In short: Not Enough Parking and Too Early in the Day In full: If you are planning to run this, forget taking the train, as the race starts at 9:30, before the trains run on a Sunday, surprising for a city that dislikes cars. Car parks fill up rapidly at 8am, and in 2012 they hiked the parking prices from £1:20 to £5. Race has a two tier start, they provide changing rooms, baggage is indoors, protected by soldiers. Long wait to get to the start line so don't hydrate too early! Nice run under Brunel's bridge. Very nice medal, no t-shirt. Photographs are taken but no videos of your finish. After the race, getting your car out of the car park is a nightmare as there are no police available to direct the traffic out of the town. Date of review: March 11, 2013
In short: Fast and flat, but lacklustre crowds In full: Having run lots of other events this year I was especially excited to run in my home Bristol event. I thought the organization was brilliant; the start was uncrowded and pleasant, no elbowing or jostling. The start opens out onto the large flat of Anchor Road which gave plenty of opportunity to find your pace and get away from the crowds.
Once out onto the Portway the crowds all but disappeared and the support was very minimal. Compared to other races the atmosphere was a bit flat, with not much to distract you around the course.
The course was excellent though, well signed and marshaled, and with great big distance markers which spurred things along a bit.
The finish was well organized, we were funneled along to receive a blanket, water, then a medal (woohoo!), then a goody bag, then a size appropriate t-shirt. The t-shirt and medal were fantastic, excellent quality, and far better than some of the other high profile races offer. The goody bag was a small chocolate bar and a hydration supplement, nothing special there.
All in all, a good easy course for all runners with great PB potential, but the crowds could definitely do with a kick up the bum to be a bit more enthusiastic. There was one particularly lovely marshall stood by the foot of the flyover who was really encouraging, so good on her! Date of review: May 23, 2012
In short: Essentially a shorter version of Bristol Half Marathon. Well organised, apart from the baggage tent. In full: Strictly enforced coloured pens, chip timing and a two wave start makes running with 10,000 others really quite manageable. The course is pretty flat, quite wide and running through the gorge is reasonably scenic. Water bottles (without caps) were provided just after half way. Km markers were big and bold, helpful if you're using them to gauge your pace. There was reasonable crowd support at the beginning and towards the end of the course. Great for beginners or more experienced runners chasing a PB.
Water, foil blankets, medals, t-shirts and goody bags were all provided at the end. Depending on how much you value the t-shirt and medal, they could justify the fairly high entry fee.
Unfortunately, the baggage tent was incredibly disorganised this year and it took half an hour to collect bags afterwards - lucky we had those foil blankets to keep warm! Hopefully this was a one off: I have run this race before, and Bristol Half Marathon, and never had to wait more than a few minutes.
Something for future participants and spectators to be aware of: The course creates an almost impenetrable barrier around the event village - which means queues to get across it at the designated points - allow plenty of time.
Overall this is a very popular and well orchestrated event which is organised along the same lines as Bristol Half Marathon. Not sure if I will do it again personally, but only because there are so many other races at this time of year. Date of review: May 21, 2012
In short: Very well organised big city race and local to boot In full: Although this is an expensive event (I'm lucky, my work pays for us each year), it's a very slickly organised affair. Great for beginners to elites. The series of wave starts works well, good facilities at the start and finish, a relatively flat course (for Bristol anyway). Goodie bag was lacking a bit, although the choccie bar was a welcome addition! Technical finishers T-shirt in a range of sizes is great. Also, despite the road closures, you can still get with 1/4 mile of the start by bus and car,so it's great for travel. Date of review: May 21, 2012
In short: Great PB Potential and well organised In full: Organisation was very good although not a great race for spectators to be able to move between points due to route. Virtually flat and very quick. Great finishing area lots of space. Date of review: May 21, 2012