In short: Ridiculously poor organisation skills!!! But lovely scenery In full: My first half marathon, and stupidly I didn't consider that Warwick is a tad hilly. So it was hard work! The scenery was beautiful, real English countryside material. The organisation was horrendous, didn't get my t-shirt, moody marshalls on entering the ground, and due to roadworks all around the entrance a lot of people missed the start time. We got told to go past the start time and then do our stretches! A big group of people didn't get to take part at all due to the traffic works - someone should have had the foresight to email people to avoid coming in to the course from the M40. Date of review: October 14, 2013
In short: Not bad first effort In full: The first Warwick half was an enjoyable race with a few teething problems but nothing that would ruin the day. Ok the organisation at the start and finish was a bit iffy and the medal was very bland but the support around the course more than made up for it for me. I recorded my 2nd best time for a half which i was well pleased with considering the conditions and my lack of training due to the bad weather since christmas. will probably do this one again in a couple of years time and see how it overall compares. Date of review: March 25, 2013
In short: Great race, shame about some of the organisation In full: The race itself was not too bad, mildly challenging but the finish was appalling. Narrow lane in the run up which went across the exit of the car park! Slippy on the mud so not great for a sprint finish. Slower runners were faced with people walking in the finishing lane as you entered the castle before the car park exit and there were not any marshalls to monitor this. We saw this as we were driving out and I all but had to stop myself getting out of the car to ask people to respect those who were still running...absolutely awful to see.
Good support on route which was very much appreciated in the awful weather conditions.
Like many others, experienced the terrible traffic problems but fortunately, as I wasn't driving was able to step out of the car and run to the start. It took me over 7 minutes to cross the start line (according to my chip time) so not sure why people were turned away at 9.00 am?! Have never ever heard of this happening in any other race and really feel for people who were not able to run. It is quite obvious that this race was organised by non-runners who dont appreciate the effort that people have made to get to the start line.
I didn't receive a t-shirt (where were they being handed out?) and only got a foil blanket because a marshall saw that I was sooo cold and handed me one from a box on the grass. A guy from my running club got a t-shirt but no foil blanket! Why was this so sporadic, surely each finisher should be offered the same service? Being handed these items at the finsih should be automatic and not by pure luck. Not bothered about the goody bag - they are very rarely worthwhile but agree that the medal was, well, pretty shabby. Not one to show off to your nearest and dearest.
Glad that I had people with me who looked after my baggage so that I avoided waiting in a long queue whilst being wet through. I dont mind running in the rain/sleet but you want to be able to change fairly quickly into dry clothes.
Whilst the organisers cannot be held responsible for the weather, they must take into consideration that a March race could be hit by rain so grass is not an ideal option for parking. If I ever do this race again would definitely park outside the castle grounds.
Overall, this race has the potential to be great but many many things have to improve so I hope the organisers listen to the feedback. I always like to support my local races but would think twice about entering this one again. It does not compare to Coventry or Kenilworth halfs which are very well organised. As people have already mentioned, the 2 Castles 10k does not experience any of the problems this did.
But, many thanks must go to the marshalls/volunteers on the course who did a sterling job whilst getting very wet!
In short: Good route. Poor organisation. In full: I really enjoyed the actual race. Great route, water stations and vocal spectators. However, I was worried about the organiation from the start as I was sent the wrong timing chip to go with my race number. I had to collect a different race number and chip from a tent on arrival. It seemed there was then no communication from the event organisers with the chip timing people as my chip result then had someone else's name on it. I contacted the timing chip company and they sorted it straight away, but could have done without the hassle.
The finish was poorly thought out as it was on grass, which due to the rain was very muddy, so no sprint finish! The 'carpark' (i.e. VERY muddy field) was a nightmare to get out of. It took us about 45 minutes and my car was slipping all over the place.
There were plenty of toilets, which was good and the event staff were friendly and efficient. There was a queue for baggage at the end, but probably to be expected.
