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For the last two years I've done the Hastings Half, and I love it. I got an email about the 2008 entry this week. Then, on the front page of Runnersworld, there's the news about the Bath Half, which kinda looks interesting. So I look at the date and find it's on the same day as the Hastings. I check others halfs on the same day and I find there are five.
Mmmmm. So do I stick with Hastings, or do I go for a different one?
"One of spring's racing highlights, with top-notch organisation and a fast course"
You get a chip, it's a fast course, and it has been going since 1982, which makes it one of the oldest half marathons. The main complaints appear to be that the course is a bit dull, and that the start is crowded.
Forest of Dean costs £16, has an entry of around 1,500 and is the highest rated of the five at 88%. The website is clear and very helpful with pics and links to accomodation. You get a chip, and a beautiful course with some challenges. Not many complaints, though the start is crowded.
Hastings is an acknowledged classic. It is widely accepted to be the best half marathon. It costs £19, has an entry of around 5,000 and is rated 87%. The website is currently not opening for me, but I remember it as being useful, friendly and with some pics. The course is steady uphill for the first half, then downhill with a long flat finish along the sea-front. The crowd support is acknowledged to be the best outside of the London Marathon, and is one of the main attractions, along with an attractive course. You get a chip. Complaints are about the crowded start and finish.