Richmond Running Festival - Half Marathon Review
|Very hard to photograph when in motion...|
Stuff to look at is at an all time high. Again, you don't really miss headphones. By the way, headphones are allowed, but like all races, they are strongly discouraged.
Bib Pick Up/Bag Drop: I did not have to utilise either of these on this race, as Mr. Moose acted as my bag drop and as I was in the UK they mailed me my race pack. Heartrunnergirl picked up her bib no issues. She also found another Dutch runner simply by looking at her shoes... that's what I call situational awareness! The end of the race is in Old Deer Park, but they bring your bags over so there is no trundling back to the start to get your stuff.
Loos: Well I knew there was going to be a wait at the beginning and for port-a-loos I cannot complain. This means A) there were no nasty surprises on the toilet seat AND B) there was toilet paper
I was told though that the loos at the end had crazy long queues. I cannot speak as to the validity of this as I did not utilise them.
|'Will Run For Beer' takes on new meaning...|
There was a man dressed as a Fuller's Beer-- he won the race in my eyes.
Drink Stops/Marshalls: I did grab a water at some point along the way and kept it with me for a few miles just to have a few sips until it was empty. They also had Lucozade, but personally I cannot handle the stuff when running-- too sugary and since I am clumsy I typically spill more on me than I drink, resulting in sticky hands. Lovely volunteers and little kids I said thank you to were picking up discarded bottles along the path.
I felt very sorry for the lovely marshall at the very end. She had the tough job of telling the half/full marathon runners to go left (a final, painful loop in a field where you could see/hear the finish) rather than go right (a nice straight sprint to the finish for the 10k). I tried to smile at her as I begrudgingly went left, but it probably looked like a grimace.
|Check out my bling...|
Oh and the medal is also a bottle opener. I felt like they missed a trick giving us cans of beer rather than bottles, but I am pretty sure that was a smart move from a health & safety perspective.
The band at the end was pretty great, and we spent an hour or so sitting on the grass, stretching, drinking and just enjoying the vibe before heading back via Richmond station.
Conclusion: From a race perspective I highly enjoyed it. The course was flat but interesting, the crowds supportive, and the goody bag quite fabulous. Again the fact the race starts in Kew makes this a unique one to add to your race calendar. Good transport links to both the start and finish, although some would argue the District Line should never be classified as 'good' (I swear it gets slower every time I take it... but darn it the old girl she still gets you there).
Personally-- I had two goals in this race. The first was to run it in its entirety, something which after Bacchus I was not sure I was ready to do. Second was to keep my pace under a certain time. Save for the first mile I was well under that. So even though this was my slowest half marathon that I can recall, I feel proud that I accomplished what I wanted to do. It gives me that little boost of confidence, and a glimmer of hope that maybe not all is lost and maybe I can achieve my marathon goal if I just keep the faith and stay true to my training.