In short: Apart from Start/Finish congestion issues this was a really enjoyable race. In full: There was no policing of the colour coded starting "pens" so slow runners who decided to run near the front got in the way of faster runners. This was made worse by the narrow streets near the start so you ended up walking after crossing the start line. This is something that can easily be solved next year by having staggered starts and separate pens.
The actual course apart from mile 5.5ish and mile 10.5 to 11.5 was quick so I managed a PB despite being pushed over by some idiot - the anger made me run quicker and numbed the pain but now I'm suffering a bit! Grrrrr
The water/sports drinks stations were well stocked and the helpers were great. It was a good idea to give smaller bottles as no one ever finishes them and it's just a waste.
The atmosphere coming down Broad Street was great and it does have the potential to be a great run in the running calendar but they need to decide if it's a fun run or a run for serious half-marathon runners where they attract more club runners etc.
I will be back next year for sure as it's local to me but I hope they sort the start/finish line congestion issues and make sure runners stay in the right pens.
I've come away with a PB so I'm pleased! I thought the music was better than Run to the Beat's! Date of review: October 24, 2010
In short: A good idea spoilt by poor understanding of how a feature race should be organised. In full: arrive early, was an understatement no trains from Coventry arrive before 9am! next follow diversions to event; would have been helpful if the diversions indicated whether they were for the event or roadworks. The there was the total absence of control in the start area, I ran fro three miles and was still passing runners who should have been in the 2 hour zone, the start route was also too narrow with too many obstacles and poor marshalling to protect you against obstacles in low sunlight. You need to staff the water stations with more volunteers with good briefings; sadly they were unable to cope. those small stubby bottles were to tough to crush if you happen to run over one and an accident waiting. Come on couldnt you find a more attractive course than this one, consider Sutton park loads of space for a great event. I certanly won't be rushing back for this one in the city. Date of review: October 24, 2010
In short: A great race for me as I was fortunate to miss the congestion at the start + finish allowing a big PB In full: I feel for the people having to queue to cross the finish, how frustrating after all that hard work, not just on the day but in the training miles too. I was fortunate to have a green number so was able to run at my pace throughout. The course was quick but that hill at 10.5 miles took me by surprise and went on and on! Overall am delighted with my time of 1hr 27mins. We found free street parking completely by accident having done a couple of laps of the centre already due to none existant diversion signs, but given the price of parking at the NIA am quite glad we didn't make it there! T-shirt and goody bag great. Date of review: October 24, 2010
In full: Overall a good race but they need to sort out the start and the separation of individuals into their timing sections.I must have missed the problems at the end. My real issue is with the distance my GPS said it was 13.3miles, I spoke to two others in the NIA and theirs did also, 13.3 exactly, I can't believe that 3 strangers all have the same mistaken GPS's. Anybody else have the same issue? Date of review: October 24, 2010
In short: you want to rival the Great North Run? Treat your runners better!! In full: can't whinge, knocked 4 mins off last years PB and the course and support was good. but bloody hell birmingham council, terrible organisation! stagger start the colours so it isnt a big, pushing, shoving free for all. and when the only way feasible way to get on the start patch is climb the barriers? (ps, thanks 6ft 4 man for shoving a 5ft tall woman out the way to get over first.) to be honest made me a bit ashamed to be a midlander... Date of review: October 24, 2010
In short: Average organisation, good course with some pb potential, great support and nice goody bag In full: Firstly, I had a great time and can't complain with a new PB! Just thought I'd point out a few issues which need to be addressed for next year's race:
The first was that many runners come out of the NIA at the last minute to keep warm, having dropped off their bags and expect to be able to walk onto Broad Street in a starting position matching their expected finishing time.
This is no criticism of the runners because this is to be expected and similar big half marathons have starting points which enable this to happen (Reading - a big wide road). Broad Street simply does not have the capacity for 15,000 runners. This is made worse when people do not line in up in positions (perhaps through the failure of co-ordinating the colour coding process) which match their ability and the first few miles become an obstacle course!
That said, I did not have any problems with the finishing line and the crowds down Broad Street and generally throughout the race were great. Also the variety of music (from jazz bands to a guy near mile 10 wheeling his giant bass outside his house and playing loud reggae)was well received.
Goody bag was plentiful and the bag-drop and massage services were well thought through.
So, to improve this race with great potential, I think the capacity needs to be limited, the finishing funnel longer, and please don't have photographers camped 30 metres from the start in the middle of the course! Date of review: October 24, 2010
In short: The people running this need to visit a few well organised big rsces In full: They make big Race Against Climate Change green claims for this race but in fact it’s the organisers that are a little green. For instance with a 9am Sunday start it is impossible for people to get in from local towns by public transport > very green. Arriving by car the diversions were fair enough and well signed but absolutely no signs showing how to get to the recommended race parking! The start was chaotic with no attempt to set the 16000 off in waves and many of the narrow bits throughout the race were” every man for himself” with water bottles on the ground a constant hazard. All this could have been forgiven on a lovely sunny day but a three minute standing wait to cross the finishing mat made a mockery of chip timing and I’m sure many pbs were completely spoilt. Come on organisers you have got our addresses; how about a big discount voucher for next year and a promise to sort these shortcomings out.
In short: never had to queue to go over the finish line In full: I thought the actual course was better than the previous three years but the organisers needed to rethink how you section of the roads, particular in section where one side of the road has runners going both ways. Congestion at first water station (mile 3-4) as road was not wide enough for the volume of runners at that stage of the race - runners had not streamed out enough. Equally the start was much better last when when the pens were actually managed much better and had staggered starting times. This year the race started late, then you ran over the start line only to have to stop and walk as the road narrowed straight away. More consideration of how the building work of the new library impacts on the race, needed to have taken place. The goodie bag and the medal are excellent. Having said there would be water at the start area, we could not find any, however plenty of water on he course, but water stations need to be more organised when it comes to where runners can dispose of the bottles... the big dumpsters were too close to the water stations, they need to be about 200 - 300 meters after the water stations and there should be bog signs etc.... I could go on,... I am disappointed because Birmingham the city in which I live and I love Birmingham..... I am sure everyone can learn from this and put it right for next year. Having to queue for over 2 minutes just to cross eh finish line and then basically stand for about 10 - 15 minutes going nowhere was really not good at all. Date of review: October 24, 2010
In short: Some Bad...Loads Good In full: PB potential is there: Big field combined with some relatively narrow sections made it difficult to get a "jog on" for most of the mid table runners. Usual issues with "dawdlers" in parts of the roads(but that happens at most places...). Not enough toilets close to start, and I was OK with finish (but had to stop sharpish!!), guessed it would be bad for those behind. Clearer signs for both water stations and MILE MARKERS would help!!
Great atmosphere on the route - obvious vocal local support and great Marshalls along whole route. Broad Street is a good start - perhaps move it further up the road to allow for the end funnel? Will do it again - having learnt my own personal lessons from this run (As I do with all the other races I enter!!)
Not too bad Brum - not far to go to make this a TOP event. Date of review: October 24, 2010