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
In short: Really poor organization let down what could have been a very good race. In full: On the plus side I thought the marshalls were excellent and the support from spectators on the course really good and lively.
On the negative side the organization was poor. Delayed start on a cold morning not ideal. But this would have been helped by competitors arriving on time, we generally aim to arrive at least an hour before the start.
No mile markers between 5 and 10 - this is really basic! Poor finish along towpath - I was support running with a friend who is blind and this section was really difficult and unnecessary.
Poor facilities at the start and finish. Normally I would have brought our children, but I am so glad we didn't. A huge site with nothing for supporters.
This has the potential to be a really good race, but you need to look at how others organise their events - a good example would be Lake Vyrnwy which is fantastically well organised despite its very rural location.
Would like to do this again and hope next year is much better.
In short: Beautiful day, great race, I thoroughly enjoyed it. In full: Threashold put on another great race. This was the first time for for this event, so a few minor teething problems might be expected. It was tricky getting in with the car park problem but I'm sure this could be sorted and shouldn't take anything away from the race. I love Threashold events, they are always well organised and they allowed time for runners to get to the start line, I have run several Threshold events and I feel confident of a race that is well organised, has a great atmosphere and great routes. Will be back next year, have signed up for Stratford in September. Date of review: April 15, 2012
In short: Enjoyable, scenic, undulating. Good turn out, mostly good organisation In full: Good things? Scenery was lovely (weather helped!); well marshalled and friendly helpers; ample water stations; decent medal for a 1/2m; ok price (£21); clear signage; organised parking. An enjoyable race. Improvements necessary? Near impossible for spectators to get to start line (starting was on narrow country lane); NO CLOCK at finish line (bizarre omission); parking cost bit cheeky at £3; huuuuge queues of cars for car park (delayed start by 15 mins); NOTHING for families/kids to do whilst waiting. Date of review: April 15, 2012
In short: Great route, poor organisation In full: Lovely route. Marshalling left quite alot to be desired at one point runners were crossing road by marshall and then the crossing sign was further down the road!! Marshalls quite encouraging on the whole although some were not! Parking fee was horrendous on top of an expensive race I think this may put future runners off. Sixways looking to make a fast buck I wonder? water stations well run...and who needs water at 2 miles anyway? so can't see what that complaint was about. Well done on the whole. Date of review: April 15, 2012
In short: Great event, great support! In full: Great event, great atmosphere, amazing support from the crowd! Some mile markers missing which is very frustrating if you are after a PB or a certain pace, and I am not sure but I feel like the official half marathon distance of 13.1 miles was actually 13.2 miles which adds another minute. Great event though! Date of review: April 15, 2012
In short: Poor Organisation and Course In full: Organisation regarding the start of the race and car parking was poor, £3 (SMALL CHARGE???) I don't think so. Where was the drink station at 2 miles!! and where was the mile markers between 5 and 10, I was unable to judge my race pace. I also thought that the last mile was long and VERY VERY unsafe on the tow path I had cyclists and a person walking their dog off the lead, its a road race stick to the road and run around Sixways Stadium if you need to make up the distance. The Price of £21 I believe was steep. Overall poor although with amendments it can be turned into a good race. Date of review: April 15, 2012