Robert Allen

Haywards Heath, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
Member since May 2016

My Upcoming Races

10 March 2019
Surrey Half Marathon

My Completed Races

2018
British Airways Run Gatwick International Half Marathon
2018
The Greater Haywards Heath Bike Ride
2018
Redhill Sprint Triathlon
2018
Ardingly White Bird Triathlon
2017
Ardingly - Swim The Lake

My Latest Reviews

Completed as a first timer in 2018

3.9

Tough bike course

First time doing this race

plenty of parking and easy registration, swim hat and race numbers in the registration pack.

lake was a nice single 750m lap, sent off in waves by age group so not too busy. 

Far distance from transition to bike mount over a single file narrow bridge, so congested start.

bike course is hilly, so not a pb course unfortunately I broke my chain on a climb 10km In so didn’t get to complete the bike course, took a fair time for a support van for a lift and I had walked a good few miles first. Pretty technical and lots of pot holes to watch out for, natural zone to deal with crossing the a25. Plenty of Marshall’s on the course and other athletes flying past with words of support. 

I still did the run course which was a scenic two laps of the lake, water stop on each lap and Jaffa cakes at the end. Decent medal for the finish and chip timed with live tracking.

nothing to speak of in terms of local support on the bike course, bit of support on the run lap as you came through transition. 

decent race and shame I didn’t finish the bike leg. 

Posted on 01.07.18

Completed in 2018

4.6

This is a great local swim

Ardingly - Swim The Lake

I did this race for the 2nd time this year doing the 1.5km option, there is also a 750m and a 3k.

This is a great swim in a lovely location. Reasonably priced and would really recommend. 

Medal, banana and water on the finish. There is also a cafe there for coffee/tea etc. 

Easy registration, nice wide course so you can stay out of the melee of the fast swimmers. 

Def one to do for either experienced swimmers or novices going for a first competitive swim. 

Posted on 20.06.18

Completed as a first timer in 2018

3.5

Nice small event if you like a hilly tri

On the smaller end of events, nicely organised but if you want a big event village this isn’t the one for you. Only about 130 competitors overall in all the races. Not overly cheap and I was lucky to see a discount code on their Facebook page otherwise it would have been quite costly. 

Registration on the day was fine and easy, and the transition was controlled so stuff felt safe in there.

various options available duathlon, aquabike, sprint and super sprint. I did the standard tri, 800m pool swim, 46k bike, 7.5k run.

4 lane swimming pool so takes a while to get through the swimmers, uphill short run then to transition. 

Bike course is a scenic 23km lap, 2 x on the standard. Has a lot of ups and downs and certainly isn’t flat. Is all left turns though, and a couple of sharp tricky turns on the uphills. 

Only really support was at Ardingly College itself for the transition and run course. Marshall’s good no, and no fear of getting lost! 

Run course was very much up and down, mixed terrain grass, gravel and some tarmac. One water stop on each lap (x3 on the standard), no other feed stops on race at all. 

medal is one I’ve seen before at other races, disappointingly is just marked with the organisers brand rather than the specific event, although imagine that’s a cost saving for a small organiser and no other goodies to speak of.

fun race overall and I would do it again 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on 03.06.18

Completed as a first timer in 2018

4.5

1st year

1st year for this race from same people that organise runreigate. There is a 5k option and kids race as well as the half.

medal was same for all events but with different ribbon. 

Registration simple enough and race pack received in post in good time. Bag drop straightforward to use and no major queuing issues. P

Really well organised event as you would expect, water stops every 3 miles. Loads of Marshals and a load of local support, I wasn’t expecting anywhere near that much for a first year.

Busy event village with lots going on. Sally Gunnell and Colin Jackson present for the start. Plenty of toilets and lots of places for a coffee or food. Handy for the post race pint. 

fairly flat course, one decent hill at 14k which hurt! But then good descent to make up for it. 

First couple miles out of Crawley doesn’t have much to look at but then gets into some decent countryside. Got quite packed at some points of the course where it was only single lane closed which bunched up a bit but apart from that course really good. 

good quality medal, race t shirt and buff on finishing. 

Well worth doing

 

 

 

 

Posted on 13.05.18

Completed as a first timer in 2018

3.5

Cheap and cheerful

The Greater Haywards Heath Bike Ride

First time I’ve done this ride, 4 options available 12.7miles, 20.8 miles, 48.2 and 73.4.

price is pretty reasonable, middle 2 distances are £10 early bird and £15 in the run up, slightly more again for on the day entry. Lots of family entries along with the club riders so real mixed field to start with. 

Its a chipped ride, so you get an accurate time at the end there is also a medal. Nothing much else but at that price that’s fair enough.

online registration is easy enough, on the day collection of numbers is a bit of a pain with decent queues! 

The two longer rides have feed stations, I did the 20 this year so can’t comment on those.

its a decent ride once out of Haywards Heath town it’s out into the sussex countryside and ashdown forest. Plenty of signs and quite a few marshals. 

They say you can switch between the routes that are the same price, but the route split was a bit early for me to decide if I wanted to go longer or not. 

