In short: Superbly organised and supported big city marathon In full: I've now done 15/16 marathons and have to say that this was the best organised of the "big city" marathons that I have done.
From helpful emails in advance, to plentiful supplies on race day and even a specific iphone "Ap" the organisers really did an excellent job.
Great support from the crowds all the way round and an amazing atmosphere helped by the good weather.
Disappointing time for me - but that is down to the bug I caught in the week before rather than the event itself. Will be back next year to try and set the record straight. Date of review: April 16, 2012
In short: Great organisation, perfect race HQ and a scenic course In full: A big thank you to Dartford road runners for persevering with the organisation of this race. Good value entry, plentiful parking and toilets, scenic undulating course, quality medal and perfect weather! Honestly couldn't fault it as a pre-marathon spin. Will be back. Date of review: March 26, 2012
In short: Tough but very enjoyable race In full: A great day out over the South Downs. We were very lucky with near perfect running conditions and mostly dry underfoot.
Race had fantastic organisation, well equipped stations and to top it all a warm(ish) shower and cooked breakfast at the finish.
Great idea to be able to start at different times so that course not congested.
My only minor gripe was the signage on the loop between miles 18 - 21. We got lost (as I think a few people did) and by the time we re-grouped and came past the 21 mile marker, we had clocked up 23.5 miles. Not a problem as using this as a training run, but I can imagine being less than impressed under other circumstances!
Many thanks indeed to all at Steyning AC for organising and to all the marshalls that were great the whole way round. Date of review: March 7, 2011
In short: Very very tough, but a lesson in how to organise a race In full: That was really, really hard! Hills, rain, mud and a lingering cold all combined to make this one of the most challenging races I have done.
A massive thank you to all at PJC - a huge amount of thought clearly goes into organising what must be a really tough race to run. Superb refreshments during and after, incredibly supportive marshalls and local perople and great value.
I'll be back again, but will definitely treat it with a bit more respect next time! Date of review: February 28, 2011
In short: Very, very muddy, but ultimately a friendly and recommended race In full: Thank you very much to Benfleet for organising this and to all the marshalls who were really friendly and helpful the whole way round.
I entered this after the postponement of the Dartford 10 and was pleased I entered what turned out to be a very different event to that originally in the diary!
Quite a flat race (only one smallish hill at about mile 5), but you're never going to set a PB wading through and skidding along that much mud for 4 miles!
Plus points - an interesting course, results and photos up quickly, cheap to enter, a good t-shirt and lots of cake available pre and post race. It's a great training race for longer distances since the five miles at the end weighed down with dried mud really got the legs working.
I have only two gripes which may prevent me doing it again (and I hasten to add that neither is a criticism of the organisers who I suspect can do nothing about them):
(1) I got the train from London to the nearest station (Benfleet) and it was then perhaps a 30 minute walk to the race. Not a problem on the way to the start, but more of a headache on the way back from the finish.
(2) I was by no means the slowest runner but by the time I got to the showering facilities there was a long queue and only freezing water left. Not usually a problem, but it's been a long long time this I was that muddy!
And also one minor gripe at my fellow runners - when there is a queue to get over a stile or through a gate, it is not acceptable to jump it. Please join the back like everyone else!
So minor problems for me, but overall a friendly, challenging and good fun race.
I might be back next year, weather dependent! Date of review: January 24, 2011