In short: My first 1/2 marathon, amazing experience! In full: I loved every minute of the race, although struggled a bit from mile 8 to 11. The hill at the end was a challenge, but nowhere near as bad as I had expected. Great atmosphere, great organisation, great experience! Date of review: October 26, 2011
In short: Well organised, 1st half was fast but last half has few slopes, nice crowds In full: Lots of expensive parking about in Birmingham centre £10 for 6 hours stay as expected for city centre parking. No problems with parking.
Well organised by great run as usual. Water at the start and finish is great. Enough water/powerade stops. If any energy drink company comes up with smaller energy shot/drinks it will save so much money and give us an extra drink at the finish will be better. Lets see if they will ever do it.
First 10k was fast as included downhills. Last 11k had a small challenge of slope near the end but still managed a PB.
The finish should include timing chip removers or helpers at hand. Not everyone is capable of bending down and pulling off race chip of removing trainers and laces after 13.1 miles. Bit lazy of Great Run.
Event price from great run always steep as its well organised but Tshirt needs to improve in quality as they are such a big organiser. Im sure they can arrange a massive deal for technical tshirts just like their medals which look the same apart from the other side.
This year race numbers having names is great idea, bigger name and smaller numbers will be better next year on a cheering point of view. Date of review: October 26, 2011
In short: Good addition to the BUPA/Great Run series but not a fast course In full: The race information was very good; it gave all the necessary information and it was very helpful to have a course profile, given the hills in the latter stages.
Having your name and most of the relevant information pre-printed was helpful, as was the pre-printed baggage tag.
The water stations were efficient and I thought the crowd support was pretty good.
Things seemed to go pretty smoothly, all-in.
Great Run races are never going to be brilliant value for money compared to the smaller club-organised races, but if you want to do a big city race you seem to have to pay a fair bit these days to avoid it being a shambles...
I'm not sure if I'll do the race again because there are other, faster autumn halfs at a similar price, and courses which are equally tough but more scenic, so for me it probably falls between the 2 types of race. Date of review: October 26, 2011
In short: Perfect organisation for a big-city race In full: The start was brilliantly-organised. A wave system was in place, and feeder pens allowed you to join your wave without having to push through the crowds. Plenty of side streets to warm up in as well. Just before crossing the start line, there was a bottleneck - genius idea! This really eased congestion on the course proper and meant there was no tripping over other runners in the first few hundred metres. Could they have aplit up the orange wave - perhaps signage for those aiming at sub-1.30, sub-1.40 etc?
Well-placed drinks stations, though they should have smaller bottles of Powerade to cut down on waste.
Yes, the hill at 10 miles was tough, but something had to make up for the downhill just after the start. I actually quite enjoyed it! Massive PB, so I'm not going to complain too much...
The finish was very straightforward, and the officials were very quick to move runners away from the finish area.
Definitely coming back next year! Date of review: October 26, 2011
In short: A huge improvement on last year! In full: Organisation was perfect. Marshalls and support was ace. High fives on the pashmore rd and little bottles were appreciated. Can do with a more scenic route but thats just me being spoiled... Date of review: October 26, 2011
In full: I've done a lot of smaller races, but this was my first really big event. I was apprehensive, not being a fan of such events usually, but the organisation for so many runners was phenomenal - everything went like clockwork from start to finish. Support en route was great - genius idea to put our names on the labels - hard to describe just how encouraging it is to hear your name being shouted out! Loads of drinks en route (and amazing volunteers). Minor suggestion is I'd prefer a running tshirt rather than ordinary tshirt, but otherwise, really impressed with everything. Date of review: October 25, 2011
In short: better than before In full: My second Birmingham Half Marathon. The last 2 miles was a killer. otherwise fantastic...and I ran in Haile Gebrselassie's footsteps. Date of review: October 25, 2011