In full: Being a Brummie, I was well disappointed in this years race, the starting block was far too narrow for many racers to pass through as the congestion of runners built up quickly, leaving people to stop and walk and dodge around a couple of corners before properly getting into racing stride. Secondly the roads were narrow and there were a few falls along the way. One major concern was the amount of spectator safety, coming down a hill, left on to Pershore road there was a old lady standing the corner where runners had to avoid colliding into her, I missed her by an inch. Finally at the end coming on the finish line it was congested, and I had to wait about a minute to get past the finishing line. The Tag collection was in the wrong place which bottle necked the finishing line. Three years and three different routes, hope they get it right next year!
However the Drinks stations were well manned and had enough drinks for runners and the Spectators were fantastic, Us Brummies are very Hospitable. Date of review: October 24, 2010
In short: Sort out the start and finish and its a potentially a great run In full: Start was a mess - people of all abilities mixed up, absolutely no-one manning the entry points to the coloured sections made having a predicted time placing a complete waste of time. Thankfully did not have to queue to complete the race but the congestion at the beginning (race started everyone starts to run, then everyone stops due to the bottleneck first corner!) definately cost me a pb. Great support from the locals and if start and finish sorted out, will give it a second chance next year. Date of review: October 24, 2010
In short: Enjoyable race apart from the start. In full: Start was chaotic. No clear definition of different coloured areas. Also got 13.3 miles on garmin, as did 2 others I was with. 1st mile was out. Parked on the side streets - free, short walk to start. Fast course except the hills near the end. Took me by suprise. Good finishing straight along Broad St. Managed to finish before problems at finishing line.
In short: Should be called the congestion or bottle necked half marathon In full: The organisers made no attempt to segregate moderate runners from slow runners or walkers. They also allowed vfar more entrants than would fit onto the course. I waited 15 minutes to start band then after crossing the start I was held up for one and a half minutes in a standing crowd as we tried to get round the first corner. I was overtaking slow runners and walkers for the first 9 miles. Yes 9MILES !!!!!!!!!!
Once we got to the finish it was almost impossible to cross the line for all the queuing runners.
This course should be limited to around 3,000 runners, they allowed over 14,000.
On the other I did enjoy the bands along the way. Date of review: October 24, 2010
In short: Sack the race director!!!!!! In full: Parking a nightmare - access to car parks closed at 7 a.m but appear to have opened later. Absolutely awful start, people mixed in the pens - free for all and extremely dangerous. Finish was horrendous, never had to queue to finish a race before. When you've run 13.2 miles and are on for a p.b. it's soul destroying to have to queue to cross the finish line. Despite this somehow managed a p.b. Thank you though to the people of Birmingham for your support, it was great. Would I do this race again - not unless I get a public apology from the race director - heads should roll. Date of review: October 24, 2010
In short: Queues at finish line ruined it. In full: All of of the other problems are overshadowed by having to queue at the finish. This was my 13th 1/2M and I've never encountered that before. Date of review: October 24, 2010
In short: Poor organisation let this race down In full: Poorly organised from start to finish. Chaos at the beginning as people were not in the right colour groups and were all mixed up, hard work to push past people to try and get to the right 'pen'. Race didn't start on time and once over the start line it was walking for the first quarter of a mile due to the volume of runners and a narrow route around a bend right at the start. First 5 miles were difficult again due to the number of runners - tripping over people's heels and weaving in and out - probably due to the confusion at the start and everyone being mixed up rather than in their predicted finish time order. People were walking from the first mile onwards. The worst part was the finish where the was such a queue to pick up the foil blankets that the runners were queued back over the timing chip mat so those who were coming in to the finish couldn't actually run over it and their time wasn't recorded. The route itself wasn't too bad, a few tight corners that were difficult in large numbers and a couple of steep but short hills. Date of review: October 24, 2010
In short: Beginning and end were terrible, but the middle was great In full: Start and finish were shambolic with ridiculous bottle necks which should have been obvious and avoided by the organisers. The finish bottle neck in particular was made much worse by an official just over the line making runners stop to remove their chips - when the people manning the chip removal benches further down weren't doing anything! atmosphere along the route was good, great bands and general support, and Canon Hill park was a nice bit of greenery. Kudos to the goody bag - Buttons and Caramel! - nice to see the local business reflected in it! Date of review: October 24, 2010
In short: Could have been better In full: It's been my third one and regretably the worst one. City centre start / finish is nice but does not cater for this number of people. Congestion at the start and (for those finishing in 2hrs+) at the finish. People were queing to finish line. Reversing the start would be good idea and then come back the same way. Don't realy know what was that about with going forth, back and left, right just before Hagley road? Some complain about mile 10 -12 hills? I think these were not that bad. Anyway, decent medal to tell the grandkids about. I will give it a try next year but I expect city council to listen to runners suggestions. I am going to send them an email but they are not too good in sending rsponses. If it doesn't improve next year I will not attempt any more. Sad but true. Date of review: October 24, 2010
In short: cued 10 minutes to get over the finish line !!!!!! In full: shame to give this race such a poor review because it wasnt so bad- but to have to cue for 10 minutes at the FINISH line -(to actually cross the finish line - that is )!!was unacceptable . chip timing was rendered inaccurate and some of the runners who had finished were in need of medical attention but couldnt cross the finish line because they were stuck in a mass of congestion. come on birmingham this is both dangerous and unacceptable Date of review: October 24, 2010