Finishes on the broadway in haywards Heath which is closed to traffic on the day. They said lots of entertainment for family etc but didn’t see much going when we finished. 

Posted on 15.04.18

Completed as a first timer in 2017

5

Excellent race, brutal hill at end

first time I've done this race, and only my 2nd half marathon. Very similar in terms of the quality of organisation to the Surrey Half I did earlier this year.

race registration, race pack simple, although wish I had got it posted as it was literally a small envelope with the race number and a short instruction sheet. Informative website, and they had organised loads of local car parks for £3.50 towards charities which was excellent idea and made it really easy to park and get to the venue.

race village was busy but loads of toilets, stalls and various business. This race really excelled in providing entertainment for the kids whilst they waited for me to finish, there's a good park there anyway but they had also put on loads extra. If I do it again might also sign them up for the kids race.

i did the half, but there's also a 10k both this year started by Dame Kelly Holmes. Xempo race pacers, I tried to stick to the 2hr pacer, went off quick and I couldn't stick with him. I wondered why but turns out its a course with plenty of ups and downs so it probably made up for speed lost later (checked later and he was spot on 1:59).

The course starts with a nasty climb then there are a few ups and downs course wise but nothing major until mike 12...loads of support out with sweets etc all the way along. Plenty of water stations and a gel station at 6 miles. Marshall's great plenty of support, lots of cheering and encouragement from them. 

Now mile 12, its a absolute killer. I had 10km and 20km pbs but that hill wiped me out its long and steep and it hurt a lot. That hill has a lot to answer for!!!

top quality t-shirt, medal and a buff on finishing. Might have been nice to get the buff in the trace pack to use for the actual race but no major complaints, also banana on finish and plenty of places to get a massage or coffee etc

overall good race, the entertainment for the family whilst they waited made it a great race 

 

 

 

Posted on 17.09.17

Completed as a first timer in 2017

4.5

Decent lake swim, reckon the distance might have been long

Nice easy registration, have done a couple of hedghogtri events and it's always a straightforward process, plenty of instruction emails. Registration on the day of event also easy, turn up with barcode, get coloured hat for distance simple.

course was well marked nice big buoys, reservoir was a toasty 21degrees.

floating start and then with an exit on a slip, lapped course and number of laps dependent on distance doing.

medal is decent quality, same one as the hedghogtri haywards Heath triathlon with a different ribbon. Got a banana and some jelly beans after the event.

venue is good with changing facilities and a cafe for tea coffee, plenty of parking (£1).

only downside is I heard a fair few athletes reporting the distance as being longer than it was meant to be (up to 3.8km on the 3km) not sure how true this was. Would explain my slower time than expected though so I'm willing to believe! 

Overall nice local event, not too pricey and a good practice event for those starting ows or wanting to test their swimming before a tri

 

 

 

Posted on 28.06.17

Completed in 2017

4.9

Excellent sprint tri for novices and experienced

I reviewed this last year, then it was my first go at triathlon. Since then have done a few other events both and small. 

This remains an excellent friendly event, plenty of both serious competition and novice athletes. Its a club organised tri with plenty of club members out on the course as Marshalls. They are friendly and helpful throughout the registration process and race.

Nice simple online registration, option to collect race pack the day before. Nothing to fault there.

Swim is a snake swim with estimated swim times, marshals indicate when/if someone needs to overtake. Nice decent pool, not sure I'm a fan of snake swims for good times but it seems to work for the sprint.

Bike course is a loop, uphill gradient for about the first 5km then after that pretty flat with some fast downhill sections, this is followed by a run with a water stop at half way point.

quality medal and goody bag at the end, nice barrel of Harvey's ale on the go and a band playing for the finish with plenty of encouragement.

well worth staying for the awards/results they do spot prizes drawing raffle from race numbers and also various other awards so you don't have to win to get a prize. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on 11.06.17

Completed as a first timer in 2017

4.2

Nice race, not sure about the double snake


I completed the standard length race, 768m swim, 35km cycle, 6.8km run. There is also a sprint, super sprint and relay option. Attractive distance as I have only done a sprint before so I saw this as a middle ground to step up to Olympic distance. This was my first time and first time doing an event with hedgehogtri.

registration nice simple process, and I collected my race pack the day before. Usual stickers and clear instructions for using etc, no pre race freebies but that was as expected.

Easy set up for transition, clear marked and numbered place for the bike, race briefing on the poolside. Number order into the pool with a snake swim over the 32m(I think) pool. The standard involved 2 snake swims getting out after the first and walking and starting again. With them feeding you into the waiting queue I think this is the first time they've done this distance and it was interesting, I felt held up on the 2nd swim, had to pull up a few times and wait for the end of the length much more than on the first snake when the predicted times and pacing worked well. Not sure this works for a pool format, wasn't awful but just not ideal. Although that may have been my perception and it's probably the best way in that pool. 

Bike is an undulating scenic lap course, plenty of marshals and well signed. 3 laps on the standard and no aid stations. 

