In short: Awful Start & Finish. I went cold and cramped up at the end waiting 20 minutes to be able to remove chip and warm down In full: Birmingham Race Directors need to go to see how it should be done at Coventry before next year. Won't be doing Brum again that's for sure Date of review: October 24, 2010
In short: Let down by terrible organisation In full: Much preferred this year's route, and got a PB, so there were some positives. That said, the organisation at the start was absolutely shambolic. Having to climb over the barriers to get to the start was utterly ridiculous - having a staggered start, better access etc would solve most of the problems - it's fairly basic stuff. Didn't have any issues personally at the end, but having people queueing to get over the finish line is totally inexcusable.
Shame really, as there's a lot of potential in this race. Date of review: October 24, 2010
In short: Absolute Joke In full: As previously stated this race was an absolute joke. What a waste of time putting a time down and getting a coloured number, people just walking through barrier at start line and getting in the way, and not a marshall or steward in sight to stop them. Should have got the security out of the NIA to marshall as they wouldn't let you tie your laces in there without a "if you've dropped your bag off get out of here". I also didn't realise it was a half marathon steeple chase where you had to hurdle random cones spread across the road in odd places. Please Birminghan council leave running events to be organised by running clubs who know what they are doing.. p.s if you want to do the event again next year just keep your number and join the race at the start line. Date of review: October 24, 2010
In short: A potentially great race; but alot of work needs to be done! In full: Oh Birmingham; you just need a bit more of a runners club touch and you'll be a great half.
I felt that it was chaotic; I couldn't even get on the start line 'cos of the queue leaving the ICC, the marshall had to let us out via the sideline barrier! Thank goodness for chip timing.
The NIA isn't well signposted. I know where it is but I'm from nearby Walsall, so people not from the area will have to hope for the best.
I agree with the comment about the "water 200m to go" kinda signs as suddenly it's "oh crap... water.... quick!" and when there's many runners it causes unnecessary extra congestion.
It gets very tight during bottlenecks but dunno if anything can be done about this.
9am is far too early given the amount of people here; it's supposedly the "Race against climate change" yet the car was the only real route in as the buses are infrequent and 30-40 mins into brum not inc traffic, trains don't start early enough and the midland metro dedicded to do "rail line improvements" during this weekend so you can't even get the tram into town??!!"
On the plus side though the crowds were great and the medal as usual is gorgeous.
I said in the feedback last year and I'll say it again.. like the GNR start it on the Motorway so there's no loads of room so I suggest the A38(M) as it's really wide and by the you hit brum centre it will be more spaced out.
Birmingham City Council; listen to the people; I/we have run ALOT of runs between us and we know what's good and what's not. I appreciate it's difficult to organise such a large event so let our feedback help you and little things will make a big difference.
I'm sure I'll be back, hopefully alot happier next time with the organisation. Date of review: October 24, 2010
In short: crap logistics and organisation In full: I hated the start, many runners with the wrong color standing at the front, I spent the first 7 miles overtaking slow runners that had colors that were supposed to be behind me at the start. There was also a part where the road was too narrow for the thousands of runners and some of us had to join the opposite lane for the oncoming runners! EDF is also a 'green' company, well, all the rubbish produced by this marathon is anything but 'green' Date of review: October 24, 2010
In full: This is the second time I have been stupid enough to participate in this race for the following reasons: 1. The start was shambolic and dangerous. Broad St was packed with spectators barring runners from getting to their start pens. 2. Lack of marshalling both at the start to prevent runners from getting into the wrong colour start. 3. Lack of appropriate marshalling on the course 4 No signage leading up to water stations 5 Inadequately manned water stations (apart from the one the BRATS manned who knew what they were doing), water bottles were still in their shrink wrapping - many runners on the course were helping unwrap them. 6. water stations on both sides of the road and again with no warning meant that bottles were strewn everywhere and I witnessed some runners tripping and falling over these bottles. 7. Narrow roads with tight bends especially with passing slower runners meant a lot of zig- zagging around people, 8 A race of this size ought to have conformed with UK Athletics and banned ipods and mp3 players 9 What a total waste of money for a cheap t-shirt and goodie bag (chocolate buttons, decaff tea bags, a strepsil etc....!!!! 10. Although I didn't have to queue to cross the finish line there was a hugh amount of congestion at the finish -spectators were not prevented from entering the finish area.
