We don’t do awards at The Allrounder, but if we did we’d probably put Richmond Half marathon as a front-runner for our favourite half marathon (note to self: look at doing awards). We were meant to take part last year but injury meant we had to skip it. We’d heard good things though and saw hundreds of pictures posted across social media.
The festival, now in its third year, is a lot more than just a half marathon. There’s a 10k, a kids mile, a fitness expo, live music as well as a load of other stuff dotted around the finishers village. It’s a celebration of Richmond, which is good, Richmond is a pretty damn nice place to celebrate.
Perhaps one of the most important things about the race is the fact it starts in Kew Gardens. If you’ve lived in London for a while and never managed to find the time, or, like us, you’re too tight to spend the £15 entry fee. The festival is a great chance to see it. The first 2 miles of the course take you on a scenic route through the tree-lined paths. It’s the nicest start to a race you’re probably going to find.
For the next 6 miles the course heads down the Thames, taking you past some of London’s greenest and most scenic areas, before taken you back through Teddington and Richmond Bridge then onto the finish area at Old Deer Park.
For the most part the route follows the water line so it’s relatively flat, although there are a few minor hills as you come back into Richmond, which is noticeably taxing as you come into the last couple of miles. As terrains go it’s actually pretty tough. The path which leads by the Thames is far from a flat road service, so you need to keep your eyes on the ground to make sure you don’t miss a piece of uneven surface.
And how did our race go? We hear you asking. Well, it wasn’t our finest hour. A long summer spent drinking too much IPA has meant we have a bit of work to do before the big autumn races, but we enjoyed it. If you’re looking for a race to get you back into the zone then you could do a lot worse than one as nice as this. We even managed a sprint finish at the end.
So, if you’re in the market for a half marathon or a 10k then keep you’re eye on next year’s Richmond Running Festival, especially if you’ve never been to Kew Gardens or Richmond before. You could even make a day of it. And if it’s T-shirts and medals you’re after then you’ll be pretty pleased with what you get. A specially designed Nike technical top and a frankly beautiful medal with a bottle opener built in. That’s right, a bottle opener. In fact when we do have awards, Richmond Running Festival is current lead for medal of the year, easily.
For more info about The Richmond Running Festival head over to the website here.