In short: Absolutely no organisation In full: Similar to other reviews. There was no staggered start, couldn't even get in the time zone areas they had at the start. There was a bottle neck on the course at the start and finish so we were queuing after we crossed the start line and before we could cross the finish line making the chip timing pointless. The whole course was far too crowded, ended up darting onto footpaths at the side of the road. Water stations were poorly signposted so missed most, when could get to one there were too few people handing out the drinks so couldn't get one. There were few bins close to the drinks stations so empty bottles were a massive hazard. I tried to contact the race organisers several times asking if they will sort it out for next year, with no reply, so sadly I won't be going next year and I definitely wouldn't recommend it to anyone. The worst organisation I have ever seen in such an event. Date of review: May 26, 2011
In short: Oh my God can you please sort out the organisation In full: This was my first half marathon and I was shocked at how poorly it was organised. They expect that many thousands of runners and spectators to cram down broad street? I lost my friends at the bag drop, queue for the loos was terrible (thank God most men were [peeing up the walls!) My friend's mother who came to watch got trapped in the start line and couldn't get out (thought she was going to have to run the 13 miles with her handbag etc)and all those people queuing to cross the start line? How demoralising! It took an hour to get from the finish line to the bag drop and back again (a few hundred yards) and everyone queued for one guy handing out foils when there were dozens further down - no direction or organisation. Please Please Please in 2011 start and finish the race in cannon Hill park where people can disperse safely. I really feared being crushed and no runners were able to get into place acording to their speed. I really want to return this year but not if it's organised in this manner. And yes, race against climate change?????? Every one of the 12,000 odd runners and 30-40,000 spectakers would have had to come by car if it wasnt in walking distance THERE IS NO PUBLIC TRANSPRT AT 9AM ON A SUNDAY!!! Work out the carbon footprint on that!! The atomsphere on the run itself was lovely but please get it sorted for this year!! Date of review: April 4, 2011
In short: Could do better In full: Different people to blame for different 'problems' - I didn't have trouble with the toilets - but there wasn't a massive number so I can see why some would complain. The start - well maybe organisers could have enforced the start zones so slow runners weren't far too near the front for their ability OR here's a novel idea give people a colour coded race number and ask them to stand in the right pen - oh I forgot they did do that and as usual at the majority of races people pay no attention and stand where they want. My 3rd Birmingham Half (4 if you count the half marathon back in 1989 (I think it was)) and I'll be back next year. This has the potential to be a great race - lets hope next year it is. Date of review: November 19, 2010
In short: Good run but few glitches to be ironed out In full: Pros - Nice route in parts around Bourneville and through the park - Excellent goodie bag with t-shirts etc and good medal - Semi smooth operation after the event collecting goodie bag etc - Good drink stations with bottles which are easier to drink than a cup - Handy bag storage area - Free massage at the end! Cant complain about that now!
Cons -Not all the marshals knew what was going on, I asked for directions to the start and they didn't know -Start was very confusing, the start area was rammed and I couldn't get into the right time slot so had to wait behind the barriers, wait till the right time came past and then jump in. - Due to the confusing start I got stuck behind a lot of slower runners -Bottle neck of runners after the start, this was very frustrating having to stop and wait after going over the chip line -Parts of the course were far too narrow for the quantity of runners - Not enough toilets, queues were huge for the toilets and the NIAs toilets by the bag check in were closed. - Last 2-3 miles were uphill which was a killer but then again you want a challenge in life! -I'm not really a person to buy photos after an event which is handy as the official photos were ridiculously expensive! -Early start time knocked public transport options on the head! But then its good to have an early start and enjoy the rest of the day after the event.
Apart from a couple of organisational glitches I had a great day, ran a PB and had a handy goodie bag, I had a smile on my face and thanks to the free massage some freshish legs to go home with, as its local(ish) I will be back next year, I'm sure all the glitches will be ironed out by then!
In short: what can i say that everyone else hasnt, organisation in 2009 was great with staggered wave starts , no coincidence it was world half marathon ! i was embarrassed for my local city, sort it out birmingham council, you already have a bad name !!!!!!!! Date of review: November 11, 2010
In short: Magnificent atmosphere and support all the way around the course, quick course with the overall majority on a straight flat, well organised despite people ending after the 2 hour mark having to wait... In full: Alot of people have critised this event obviously because of the troubles with the start and finish - they seem to have forget about the other 2 hours of enjoyment. I thought it was excellent overall! PROS - Atmosphere was electric with bands playing throughout the course and spectators cheering runners on all the way. Good support from sponsors - entertainment such as heart fm and x factor finalists singing at the finish line made it special. Loads of freebies given out and any type of drink you could want. Great location too, easy to get to and with almost 15000 runners parking was suprisingly easy to find in the nia, which doubled up as the luggage drop off point. The route was great too - a nice straight along the pershore road after a quick run around the city centre. It then looped around and went back along the pershore road and went against the other runners for 2 miles before doing a tour of a park and making its way back into the centre to face the uphill roads to broad st, overall a quick half marathon with not too much ascent. Plenty of marshalls and water points all around the course. cons- A slow start thanks mainly to people being in the wrong place - bib colours were given out but people expecting to run in over 2 hours shud not be at the front! Having to wait at the finish for runners finishing 2 hrs + (maybe karma?!) Not enough toilets and i had to go and use walkabouts toilets- almost missing the start Date of review: November 9, 2010