In short: Organisation was awful, will not run this again! In full: This could have been a good race, but poor organisation and overcrowding caused sever problems. The Birmingham half Marathon has potential to be good, but if they're planning to increase the amount of people taking part next year, this is one to be avoided! Date of review: October 26, 2010
In short: Unnorganised chaos...again!!! In full: I have run in all 3 of the B,ham half marathons now and thought that after last years mistakes that Birmingham council would have learnt from these errors. Unfortunately not. Yet again there was absolutely no marshalling around the start zones and I found myself surrounded by a whole array of different coloured numbers on vests, none of which should have been in my start zone which was the black zone incidentally. This led to congestion right at the start. After actually getting over the start line I thought "ok, now I can get going"..Not so fast....after only a few yards in all their wisdom, the organisers narrowed the course and we were forced to walk through a bottleneck of runners. That, with trying to get past runners who had clearly started in the wrong zones spoilt the first few miles for me. After this, I did have a decent run and didn't experience any problems at the finish line that some have reported. If Birmingham wants this to be a successful annual event, they need to spend a little more time looking at these issues and the organisational side of things instead of just getting as many entries in as possible to line their pockets and hope for the best on the day. I have supported this run 3 times now and unless there is some clear indication next year that the problems have been addressed, it will be the last time I do. Lets face it there are plenty of other, better half marathons around...and cheaper too. Date of review: October 26, 2010
In short: Shocking dissapointment In full: I've done plenty of half marathons and this was the worst organised. Basically I can agree with all of the negative comments I've read so far, the 3 mile hill at the end was no joke, the start was even more hideous and the lack of organisation was just unbelievable.
Saying all that, if you want to really test your body and you're not after setting a PB, then this is the most gruelling course. I have to say the goodie bag was the best I have yet seen and the medal, well that was worth all the effort even though I will not do the race again. Date of review: October 26, 2010
In short: Greedily and lazily organised. Unsafe. In full: Negatives - Poor public transport to the venue - the race started 5 minutes before the first train from Coverntry for example. Non-existant signage and policing of start area lead to disorganised mix of abilities and runners constantly in each others way for miles and miles. A narrowing and 90 degree turn immediately after the start caused a complete standstill just after the start The Pershore road section far too narrow, many runners ended up on the pavement dodging spectators, cones and signs. The finish area was so badly organised and cramped that people had to wait minutes to cross it. The wait between finishing and getting a blanket/water etc was 10 to 20 minutes - not ideal if you are in need of medical attention. Basically they had the facilities for 5000 runners but took the entrance fees of 15000 and hoped for the best. Positives - The water bottles were small.
In short: Wouldn't miss it! Great city atmosphere, I'm still on a high! In full: As other members have said, there were some organisational issues - last year (2009) was a lot better on that score. But still this event is new to Birmingham so I'm sure its a learning curve for the council. It is FAB as far as I'm concerned, - so keep up the good work Birmingham, I'll be there every year! Date of review: October 25, 2010
In full: BIrmingham city council please sort yourselves out!please do not even think of increasing the ammount of participants in 2011.There was a complete lack of direction at the start,this was my first half marathon and climbing over barriers wasn't in my training!Also at the end when it took me six minutes to cross the finishing line- priceless! must say thankyou to local residents for support though it really helped.This could be a great race if it was organized by runners and this feedback from participants was taken on board. Date of review: October 25, 2010
In short: Yet again, the start and finish of the race admin wise ruined what could be a good race. In full: Start was not controlled. just absolute joke. Finish I was lucky and crossed the line ok, but friend running had to queue and missed his PB. It's an shame for Birmingham that after 3 years they still can't get the admin right. Bloody Clowns. Date of review: October 25, 2010
In short: Let down by poor organisation In full: The whole organisation of this race was poor.
First if this race was supposed to be the race against climate change then why pick a start time that made it very difficult to get there by public transport.
The start was very congested especially at the first turn where the road narrowed and things were no better at the finish where you had to queue to get over the finish line.
It appears that the increasing numbers at this event have not been considered during the planning, if Birmingham wants this event to continue to grow then they need to get someone who knows how to plan a major event.
Apart from from the problems with the start, finish and general organisation, the actual race was enjoyable with good support in places and generally a good course even with the uphill section towards the end.
I expect I will go again but only because it is my local event. Date of review: October 25, 2010