In short: Potential to be a great race In full: Sounds like a rethink on the parking facilities would bump up the overall ratings quite a bit. I got there early as I hadn't booked in advance and was not aware of the queues that others reported close to the planned 9.30 start.
A comparatively scenic course with a touch of undulation in perfect weather for racing. More Worcestershire than Worcester. Plenty of supportive stewards and the water stations seemed to appear like magic just as I started to get thirsty. The end of the race could be improved - a bit like one of those training runs when you're determined to do a certain distance and run round the block until the target's reached (or is it just me that does that?)
Overall, a good experience for me (which seems to be the consensus from most people who got there early) with the added bonus of a much improved PB! Date of review: April 16, 2012
In short: Bit crowded to start but I liked it a lot. In full: I ran this race because unfortunately I had to pull out of the Brighton marathon and it was definitely better than sitting at home sulking. For a new race I thought the organisation was good and it had a nice friendly feel, especially compared to the big commercial races. It was nice to be able to park on the site of the start and finish for what I thought was a reasonable £3. It was also nice to get to use the "real" facilities of the rugby ground as opposed to the usual portaloos before the race. My only slight grumble was that at the start and in the first few miles the roads were a bit tight for the shear number of runners, especially when cars were involved too. But this was soon forgotten as the course wound its way through some lovely villages and country side, and locals came out to give us a cheer. On the whole, I thought this was a good event and I'll definitely be back next year - hopefully to take on the full 26.2. Date of review: April 16, 2012
In short: Some teething problems but great run. In full: Great route, more 'undualting' than expected but I managed to PB - woohoo! Well placed (for the half) water stations with sport top water bottles (a big plus) iso drinks in cups and jelly babies. Good marshalling and pockets of locals cheering you on. A few teething problems which I'm sure will be ironed out next year. Hopefully I'll be there to find out! Date of review: April 16, 2012
In short: Some teething problems In full: The main problem was parking - why not add the parking to the cost of entry or something? Weren't the organisers paying Worcester Warriors for the use of the facilities anyway? The delayed start was annoying, but nothing more. The race itself suffered from a lack of mile markers after 5 miles, and I was sent the wrong way when the half marathon and marathon courses diverged. Having said that, I ran a fast time (the fastest for a good few years) so I had a good day at least. Date of review: April 16, 2012
In full: Bad organisation. My friends gave up and went home because they could not park in time to run in the race (cars lined up from the motorway). It took time for everyone to pay £3 to park which must of caused the delay. With a freezing wind my husband and I went to the start line which took at least 15 minutes. The race was then delayed for about 20 minutes because of car parking problem so I froze as I had not enough clothing, had to go to the toliet (no bush to hide behind (I'm a girl, not nice) and then I felt thirsty.
On the course there was not many mile markers I saw about 5 markers and my husband said according to his garmin some miles were shorter than others but the course was still exactly 13.1 miles. There were cars on the roads. At the end there was not even a clock. The atmosphere was flat and for what I paid for this event I expected better. It was cold and all we wanted to do was to get home. Compared to others I did not think it was worth it and would not recommend this event to a friend. Date of review: April 16, 2012
In short: Good race, poor organisation In full: Others have mentioned the schoolboy organisational errors so I won't go over them again but all are valid.
Overall it was a pleasant run. Hopefully in future years rerouted to include something of Worcester perhaps and maybe a stadium finish?
