Royal Parks half

Had a pretty good debut half - 1.25. thought it was a really well organised event and a nice course, so justified the rather high entry fee. I'll be back next year if I can get a place.

What did others think?


  •  Debut half at 1.25 is pretty awesome!

     I really enjoyed the race. Thought the organisation was very good, the drinks stationers were located in decent places (other than the first Lucozade station which was a bit to early in the race for my liking) and there was actually goodies left when I returned to the runners village after the race (unlike last year). Managed to beat my PB by over 4 mins from 1:40:13 to 1:35:55, so was thrilled with that.

     Will def try to get in again next year.

  • I managed to beat my PB yesterday as well - finished in 1:44:49 so chuffed to bits with that as was desparate to get round in under 1:45 so just about succeeded with 11 seconds to spare ! 

    Did this run last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. Both years I've found it to be very well organised, with a great atmopshere and a really enjoyable course to run so will also def. be trying to coming back next year for more.


  • My wife did it as her first ever half - 2:32 - so she was well pleased to have finished. 

    Myself and the kids supported in our bright red wigs !!!

  • Excellent event - I never thought that I would ever run down the middle of the Mall !

    I suppose all comes to those who wait long enough.

    I have never seen as many freebies being dished out at an event either.

    Did anyone else find the small slope just prior to the finish somewhat of a shock after the flatness of the rest of the course ?

    I would rate this event as one of the best I have completed this year and saying that I have run over 40 .

    Yes I did notice the vociferous and noisy red - wigged family. The support on the day was brilliant and I take my hat off to everyone for maintaining the enthusiasm whilst such a large field passed by.

    Definately one to be repeated.image

  • Ran the first one of these but haven't managed to get in since, the south is over populated I guess!!! I will have to stay up North I guess. But I must say it was enjoyable to run through London and see the sights from the river and the parks were scenic though got a bit boring after a few miles......... image How many ran this year?
  • This was the first time I've done the Royal Parks and I was not disappointed; good organisation and a nice flat course that showed London at its best.

     My only big moan is about the last few miles being very congested and having to fight through selfish walkers (I won't call them runners) who decided to walk along chatting two, three or four abreast, blocking people from getting through.

     Some walkers also had headphones in so even an 'excuse me' was useless and a shove was required.

     The paths towards the end are narrow, so there needs to be signage encouraging walkers to stay to the side or on the grass - and headphones should be banned (at the risk of opening up an old debate...yawn). As I went with one of the later waves, I was running through the stragglers of earlier waves who had either gone off too fast or over-estimated their fitness and the paths were just not wide enough to cope.

    That said, I was happy with my time and enjoyed the race a lot.

  • I don't think any one event can deliver on every front Octopus. Living where i do (in the middle of nowhere), I get to enter my fare share of 'races' - ie just a couple of hundred club runners, and  there is b*gger else to do but run yr fastest.

    I actually loved this for the experience, the spectacle, and for the sheer body of quite unlikley people covering the distance in the best way they could. Even if it did make for difficult overtaking ( and it did). After  a while I gave up and went with the slow flow tbh. Their successes are just as interesting to me personally than some decent club runner knocking 2 minutes of his pb - in fact, more so,

    A great family day out and I think the best fun my kids have had waiting for me to chug round, and then we spent the afternoon down the road in the science museum - bliss!

  • I think I saw you and your kids Mittybob! This was my second half and slower than Brighton in February. I found the start a little chaotic with massive queues for the loos and baggage area and not enough signage for the funnels. But the crowd support all the way around was awesome and the course was amazing.
    I have to second Octopus that the course got very narrow at stages especially when narrow park paths were cordoned off so that you could not even run on the grass beside them.
    Also, given the race's ecological credentials, the lovely bamboo shirt, wooden medal and fair trade bananas it seemed that the the water bottles/lucozade bottles were very big and everyone was throwing them away after two or three sips. Even if they were all recycled it seems a waste not to have smaller bottles/some other more ecological option?
    Lovely day though, and the atmosphere was brilliant.

  • The Royal Parks HM is my fave event, not least because it's also my most local HM. It's just over a mile walk to the start from where I live, so I consider myself very lucky to have it on my door step.

    I've run it twice before, but didn't get in this year as they'd changed it to a stupid ballot, but managed to get a place via the Telegraph.

    I was quite excited for the race, but my legs weren't as fresh as they could have been as I'd run the GNR and pulled a hamstring. It was a good warm up walking to start.

    I was hoping to beat my PB, but started around 9 minute miles to test my legs. I love the RPHM because the route is so lovely, it really takes my mind of running. I wanted to follow the 1:50 pacer, and knew he was behind but couldn't see him for ages.

    The first half went really well, but a little bit windy at times. Ran back into the park and picked up the pace to try and make up some time, but kept feeling my hamstring tighten up.

    The 1:50 pacer overtook me, and I managed to keep up with him, so I thought I was on track to do my PB, but at mile 11 realised that the 1:50 pacer wasn't on time, so was a little disappointed not to be able to do my PB, but I couldn't have run any faster and I did my best, and ran my fastest miles between 9 and 11, so was pleased to come in at 1:54:27. My second fastest HM.

    The event was really well organised, as usual, but I agree about  the congestion towards the end, it's a little difficult to navigate. 

