Oxford Half Marathon

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21/09/2011 at 22:45
theirs a small taxi rank opposite barcklays bank at the traffic lights or try these 01865770077   01865775577         01865777333   
22/09/2011 at 19:49
Thanks, dalli!
24/09/2011 at 23:19

Just got back from local BBQ. Just recovered from injury!

Good luck everyone!! See you all tomorrow!!


25/09/2011 at 13:01

really disappointing. Utter traffic chaos approaching the Kassam meant many runners leaving their cars (if they were lucky enough to have someone with them) and walking a mile. There were hundreds of cars behind me, so God knows if they got to the start on time. We were at the turn-off by 8.45, but not into the stadium till 9.20. Then an enormous queue to drop bags off - massively understaffed. Locals told me for OUFC games (with coaches etc) the traffic is awful, so why this was not foreseen and warnings given, I don't know.

The big tempter for me was the stadium element, but unfortunately we started on a side road outside (I;m sure starting inside would have been chaotic, to be fair, with the numbers involved).

 Stewards at the stadium were OUFC and didn't know much about the race at all. Start delayed till 0945, but I had to shove my pre-race fruit & choc down very quickly, no time to warm up, and then get in the queue. Couldn't hear the starter with his small megaphone, then walked through the start because of a tiny funnel.

Lack of signs for expected finish time meant wading through hundreds of guys running a bit slower to start with, although a nice wide road meant it wasn't too bad.

Unfortunately with all the stress & rush beforehand, I never digested my food really, and rapidly ran out of energy. Combined with a very dull first 6 miles on the bypass/factory with little support (honourable exception for one little village area), many stewards not talking, clapping or smiling meant I stopped at mile 6. I'll be running 20 next weekend, and could have done with the half, but I'd lost interest & heart, tbh.

I could have plodded on, but also I was just - bored really. No buzz to the race at all. I asked the steward where we were "I don't know mate." Do you know if there's a quicker way to jog back to the Kassam? " I dunno mate". At least he let me borrow his phone so I could get picked up from where I was at.

I guess this highlights when local clubs don't get so involved with the stewarding etc, and lack of local knowledge at the start, gives big problems. Poor volunteers at water stations couldn't get bottles out quick enough. Fair play for trying this, and maybe with significant modification, it will work in future, but more was bitten off than could be chewed today.

I hope the stadium finish was good for the rest of you, and maybe many didn't have such a bad experience. But without a doubt the worst of the 7 half marathons I've done.

25/09/2011 at 14:53
What a great run that was.
Luckily I only live up the road from the stadium so i never had any problems with the traffic. I thought the baggage could of been handled a bit better but with all the negativity leading up to this race I'm surprised it even got off the ground.
I remember doing Reading half a few years ago where the start was delayed for over half an hour so today's delay was hardly noticeable.
I always eat a good two hours before the start so again no problems there. The course was brilliant with plenty of room once we were on Grenoble road.( chip timing so the shuffle up to the start line did not matter.)
I made a point of saying thanks at the water stations and road junctions and always got a shout of support back from the stewards.
There were people out giving support at so many points along the route which was fantastic and being an Oxonion meant i had loads of family and friends all over the place.
I set myself a target time of 1:33:30 so when I reached ten miles in 1:10 i knew i was bang on target. I had to dig deep going through littlemore but knowing the route so well also helped.
Before the start I had visualized my finish which involved coming on as a sub for Oxford united and scoring the winner goal with a beautiful volley. You should have seen it!! It was a beauty.
I even had my photo taken with Olly the Ox but the icing on the cake was when an Oxford united player then handed me two tickets to the next home game.
I am so pleased i came to support my local half marathon. Maybe next year with more support from local running clubs we can make this an even better event.
Thanks to all who made this run possible.
25/09/2011 at 15:01
Dalli- nice to see you at the start mate. I hope you had an enjoyable run.
25/09/2011 at 15:10

Went to provide some vocal support on Old Road as I couldn't run this race but ended up helping man the water station which was massively understaffed. A further 3 passers by also helped to hand out water but this was still not enough for all the runners. I feel very sorry for those running who had to run through the chaos that was the water station, but big up to the random volunteers off the street who just decided to help!

25/09/2011 at 15:11

What a great first Oxford Half Marathon.  Flat I am not so convinced on that!  Support was good all the way round with cheering and even some jelly babies, 

As for traffic chaos at start.  What do people expect.  3000 entrants probably most going in separate cars.  If you have rituals to go through before your race start leave earlier.

 Thanks Oxford for a good local half marathon.  Will be back next year.

 PS Thought medal was well designed.  Spires and a mini.  True Oxford.

25/09/2011 at 15:21
Forgot to mention the Wonderful medal which they gave to all the runners who crossed the finish line.
This was the first event for the runners of the newly formed IWCA athletic club ( Blackbird leys )who kindly allowed me to be a guest runner for the day.
All of our six runners finished chuffed to bits. Next year we intend to have at least 50 runners out doing it.
25/09/2011 at 15:36

I can see where soe of the criticism is coming from but I think this was a good race, and I enjoyed it.  Support from local clubs would definitely help, espeiclally with marshalling and the water stations. 

