In short: Brillinat In full: Agree with the comments about the new section around Selly Park being much better than the twists before Hagley Road. If you could get rid of the hills between 10.5 and 12 miles even better!! Date of review: October 20, 2013
In short: Another really good big-city half marathon In full: It's a great race, and I'll be doing it again. The extra hill around Selly Park is a nice touch, and an improvement on the twists and turns of the back of Hagley Road. Two suggestions: Think about where the water stations are. Powerade and water were right next to each other in Cannon Hill Park. They could easily have staggered these. At the start, the funnel before the timing strip wasn't used properly for the orange wave. Runners were massing up near the line before the klaxon. This meant that there was massive congestion in the first mile. It's actually dangerous, because you've got joggers in that orange wave getting in the way of people going well under 90 minutes. And it's slippery, and the roads are very narrow at that point. I really wouldn't mind starting 1 minute later if it meant there was less congestion on the course. Date of review: October 20, 2013
In short: Nowhere else to review 2012 race come on Runners World that is poor In full: I loved this race the hill is really not that bad I train in Sheffield. The crowds were great and I love the contrast of the scenery on the way round I cracked my aim of going under2 hours for a half in my first year of running so had a real high. The GNR did nothing for me and I just thought it is overhyped on many levels. This however is so much better and sort of passes under the wire. I will be back next year. Date of review: November 3, 2012
In short: Amazing but challenging In full: Had done this race the previous year but this year was a little more easier to run. I managed a PB however I would not rate this race as the fastest half marathon course mainly due to the hill between 10-11 miles which even if you managed to run up like me, deflates you for the remaining 2 miles.
SMALL CRITICISMS 1) Firstly I did not get an energy drink in my goody bag and no chocolate !! 2) Secondly I believe that for a half marathon there is no need to have so many energy drink stations and probably the quantity is a little to much. I think that both of these should be reduced and an entry fee of a flat £30 should be charged (rather then current £32).
Despite my small criticisms it was a wonderful experience and I would do it again. Date of review: October 24, 2012
In short: Not too daunting for first time 1/2 marathoners like me! In full: Never been to Birmingham before and was pleasantly surprised by the architecture and vibe of the city as well as the community spirit of the event and the amount of spectators at certain points, particularly between the 8/9th mile(some very kindly offering Jelly Babies, sweets and orange slices to runners in need of an energy boost, bless them).
As mentioned previously by another poster, the 3 mile stint by the Cadbury's factory could have been 'a little dull' had the road not been used by runners in both directions, so it was interesting to watch runners on the other side, particularly spotting those in fancy dress (and a bobsleigh!!!:-p) However, personally I would have much preferred to run a few more miles around the city centre, only because I'm an out of towner and it would be nice to see all the quarters the town has to offer.
Anyway, had no probs running the 10 miles solidly but then the course started to go up hill at a fair incline. This wouldn't have been an issue had I not developed chronic back and hip pain, and so I really had to slow down at this point as the pain was quite uncomfortable, but I didn't deem the hilly end impossible. A few people seemed to walk some of this section and there didn't seem to be a congestion issue for the faster, fitter runners so this was fine. It was also nice to see even more roadside spectators at this crucial point, cheering us on for the last leg, which did help me hobble on and not pull over to the conveniently placed roadside ambulance crew/paramedics etc.
Overall, this was my first half marathon experience and I would def like to run another, including this event again as the support, atmosphere and organisation has been so organised and welcoming to this newbie runner.
Lastly, because there seemed to be a genuine camaraderie and friendly spirit amongst participants, I was very much saddened by the news of the gentleman who passed away after the event and offer my deepest sympathy to the family of Kevin Paterson and all those who knew him. xxx Date of review: October 24, 2012