In short: Lots of potential to be a great city half In full: There were some teething problems which can all be worked on for next year - traffic at Kassam pre-race, baggage etc. but around i think generally for an inaugural event it went well. There are certainly more scenic parts of Oxford than the ring-road and the BMW plant; maybe a circuit around the University parks or taking in a bit more of the Town & Gown Route. For me, the major issue was running on the pavements from Cowley, up High Street and along the Abingdon Road. When tourists/shoppers weren't absent mindedly stepping out in front of runners, fellow participants were taking a break and through no fault of there own there was no room to get around them. It was good, i enjoyed it. Pre-race the organisers were easy to contact and responded quickly to queries in a helpful and friendly manner. Would probably do it again. Date of review: September 25, 2011
In short: Poor In full: This being their first attempt at this I can forgive the odd hiccup, i.e. The farce that was was the baggage drop (come on Oxford surely you have been to other races and have seen how it is done!!). Delayed start. No atmosphere at the start (once you found where it was!)Poor non supportive, disinterested marshalls, actually no I cant forgive this, the marshalling was crap! But the one thing, that above all else will stop me running this again was the appalling route. I felt I was either running along busy dual carriageways or forced to run in the gutter along dismal residential streets, when we did get into the "city" we ran past a couple of mildly interesting buildings dodging tourists before being directed down another side street to find ourselves running in another gutter in search of another dual carriageway to run along. If that is your idea of scenic running you can keep it, I wouldnt run that as a training run - crap! Date of review: September 25, 2011
In short: As a local I'm pleased to see a half marathon in my home town. Its the first for years and so a few teething problems were to be expected. A good course with potential for good times. In full: On the plus side: great scenery through the town good support along the roads plenty of drinks stations passes my front door course is predominantly flat stadium finish
Room for improvement more atmosphere at the start and timing pens a racer timer at the end - no idea of the elapsed times lots of pavement running and limited road closures baggage drop off not up to capacity required
None of these things detract from the pleasure of the first race in Oxford for years. They can all be sorted for future events.
Not my all time favourite yet - but hoping they'll be challenging in the future Date of review: September 25, 2011