In short: Great run, organization could be improved In full: Wonderful morning, great course along traffic free Warwickshire lanes and roads. Organization a bit chaotic at the start, particularly around the bag drop area. Shame as everything else was good, particularly the stewarding around the course. I have done a lot of HMs throughout the country, and one of the best organized is in Stratford just down the road, so the organizers should liaise with them to pick up some tips. Date of review: March 28, 2014
In short: Amazing, despite the huge hill In full: Love this race - this is the second time I've run it and the atmosphere and generosity of the local supporters are just great. There is a big hill involved, but that's kind of nice - you feel like you've done all the hard work by 5 miles in, and you get to run down it later. A nice mix of experienced and new runners, a really welcoming atmosphere, a lovely location, and a nice marquee to wait in at the start so you don't freeze to death! Date of review: March 28, 2014
In short: A good end of xc season race In full: Well marshalled, clear signage, great mixed terrain of open fields and woodland with a warming atmosphere. Definately beginner friendly. My only slight quibble was it suggested spikes would be suitable - given the odd hidden piece of rubble present, I would say trail shoes all the way. Date of review: March 28, 2014
In short: Still getting better? In full: A chilly March day but the crowds were out in force to support their race that raises funds for the Scout group.
Big mix of ability meaning that even average runners like me finish a fair way up the field and even lap a few backmarkers. Not cheap now with the cost of road closures and you only get a medal but the crowd make this race special. So many supporters around the park can`t help but make you run that part of the course way too fast!!
In short: Great course but some organisational aspects poor In full: First time I have done this race and was told the organisation was a lot better than last year. God only knows how bad it was last year!!
Bag drop was appalling, as mentioned elsewhere. Left mine unattended in the end, as race start was imminent. Need to do much better on that. Generally start was very crowded and seemingly fairly chaotic. Also just after the start of the race there were a number of speed bumps in the road, which arrived with no warning whatsoever - a real hazard. I woWould expect a marshall to be alerting runners to their presence to avoid any falls.
That said, once on the course proper, the race came into its own. A fabulous albeit tough undulating and 100% traffic free course. Really enjoyable and worth the entrance fee alone. Good marshalling out on the course as well, including paramedics on bikes (hopefully not needed), which was reassuring
So, in summary, great course, develop that, but organisation at start in particular needs to be much better. T shirt and goody bag a bit meh, but I've had worse - I don't enter for the goody bag. As said earlier, cotton t-shirts are next to useless. Don’t give them out and reduce the entrance fee or up it a bit and get technical t-shirts.
In short: Friendly, fun race, great base and beautiful setting...but not a 'festival ' ;0) In full: Great run, beautiful day, undulating...lovely! Take out the looping road bit? And maybe some mile markers?? Thanks for a lovely day ;0) Date of review: March 26, 2014
In short: Great event In full: Really well organised and friendly event. Good facilities, a straightforward out and back route and some fine sunny weather for a change (even with a cold wind) made this fast, flat race really enjoyable. Date of review: March 26, 2014
In short: Good local run In full: Well done to the organisers for getting 400-odd people through the trap given the late problems with HQ. I found all the marshals really friendly and encouraging on the way round - it's amazing the reaction you get with a simple wave, smile or thank you! The hills were a great surprise/distraction from a pretty flat course but you can't expect a millpond can you? Thanks all - see you next year... Date of review: March 26, 2014
In short: Always good In full: The great thing about the Hastings half marathon is the atmosphere. The other good thing is that whilst there are super fast Kenyans etc this is a real community event. Frankly, as someone who not yet received her charity vest for the VLM yet and who was therefore running for herself it felt a bit lonely as there were so many groups for the hospice, a little boy called Christian who was being pushed round in his wheelchair, a couple of boobs ( yes really) for breast cancer care and numerous other local events and being cheered for . But that is what makes it. There is a long but gradual hill which seems to go on for ever with quite a few little sharp upturns around not he course but all the way you are being cheered and there are jelly babies, jelly beans etcetc offered by supporters. It is great! The other thing is that because it is a community event there are quite a few slow ones at the back unlike some other events where, even at 2 1/2 hours you feel pathetic and frankly that is not horrendous . The last time I did it someone took 8 hours as they had gone to every pub for charity!
