In short: Excellent, well organised. But take Gebrselassie's advice - lose the mile 11 hill! In full: Fantastic organisation. Great support. Superb atmosphere.
The ONLY thing I would plead is to avoid such a tough 2 mile hill run at the end. Gebrselassie said afterwards he was taken aback by it, not ideal for most people and that they need to have a look at it for 2012. Easy... go back to the superb route from 2009 (world championship course) with an extended run through Bournville (the best bit after all). Date of review: October 28, 2011
In short: A massive improvement on last year In full: Hats off to the organisers who have resolved the issues that marred last years race. Only issue now is the hill between 10 & 12 which is a real sting in the tail. On a personal level it all went wrong for me but I'm sure I know why. Consequently I hope to be back next year to slay the demons. Date of review: October 26, 2011
In short: Shame I was injured and full of a cold (stupid pride) In full: I was really looking forward to this one as it's my home town run. But with a hamstring injury and a stinking cold, I was never gonna light any fires in this one. Brummie pride ruled my head meaning I was never going to miss it, but I wish I'd been more sensible. On a positive note, the organisation was fantastic, the crowds were truly uplifting and the course was tough but enjoyable. The hill at the end was a real tester and really made you dig deep. By the end I had nothing left, even though I failed to break the two hour mark. But next year, I'll be back and 1:50 is the target!! Date of review: October 26, 2011
In short: Fantastic event overall In full: The contrast between this event and the schoolboy level organisation of Cardiff Half the previous week could not have been greater. Well thought out and supported. Toilet facility provision, bag drop, professional warm up excellent, and multi-wave race start significantly reduced congestion. The course itself was well set up, running through leafy neighbourhoods, with at least 6 water/powerade stations, exceptional volunteer support and numerous street bands contributing to a fantastic overall ambience. A bit of a sting in the tail was the only significant hill on the course between 10.5- 12 miles but PB potential still there. The only minor gripe was the lack of changing facilities (yes people really do want to get out of wet gear after a race!) which would have been easy and innexpensive to set up in the vast space of the NIA main hall, which was otherwise only being partially used for the bag drop. Otherwise, this was easily the best overall event I`ve attended in the last 2 years. Date of review: October 26, 2011
In short: My first 1/2 marathon, amazing experience! In full: I loved every minute of the race, although struggled a bit from mile 8 to 11. The hill at the end was a challenge, but nowhere near as bad as I had expected. Great atmosphere, great organisation, great experience! Date of review: October 26, 2011
In short: Well organised, 1st half was fast but last half has few slopes, nice crowds In full: Lots of expensive parking about in Birmingham centre £10 for 6 hours stay as expected for city centre parking. No problems with parking.
Well organised by great run as usual. Water at the start and finish is great. Enough water/powerade stops. If any energy drink company comes up with smaller energy shot/drinks it will save so much money and give us an extra drink at the finish will be better. Lets see if they will ever do it.
First 10k was fast as included downhills. Last 11k had a small challenge of slope near the end but still managed a PB.
The finish should include timing chip removers or helpers at hand. Not everyone is capable of bending down and pulling off race chip of removing trainers and laces after 13.1 miles. Bit lazy of Great Run.
Event price from great run always steep as its well organised but Tshirt needs to improve in quality as they are such a big organiser. Im sure they can arrange a massive deal for technical tshirts just like their medals which look the same apart from the other side.
This year race numbers having names is great idea, bigger name and smaller numbers will be better next year on a cheering point of view. Date of review: October 26, 2011
In short: Good addition to the BUPA/Great Run series but not a fast course In full: The race information was very good; it gave all the necessary information and it was very helpful to have a course profile, given the hills in the latter stages.
Having your name and most of the relevant information pre-printed was helpful, as was the pre-printed baggage tag.
The water stations were efficient and I thought the crowd support was pretty good.
Things seemed to go pretty smoothly, all-in.
Great Run races are never going to be brilliant value for money compared to the smaller club-organised races, but if you want to do a big city race you seem to have to pay a fair bit these days to avoid it being a shambles...
I'm not sure if I'll do the race again because there are other, faster autumn halfs at a similar price, and courses which are equally tough but more scenic, so for me it probably falls between the 2 types of race. Date of review: October 26, 2011
In short: Perfect organisation for a big-city race In full: The start was brilliantly-organised. A wave system was in place, and feeder pens allowed you to join your wave without having to push through the crowds. Plenty of side streets to warm up in as well. Just before crossing the start line, there was a bottleneck - genius idea! This really eased congestion on the course proper and meant there was no tripping over other runners in the first few hundred metres. Could they have aplit up the orange wave - perhaps signage for those aiming at sub-1.30, sub-1.40 etc?
Well-placed drinks stations, though they should have smaller bottles of Powerade to cut down on waste.
Yes, the hill at 10 miles was tough, but something had to make up for the downhill just after the start. I actually quite enjoyed it! Massive PB, so I'm not going to complain too much...
The finish was very straightforward, and the officials were very quick to move runners away from the finish area.
Definitely coming back next year! Date of review: October 26, 2011