Sunday March 24th, 2019
Royal Borough of Kingston races have been run in the past, there used to be 3 distances; 8, 16, 20. Unfortunately this was cancelled, but new race organisers Quicksilver Running introduced the 8 and 16 mile race and this year was the inaugural race. No 20 miler anymore, but they did provide some instructions on the race information for how runners could make it up to 20 if they wanted to.
The race itself started at 8am, (very early start especially as the clocks had changed that night) from the market place in the centre of Kingston. Starting areas/pens had been provided although as I only just got there in time I just joined the back. It is worth noting that both the 8 and 16 mile races started at the same time so it was quite congested to start with. The route was a loop, with the 8 doing 1 and the 16 doing 2 meant the 2nd lap was much better as fewer people were doing the 16. A baggage drop was provided, well a couple of gazebos that were maned. But no changing facilities and Toilets were the other side of the market place and not well signposted. Plus there weren’t many (although there never does seem enough!)
After heading out from the Market Place, we crossed over Kingston Bridge and head up the iconic three mile stretch of the Barge Walk beside the Thames. The race then passes by Hampton Court Palace before continuing through Thames Ditton and back towards Kingston Market Place. Here is the finish for the 8 mile race. The 16 milers will continue to run a second lap before crossing the line. It is worth noting that there is a cut off of 4 hours for 16 miles, although reading reviews afterwards, apparently everything was packed up/packing up after 3.
Once finished you were handed your medal and a small bag with a few bits in, but as you walked through the finish tunnel there were tables with other various food goodies that you could just help yourself to which was quite nice. No t-shirt and the other disappointing thing for me was that there was only 1 medal design so nothing to show that you had done 16 miles as opposed to 8. Nowhere then to get changed and it was cold so would have been nice to have a little shelter somewhere. But you were in the middle of a really nice town with plenty of coffee/food shops so loads of places to grab a bite to eat and a hot drink afterwards. In fact Kingston would be a really nice place to visit when not running.
Not so good Points
Even though there were a few ‘not so good’ points, I’d actually do this race again. It’s very scenic and Kingston is lovely.