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
In short: Absolutely fantastic race! Killer hill at the end but knew that was on it's way-just kept coming!! In full: Wonderful atmosphere, excellent support and great fun. Has made me even more determined to do a marathon. Am still coming down from the high! So sad to hear the news about the chap who died. Thoughts are with his family. Date of review: October 24, 2012
In short: Comments for 2012 Race - 5th Time ran event and will be back in 2013 In full: This was my 111th half and for any first timers who are thinking about doing a half marathon get yourself out there as value for money with a unique medal and great goody bag.
Enjoyable race and got under my target of 2 hours but for all those who just got around Well Done!. Tough Hill at 10 and a half miles but knew it was coming so saved my energy.
Organisation, Marshalls, First Aiders and crowd support excellent as per usual. Please Please Please can we just have smaller bottles of Powerade as easier to carry and not wasted.
All in all excellent race and I'll be back.
Message for Sharon runner 8875 you got under 2 hours I bet your pleased!
My condolescence also go out to for the runner who died at the end to his family and friends
In short: REVIEW IS FOR 2012 RACE HELD ON 21/10/2012 In full: It does not seem that there are facilities on this website to rate and review the 2012 race so although this rating will be logged under 2011 it is in fact for the 2012 race!
I really enjoyed this race, It was well organised with a no queue bag-drop in the NIA, Although the baggage stewards did not check whether you were taking things from your own bag or someone elses,But it did not appear to cause any problems, There were plenty of toilets and bottled water available before the start which was appreciated. The staggered starts meant that you had room to run during the 1st mile or so of the race which you do not always get in races with large fields and the "Bands on the run" were excellent and very motivating. There was one 3 mile(ish) section which could be interpreted as "Boring" but it is a fast section and the runners coming the opposite way kept me entertained!-As did the excellent crowd support-Who were very vocal and really spurred the runners on!-And there was comraderie between the runners too-A special mention has to be given to the 2 runners who gave up there sub 2 hour finish time 2 support and help a runner (Joy?) the last 400 metres of the race-You guys are and the accolades the commentator gave you for doing it were well deserved!-Well done guys!-Although the finish line funnel seemed quite long it prevented bottlenecks after the finish and gave you a chance to "cool down" while walking-While walking you picked up your goody bag-You just had to make sure that you picked it up from the correct area-Small medium or large etc-You also had to check that it had been packed properly with your medal and t-shirt in but i did not see anyone complaining so it seemed there were no problems, But there is always the possibilty of human error when packing or the wrong size box ending up in the wrong area,so if you do this race check everthing is ok and you have the right sizet-shirt and medal in your goody bag BEFORE you leave the finish line funnel as i do not think you will be allowed back in once you have left-The only negative i could find with this race (or is it) is that we were given two strips of boilie stops (if you don,t know what boilie stops are ask a carp angler!) to secure our timing chips with-Some people managed to rip theirs off at the end of the race but i had pulled mine so tight i had to unthread my laces at the end of the race to get the chip off-still at least there was no way my chip was going to accidentally come of which i always worry about with twist ties and i am going to use the stops to catch some carp!-Although i have had to mark this race down on scenery as it is a city centre race-don,t let that put you off entering what is a very special race-In fact as soon as i finish this review i am going to sign up for 2013 as the entry is already open, which says it all really!-Finally i am afraid i have to end this review on a very sad note, At the finish a runner collapsed and died later in hospital and my condolences go out to his family and friends. I hope in 2013 the organisers hold the race in his memory.
In short: 2nd attempt In full: Having previously ran this and hated every minute I decided to give another go. This time I loved every minute. From my perspective, everything ran like clockwork, the bands were great, plenty of water supplies and the support brilant. Rip Kevin P Date of review: October 23, 2012
In short: This was my first half marathon, and hopefully one of many. The organisation was great, as was the atmosphere. It was a lot of fun running alongside so many others in a race of this size Date of review: October 22, 2012
In short: Thanks Great Run for organising - much needed change In full: The 2010 race was a shabmles with congestion at the start and finish due to very poor organisation. No such problems now the Great Run team have come down from Newcastle to organise. Started in 4 waves (11-13 mins apart) not terrible keen on that but it's a must on this course. Brilliant crowds My highliget of the year was seeing the great Haile Gabrselassie strom past on the opposite side of the road on the long out and back section. Date of review: December 11, 2011
In short: Big improvement from last year! In full: Challenging course. More organized and definitely has the potential to be a major running event. I hope that it will become even bigger and better! Date of review: November 23, 2011