grass and woodland paths. Conditions not ideal this year due to the heat, but at least 3/4 of course still in shade. Good 1 mile fun run too. Date of review: June 13, 2006