    RH - I agree about the slight incline, it's a killer on my legs at that stage in the race! 

    msc - I think just under 12000 ran this year.

  • Hello all 

    Great race indeed, London sightseeing was cool and the organisation was very good.

    We were lucky it just stoped raining an hour before the race started.

    Enjoyed seeing all the charities on the side cheering up people. My family was there as well to support me so that was great!

    The wooden medal is a very good idea.

    Finished in 1:37:15 (chip time), so quite happy about it, although I didn't improve my PB this time (1:36:41 at Run to the Beat two weeks ago but I hear that RTTB was a slightly shorter course, so who knows...)

    Will definitely try to be back next year!

    PS: Does anybody feels some post-race mild depression right now? The "Running season" is basically over for the winter and there won't be much races before March/April 2012 now....

  • Well done everyone! Sounds like you all did really well. image

     The first 5 miles went really really for me. For the first time ever in my life I did not set out too fast and was running bang on my planned pace. Rather unfortunately as we were coming back into the park I started getting some tweaky pain in my right knee and by mile 7 I couldn't run on it any longer. Very classic ITB pain, but I could not run through it even with a run/walk strategy. At mile 8 I grabbed an ice pack off the medics and iced the knee and tried to release the tension inthe ITB for 15 mins. Set off again and discovered I still couldn't run on the knee. I tell you what, walking that last 7 miles was a lonely experience. By the time I got over the line my knee was beginning to lock every few steps and there was some fluid building around the knee. After a sit down with some more ice and some more ITB massage I was able to get the tube/train home.

    Today I am fully recovered, not even a twinge on the stairs. I have never had a problem with that leg/knee before, not even a twinge. I felt good during the first five miles and it came out of nowhere. To say I was disappointed is putting it mildly, although I managed to work through most of it on the walk to the line...mostly! Only one photographer caught me grimacing.


  • PG3PG3 ✭✭✭

    I saw the red wigs and thought they were ace.  Good supporting image

    I thought it was great, really enjoyed it although no where near enough toilets (as usual) at the start.  I ran for a while with the 2h10 pacer but he put in a very fast mile about 6 so i stayed back.  Finished in 2h12 which is great as I had a baby in Jan and I only usually run 2hrs when fit.  The pacers were lovely but I am not sure that they were as polished as some of the other events (London, Reading). 

  • Great course - running past Big Ben and down the Mall bought a huge smile to my face, and running along some of my regular training routes with the addition of hundreds of supporters cheering and shouting encouragement was a brilliant experience. Even the drunk hecklers outside the Walkabout just before the first Lucozade station made me smile, especially when they ran alongside us for all of 10m before turning back round and going for another pint.

    The weather was perfect, I was the only person in the office cursing when we had the freak heatwave 2 weekends ago.  I also loved the wooden medal and the abundance of Foxes biscuits image 

    I will definitely be back next year, assuming I'm lucky with the ballot.

  • I was there, it was fun. I said before I started that I wouldn't run again (was there to support a friend), now I think I might take up running image
  • I loved it, was a lovely day, great course and very well supported. My time wasn't brill as my knee started at 7miles or so and by mile 11 it was all I could do to hobble, however, It's completed, the injury will mend and I have a bench mark to beat.

    I didn't train properly and have never been a runner, but I know I can do better!!

    All in All

    A very excellent day
  • You've definitely got the bug Arno!

    Depending on where you live there may well be races in Winter - I have a half in Jan already booked, and waiting for one in Feb to open any day now. There are lots of shorter santa/ pudding dash races if you fancy that. Check the events search thingy on here.

    A 'friend' is trying to persuade me to run Preston half on Jan 2nd, but that may well prove out to be a race too far, coming so soon after xmas and new years!

  • Thanks gym'n'tonic, I must have the bug indeed!

    yes good idea, I should definitely book a few races right now, even for early next year! that will keep me going through the winter. There is actually a 10k in november close to where I live.

    Jan 2nd...well good luck with this one if you do it!

    Royal Parks Half pics are now available and there is also a nice video of the finish line!

  • My first half marathon - really enjoyed it, although the final mile felt like the longest mile ever!  Being cheered on by a great crowd of friends and family really helped, especially as they kept reappearing at different mile markers - one of the joys of running in the parks!  Definitely want to try that distance again; just got to keep going through the winter months.  Thought the whole thing was very well organised and a great atmosphere.
  • I was there. It was a great day I thought.  My time was a bit pants- I was hoping to beat my only other HM time of 2:11 but I only managed 2:14.  However I think I set off too fast... and possibly was a bit de-hydrated. Otherwise I thought very well organised and scenic.  My family came to support and hubby was moaning that marshalls wrongly directed him to the 11-mile mark- it turned out to be 6 miles (I think) so they missed seeing me at all...

    Kids loved the chocolate biscuits afterwards tho...image

  • mmm maybe the 6 and 11 mile markers were v close to each other on the course - given the laps of the park thing??

    Definitely the best race for (young) spectators I've ever been to.

  • its a great race. I have fond memories of the first two years.

    I wish it wasn't a ballot now, I'd love to do it again and would prefer a first come first served system that rewards patient, keen people willing to endure hours trying to log in to a constantly crashing website.

    and there should be more half marathons in London. It's ridiculous how few there are - hence high demand for this one.
  • threadkiller!
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