Just got back from local BBQ. Just recovered from injury!
Good luck everyone!! See you all tomorrow!!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 -
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
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!
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
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.
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