In short: Great but with two problems In full: This was a great half marathon. The hills people are going on are really nothing. I am a right hill-o-phobe and I didn't have a problem with them. The scenery on the first two miles is very nice and then a run along the beach is also pleasant. It got a bit dull as it was the same constantly. This was my first and I will be back again.
The two main problems I had was..
1) The start pens was ridiculously small and optimistic. I think runners that where going to do it in about 1.40 where way back in the 2.10 mark! The pens where tiny but it didn't congest to much as there was a wide starting leg for people to sort out.
2) My biggest problem and what ruined my race was between mile 11 - 12. The route went on to a pavement which was littered with park cars, lamp-posts, sing posts, and runners. It just got really congested and it was single laned for a long time. I actually injured my self dodging runners that had stopped.
Apart from those it was a great run and will be back next year to beat my time as i had to limp the last mile! Date of review: April 16, 2013
In short: Great route, lovely setting, mildly challenging, well organised. In full: My first half! Loved it, especially as the weather was so good. Most of it is along the bay, so fairly flat, but the climb for the first 2 miles is a good jolt to the muscles and even the descent back down to the bay is challenging as you can easily over extend a pull a muscle. Date of review: April 8, 2013
In short: Really nice flat course with a great sea view! In full: I didn't notice that there were signposts at the start so you could start according to your predicted time but ended up having a great run right from the back, the field seemed to spread out quickly so I never really got stuck in a jam. The hills were barely there so I didn't think they had any real impact on speed so a really good course to try and go fast on. Date of review: April 8, 2013
In short: Good, fast coastal half In full: Ran this yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Start was well organised with sections from sub-1.20 upwards marked out and they were used properly - I stood in the 1.30-1.40 section, less than 100 people in the sections ahead, ran 1.30.19 and finished round and about people who were in the same section. Got a nice clear start too, no bunching. Hill at the start (half mile or so) is fine, short and sharp dogleg and over in 90 seconds, I found the longer drag at the turn (9-11 miles or so) more challenging - there are no steep bits but you are gradually climbing over a few miles until you get back up on to the cliff tops and it's quite draining, but this is definitely PB territory if you are on form.
I'd suggest sunglasses if the wind is from the east, we were running into the sun and wind for around six miles yesterday and it was pretty raw.
Atmosphere fairly muted except at the finish on the pier (agree with the comment about the housing estate section - it was like a Danny Boyle film with runners sprinting through deserted streets instead of the undead), but it was a cold day.
Thanks to the organisers, I would definitely do this one again and would recommend. Date of review: April 8, 2013
In short: Bournemouth Bay Half Marathon In full: First two miles quite hilly, a tough hill to start followed by a nice down hill stretch. Race along seafront was windy, so ran into a headwind for 6 miles. Once reaching the point of turning around the run became easier. I found this race easy the last time I did it, this time around I found if to be challenging. But I probably wasn't fit enough. Also quite warm from around 11am. Glad I completed the race. Date of review: April 7, 2013
In short: Flat fast race, recommended In full: Overall a great race. Apart from the quite steep hill at the beginning the race is flat so good PB potential. The first 6miles or so were run into a head wind but after that it was nice and calm. Friendly marshalls, good organisation. My only small complaint would be the starting pens - great that you could stand in estimated time zones but they were really quite small and got quite snug! Would definetly do it again Date of review: April 7, 2013
In full: This was my first ever race and I would definitely recommend it to anyone attempting their first half marathon. It was such a lovely sunny day with a bit of a breeze, which made this race very pleasant. Only thing to keep in mind is that about mile 1 there is a bit of a hill, but after that it's very flat. For my first ever race, I was surprised how well I did as I completed the race in 1hr 46 mins! Date of review: August 6, 2012