Run course is a hilly lap course with 4 laps for the standard, hard work on the 4th time round those hills! Water station each lap with a finish straight outside the leisure centre. Nice medal on the finish and bananas available 

Chip timing and results published by 7pm, there was also race photographers and massage available post race as well as the leisure centre cafe.

overall really nice challenging race with only 41 competitors in the standard, 70 in the sprint this time. Well organised and I've now signed up for other events by this company. 

Posted on 30.04.17

Completed as a first timer in 2017

3

Fun if you like cold water

Decent fun, and I had a good time.

The course started off with about 50-750m before the first obstacle, then obstacles throughout the remainder of the distance... they didn't seem to have got an accurate measure though as course was nearer 6.5km than 5km and the 10k was actually about 13km.

water events were freezing and there was plenty of mud and falling over. I was doing it as a team and not going for an individual time. I imagine it cuhave been a bit frustrating if you were as some obstacles got congested waiting to cross. This was particularly painful when chest deep in freezing water! 

That said really good fun event, marshalls cheered you on and set in nice grounds. Decent burger afterwards for £4 and a nice medal so all good! 

Posted on 02.04.17

Completed as a first timer in 2017

4.6

Wet, but flat and fast

My first half, so little by the way of comparison.

registration was simple, plenty of pre race info and decent social media sites for any queries. 

Race pack was a simple affair with a number, baggage tag and a neck buff. There was a pre race expo which you could collect from, i didn't go but postal delivery was fine.

Race pack and instructions for the day were decent found the car parks directed easily enough and it was about a 10 min walk to the race.

start was set up well with pacers easily identifiable throughout the pack. Took about 4 mins to clear the start line, but gun and chip timing available so no big deal.

Course is pretty flat, few slight ramps but nothing major. It was heavy rain for most of the race, but still lot of local support out considering and lots of cheering and encouragement. Some of the local pubs you pass had bands to add to the atmosphere.

On return flapjack, banana and a quality medal. I get the impression the effort has gone in to to the medal so if you expect a lot of freebies then you will be disappointed. Live results up straight away as far as I could tell.

race village had a few stalls, but the weather made that a bit of a washout you could get your medal engraved, get a massage that sort of thing. Loads of toilets so no queues, and plenty of places to get a coffee etc 

 

 

 

 

Posted on 12.03.17

Reply from the race organiser

Thanks so much for taking the time to give us a very thorough review Robert. See you on 11th March 2018! Surrey Half

Posted on 15.03.17

Completed as a first timer in 2017

4.6

Wet, but flat and fast

My first half, so little by the way of comparison.

registration was simple, plenty of pre race info and decent social media sites for any queries. 

Race pack was a simple affair with a number, baggage tag and a neck buff. There was a pre race expo which you could collect from, i didn't go but postal delivery was fine.

Race pack and instructions for the day were decent found the car parks directed easily enough and it was about a 10 min walk to the race.

start was set up well with pacers easily identifiable throughout the pack. Took about 4 mins to clear the start line, but gun and chip timing available so no big deal.

Course is pretty flat, few slight ramps but nothing major. It was heavy rain for most of the race, but still lot of local support out considering and lots of cheering and encouragement. Some of the local pubs you pass had bands to add to the atmosphere.

On return flapjack, banana and a quality medal. I get the impression the effort has gone in to to the medal so if you expect a lot of freebies then you will be disappointed. Live results up straight away as far as I could tell.

race village had a few stalls, but the weather made that a bit of a washout you could get your medal engraved, get a massage that sort of thing. Loads of toilets so no queues, and plenty of places to get a coffee etc 

 

 

 

 

Posted on 12.03.17

Reply from the race organiser

Robert, Thanks so much for taking the time to give us a very thorough review. Hope you can join us on 11th March 2018! Surrey Half

Posted on 15.03.17

Completed in 2016

4.6

Great local event

It was my first triathlon so hard to benchmark, but I've done some other sportives etc.  I had a really good time and will definitely do another.  

I was as a first timer especially nervous but the briefing, signage and marshalling allowed the event to go smoothly and I never felt like I would get lost.

The marshals were excellent and it was great to have the names on the numbers with people cheering on just when the boost was needed.

The race starts and finishes at the triangle leisure centre in Burgess hill which is easy to find and has plenty of parking. On race day we were directed to park in the school opposite.

The event caters for about 300ish competitors, transition is on the tennis courts next to the swimming pool. The layout of the start finish and transition has obviously been well thought through. 

The swim is a snake swim with the slowest estimated times starting finish, that can mean a bit of a wait between race briefing and starting the swim. Essentially though a standard 25m pool swim with lockers available to leave kit.

short dash from the pool to the tennis court transition, it was great to be clapped out if the pool and this happened a lot through the race. It isn't the biggest event, but very supportive for a newbie and everyone there seemed to be full of encouragement. 

Cycle is a 25km loop back to the same transition area, bit of a ramp for the first couple miles the. A fairly flat circuit. No feed stops on the cycle but it isn't needed. 

The run is a 5km pavement out and back with a water stop at 2.5km, essentially a flat run. 

There was a goody bag on completion, prizes for winners and a race number prize draw. There were also photographers at various points on the course and free downloads of photos which was an added bonus.

Essentially a great local event that was reasonably price and very well organised by the local triathlon club.

Posted on 17.06.16