In short: Poorly organised and too many runners for the route In full: I have done Bournemouth Bay a couple of times over the last ten years, and to be honest I've not usually enjoyed it. I run this area 3-4 times a week, and find it frustrating to then run it where there are bottlenecks at the zigz-zags, and then no road closures on the cliff, so you're confined to a very narrow pavement. They don't even block off the parking on the cliff top roads, so to overtake anyone you're running around parked cars into traffic.
This year was no exception - I was hoping for a PB but was walking within 3 minutes to queue to go up the zigzag!
However, I entered this year as it fell 2 weeks before a half i was training for and I was hoping for a PB...
To say the event was a cock-up would be an understatement. Works on the pier meant a last minute change of route - which is bizarre as the works have been going on for some time now and are nowhere near finished so it shouldn't have come as a suprise to the council!
I was one of the runners who got to do an extra 2 miles for free... the council have been saying this is due to a missing marshall on the cliff top but this is a poor excuse. There were no signposts for the route up on the cliff, and one runner I spoke to afterwards said 'we got there just as they opened the gate' - suggesting the route wasn't even prepared properly!
Then, as we all (finally) crossed the finish line you were funnelled into pier approach, expecting to go through to the lower gardens, where they had the t-shirts and medals etc. Except you couldn't get through because the Half marathon route was blocking it off. So to get round you had to go up and over the flyover - I didn't bother in the end (not least because my chip time is for 8.3 miles - so the medal is null and void!)
That all said - this mess up was a one-off. The run is a beautiful route, and a great atmosphere, and a good fundraiser. Its probably good as a fun-run or a beginner - a couple of very cheeky hills to tackle but otherwise flat.
Bournemouth Council just need to sort out the organising as it gets more popular; I doubt many keen runners will take to this event if organisation continues to be as it is.
My one other comment from my husband, who was this year spectating, is that the commentator was awful. Usually at these events you have comments on local runners, other events, speed, time etc. But he kept referring to the 10K as a 'fun-run' and chatting about random weather-related subjects. Very off-putting! (and the run was far from fun for those of us mis-routed).
In short: Disgraceful !!! Don't go near this one again !!! In full: You cant put your club name on an online entry - but at least the entry pack claims there will be "Full route signage and marshalling" - you are joking - and they have the cheek to blame works at the pier for the fact that no marshalls at the right place to prevent nearly 1000 runners doing extra 2 miles !!! They can't even send text messages to right people, or put tee-shirts anywhere near the finish - dread to think how bad the usually poor results service will be this time.
In short: The worst organised race I have ever entered In full: The course was changed this year and it caused a complete cock up. Many of us were sent the wrong way resulting in us running an extra two miles. Not only that but at the first water station only one guy was taking any notice of the runners at all and at the end the girls giving out the medals were wandering around aimlessly so it was luck if you managed to get one. Then finally to get your t-shirt and goody bag you had to go into the local park but this was blocked off by barriers because the half marathon runners were going by. It is so disappointing when you are hoping to run a good time and it is spoilt by bad organisation
In short: Lovely day! In full: Generally well organised, start was not as chaotic as I expected, could do with more time zones. Only criticism is of the office. There was a problem with my entry,the telephone number given is a voicemail and nobody calls back! Fortunately problem was sorted on the day with no fuss. Date of review: April 4, 2012
In short: Gets bigger and better every year. In full: This is an excellent race with great coastal views. The only criticism is the start area which was better organised than previous years but is still congested. Apart from that, great! See you next year. Date of review: April 4, 2012
In short: Excellent Event Yet Again! In full: This was my 4th Bournemouth Bay Half Marathon (sorry could only find the 10K event on here to leave feedback).
This event is always extrememly well organised with so much happening on the day. I like how the races are staggered so there are plenty of people on the course at once.
As the event continues to grow, the organisers must have a look at the start as the line up for the half (and the 10k by the look of it) is getting extremely congested along the narrow stretch of promenade by the pier.
That aside, the atmosphere is great, the weather always seems to be perfect and value is incredible.
I'll be back next year. Date of review: April 2, 2012
In short: Great race, loved it! In full: Lovely race, really nice to run along the coast! tough zig zag! shame the road at the top was open to cars (tho quite hard to close that road i imagine) as a lot of runners had to run off the pavement as they didn't fit!
will be back next yr without a doubt! Date of review: April 6, 2011