A picturesque half marathon that acts as a popular warm up to the London Marathon for thousands of runners. Not one for PB chasers but a great race with a friendly atmosphere.
When: Late March, since 2013 (reviewed 2014)
Where: Richmond, near London
Size: Approx 3000 runners
Official race website here
- Make sure you take cash with you for food and drinks at the event village
- Check the start time!
- Take care on the narrow stretches close to the Thames
- Don’t expect an aggressive, PB chasing race
- Look out for the uneven surfaces and train for some off-road running
What’s the organisation and set up like?
Organisation and set up is great. You sign up online and get all of the information you need about the race with enough time for it to sink in and get you motivated.
On the day there are many stewards directing people where to go and where to park although there is good public transport so many runners come from around London on the train. The race starts and finishes a short 5 minutes away from Richmond high street and train station.
What’s the course like?
The course is a pretty one along the River Thames but isn’t great for people looking for a PB. The organisers admit this is not one for elites looking to charge their way around so bear that in mind when you sign up.
Much of the race along the Thames is run on a track which, at times, is quite uneven and narrow. Some 5% of the race is run on grass as well so worth bearing in mind for training.
How difficult is Richmond Half Marathon?
It’s pretty flat so quite easy in that sense but due to the variable surface and the narrow paths, it’s not a course that you can really gun it round. It’s perfect for a chilled-out, friendly first half marathon or for a training run ahead of a main ½ marathon or marathon. Being just weeks before London Marathon, many people sign up to it as a warm up.
How’s the atmosphere?
The support along the run is great – there’s a cross over at the 5 mile and 12 mile marks which worked really well as you get the cheers when you really need them!
What is there to do in the area or after the event?
Richmond is a great town that’s easy to get to from the capital so there’s plenty to do or go to afterwards. As for the event itself there are lots of foods and drinks on offer and also an engraving tent to get your medal engraved with your name and time on the back.
My Race Diary
By Lily Tidy, runner
1st Half Marathon, regular 10km runner
Overall I had a great race. It was my first half marathon and it didn’t get off to a smooth start! We were 10 minutes late for the start, all the runners had gone, all the spectators were walking away and we were desperately trying to find the start line. Luckily we saw a deflating banner where we had our own private start with a very kind steward who even counted us down.
Then that was it the race was on to catch up! As much as this was a crazy and somewhat unorganised start to a race it was great when we started overlapping and catching up with the other runners.
My main aim of the day was to just finish and try to get my time below 2hrs 30mins and I put in a lot of training to get there. In the end I finished in 2:15 which I was really pleased with. Looking forward to the next race!