In short: Badly organised, disappointing, not worth the entry fee ... I could go on! In full: Well, I'd read some terrible reviews of this race before entering and I remember thinking, 'It can't be that bad surely?' ... Boy was I wrong! Let's start at the beginning ... Most runs these days send out you pack with race number, timing chip, etc before race day so you're prepared but we had to pick ours up on the day. When we arrived and got our packs I noticed that I couldn't actually see the start line. Rather than have the registration tent near the start they chose to place it near the finish which meant walking (quite a distance) to the start. 1000 runners all doing this together was not easy! Much walking later and we were ready to go. Less than two miles in and the spectators not only thinned out they seemed to disappear all together. It's at this two mile mark that the course goes 'out of town' so you're basically out in the sticks which was very tough going especially on a hot day as it was this year. From here on in it was very badly signposted - myself and my mum did this run together and at one point we went up the wrong road only to be told by someone out in their back garden that we were going the wrong way! We were lucky that they spotted up just as we turned up that road but others may not have been so lucky. As we approached the 12 mile mark we even had to ask a passer by (yes really!) where to go to get to the finish. The water stations round the course didn't fair much better. At the second water station they had no water left at all and the third water station had been abandoned! It was completely deserted which meant having to stop running and pour our own as they didn't seem to have bottles at this last one. Not great! Anyway, moving on, we get to the finish and we're handed a medal as we cross the finishing line but ... where's my 'goody bag'? I went over to the tent to get one (past the table with the bananas which were left out in the sun and were, for some reason, cut in half allowing them to rot) only to be told there were no good bags. Which meant no t-shirt. We were told by others that the goody bag was in fact just a load of leaflets and advertising so not worth worrying about but I wanted my t-shirt. The organisers state that every half marathon runner gets a t-shirt and a medal while those that did the fun run only got a medal. If every half marathon runner gets a t-shirt and they knew how many were running why were there no t-shirts left? They had no system in place such as handing over your timing chip which was printed with race number in exchange for your t-shirt and medal. Which led to us not getting one. And here we are 7 weeks later still without a t-shirt even though someone at the end of the run reluctantly told us she would send a couple out (I did another half 5 weeks after this and still didn't have a t-shirt from the previous one!). We sent an email to the guy who organised it this year, Kevin Farmer (he took over from someone who had done it in previous years) and he was much more helpful promising he would get the situation resolved ... until his email correspondence dried up and became very few and far between. In the grand scheme of things a t-shirt would not normally be that important but we did this run as a family because our surname is actually Tewkesbury which is why we were so disappointed that we didn't get one (and our entry fee technically paid for this and the medal). Anyway I have rambled on about the very apparent flaws in this race and from previous reviews it doesn't seem to have got any better. In short - if you are thinking about doing this race ... DON'T DO IT! Date of review: July 12, 2013
In short: million times better than lst yrs organisers! In full: Second time on this race and a very hot day. Marshalls great until town centre and race ending - because cars were in process of leaving the car park the runners were having to weave through them to get to the finish and I didnt see a marshall directing anyone to finish line. However an enjoyable race, water all round, nice tshirt and medal and a PB due in all honesty to my sister who dragging me moaning and groaning through the first six miles. Date of review: June 10, 2013
In short: Poor organisation let it down this year. In full: This is the fourth time I've done this race, and I was not impressed by the organisation this year. No information sent or emailed before the race, very difficult to hear the PA system at the start, and then a bizarre march behind drummers across rugby fields and hundreds of people climbing through the gaps in a fence is not an ideal start to the race.
But for me the worst part was arriving at the first water station to be told there was no water left, but to "hang on a sec, there'll be some more coming in a minute". It is inexcusable not to provide enough water for every competitor at the very first station, and I had to run the first 6 miles without.
I also didn't like the detour in the final field when the end was in sight, and also the fact that they only had small t-shirts left by the time I finished, which was fine for me, but a lot of the people finishing after me were a lot bigger. Also, having to hunt around for my (empty) goody bag.