I'd also like to stand up for cotton t-shirts. I was well pleased to get something I can wear down the pub and did so on Sunday night. I now have so many technical t-shirts I have to run four times a day to make use of them all. Can more organisers revert to cotton t-shirts please. Date of review: April 16, 2012
In short: A decent run, but could have been much better In full: Delayed start was frustrating, 'small' parking charge was a bit of a cheek. Route was pleasant enough, didnt think it was that hilly to be honest, there was one at 4 miles or so which was playful, the rest werent that bad. Let down by the delayed start and the bitty finish, expected better from such a company. Date of review: April 16, 2012
In short: The marshalls were very friendly In full: The start was delayed by 15 minutes as the queue for the car park was very slow-moving, causing a tailback to the motorway. The reason for the queue moving so slowly was a combination of two factors: firstly the entrants were told in advance that there would be 'a small fee', for the car park, but it was not until arriving at the point of payment that the amount of the fee was disclosed, so most cars were paused as their drivers looked through their wallets, about 10 - 15 seconds per car; secondly, there were only two people collecting parking money. A bit of simple maths and you have a flow rate of 12 cars per minute maximum. With hundreds of cars all arriving between 8.30am - 9am, there was never going to be any possibility of everyone being parked before the start time. The parking fee should have been sent out in advance, and if it was the Worcester Warriors rugby club taking the money they should have some idea about traffic and flow rates. I'd be surprised if the local police didn't have something to say about the way this aspect of the event was organised.
Arriving half an hour early I then had the three obvious requirements: toilets, baggage drop and starting area. None of these were signposted. I had to ask marshalls where everything was. When I got to the bag drop it didn't give me any confidence in its security, (just a piece of string with one marshall - no disrespect to him, but I took my stuff back to the car and ran with my car keys). A marshall later told me there was another bag drop next to the start but I wasn't able to find it.
The delay to the start caused problems with staying warm, with obvious implications for injury risk. It was a clear day that would warm up quickly, so light kit was essential, but it started with frost on the ground and a biting wind. Not a good start.
The tannoy system was inadequate. I couldn't hear any of the announcements until getting close to the front.
The run itself was very hilly. 'Undulating' was an understatement. The course was surprisingly dull; although billed as the 'Worcester' half, you would be wasting your time looking for the cathedral, or any buildings, or, well anything at all really. A few fields, some trees, a bored looking crow. The marshalls were friendly enough, the water stations well managed, and the people who turned out were most supportive. Special thanks to the gentleman at around 10 miles who gave me a rousing, "Come on, you can do it!", which on tired legs really did give me a tremendous boost.
The roads weren't closed to traffic; most drivers were patient and considerate, not the blue Clio though, who went past at 50 mph, narrowly missing a crowd of runners.
Lack of mile markers was a big problem for me. I was aiming to average sub 8 minute miles, and using the lap counter on the stopwatch with each mile marker. That worked fine until I started looking for the 6th, and the 7th, and the 8th, 9th, 10th. Eventually the 11th hove into view, by which time my pacing was hopelessly adrift.
Nice T shirt, medal ok. But I got up at 6am and drove 70 miles for a frustrating, disappointing race. Date of review: April 16, 2012
In short: Fantastic race - could be improved even more with some minor tweaks In full: The course ran through beautiful countryside full of the bloom of spring. At one point a huge buzzard took off from the field next to the route and hovered, as if wondering whether to join in. More prosaically - at the start the parking was slow and could have been signposted better from the Motorway junction. On the other hand there were rugby crowd toilets in abundance. The course was fantastic - lovely country, some hills but nothing too oppressive. Lots of support too. At the end, the final extended 50m round a plastic bollard felt amateurish and interrupted a serious attempt at a strong finish. Signs indicating 800m, 400m and 200m to go would have helped enormously. And the mile markers for 6,7,8, and 9 were either stolen or invisible. But overall a wonderful experience, I got a PB and more important had a really good time. Definitely back next year, maybe for Marathon. Date of review: April 16, 2012
In short: Some improvements needed In full: Overall I thought the race was below average. It did not help having a delayed start however they did keep us informed. It was a shame there was no count down from 10 Seconds. The course was a little on the hilly side. Also major issues was lack of water station at 2 miles, no mile markers between 5-10 miles and the canal towpath at the end slowed me up and was dangerous. However I believe these problems can be rectified and I would consider trying it again. The marshalls were great and the tee-shirt and medal were good as well. Just need the local radio station and a timex clock and it would have been a great ending. Date of review: April 15, 2012