Hampton Court not quite a half marathon 2014

WombleWomble ✭✭✭

So it was the first year of this event but it was organised by experienced people and there were a few issues.

Good points:

Scenic, fruit at the end, mars bar in goody bag, local (to me!), flat, lots of portaloos at start

Less good points:

Short course - opinion seems to be 0.4 mile short which is generally thought to have been at the beginning

Congestion getting into baggage hall at start - meant that race started late

Course congestion - some of the paths just aren't wide enough for the organisers' aspirations

Congestion at finish to get fruit/medal/goody bag - thank goodness it wasn't cold or raining

Marshalling a bit hit and miss - some dodgy junctions in the second half needed marshals but had none; a lot of young marshals who really seemed to have no idea

Baggage collection insecure - find your bag and take it away, or pick someone else's

This event has potential but needs a few fundamentals sorting out. I felt sorry for the people who thought they'd done a pb - the course has real pb potential if it's the right distance.


  • the worse thing for any race on road is if it is short....

  • WombleWomble ✭✭✭

    Yes, there were lots people going "Oh I've done x.xx" and of course they had, but not for a half marathon.

  • I think the marshalling was the main problem.

    There were lots of nice marshals who gave a lot of verbal encouragement, but didn't seem to know that they are also supposed to take an active role. They didn't really indicate the right direction, or help at all at road crossings.  There were one or two places where the motorists were getting quite irate, and the marshalls were just standing back and not giving runners any guidance.

  • Why do you think that the course was short?

    They are usualy measured. 

  • WombleWomble ✭✭✭

    Theory is that we turned back too soon on an out and back loop which was there to make up the distance In the first two miles. To me that means the lead bike/vehicle didn't know the course well enough. No-one I've spoken to saw the 2 mile marker.


  • I remember when cardiff half a few years ago was short......it was taken off the power of 10 extra and so no PB's counted.....a real shambles for a major race,..the had to make a slight adjustment to the measured route and didn't bother remeasuring or moving the finish line back


    trouble with marshalling road junctions is that marshalls have no legal rights to stop the cars.......which is why most of the club run road races around here stopped

  • WombleWomble ✭✭✭

    Another plus point for HC - pretty decent medal.

  • so any GFA times will not count.....or PB's......a waste of a mornings running for those taking part



  • PG3PG3 ✭✭✭

    I'd be really annoyed, especially if I had run a PB.  I think the same thing happened at Brighton half last year or a few years ago.  You pay for a HM and that is what you expect to get image

  • good points - decent medal, scenic course, choice of fruit at the finish and plenty of it. Cannot say I had an issue at all with the marshals. Public support was good. timing chip attached to the bib rather than a shoe chip which I prefer. Plenty of water stations

    Needs work - facilities were poor, long queues for loos meant getting stuck near the back of the start, HQ very cramped and difficult to move round - mostly down to the poor baggage drop. The start itself no real effort to put people in the appropriate starting zone for them so very congested. The finish area, again very cramped and chaotic. Any congestion on the course could easily have been solved by starting each pen in waves and runners being sensible about where to start.

    A shame that it ended up being a bit short - hopefully an error they will learn from. Really annoying if you were looking for a PB.

    On the other hand I did quite enjoy the section along the Thames and with a few tweaks at HQ this could be a really good event. I will certainly do it again.

    The first mile marker I recall seeing was mile 3

  • Scotty. wrote (see)


    Short course confirmed image

    As apologies go, it seems a little lacking in feeling. This was one of 3 events I looked at entering yesterday and I got lucky as the other 1 I chose not to do was also a short course.

    It's pretty poor, and it must be disappointing for anyone that targetted it.

  • Disappointed in organisation.The start lacked atmosphere. There was no decent PA system and no music or count down to fire you up. Although the route followed the Thames, in many points, the race followed narrow pavements and runners were forced onto busy roads in order to overtake other runners. There were over 2000 runners. This was too many.  The fact that this half marathon was short by .4 ml made the race a disaster for anyone aiming for a PB. Organisers have admitted the error but as yet have shown no intention to refund runners entry fees. Yet they did not provide what they advertised.  It will be interesting to see how they respond. Good points- nice medal and goody bag. Potential to be a fast race but route needs rethinking and marshals need to be briefed well.

  • you will never get a refund........it will be in the small print.the most you could expect is a discount off next years.....

    but would you trust them next year again if it was a target race

  • Oh, I think that's one mistake they won't make again!

  • I would also agree about the nice medal, and excellent public support around the course

  • My opinion was the organisation at the start was not great, resulting in the start being delayed.

    First few miles of the course needs amending, far too crowded.

    Pretty angry that they made such a school boy error resulting in approx 2500 runners, not being able to run the full distance.

    Would I do it again,not sure?Improvements would need to be made?

    Does have great potential for a PB and great medal!
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