In short: Good crowd, mostly flat, plenty of PB potential In full: Definitely a good course for PB potential, but the hill around 11 miles and the cobblestones were somewhat soul-destroying when you're starting to tire. Found it easy in the first ten miles to get into a good rhythm though.
Thought the finish funnel was one of the better ones I've seen, kept people moving. The mile markers were somewhat sporadic - spotted one or two painted on the ground but they were very easy to miss.
Pacers would've been nice, at the very least to help lining up at the wave start. I found it strange the energy stations weren't alongside a water station, but that could just be me.
Crowd and volunteers were fantastic, as were the live bands. Could've done without having to remove my own timing chip at the end though!
Feel like I've picked out the negatives here, but overall a fantastic event. Good medal and finishers' shirt too! Date of review: October 2, 2012
In full: This was my 4th half of the year, but my first ever city race. I came here purely for a pb. Running on that basis i quite enjoyed the Portway section as it was an opportunity to get my head down and run and really get ahead of my plannd time. I found the last few miles difficult to maintain my flow what with the cobbles and the constant twist and turns.
I thought the event was very well organised and the atmosphere once back in the city was great. This is about as flat a race as you can get, the hills were nominal compared to th countryside races i have previously done, allowing me to knock 1 min 18 off a 5 mth old pb.
If i were to make one comment it would be that within each starting pen there are also time inicators for people to position themselves by. I was in the front of wave 1 but still found myself nestled in with runners looking for times a good 10 minutes behind me and spent much of the first mile running sideways. Date of review: October 2, 2012
In short: How can you run out of finishers t-shirts? In full: Nice flat course, reasonably interesting although the Portway out and back is just a slog. Excellently organised start and superb marshalling all the way. Nicely spaced water stations .... I could hardly fault this race until I crossed the finish line.
How, when there are no entries on the day and you've had my money for months could you run out of finishers t shirts? You knew the number of entrants who paid their money and who had a fair chance of needing one. The people who were supposed to be hand were apologetic and embarassed, I couldn't find anyone official to complain to.
I know I was at the slow end of the second wave but I was still a finisher. If the GNR and VLM can organise enough shirts (I have both) then dont't see why can't Brirstol. I did email to complain, no reply or acknowlegement yet ... poor show and spoiled a great event. Date of review: October 2, 2012
In short: This is my second Bristol Half - i've always found it to be a nice, friendly race on a decent course for a good time. The cobbles as you come back into the city centre can catch you out! Could do with more water stops. Very good race all in all! Date of review: October 2, 2012
In short: Fantastic atmosphere and a good 1st time half. In full: This was my first half-marathon and a special race for me as I was running in memory of my aunt (who died earlier this year of pancreatic cancer). I'd done a few 10k races and would recommend the Bristol half to anyone who is looking to run a longer distance. The water and energy stations were well placed at regular intervals, fellow runners were friendly and the crowds were nice and loud. I particularly loved the brass band and jazz group on the way - a great lift to the spirits! As others have said, the cobbles weren't much fun and the bit from 10M to 11M seemed to take forever. I didn't even spot mile markers until 5M, and they seemed erratic once back into the city, but with a GPS watch it's not a big issue. Fantastic atmosphere coming into the finish - definitely one I'd want to do again. Date of review: October 1, 2012
In short: Great until 11miles and the cobbles In full: My first half and without any training I did a fair time so I imagine for those more professional a PB is very achievable.
The only downers for me were the cobbles and hills, twists and turns at the end. You could handle these no problems at the beginning but they finished me off at the end and without the crowd I could have just given up.
The lack of mile markers espcially after 10miles made it very hard to mentally clock the last part.
As a non-runner/beginner standrad I did not feel at all intimadated,it was a friendly race and some runners humbled my selfish reason for running.
Climbing the steps to college green to get my bag almost brought tears post race.
Enjoyable but I'm sticking to 10k's! Date of review: October 1, 2012
In short: Well organised larger race In full: Thoroughly enjoyed this race despite having a shocking last three miles, thought I might have a chance at a pb but struggled hugely at the end. The start with coloured pens and staggered start worked really well and I thought the organisation throughout was excellent. Good first race for anyone thinking trying a half marathon. Date of review: October 1, 2012
In short: Great Atmosphere and Organisation! In full: This was my first ever race I was incredibly under trained, and made terrible time but the only thing stopping me from giving up all together was the crowd, people were giving out sweets along the way :D Date of review: October 1, 2012
In short: Good organisation, lovely part of the world In full: I really enjoyed the crowd. I agree with others on the mile markers, seems like a simple thing to sort out for next time. Date of review: October 1, 2012