I didn't use the baggage drop so didn't see what happened there and with the car parking, when I arrived at 8.30am there was only a small queue and it was easy to find a space.  Having done other city HMs I expected it to be busy and arrived accordingly.

Some bits of the route were really dull, but then how do you avoid that without doing laps?  The town & gown route is quite pleasant but very twisty and turny and would not be suitable for a larger race.  I do think they could do with more road closures if it's going to become a bigger city HM.

Well done to all those that finished.

25/09/2011 at 16:16

How can a Half marathon be boring ??

whether it be rural, industrial, by pass , residential -

surely it's alway a game of mind games ahh -

25/09/2011 at 16:20

Well that was my first ever race of any sort and I must say anybody who expects more really must be a prima donna. The traffic all over Oxford is notorious at any time so why you wouldn't leave ample time is beyond me, got there at half 8 without the slightest hiccup.

As for the course I enjoyed it, the bypass sections were a little dull and certainly the sustained slope around mile 10 did me in more than I thought it would. Superb local support though and I loved the resident who brought out speakers playing the 'olympic' music!

I would certainly love to finish in front of a grandstand at every race in the future too! Well done to all involved. I gather there were 'politics' surrounding its staging but don't care one jot for that - it's got at least this one individual hooked on races so it was worth it for that at least, thanks

25/09/2011 at 16:21
Boredom comes from within.
I personally couldn't keep up with all the excitement.
25/09/2011 at 16:23
Soon to become SIR Waccy
25/09/2011 at 16:23
SnOOter- Tell it like it is.
Nice one mate.
25/09/2011 at 16:36

I'm with you waccyracer as an OUFC fan and a proud Oxonian have to say I enjoyed it immensely. Wish I could have enjoyed the finish more but I was out on my feet and almost worse by then having taken 7 minutes of my pb to come in 1:54. I suppose it was easier for us locals knowing where to park and allowing plenty of time but I did end up parking on Grenoble Rd and not using the baggage drop.

I guess it's all a bit trial and error the first time so hopefully it will improve as it grows. How many years has Reading been going? As I didn't find it particularly smooth in terms of getting everyone to the start line this year either. It's all a learning curve I guess but thought it worked pretty well considering the difficulties and I was expecting a hitch or two.

Carrie Anne - I agree with you about it not being completely flat, I certainly felt the last 4 - 5 miles were uphill but this was probably as I'd run out of steam big time!

25/09/2011 at 16:40

in all my years of road running - solo and pushing Phil

i'm struggling to remember a race of HM distance thats actually flat

i expect there is - but i dont know of them

well done to all who run today

25/09/2011 at 16:55
Could anyone tell me where i can get  my official time for the Ox half marathon?  I know my rough time but thought i would look up the exact one when i got home. Unfortunately I can't seem to find where the times are listed on the official sit. Am i looking in the wrong place?
25/09/2011 at 17:24

Russell, you can find the chip times here: http://www.racetimingsystems.com/public/results.aspx?raceid=1960

 I enjoyed a 4.5 minutes PR, so I'm well chuffed.  Coming in from out of town, I managed to miss the traffic chaos (though my cab driver was whinging to me that we would hit traffic and then...we didn't ) and though I was shocked by the bag line, I got my stuff in before the original start time.  I found the very beginning and the very the end the hardest mentally, but loved all the community support in the middle.  Especially the lady playing "Chariots of Fire" out of her parked car!  I was in the back of the pack, so I didn't encounter any problems at water stations, and many of the marshals were encouraging to me.

25/09/2011 at 17:50
i think the massive criticism from Berger was a little overdone. it was a first staging of an event. there are bound to be teething problems. we got there early despite only having to travel 14 miles there. as snooter said, anyone running  a race in a city will surely leave ample time to get there through traffic. we were early but parked right by kassam, used the health club toilets twice with no queues, found the start line in time. admittedly it got chilly waiting for the start, but the delay was minimal. ive done races where half hour delays can be normal!..i guess they went for the outside start toi minimise bottlenecking. as someone said, boredom comes from within . city routes are not top of my list but its my home town and i love oxford .i found many people to chat to along the way, and i thought crowd support was great all the way...plenty of people outside their houses and i thanked all who shouted support...the part through the city itself was a little strained trying to avoid shoppers but was nice to pass the unis..i found the water staions most generous..and at frequent and well placed points..the medal was lovely , one of the best ive recieved.the goodybag was satisfactory too i thought.my only two gripes were that the road marshalls possibly wernt in the best places quick enough, and the last mile home seemed very long !!..id have like some markers showing 800yds, 400yds etc to the end...the finish in kassam was nice though....i really wanted to run on pitch for a moment of stardom-lol!!
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