In short: Great Value for Money In full: The start of the race was very well organised. Last year there was a bit of a bottleneck at the start, however the organisers dealt with this by opening up both sides of the Headrow this year.
There was course generally was undulating and there was quite a steep uphill part for the first 4 miles or so. Throughout the course there were enough supporters cheering everyone on. I think that the lack of supporters mentioned were only in places that could not easily be accessed by the public. The Police were even cheering runners on at one point. The finish was well placed and there was enough room for my family to get a good spot near the finish and take some decent pictures.
This is the second time I have done this race and I achieved a new personal best. For a half marathon, I think that this race is excellent value for money and I will definitely be coming back this year. My only criticism is that there were no energy drinks this year, however I am not sure if Asda were one of the sponsors this year as they provided the drinks in 2012.
In short: Good city marathon In full: The organisation and marshalling of this course in general, was excellent. It was all for a great cause and the value for money was also decent (£30 for a T-shirt and medal and £22 early bird prices for next year already).
It was an undulating course, but I would say there were more downhill/flat parts than uphill parts (some of the uphill sections such as 2.5 right through to 4 miles were tricky) so there is the potential for a PB and it would also be good for a beginner.
Although the atmosphere at the beginning and end (around Millennium Square) was amazing and the crowds were fantastic there, away from this it was very much like a training run. There were very few areas with any crowds and at times you could run over half a mile without seeing spectators. Being a city run too - although you were running in a coned off section on the road, very few roads were actually closed so you had traffic going past in both directions.
The parking situation was excellent. The Woodhouse Multi-Storey was only a few minutes walk away from the start and priced at only £2 for the whole day. There were also plenty of toilets at the start in both Millennium Square and down on the Headrow.
One criticism I would have though, was the start itself. The runners were ushered very well with great co-ordination... BUT, there was then a 50 minute wait with no atmosphere at all. A mass warm-up took place in Millennium Square and the Elite runners were then ushered to the start at 8:45 - but the race didn't start until 9:35. A woman said a couple of shout outs during this on a microphone time but that lasted for one minute and there also wasn't any music or any interaction of any kind at the start line. It just made for a very boring and long wait. People who had done the warm-up had then long since cooled down.
Otherwise, a good city run and for the £22, I could well be tempted back next year! Date of review: May 12, 2013