In short: a good race, organisation at start much improved since last vist In full: 2 years ago my first half marathon was at Bristol and it was fair to say the start was chaotic with no control on who started where; this time around it was far better organised, with marshals checking who went to which starting point. Enjoyable race overall, well supported, with the only minor gripe being the "goody bag" at the end, which consisted of Saturday's local newspaper, a drink and a chocolate bar. Date of review: September 15, 2008
In short: Top class big city race, but could be even better with slightly better organisation In full: Good points:
Lovely course, very fast, well marshalled, quick baggage handling, generally well organised. Very picturesque for the first few miles while you're still fresh enough to appreciate it and great crowd support in the centre near the end when you need it most.
No pace bands within each start pen (which were quite large), sub 75 min runners were bundled in with the 1:15-1:30 pen rather than having their own start area, insubstantial goodie bag (more food please!), hard to get out of the finish area and back to the car parks. Date of review: September 15, 2008
In short: too many people but wonderful atmosphere In full: The fundamental problem with this race is too many people. This was my third year and there have been more and more each time. I was in the second wave in the wrong pen and spent the first 4 miles dodging and overtaking on dangerously cramped roads with traffic cones randomly appearing in the middle. How many people were injured in those opening miles? I then caught up with the first wave and dodged round those slower runners too. Having 2 waves meant for me, it was no longer a race. I know it's popular and it's great to encourage people to run but if it's ruining the race experience, is it worth having this many people? The marshalls and drink stations were great, I didn't even have to queue for my bag and as always the atmosphere was wonderful. Chaos at the end that was symptomatic of the numbers of people. Date of review: September 15, 2008
In short: Better than last year but still cobblerific In full: Was better organised than last year at the start, however more toilets are needed. More thought is needed on the logistics of finished and non runners being able to get around and across the course. Cobbles are awful. Lots of marshals and well placed drinks stations, crowd were great cheering me and my brother all the way. Traffic was also pretty good getting out of bristol which was a suprise. overall I'll be back next year most likely. p.s. Goodie bags still nowhere near as good as bath! Date of review: September 15, 2008
In short: Brilliant for first-timer like me! In full: I did the Bristol 10K back in May and enjoyed it so I signed up for the Half Marathon. The atmosphere of the Half was way superior to the 10K but I guess it's a much bigger race.
The encouragement of the Marshalls and the public was fantastic and really spurred me on throughout the second half. I finished with a decent time, a PB you could say (but only as it's the only one I've done!
It was a little disappointing not getting the race pack until so late, but apart from that the organisation was great. I was in the Pink section (i.e. right at the back)which was that well signed, but helpful marshalls pointed me in the right direction. I'd definitely come back to do this race again. Date of review: September 15, 2008
In short: Great course, insane weather again.... In full: Overall a very enjoyable half marathon and definite PB potential but not on your first run, watch out for the hills 11-13 miles. Would be better if predicted times were taken more seriously into account for starting positions (or people didn't lie) you lose a lot of time in the first two miles but with such a big race it probably is the best it can be. Made sure I spotted the passing places so I could get back to college Green but this should be looked at. Date of review: September 15, 2008
In short: Well organised big city race In full: 1st time running round my home city. Loved the 1st half of the course, found it hard to maintain pace for the last few miles with the twists and turns through the centre, but the support was excellent there. Organisation seemed pretty impeccable to me, water and feed stations very well run.