In short: Great race starting on the bridge, nice run all the way round In full: My only feedback would be that the finish was too crowded - that last hill in should have been for runners only, coming in after 2 hours meant a lot of spectators were going up and down it. Date of review: August 28, 2014
In short: Two countries, one race, over an amazing bridge In full: The inaugural Seven Bridge Half was a great event. Running over the Severn Bridge at the start was awesome and will the return over the Bridge was in the footpath rather than carriageway, it was still special. The event village was a bit cramped but bag drop and medal collection was no more frenzied than other, bigger races. The route was lovely, and apart from one v steep hill, was fun but not too challenging. 3 good water points, and good marshalling. I really hope this continues next year. Date of review: August 28, 2014
In short: Friendly, different and very memorable In full: Would definitely do this race again, had small race friendliness combined with big race organisation. The HILL was a bit of a lung buster (for me anyway) but was able to make up time with nice long downhill section after that. As for PB potential well I took 12 min off my PB and went under 2 hrs for the first time - so really when all's said and done i think I will always remember this race fondly. Date of review: August 28, 2014
In short: Run over a huge bridge down a closed motorway! In full: I really enjoyed it. Nice atmosphere, great views from the bridge & pleasant scenery around the on-land loop Date of review: August 28, 2014
In short: A fantastic alternative to the local big city half marathons In full: Rogue Runs who organised this first Severn Bridge Half Marathon need a medal of their own. I cannot begin to imagine what a logistical and beaurocratic nightmare it must have been dealing with the many authorities and landlords/businesses/locals in order to stage this event. But, the fact that the day went seemlessly (not counting the false start!) was testimony to the fact that the organisation had been done properly. Sure, there were a few areas where improvements can be made however, for a first running of this event they pulled it off Big Style! Highlights? The course for start; when else do you get the chance to run on the carriageway of the original Severn crossing? The land part of the course was challenging and never boring and the terrain just added more interest. The marshalls were enthusiastic and at every road junction ensuring us runners safety. Thank you all. The event village - a nice surprise to find a buzzing area with so much going on (Manchester marathon take note - yours was rubbish and you should be ashamed!) Medal, tshirt, goody bag (that actually had goodies in it not just a wad of leaflets advertising local businesses and other events. The DJ who spun some awesome tunes And finally it was all topped off by incredible luck at having superb weather. Do it again? I'd move heaven and earth to be there next year. Well done guys from someone who attends a lot of races and has just had the pleasure of being at the best one. Date of review: August 28, 2014
In short: Great race. Few niggles but looking forward to next year In full: I really enjoyed this race. There was a great atmosphere, it wasn't too 'clubby' for easily intimidated and very slow runners like me and there were plenty of drinks stations. The marshalls and volunteers were very enthusiastic as well. It felt like a very special occasion, being in the first Severn Bridge half marathon. However I think there were a few niggles - at least some of which would have affected people near the back of the field (me!) more than those at the front. First of all - a more general point that there were nowhere near enough loos. There should have been at least 2 or 3 times as many and maybe in different places. Secondly - the goody bags were great (especially the tee shirt and medal) but bottles of sports drinks ran out before I finished and so did bottles of water. I only had a small amount of water in a cup - and people finishing after me didn't even get that. Not great after running a half marathon. Finally, the final couple of hundred yards was along a narrow path which also took out people leaving the event. If that is the only entrance/exit perhaps a barrier or more marshalls would have been useful to keep runners and finishers apart. The encouragement was lovely but it was frustrating not being able to overtake people in front because of the volume of traffic coming towards me. Date of review: August 28, 2014
In short: A superb inaugural event In full: A decent walk from car park to village,but all very well marshalled and signposted. The runners village itself was located at the top of a the incline at the race finish line, I did take a large gulp, thinking how that would feel on that 13 miles into the run. The village itself was great and had everything that was required. The walk to the start line which was about a mile from the village on thee east bound carriageway was a brilliant touch.
For those questioning why the start couldnt have been closer to the village, that would have meant the finish being further away, swings and roundabouts, I for one thought the start was perfectly placed.
I knew the course was undulating, the hill at mile 7 almost broke me, that said an element of that was my own doing having gone out on the 1st 5k far quicker than I planned.
Great goody bag, including bespoke medal and t- shirt. Would I do it again, hell yes, theres a time to beat on that route now !! Date of review: August 28, 2014
In short: Having done the London Marathon, my top spot is full, but this would be it otherwise In full: Instant classic. Sure there are a couple of issues to sort out such as: 1) Toilets - need more and possibly situated elsewhere as there was a bottleneck getting past and up towards the start line. 2) Central reservation barriers had to be negotiated to get to the start - not ideal. 3) Final 3/400m to the finish a bit narrow given it was the only access point in and out for non-runners and finishers that were leaving. 4) Needs more bins along the route and maybe a few signs indicating these so runners don't dump their crap all over the place. 5) PA system at the start was too quiet for those a bit further back
So, a few minor niggles but as you can see, not deal breakers by any stretch.
The plus points:
1) Fantastic atmosphere, no doubt helped by it being almost an adventure to traverse the bridge for the first time. 2) many marshals. MANY !! Wonderful support all the way around start to finish 3) No switchbacks other than crossing the bridge twice which is actually a bonus anyway 4) Simple route, looks like a lightbulb on the map. Roads were in good nick, one very short area of loose surface to run through (may be an issue in the wet perhaps) but no obstacles as such other than maybe a couple of kerbs but again, they weren't really in the way. 5) Amazing goodie selection that included fruit, water, choice of natures trail snack bars, Jaffa cake bar, lucozade sport, bananas, choice of crisps, plus a wide variety of shirt sizes and of course that unique medal. 6) well signposted directions to the event parking area and very simple to get to from anywhere I'd imagine, excellent marshalling into the available parking area though again, this may be an issue in the rain as it was on a sports field. 7) another mention for the course as the undulations and big hill really added to the fun, the last 6 miles or so are pretty much downhill most of the way too, give or take so for those less experienced its good to know that once you have made it past half way its not going to destroy you :D
All in all, I really enjoyed the whole event, I will definitely be going back next year so long as I'm functioning, I would recommend it to anyone but not, hopefully, everyone otherwise I wont get a place :D
In short: Excellent race, course, organization & great swag! In full: Loved it from start to finish. Magnificent course, starting half-way between Wales & England, some small but testing hills, happy friendly atmosphere, frequent drink stations. This ought to become one of the UK's major races! Date of review: August 28, 2014