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'...
In short: Good for first HM / killer hill In full: The organisation was really great the split holding pens meant you were in a run of 20000 people but it never really felt like it. Everything from the sign posting, bag drop start, finish zone and meeting points ran like clockwork.
The scenery was not really much, once out of the city there was a lot of drab buildings and houses but I guess a lot of cities suffer the same. The bands were a welcome relief and well appreciated and it is really well supported the whole way round.
The hill at the end was the only major negative but as others have stated it probably adds a bit of spice. I would like to return soon just to conquer that sucker.
In short: Well organised big city race In full: First experience of taking part in a race of this size, so can’t compare with other events with so many runners but I thought the organisation was excellent given the number of people involved.
Positives Good communication ahead of the race Easy access to the start pens Well marked-out course Water stations well placed and easy to collect from DJs and bands dotted around the course Good support from the people of Birmingham Three climbs of varying degree which provided a challenge without being complete killers Broad Street made for a great finishing straight Well organised finishing area and decent goody bag
Negatives Not unique to Birmingham but a few too many who had been over-optimistic about their finishing times and should have started further back in the field. I was in the second orange pulse and things got a bit crowded along the two-way section just before Bournville. However, most of the course was wide enough for this not to be such a problem elsewhere.
Not sure I’d rush back to do it again, but that’s nothing against the race or the city, just think I prefer the smaller events which are perhaps a bit more personal. Good experience though.
Would therefore recommend this race to anyone looking to take part in a big city centre race.
In short: First 'Great' event. Enjoyable but not really 'wow' In full: This was my 11th half and my first 'Bupa Great..' event. As it's the biggest race series in the world, televised live etc, I expected a bit more going on and bit of a 'wow' factor, but didn't think it was much different other big city Half Marathons I've done.
Got a place last minute from someone who dropped out and ended up in the Pink (last) wave so even though I was pacing for my brother-in-law doing his first HM, there was congestion pretty much the whole way round as we were aiming for just under 2 hours but this is understandable. Found the scenary quite dull with a good 80 percent of the run being on main roads without many major landmarks / buildings. The bit through Cannon Hill Park was a welcome change of scenary.
The hills made it a bit of a challenge and put any chance of PB out of the question for anyone who's done a few halves before.
Organisation and atmosphere were great. Great goody bag at the end although expect a tech-tee from most big races.
Glad to tick it off the list of races 'to do' but would probably only enter again if my brother-in-law fancied another crack at it to beat his time from this year. Date of review: October 21, 2013
In short: Great city race In full: Did it last year and was very impressed with how it was organised and the route. This year didn't disappoint either. Very well organised. Great atmosphere, loads of spectators cheering you on and bands playing to keep you going.
Plenty of water stations and people with jelly beans/jelly babies to give you a sugar boost. A few more hills then last year, which were a bit energy zapping, but made the race that more fun/challenging
Defo do it next year. Would defo recommend this run Date of review: October 21, 2013
In short: Always well organised big city race. Shows Brum off well In full: I love this race but then im from Birmingham. Well organised with Bupa on board. Despite the masses starting always seems to go off pretty smoothly. Starts downhill, couple of hills, one mild, one not so. I hope they keep them in because thats what kinda makes the race. Gives it that added edge over other big city races. Takes in some decent sights. Alwyas like the loop through Cannon Hill Park with the DJ's giving it a good atmosphere. Seems to get better each year. Long may that continue. Date of review: October 21, 2013
In short: A good race but a tough course In full: It was a good race really but I couldn't enjoy too much because I misjudged the course,set off too fast and then paid for it at The Hill big style! Have to say Brum don't get any prettier does it. Date of review: October 20, 2013