The race route was fine, a few hills and plenty of downhills.
Overall, it could be a great race if the organisation is sorted out. I enjoyed the actual race and managed a pb. Date of review: March 20, 2013
In short: Great course, terrible organisation In full: The course itself was great, well marshalled, good scenery, undulating but not too tough. The finish on the grass was a bad idea though. As a run its fab and worth doing.
Organisation though was a farce. Many have mentioned the parking - we spent 2 1/2 hours in the car park trying to get out - what were they thinking. On top of that, segregating runners and non runners at the car park entrance - why?? It's not the London marathon - I came with my wife, she was going to take my things so we wouldn't need to put stuff in the baggage area - had to end up throwing it over the fence to her. Good job we didn't use the baggage area as the queue for that after the race was huge. What were they thinking.
Sort those things out and it will be a great race, such a shame! Date of review: March 20, 2013
In short: Nice route, some poor organisation In full: Route itself was scenic and undulating. Although the undulations were not too bad, as there was plenty of downhill to go with the uphill. Organisation on the run was good with the course being well marked out, helpful marshals and at the water stations the lids were taken off the bottles in advance. Good to have bottles rather than cups - but could you have sports tops? Was some crowd support, although being on country roads was sporadic. Was a nice quick end to the race which was then ruined by a stupid loop once you got into the castle and having to finish on churned up muddy grass - not great when you're trying to go for a sprint finish. Especially when it involves a sharp turn and you have to be careful not to fall over!
Organisation around parking was ridiculous. Had to get dropped off and walk up to ensure didn't miss the start of the race, and there were quite a few runners who didn't get to start! At the end it took 1.5 hours to get off the overflow car park (read boggy field). This was only helped by lots of friendly runners helping to push each other's cars out the mud. It had been raining a lot recently - surely the suitability of using a field should have been thought about... There were no marshals in the field to direct cars. Originally couldn't work out why no one was getting off the field until we eventually got out and realised the exit crossed the running route - not great planning! Seemed to actually be staff from the castle who sorted the car parking out in the end, not race staff.
Medal is nothing to write home about, just a boring BHF medal, nothing about the race or date. T-shirt is nice enough, but not one you'd run in as not a technical t-shirt. Saw people late on with foil blankets so don't know if they only gave these out to those finishing later - it was still cold for those of us who finished sooner! The goody bag as also pretty disappointing, just a cereal bar, and a couple of pantene samples. There were plenty of toilets at the start though and I didn't have to queue for too long which makes a nice change. Also was good that they had quite a few people cutting the chips off at the finish to collect them which was handy.
Could be a really nice race but does need more thought regarding some of the organisation outside the actual run itself! Date of review: March 18, 2013
In short: A thoroughably enjoyable event In full: My 1st Half marathon,one or two small glitches but nothing serious,nice touches like water bottles with tops removed at the water stations. The finish was hardwork due to the rain (grass) but could be easily sorted. Great event will definitely be back again Date of review: March 18, 2013
In short: Great atmosphere, good course, some teething problems which I'm sure will be fixed in future! In full: The parking facilities at Warwick Castle are pretty shocking at the best of times, s a mixture of the bad weather (meaning that not a lot of people hung around once finished)and lack of marshalling in the car park compounded some of the problems. I thoroughly enjoyed the race and atmosphere- the final run in was nice and fast. For the most part the scenery was charming, as were the crowds.Could be an idea next year to advise people to consider parking outside the castle grounds. We arrived at 7.45a.m and had no problems getting in. There were not enough marshals in the car park at the end, but we had a very pleasant peasant from the castle directing us out!I personally would not knock the organisers too much- it was far from perfect, but I'm sure they will learn from the experience. Feel sorry for those that could not run, but feel that BHF have made the best gesture they could by refunding entry fees and offering free entry next year to those who missed out. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and got a PB! Date of review: March 18, 2013