In short: Poor organisation 45 minute start delay in the heat didn't help anyone In full: So, after running the very hilly Jerusalem marathon in March, My friend and I thought we'd keep our eye in with the 'flat' hackney half.
Let's look at the pro's Superbly supported: lots of locals with hoses and sweets and cheering. Throughout the race there were people cheering all day. Very good. Lots of water stations and energy drinks. Never had a chance of dehydration, even in the heat (except of the start, we'll look at that later) Good post run photos and even your finish is recorded on film, nice touch. Route is wide and clear all the time, with portals and st johns ambulance stations.
Cons The start was delayed by at least 45 minutes. I saw no reason for this and we, who were at the back were left in what was becoming one of the hottest days of the year with no information or help whatsoever. Very bad, in my opinion. Towards the end, as we're doing the last mile, some 'elf and safety' numpty tells us to stop running and walk the rest in. That is NOT what you tell runners as they are nearing the end of the race, this really angered me and the fact that the organisers started advising everyone to walk not run is just the nanny state gone mad. They said that the problem was people collapsing through heat exhaustion, however, this was due to people running too fast for the heat and not because you can't run in the heat. PLUS, if we'd started on time, we wouldn't have been finishing past mid-day!
There were lot's of positives, yet I can't get past the fact that the organisers put everyone in peril with their delays at the start. I heard someone say it was because the celebrity starting the race was delayed in traffic!!!
I think there's other challenges to take on, they've lost me for next year. Date of review: May 27, 2016
In short: Hogs Back Hill - I travel 80 miles to do this race every year! In full: It's one of my favourite races and since I run a March marathon every year in Jerusalem (very hilly) this race signals the beginning of my serious marathon training.
The organisers are excellent and the addition of the course shaped medal this year is a welcome addition. Date of review: December 8, 2014
In short: Mud, medals, mud and did I mention the mud? Great fun In full: So my daughter and I trekked down from chigwell to take part in this race. It was our third race since we started training for our marathon later this year.
We chose it because it's hilly and looked like fun
It was hilly
It was so muddy
It was so much fun
I have to say I've not enjoyed a race as much as this one. I was particularly impressed by the other runners.
I'm a slow runner. I was overtaken a lot. The elite runners (certainly the first five or six and many of the rest) gave me an encouraging 'well done mate' it a 'good work'
This is excellent and made the race very special indeed
The race was well organised and a lot of fun during the run.
It was very well marshalled and getting a medal at the end is always nice
The course is excellent and although muddy is fun
I'm certainly doing it next year Date of review: January 26, 2014
In short: Nice and easy, good for beginners but some faster runners ruin it In full: I'm not a fast runner. I broke my leg terribly in 2008 so any running is good running. I find that most races are very friendly for beginners. This is the same. There are of course the immature/ grumpy faster runners who huff every time they go past a slower runner. I've been to races (like the hadleigh 2012 legacy) where all the runners (including the first four leaders!) gave me a well done mate! As they went by. Unfortunately, as evidenced by an earlier reviewers you'll get numptys at every race. One of the things I've come to love about running is how the majority all pull together irrespective of speed.
This is a very nice race. Well organised and good friendly marshals. There's massive room for passing throughout the course so reviews that say its difficult to pass are wide of the mark.
I'll be there for the next one! Date of review: January 26, 2014