Having said all that, as it is my local race I will be back next year, hoping for better organisation. Date of review: May 26, 2013
In short: Fine, a mixed bag... In full: This was only my second half, but I managed a PB that I wasn't expecting, so despite a long gradual hill at about 10 miles in, there's certainly potential for speed.
It was a beautiful hot day, almost too hot! Three water stations with bottles rather than cups were good. Start was badly organised, with a bad PA system, and fifteen minutes delayed. Two missing mile markers were annoying. And 1st and last mile were nice, in Tewkesbury town, and miles 5-9 were in beautiful countryside, but the other 6/7 miles left a lot to be desired - running along A roads and over/under the motorway! And the finish is horrible, where they send you round a corner at the end to make up the distance - killer my sprint finish!! Sweet and water afterwards, kit bag with tech tshirt and medal, good atmosphere at the end (a few villages en route). The base was good with lots of toilets and music etc. Timing chips were good too. And a busy field of runners encouraged me to overtake and keep speeding. But getting out of car park was nightmare - took forty minutes.
Was perfect for me, a beautiful day, a PB, ran with a couple of friends, and had a lovely weekend in Cheltenham down the road. But doubt I'll be back. Think there must be better halves out there. Date of review: May 25, 2013
In short: nice route - organisation could have been better - worst goodie bag i have seen In full: The route was certainly not "flat" as advertised but some undulating, low hills. having said that it was scenic and generally well marshalled. Missing mile markers were inconvenient, water stops were well organised which is more than be said for the start. 1000 runners following some drummers across a car park, a field, then a residential street slightly shambolic - made worse by the inadequate speaker system at rugby club and start line. The sunny weather was obviously out of control of the organisers and on a cooler day there was potential for a pb. Numerous annoying emails sent out by organisers were confusing - i also emailed for a postcode for the start and to ask if enteries available on the day - no reply. A decent medal - thank you, and a tech tshirt. But the goodie bag was a carrier bag with a tshirt and some leaflets in - no drinks, snacks etc. Good race let down by poor organising. Date of review: May 21, 2013
In short: Orgainisation Good, and Friendly - Quite a lot of Traffic In full: My first visit to Tewkesbury and I liked the orgainisation and parking, number collection and water stops etc, Got to single out the timing for special mention, that was very slick and the results were immediately available. There was quite a lot of traffic on the course. Date of review: May 20, 2013
In short: Improvements needed. In full: A few constructive comments if I may. Firstly, why was the start delayed ?? Was standing towards the front of the start area and people were ambling about-on mobiles etc etc at 9.40-hello, race starts 9.30 so this was not good. The route was good and drinks although water only were frequent and well supplied. I thought the last bit from the high street to the finish line was very poor and slightly dangerous, cars driving towards tired runners in a very narrow lane is never a good idea. The t shirt and medal were both good and there were plenty of drinks too so well done. My final point is the showers/changing-they were a bit limited and not really suitable at all for the ladies were they ? Also, perhaps next time someone could sweep them out before race day-my feet were filthy from caked mud when I came out the shower, not ideal. Overall, a decent event that could be improved.
In short: Organisation In full: I would just like to thank the organisation team for coping with the changes at short notice, marshalling was great. water plentiful and a nice warm day. thanks to all concerned Date of review: May 19, 2013
In short: Good event, well organised. In full: Generally well organised and not a bad course. Just few minor niggles. The late change in parking meant cars driving off the car park onto the course causing some runners issue on the home stretch. A late start was a bit frustrating. The tshirt design was really nice, however I dont know if I ended up with a childs size but my medium is like a compression crop top lol and I can usually get away with a small lol. Wasnt overly keen on the finish due to the 90 degree turns on grass, but thats just me. Like I say just minor points to think about, generally a nice friendly race. Date of review: May 19, 2013