In short: Ran the race with my wife . Had a great day. In full: Reached my 70 th birthday this year - also diagnose with Leukaemia. Decided a half marathon would be a good way to celebrate!Chose to run for Cure Leukaemia a Birmingham based charity and persuaded my wife to join me. Followed the excellent training schedules in Runners World August edition. I knew I would be ok for the distance and my wife really put her all into the training. Had an amazing day crossing the line together holding hands. The big hill at 11 miles did slow us but we also passed masses reduced to walking at that point. Date of review: October 23, 2013
In short: Birmingham the 6th In full: Great Organisation, Great Crowd and Support at start and on course and at end. Good value for what you get. Will do it again as done previous 6. Hill at 11 miles really tough and but I say leave it in as gives us all something to moan about. Well done Birmingham and West Midlands you'll be challenging Great North in several years for half marathon title Date of review: October 23, 2013
In short: Well-organised, great crowd support, hills near the end. In full: Ran this race twice now. The big feature is the hill towards the end - the first year it hit me hard, it was steep and went on for a long time, when you turn right onto Charlotte Road (?) and see it climbing up ahead of you, any thoughts of a good finish time quickly disappear. This year I knew it was coming, and somehow this made it easier. I knew that turning right at the top of Charlotte Road meant the hills were over and the finish was downhill. Fantastic finish, great atmosphere, no matter how much the hills have taken it ou of you, you'll be sprinting for the finish.
The extra hill at Sully Park (?) was a surprise this year, I was thinking "I don't remember this, was I fitter last year?".
The hills are difficult, no question, but they're also a feature of this run, and you do get the benefit of the downhill at the start. The race is well-organised, baggage area is brilliant, crowds are amazing, scenery is, well, Birmingham. Would recommend to anyone. Date of review: October 23, 2013
In short: great atmosphere and good organisation make up for a fairly dull route and one LONG hill! In full: As usual Birmingham Half was well organised, roads closed off, marshalls well trained, water stations well manned. Route had changed marginally this year to add in an extra little hill (!). Generally a flatish course except at mile 10 for about 2 miles where the hill goes on and on. That did my calves in but nice down hill last mile helped a respectable time. Nice medal and decent goody bag (and another cotton tshirt) Date of review: October 22, 2013
In short: decent race In full: I really like this race, even the hill didn't phase me this time. Lovely support most of the way-improved t shirt but surely they could a tech shirt. It is out.priced but they sell it out. if you're from the Midlands it's a must do. Date of review: October 22, 2013
In short: Great atmosphere and organisation In full: It's a shame that some of the more picturesque areas nearby did not form part of the route, as on the whole it didn't really show off Birmingham's scenery.
You've all heard about the hills, during kms 7 and 18-19, so it's a bit tough.
Great atmosphere along the majority of the route, thanks to huge numbers of spectators, particularly at the start / finish. A few bands along the way, a gospel choir, and even students playing their music out of their front windows all added to the feelgood factor.
This was the greatest number of marshalls / volunteers I've ever seen at a race, so organisation was excellent. A couple of gripes preventing me giving them 5 stars for this category: No cross-city trains running early enough to get you to the event on time. No signposting of the event start from bus stops arriving in the city - particularly when you consider that many buses were getting diverted from their usual route. You have to get quite close to the excellently organised baggage area, to actually see signs for the baggage area, so if you're not familiar with the area, you might struggle to find it. Lack of clarity on assembly directions and signs (specifically White wave). Long wait in the pen for White and Pink waves.
A slightly pricey entry fee, but it was worth it for the huge organisation involved, and the goody bag was excellent. Contents: T-shirt (you were not reminded of the size requested, contrary to what they say in the info pack) Medal Water (Aqua Pura) Galaxy Cookie Crumble Powerade Foil blanket Eat Natural bar Belvita Breakfast Biscuit Halls XS single mint Power Bar Protein Plus Toothpaste Jointace Gel sachet (missing from my bag)
Certainly beginner-friendly, with plenty of 4:00+ finishers, and oodles of support.
I can see me doing this again, and now armed with knowledge of those hills, push for something nearer my PB. Date of review: October 21, 2013
In short: Fabulous fun, despite those two hills people warned me about! In full: I really enjoyed it, but it's mean to have two hills to tackle from mile 9! Still, the crowd support was brilliant, everything from high-fiving kids to being handed jelly beans by vicars- the famously friendly Brummies do themselves proud here :-) Date of review: October 21, 2013
In short: Enjoyable half, worth the journey In full: Pleasant enough race. Well organised. Splitting the same colour waves is a great idea and helped cut down the inevitable congestion of a big field race. Great crowd support in the city centre. Decent goody bag and good T shirt. Only let down was the blandest medal I've ever received, why not put the same logo on it as on the T shirt? something unique rather that the generic '2013 finisher'...