In short: Good race but overpriced In full: Overall good race with great crowd support in last half, not so much in first. Some great scenery. Not as flat as they let on. A few course bottlenecks but not a big deal. Well organised. This race is sadly in decline. There used to be 16000 runners but now only 8000 pay the overpriced fee. Date of review: September 24, 2014
In short: Beautiful Rock Climbing Scenery In full: This was my first half marathon (and I don't live in Bristol) so I will try to give a thorough review. :D The race pack I received had my race number, a chip, information booklet and a tag for my bags which arrived about a week before the run.
I had a bit of trouble finding the location of the race at first (Bristol is pretty hilly!) but once I found it everything was within walking distance. I arrived really early, around 8 am and at that time there were only a few people around. There were no queues at the baggage drop area or the portaloos at that point.
Before the race we did a short warm up which wasn't too intense which in some runs they can be. There were no delays at any point starting the race as there were two starting times at 9.30 and 10.00 AM.
The location of the HM was brilliant, for the first 8 miles or so we ran along this rock climbing scenery which looked really beautiful. After that we ran on roads around the town centre (I think). It was pretty hot at some parts of the run but the weather wasn't too bad overall. There were plenty of water stations (4 of them if I remember correctly) every few miles but also two gel stations in between. There were mile markers at every 2 miles at first but towards the end it was at every mile. There were also signs that showed when there would be a water/gel station and portaloos. There were only very short queues for the portaloos if you did have to go.
I wouldn't say this HM was hilly, but at some points there were some short inclines so it wasn't as flat as I expected. But if you are a first timer, the inclines aren't too bad and there are just as many downhill bits so there is a good balance. :D
At the end of the run you were given water, a foil blanket, a medal and lastly a good bag. The medal is nice and sturdy and has a good design. The goody bag contained chocolate, some sort of cereal bar I think it was and some energy tablets sample. The t-shirts are pretty decent but the sizing could have been done better because it seemed like they were sized for men. Some fruit in the goody bag would have been good though.
I can't fault the organization, it was excellent. The racemakers were very helpful at all times and the crowds were awesome too (just generally lovely people in Bristol). I would definitely do it again if the entry wasn't as pricey. Date of review: September 23, 2014
In short: Good first time half-marathon In full: My first ever half marathon, so wanted to run it in my home city. I wasn't disappointed. A great atmosphere, massive crowd of runners, loads of spectator support on most of the route. Lots of live music along the side of the road - the best of which was from unofficial people who just turned up to create entertainment. Was a bit frustrated that the route was so congested in a lot of places, and for the first 8k or so I felt quite hemmed in behind groups who it was hard to get around. Ace medal, but really rubbish goody bag and standard men's (sorry, 'unisex') t-shirt for all runners. But overall, a really nice race for route, atmosphere and support - and I will definitely be doing it again. Date of review: September 22, 2014
In short: A well-organised enjoyable event In full: My third Bristol Half, but first one for 4 years. Really enjoyed it. Friendly atmosphere, slick organisation, fast course, lovely weather, what's not to like?! I'll be back again. Date of review: September 22, 2014
In short: Very poor goody bag - In full: All good - But for the goody bag - For the cost to entry why was there no drink, banana or something worth eating in the bag?? I will be back next year because I have done 26 now so I do not want to miss one. Date of review: September 22, 2014
In short: Third time running this fantastic race In full: 2014 was my third time running the Bristol 1/2 and it was just as well organised and friendly as the other times. There's always a real carnival atmosphere and the people of Bristol should be proud of the buzz they help to create by lining the route through the city centre and cheering on the runners. The route is very beginner friendly - there are no real hills to speak of (apart from a few bridges that cross the Avon) and the views of the suspension bridge and the surrounding countryside are fantastic. The weather was really nice so that helped, but Bristol is one of my favourite races and I'll no doubt be back again for 2015! Date of review: September 22, 2014
In short: Fast, flat(ish) and excellent organization In full: Along with Bath Half, this is my favourite half and is now a firm fixture in my annual running calendar! Its exceptionally well organized and theres plenty of parking in the city centre. The bag drop is easy to find and theres never a big queue. The course itself is mostly flat with only a few small inclines and it always seems to fly by. Theres plenty of refreshments along the way to keep you going and again adequate toilet facilities. The medal is always a good one and the young volunteer Marshalls (I think they are army cadets?) are always friendly and professional. No complaints from me and my running buddies! See you next year! Date of review: September 21, 2014