Oh the brass memento is brilliant!
Any downsides..... The only one I can find is that I had to hunt for water at the finish. Most other races give you a bottle of water as you cross the line which I could really have done with.i eventually found some cups of water at the side somewhere with spectators all around the table. I also understand there was a cup of tea which I would have liked as I was caught in the hail storm literally as I finished and was very damp and cold....but that aside...a great race!
In short: seaside run with cheerers all the way In full: fantastic carnival atmosphere, bands playing, kids high fiving, old ladies banging saucepans. Hilly course ending up running against the wind along the seafront. Includes everyone from super fast Kenyans to first timers finishing in four hours Date of review: March 26, 2014
In short: Good intentions and overall set up let down by a few key points In full: I agree with several of the other reviews:
1. Start was poorly organised - the megaphone was not working so could not hear the guy starting it. He sounded the siren at one point (which many people took to be the start and so pressed start on their watches) it then became apparent that he was just demonstrating what the start would sound like and about 10 seconds later we were off for real.
Course was the sort of scenery you'd expect in the London suburbs not offensive but certainly quite noisy traffic wise and a number of crossings and turning where you needed to be careful particularly one petrol station entrance/exit which was not well marshalled.
I think perhaps the comments about road closures and pens and signs at the start showing pace for different speed runners are a little harsh. Those things are really only viable where you have a much larger number of runners and charge mnore money.
I do however think that the finish could have been much more clearly signposted for the runners and I'm sure that within the very large Brunel campus that it should have been possible to segregate the traffic from competitors leaving so that it didn't conflict with the runners finishing. I found it quite difficult to drive off the site safely without impeding the runners still finishing. I will come back and give it another try as I think the main negatives are easily addressed.
One big plus was making several sitings of green parakeets which are obviously reasonably common in the area - quite brightened up my day Date of review: March 26, 2014
In short: Great course, great support - shame about that hurricane! In full: First time at this event for me. Very enjoyable, and I'll probably do it again (I travelled from South Wales, so was an expensive weekend once you total up travel, accomodation, spending, and race fee).
Start was a bit chaotic as lots of us found ourselves climbing over walls and fences near the Liver Building to get where we needed to be. I'm assuming I misread a sign or two.
Course was very scenic (and mostly flat) through city streets and then a few parks, great support all the way. The last 3 or 4 miles were along the path that runs parallel to the Mersey, and the wind was VERY strong, which blew away any hopes I had of a PB.
Great long-sleeved technical t-shirt at the end (although I understand that quite a few people didn't get one), we also had water, sweets and an energy bar. Woulda been nice to have all the goodies in a carrier bag, but that's me just nit picking. Date of review: March 26, 2014
In short: Stone-age timing system In full: Not a bad race, but why-oh-why use the same timing system with which they had huge problems at the Leicester Marathon in October '13?? So guess what..?.. timing problems! This time due to "strong wind" (in Leicester it was the rain, apparently...). My chip fell out of the flimsy plastic bag attached to the back of my number during my warm up. Which was fortunate, because I heard it drop, and put it in my glove for the race. If it had fallen out during the race I might not have noticed.
Couple of other areas for improvement - marshalls near the finish should be able to tell runners exactly how far it is to the finish, not "it's not far" - goody bag (specifically medal and t-shirt) wasn't great. Date of review: March 26, 2014
In short: 3rd Year Running the Coventry Half. Enjoyed the new course. In full: Good organisation and plenty of support on the way. The new course is much better as it allows you to run around the center of town. Looking forward to next year to improve on my time. Date of review: March 26, 2014