In short: Risks definitely outweigh the benefits! In full: I agree with all that has been said before about the organisation problems. Want to add two things - how dangerous pavements can be when they appear out of nowhere at such speed you have no choice but to leap up a curb/round an obstacle/onto another runner's feet. They say about 75 people had to be treated for injury and exhaustion, I'd be interested to know how many sprains were caused by kerbs. Also, I was stuck in the crowd at the finish and it was a total anticlimax having legged it down Broad Street. But add to that, my position number(s) on the chiptimings website (as easy as all that is to understand to someone who doesn't do these things regularly) is a different position number to the one on the half marathon website. Don't know if anyone else has checked this, but just adds insult to pavement related injury... Date of review: October 25, 2010
In short: An appallingly organised race, frustrating and very disappointing In full: Had heard good reports about previous B'ham half from club mates but this was without doubt the worst race of any distance I have ever run. The organisation was a disgrace with bullish marshalls at the baggage area and start line but not strong enough to prevent an absolute free for all and blatant disregard for colour coded numbers at the start. Why bother asking you to enter yor estimated finish time as it is quite clearly irrelevant at the start? Arriving at the start line 20 minutes before 9 am and still we couldn't get anywhere near our starting area. The amount of fun runners/walkers we encountered in the first 6 miles implies that no-one took any notice of the colour coded start and there was no direction from the overstretched and quite frankly incapable marshalls. To have the bottle neck 20 metres after crossing the starting chip mat forcing you to walk was a joke. The first 6 miles were chaos, the water stations a disgrace with no signage, ill prepared marshalls unable to cope and people falling all over each other. We had to open the plastic wrapping at one station to get a bottle out as the marshalls flapped about. After 6 miles the huge mass of people appeared to ease slightly and although not ideal, we were able to get something of an even pace going. The only positive thing about this race was the finish in Broad Street which was lined with enthusiastic supporters. Fortunately I missed the fiasco at the finish, but can well believe all the horror stories as that appears to have been the theme throughout. Insult to injury was added with the cheapest of cheap t-shirts. I was massively frustrated at not being able to run this race, I was fit and ready for a PB. This evaporated in the first mile of what was a shambolic event. I hope that Birmingham City Council read these reports and take note. To take money from and disappoint so many is totally unaceptable. Date of review: October 25, 2010
In short: Vast room for improvement In full: Agree with comments re the lack of organisation at the start. The starting pens were not properly organised and so were a free for all. There was a bottle neck bringing you to a standstill only 10 yards into the race. Water stations were not sign posted and so you had to make a bit of a last minute swerve to try to grab a bottle. The water marshalls were working very hard at the stations but there just weren't enough marshalls to keep up with demand. Once you found your stride it was a pretty quick course - the only hill of note being the one just after mile 10 but it wasn't that difficult. The atmosphere was great around the course. I will do it again but only because it is my home city event and for no other reason. The organisers could do with speaking with their counter-parts in Nottingham who know how to stage a brilliant big city event (including a marathon option - please take note Birmingham sports council) Date of review: October 25, 2010
In short: Enjoyable race In full: I know it had it's problems, and hopefully they will learn, but the support was fantastic, all the way round the course, I found it very uplifting. A good weekend away. Date of review: October 25, 2010
In short: needs better orgnising In full: enought has been said about this race the start and finish was just a joke as i ran 1.26.52. did not encounter any of the problems of other runners but but pls birmingham council take note of these concerns and make it a race to remember for all the right reasons Date of review: October 25, 2010
In short: Start and Finish organisation terrible, but a great event! In full: What a fantastic day yesterday at the Birmingham Half Marathon. To have 15000 people involved in the event is a fantastic achievement for an event that hasn't been going that long. As a local, I'm really proud of what has been achieved.
This is my first time running the Birmingham Half, and I understand there have been course changes each year. I thought the route was excellent, fitting in a start and finish in Centenary Square, a trip past the Cadbury Factory and a nice loop through Canon Hill Park.
My only gripe was the organisation at the start and finish, and lets be honest it was poor. A good bulk of runners couldn't get onto the start pens. To be honest this aspect wasn't a big issue as everyone had shoe chips. The finish though was a fiasco, there was a queue to get across the finish line, which given the chip timing is a problem.
I'm pleased the event has grown as much as it has, but if anymore than 15000 are expected next year, then Broad Street might not work as the start and finish zone.
All in all, a great event, with excellent marshalling and route, but have a bit of a think about the start and finish logistics. Date of review: October 25, 2010
In short: Great race Birmingham but you didnt get it right In full: Wont go on about all the problems with the start and finish. Just to say when I was clear of all the walkers and joggers I could do some serious running. The route was fine, that one at the end was not a hill! Great support at the end, and the best goodie bag Ive had in years. Got 1.24. Hope Bham can sort it for next year. Thanks Date of review: October 25, 2010