In short: Badly organised, but fun to run In full: I hadn't run the Bristol 10k before but had heard good things about it - but based on the 2014 experience, I'm not sure why. I was in the green wave, which was the final wave to start. We were 15-20 mins late to get going, which given the rain and 18mph winds wasn't much fun to stand around in - and with no updates from marshals.
The course itself is mostly flat, and it's a nice run mostly along Bristol's waterside, under the suspension bridge and back, and with the final 3-4k through streets and the city centre.
There was only one water station on the route at about 5km, and very few marshals along the course, which surprised me. And considering the size of the race (about 10,000-13,000 runners), there was surprisingly few spectators except for the finish line.
Got a nice chunky medal and a neon yellow tech shirt at the end, although the goody bag wasn't worth having (a copy of the local paper, some leaflets, and some rubbish quality biscuits). However, they ran out of everything at about the 60 min mark, meaning there were lots and lots of unhappy runners who didn't get anything. Not good enough.
There was also no water at the end, which was really bad. And with a 45-min walk across the race route back to the baggage area, it was a very long wait to get any water. Not good at all. I didn't run with any money on me, so had no cash to buy a bottle of water from a cafe, but was gasping.
Overall, I'll do it again next year as this is my local 10k and I'd like to have a higher opinion of it. The route is good, but the organisation was absolutely terrible. Date of review: May 24, 2014
In short: Terrible organisation and over priced In full: This was my first ever race and the organisation was terrible, it is almost enough to put me off races- or at least this race! I was In the last wave (green), wave started 15minutes late so the 30minutes spent in the cold and rain felt like an age. I finished to find no medals and no t-shirts in my size and a bit of a scrum to get the last t-shirts that were left. "Goody bag" consisted of 3 biscuits, 2 electrolyte tablets and a lot of spam flyers, not much for £25 entry It took at least 5minutes of walking I'm circles to find my way back to the green wave bag storage area which was on the other side of the race route because their were no signs or Marshals to point people in the right direction Organisers have promised to post t-shirts and medals to those that missed out but this does not make up for the dispointment on the day. Date of review: May 17, 2014
In short: Fast flat loads of PB potential In full: Sorry to hear of the problems others encountered. From purely personal experience I was in the white pen and enjoyed the race. There was a bit of weaving now and again but after about 2k it settled down. Support was great and the course fast. You could see the baggage tent was heading for problems straight away although it was not as bad as the Reading Half in March. The tech t shirt was good quality but the colour was a bit bright.Like running this route and the half route in the Autumn. Hope they sort out the issues for the runners who didn't get their medals for next year. Date of review: May 17, 2014
In short: Needs Work In full: I ran the Bristol 10k last year and had a brilliant experience. It was a fantastic race.
This year I have to say, the route, the suppot and the marshals were all excellent. But there are some serious issues in the organisation.
Firstly, the start pens were abysmal. The White pen may have been alright, but the Red pen had runners/walkers in it who had put their estimated finish times as 70+ minutes. Decisions like these left an awful lot of weaving to get through traffic.
Secondly, there was no water at the finish for the later finishers. We came in around the hour mark from the yellow wave and had nothing. This is just plain unacceptable and dangerous from a health and safety point of view.
Thirdly, the bag queue. Ludicrous. The brave lads from the air cadets did their best but it was like they were just put there without a plan. No sequence or order to the bags behind the desk, and no security at all. people were just pointing at bags and asking for them and they were handing them over. Plus the hour long wait was just awful.
We didn't have a problem getting a medal or a tee shirt but I can understand why people did have problems. There was no control in the finish funnel at all. The actual handing out of goodies took place at least 200 meters after the finish line and could therefore have been much more spread out. It also needed much more marshalling.
The goody bags (Ha! Shocking excuse for a goody bag...) containing the tee shorts were all in open boxes and people could practically help themselves. They need to be behind desks and controlled by someone.
Same with the medals. The medals should have been handed out way earlier in the funnel before people could walk back and get more. Usually you get the medal almost right after the line but for some reason the medals were handed out by a bunch of kids with boxes just wandering around handing them out to anyone that asked for one.
Ultimately, there is no excuse for running out of these things. Everyone prepays so they know how many of each item they need to buy. I find it hard to beleive that with 12,000 entrants, and 3,000 no shows, one third of entrants took either an extra medal or extra tee shirt (Or both).
It needs work. I was going to enter the Bristol Half but may have a rethink after yesterdays debacle. Was going to run it with the missus (her first) and she'd be gutted if she ran 13.1 miles for the first time and didn't get her medal/t shirt for a job well done. Not to mention paid for!! Date of review: May 12, 2014
In short: Race was OK, post race very poor In full: 3rd time of doing this race. Not inclined to return - course is quite dull, it's very congested (yellow wave), there was no water available at the end (and I was by no means last, finishing sub 60) and the queue for bag retrieval was a shocker. Better organised and more atmosphere in previous years. Date of review: May 12, 2014
In short: great flat race with great tech tshirt and medal In full: Ok iv read that the organizers ran out of medals for some at the back of the pack but this review is of my own experience of raceday. Started in white section which was ideal for getting to a good pace.no walkers or slow runners in this wave i could see.only one incline really along the route before you run thru the tunnel under the suspension bridge.plenty of support along the route especially as you head back into town.after doing the half a couple times previous it was good to see some of the weaving around streets was missing.great medal,tech tshirt and goody bag at the end.i feel for those that missed out on these and hope organizers sort this out for next year.as a massive medal fan and only run for medals id have been gutted to run it and be told they had run out.great course and pb potential. Date of review: May 12, 2014
In short: Have enough medals for all, sort out the bag collection In full: Make sure there's enough medals for the runners at thr back - these are the first timers who will cherish the medal and shirt more than anyone else, look after them or they won't come back. Sort out the bag collection - thousands of runners queuing to get in a single tent. This took longer than the race!! Date of review: May 11, 2014
In short: The most poorly organised race I've done In full: One to avoid. Wave starts - but not linked to expected finish time. I was second wave but with no timed start pens I spent the first 2 miles fighting past walkers from my group only to then encounter the walkers from the first group and have to fight past them.
At the end 1 hour plus queues in the cold to pick up bags. Very little atmosphere for such a big race, dull course, few marshalls.
Got a PB but would have done much better had I not been weaving through people who thought a 10k race was a good place to have a stroll. Nothing against people who walk these things - but that's why most races have timed pens. I had to completely stop dead twice, one time for someone who was taking a phone call mid race!
On Twitter I've seen that slower runners didn't even get a medal as they ran out. No excuse for a race that had no on the day entry. Date of review: May 11, 2014