In short: Another great year for the Sky Blue City In full: Just keeps getting better.......the minor niggles arent worth mentioning cos they didn't & don't effect the enjoyment of the day.
Its a very testing race that puts your calfs through the mill a bit but there's enough flat parts to make up for that. Once again the view from the top of Kenilworth Rd is amazing & of all the halves I've done this year (10 in total) not many have a view like this. However, maybe I'm biased as it is my home town race!!
Have done every race since its birth (3 in all!!) & the changes in the Memorial Park were a definite improvment. Only one hairpin this year & even that was small.
Excellent organisation and I'm sure the issue with the starting 'pens' will be addressed next year although with chip timing it doesn't really matter that much as you can soon work your way through the crowds cos that what I did. Managed to beat last years time by 2 & half minutes so well chuffed.
Well done to Helen & the team & many thanks to all the marshalls, helpers etc and the assistants in the massage tent who got my full attention after I'd crossed the line!
See you all next year. Date of review: October 29, 2007
In short: Great race, well organised and supported In full: Superb day, well organised and closed roads, great support all round the route. Memorial park a little depressing, especally the last loop around the memorial! But still minor quibbles. Overall well done Helen and team! Date of review: October 29, 2007
In short: Good Race In full: My 1st Half, so nothing to compare with. However, start pen was poorly organised, I had to fight my way in from the back and gave up after a short while. Other than that the organisation was spot on, good atmosphere, good water stations etc. I finished faster than I expected in 1hr40 so things must have been good! Date of review: October 25, 2007
In short: going against the flow In full: maybe this review is coloured by the fact that i had to pull up with a knee injury but after two years of faultless organisation this year was a drop in standards. Why no park and ride as in previous years? And worse still no mention that there was no park and ride, leaving many bemused athletes at memorial park car park wondering what was going on. As mentioned only 1 person manning baggage store was ridiculous. No attempt to keep slower runners away from the front of the start line was the final straw, i will not do this race again! Date of review: October 24, 2007
In short: More hills than I expected but surprisingly fast In full: A bright chilly morning made for good runnning weather. Surprised at not having to queue for the loos and with how easily we cleared the start area. I found this meant I could run at my preferred speed almost as soon as I crossed the start line. Lots of marshalls, drinks station and in promptu refreshments being offered by the public. Was glad to see the use of timing chips - but would have preferred they came with a strap for easier removal, a minor point overall. Found the course surprisingly fast - more hills than I expected but overall well balanced. Really glad to see a traffic free route. Was looking out for count downs towards the end e.g. 800m to go etc, but was pleasently surprised/relieved to see the 13 mile marker which I found hidden from view till almost upon it. All in all well worth the trip from Birmingham, and certainly a journey I would consider making again next year. Date of review: October 23, 2007
In short: Grin and Bare it with Lady Godiva. No horsing around here. In full: This could be one of the best kept secrets on the UK half marathon circuit. I've done 10 halves this year including Edinburgh, Glasgow, Nottingham, Wolverhampton and Milton Keynes and this one is at least on a par with so called "big city" events in every respect and better than most. The weather was perfect, still and cool but with just enough heat in the sun to take the chill off. No queue for a toilet, plenty of stalls and attractions at the start. No queue for a massage if you wanted one. The start was smooth with enough space to break into your normal pace quite quickly. Although the pen idea didn't quite come off. Traffic free course for the most part with plenty of marshalls. Mile markers were easy to spot as were the bright orange lines across the road, plenty of first aiders in evidence. Plenty of water stations also offering lucozade sport. Good support from the locals and cheerleaders offering supportas well as tip tops, jelly babies, mini mars, chopped banana. Course was a nice balance, the scenic with the urban: testing climbs and straight/downhill sections. The view down the Kenilworth Rd section has to be one of the best views in any Half Marathon event. It would be nice to finish in the Memorial Park if for no other reason that to cut out the meandering element when your screaming for the finish line, oh and that final climb at 12 miles. Organisation at the finish was excellent. Still no queue for a massage. Great value for money event. Sssshh, lets keep it our little secret. See you all next year same time same place. Book early to avoid disappointment. Date of review: October 23, 2007
In short: Well worth the trip... In full: Travelled down from the North East for (my hometown) race. A well organised event, plenty of conveniently located toilets, (very) reasonable entry fee and, all in all, most enjoyable. Almost perfect autumnal conditions with bright sunshine and (early on) a coolness in the air. I'd change very little other than access arrangements to the starting pen (where I had to find my way past many other runners to an appropriate starting position). Date of review: October 23, 2007