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
In short: Good race, pretty flat, good atmosphere- not much of a crowd support In full: Quite fast race, got a PB but the Crowd support was very sparse maybe because of the weather. Poor idea to strap chip to laces with sticky tape- passed so many on the road and i was in the first half of race- spent most of the race looking down to see if mine was still attatched. Overall a good pleasant race, ideal for beginners but fast enough for more experienced Date of review: September 14, 2010
In short: First timer half marathon - really enjoyed it In full: Summary says it all. First ever half marathon so PB achieved!! Have to say I was gutted to be 7 seconds over 2 hours, would have been happier with 2 hours, 2 minutes but thoroughly enjoyed myself and have the running bug. Just thinking about which event next!
A big thank you to a a more experienced runner called Helen who set a great pace for me. I didn't wish to sound like a stalker so didn't ask for your contact details and didn't know what the etiquette was for that. I wish we had so I could thank you and next time challenge myself to keep up for the full 13 miles!! Date of review: September 11, 2010
In short: Well organised, fast course In full: I thought the race was well organised compared to some of the others I have recently run. Knocked 4 minutes of my previous best time due to the course being virtually flat. I had no problem with the timing chip, there was noway it was coming off and still felt as secure at the end. Nice t-shirt at the end. Drink stations were well manned and nice to see some with energy drinks on too. The price was the only set back but all in all a great half marathon imho. Date of review: September 10, 2010
In short: Knocked 3 minutes off last years time, and 45 seconds off my PB, so overall I was happy. In full: I can't believe I forgotten about the last couple of miles- cut backs, a few small hills, cobbles and a brass band in the park which I've never actually heard play in 3 years. I thought the park and ride worked well. Especially as I arrived a lot earlier than normal. I had no problems with the organisation. Why don't they put a net up behind the water bottle skips? People's aim whilst tired and running isn't too hot! I think most bottles ended up in the river. Although it was raining, my family managed to keep themselves entertained in the runners village. Finally, I wish I never let the lady handing out the t-shirts talk me out having an XL, my large has shrunk already after just 1 wash! Date of review: September 10, 2010