In short: Excellent city half marathon In full: I have run this half for several years and the improvements from last year now makes this a very good city half. The "fiddly bits" around Cumberland Basin have gone and the finish area is much better organised. Well done Bristol (at last) see you next year. One small gripe - 2nd wave could have started after 20 minutes rather than 30. Date of review: September 11, 2011
In short: Excellent organistaion made this race a pleasure In full: Just got back from my first Bristol Half. What an experience! It was well organised, well supported and a pleasure to run. Support most of the way around the course. A technical t shirt and a medal, plenty of lucozade and water stations. I will definitely be back next year as this is the best half marathon I have run this year. Thanks to all the marshalls and supporters. Date of review: September 11, 2011
In short: Hadn't done this for a while - great to be back getting a PB In full: It had been 3 or 4 years since I last did this one. I came back with a PB and it was pretty well organised for such a big event. If you fancy a shot at a PB in a big event this is the one. Far more interesting than Bath half and much, much better organised. Date of review: October 5, 2010
In short: Good running conditions, good marshaling and cheery crowds. In full: Good running conditions, good marshaling and cheery crowds. Glad my timing chip didn't fall off (like lots of others did) as this was a PB for me! One tiny complaint - the purple bibs looked rather like the pink ones....until you turned up at the wrong start and realised the mistake. I wasn't alone! Date of review: September 26, 2010
In short: Another steady performance from the organisers of the Bristol Half In full: I like this event! This may be partly because Bristol is my home town and this means that race day involves meeting family, friends and fellow club runners, both on the course and in the galleries, but there's more to it than that. There is no doubt that, whatever the glitches (and this year's problem with the chips was one of the more serious failings of recent years), this is a competently organised city centre event. I have just written my review of the Chippenham Half, which I ran the following week and which really is in a league of its own, but I have to say that the Bristol Half is pretty good.
The event website and advance organisation all seem to do the job and there is plenty of information for inexperienced and experienced runners alike. The wave starts are clearly described and seem to work. Any problems arise from runners being silly about their predicted times, not from poor organisation. The control on the day over numbers and allocation of runners to start pens is firm but friendly and I would say that it is pitched about right.
As for the course, it doesn't suit everyone, but I like it. It is undoubtedly a fast course, which is why Bristol has attracted some elite runners (both here and for the 10k) over the years. The Portway sections allow runners to get smoothly through the first eight miles and the stretch along Cumberland Road offers more of the same. The later miles do have some twists and turns, but any frustration at this is, for me, outweighed by the growing sense of "city centre" atmosphere and increasing support. And as for the comments about the cobbles, if you ever did London in the days of the cobbles in front of the Tower of London, you would find Welsh Back pretty insignificant in comparison!
Excellent support around the finish and a competent finishing funnel. Given the howling mess that some cities make of mass participation events, I think that Bristol City Council should be congratulated for their role in this event. (As a resident, I'm pretty critical of a lot of things that they do!) It makes me think that I might even switch disciplines and have a go at the Olympic distance triathlon that is rumoured to be on the cards for 2011!
The day was wet and this provided some good running conditions. Thanks to all the marshals, drinks station teams and assorted officials for keeping it all on track! I was a bit slower than last year, but beat my main rival for the first time this year after two defeats! Now I'm off to sign up for the 2011 10k. Date of review: September 17, 2010