There are only 10 observations about this very poor race I would like to know how the City Council could think they could get away with it!
In short: Utterly shambolic In full: This was my 27th half-marathon and undoubtedly the worst I have taken part in to date. The warning signs were already there at the NIA, where the toilet facilities were woefully inadequate for the anticipated volume of runners, and would anyone care to enlighten me as to why the toilets within the NIA complex were off limits to the runners? The security men in place to ensure that this prohibition was enforced was a nice touch though.....
The lack of organisation at the start has already been well documented but it was quite clear that many people were starting much too far forward. The bottleneck just after the start was wholly inexcusable and probably set the tone for the first 3 or 4 miles. Similarly, the bottlenecks along Pershore Road prevented decent progress, but in fairness to the organisers, a not insignificant amount of blame for this should be apportioned to those thoughtless runners who overstimated their abilities to keep up the pace. Like many other runners, I felt I could make up for the early delays in the latter stages of the race and I pushed hard for the last 3 miles. Regrettably, I was in what was probably the first wave of runners to encounter the human wall about 3 metres from the finish line - this was a particularly dispiriting experience and personally, it made a complete mockery of the event. This is the only race of any distance in which I have not been able to cross the finish line, and that's an achievement I'm sure many runners will have experienced for the first time today - much to their disappointment.
Sadly, I don't think I'll be back. The organisers really do need to take a long hard look at what happened today, hopefully they might take heed of what has been written on this website - although I doubt it... Date of review: October 24, 2010
In short: The start and finish were dangerous In full: Arriving in the square at 8.30 I joined what seemed to be a group of runners heading to the start. In fact it was a giant queue going nowhere as spectators had blocked the pavement and route to the start. After a 20 minutes wait one of the stewards recognising the very genuine danger of people getting crushed opened one of the banners. This led onto the black start pen where another steward proceeded to tell us that we were about to be knocked over and how stupid we all were. I decided at this point that this was an accident waiting to happen and went all the way to the back of the runners. The race it self was fine although far too narrow at times and I spent all 13 miles overtaking people. The lack of notice about the water stops meant there were many collisions as people changed direction at the last minute. The finish was just as dangerous as the start. Firstly why did they leave the cones and no entry signs in place near the Novotel? Someone understandably ran into them near me and I suspect picked up a nasty injury. I like many others reached the finish line only to find it blocked and then someone behind on their final push ran straight into the back of me, knocking me flying into other runners. Not only did the start and finish ruin a good race it was only by luck that Birmingham City Council did not have a major incident on their hands due to the complete lack of safety considerations. When I spoke to a steward they said there was nothing they could do as there was no public address system and anyway most of the stewards could not contact other officials. One of the stewards on the line also blamed runners for standing around rather than moving on but this was clearly not the case. Poor and dangerous and I hope that Birmingham City Council issue a full apology and if they ever run an event like this again take on board the comments on this forum. It wasn't that long ago that 60 people were injured in the City due to poor stewarding and planning when JLS turned on the Christmas lights - there easily could have been a similar incident at this event. Date of review: October 24, 2010
In short: Needs drastic action In full: I really hoped Birmingham would stage a great race today - I really did. Having comleted the Great North Run last month, and marvelled at the seemless organisation of 55,000, I had high hopes that my local half marathon would be able to follow suit, developing into an internationally recognised and respected race. After all, if the could host the Tory conference, then what challenge would 15,000 runners pose?! However, the same problems that were obvious 3 years ago are still being allowed to continue. 1. The start was too early - 9AM is not ideal for people getting into the city, especially when there is no sync-ing of the public transport. Runners were still arriving on the bus, along with some of my family, 20 minutes before the start. The warm-up didn't finish until 10 minutes before the start, which added to the throng of people on Broad Street, leading to... Problem 2. The pen system was shambolic - people running late had to climb over the barriers to get into pens, which were then full of runners in the wrong section. This had the effect of congesting the first 2 or so miles of the run. And 3. the route has changed for the 3rd year in succession! No continuity = disgruntled fans. The middle WAS good, and the support from the locals was truly uplifting, but these problems MUST be addressed if this is to ever become one of the top rated events in the country. The city has the potential, but needs to prove it. Year 4 has got a lot to prove! Date of review: October 24, 2010