In short: Flat and Fast Half with views Brunel's beautiful Clifton Suspension Bridge In full: I'll put my cards on the table and admit Bristol is my home town, so this review may not be the most objective, but in anyone's book the view of Brunel's bridge in the May sunshine must take some beating.
This race is almost entirely flat with only a few minor inclines therefore holds true PB potential. The support is excellent, both in numbers and enthusiasm throughout the city sections and also along the Portway near any residential areas. The gel and water stops are well placed and efficient. The goody bag is pretty standard but there is an excellent technical t-shirt and good quality medal.
Why on earth the Bath Half is more expensive when you only get running unfriendly cotton t-shirt I don't know... Date of review: October 8, 2013
In short: 2nd time and even better! In full: After enjoying running this race so much last year i wasnt gunna miss the 25th anniversary bristol half.managed to knock 7 mins off of last years time.nice scenery and contrast between the city streets and shops with clifton suspension bridge.great organisation and feel to this race.superb medal and tshirt.ill be back! Date of review: September 30, 2013
In short: Great race, well organised, fast at the front In full: I really enjoyed this race. Never having run in my home city before I wasnt sure what to expect, it's not pancake flat, but is fast, has a good crowd and is a good route (bar the cobbles).
Small tee was anything but though - another bed shirt for the collection! And I dont think gels are necessary in a half, but that's all I would change. Date of review: September 20, 2013
In short: Well organised Big City Marathon In full: Have done Bristol Half every year since 2003 except 2011 and being local, the cost isn't too bad when no travelling/ hotels are required. That said, the club discount brings it down to about £22.00, which for a large half, with all the organisation required, is good value. Thought everythinbg went well on the day, the race pack turned up in good time (not too early to lose or too late to panic) Route is about as flat as it can be in Bristol, without completely blocking off the City. Waves worked well and I found no congestion, starting from back of the red section, plenty of water (didn't take the gels as have not used that make before and did not want to experiment with them in a race!) I will be back next year Date of review: September 20, 2013
In full: This was my first Bristol Half Marathon. The parking advice on the website was a little sketchy leading upto the event. The first real decent bit of info came in the race pack but only offered park and ride which would have left me driving through Bristol to get to the other side. Not Ideal. Would be good to get better facilities and more info next year.
That said the actual race was pretty well run. The staggered start seemed to work well. The run was well marshalled and there were lots of people out there cheering you on. They set up a decent runners village and there was a nice goody bag and T shirt waiting at the end. I enjoyed it!
My one gripe is that I think the water station positions need rethinking. The first was around 2 miles. I think this is too early. But the second was around 6 miles in! How about moving the first to 3 or 4 miles in like most other half marathons? Date of review: September 18, 2013
In short: Great homecoming, very fast race, but was it 13.1 miles? In full: Have been looking forward to this for a long time. As an experienced half marathon runner originally from Bristol I couldn't wait to ply my 'trade' in my hometown. The plan was a pb as the course is flat and the weather turned out to be good for running. I can't really complain about anything with the organisation and the course (perhaps the hefty price was the reason the race didn't sell out). My only gripe - and this may be down to my technology - was that according to my Garmin I ran 13.27 miles. I missed my pb by 58 seconds but as I got to 13.1 on my Garmin I had nailed my best ever time. Throughout the race up to around 9 miles my Garmin was roughly tallying with the race mile markers, but for some reason when I got to 10 it was way out and it took me a couple more minutes to get to the 10 marker. I subsequently felt a little flat when I crossed the line, having believed for most of the race I was at long last going to get my pb. As I said it may just be me and my inferior technology (plus some inevitable weaving on the road) but it'd be interesting to see if anyone else using GPS experienced the same issues. Date of review: September 17, 2013
In short: Beginner friendly with excellent local support, encouraging marshalls and generally a great feel. In full: I had a very good race in spite of a painful injury around the 10 mile mark that left me hobbling to the finish. Agree wholeheartedly with the reviews I've seen here and read many of them before the race to see what I was letting myself in for, and I would encourage anyone else to give Bristol a go!
Only downsides were the lack of enough gels for all the competitors and the attitude of some of the runners. While the gel stations were empty by the time my group came through, there were full sachets of gel dropped on the floor over a mile and a half after the stations, hundreds of them. People had seemingly grabbed a handful and tossed what they didn't want, and it's not safe to go rooting around on the ground for one for obvious reasons. Fortunately my wife and I had brought our own, but anyone who was relying on them having been provided may well have suffered as a result.
Also - the sheer number of water bottles tossed on the ground in the middle of the road was disappointing. I kicked many of them to the gutter to keep people from tripping. Perhaps reiterating the point about being considerate might help?
One of the day's highlights was undoubtedly the army cadets who came to help out. They were cheering, passing out water and gels, high-fiving people and genuinely helping us slower, less experienced people get through. By and large they were a credit to their uniforms.
I'll definitely be back, but the gel issue in particular really does need looking at by the sponsors. Date of review: September 17, 2013
In short: Excellent big city half In full: Did this in 2009 for the first time and back this year for another go. Organisation this year was excellent - the wave start worked a treat. I remember bottle necks in 2009 but there were none this time. Support was fantastic, particularly in the city centre but also in the Avon Gorge. Really nice medal and tee shirt.The last few miles were a bit cruel - you kept on being shown the finish area and then being sent away from it. Had to rely on inspiration from watching a recent Ironman event to grind them out. Aim to be back in 2014 though! Date of review: September 16, 2013