Oxford Half Marathon

Sunday 14th Oct

21 to 40 of 47 messages
14/10/2012 at 17:24
Well done Simon, I was thankful I had my OH to look after the kit, the snaked lines to collect look bad!

Annoyed by the markers, really did mess my race to an extent, I'd expect better when paying nearly ??30 to enter, FFS.
14/10/2012 at 19:26

I also missed the 8 and 9 markers, pretty sure they didn't exist. Nice surprise when I saw the mile 10 marker though! The narrow river paths were also a bit annoying, I lost a lot of time trying to get past people. Baggage collection was a joke but other than that an enjoyable day!

14/10/2012 at 19:37

Thanks Peacey. Yeah I also found it nice surprise to see the 10 mile marker as I pretty much gave up trying to get past others along the towpath. At least it meant something left in tank for last 3 which I was thankful for so I didn't have that going backwards feeling! Last year I blew out badly by that point but didn't have the river distraction as was all road and more of the bypass so I think this year was improvement on that. 

15/10/2012 at 08:10

both the 8 & 9 mile markers were there but they were both quite close to the ground so could have been missed if you were in a pack of people.


15/10/2012 at 10:28
In the ground I'd say!
15/10/2012 at 10:36

i was running with a pace-maker and i think we didnt see either the 8 or 9 mile markers either - think they might have been less obvious as were in field etc - thought the route ws pretty good (although the last three miles seem a bit bleak)., however, the organization, both in terms of info around beforehand (website etc) and the t-shirt/timing chip/baggage pick up queues at the end, was pretty bad - having to stand in about three queues for about an hour and a half after finishing is really not what you want...maybe they should have funneled us into separate queue rather than the free-for-all it felt like for t-shirts etc, and also split the baggage drop into 3/4 different locations by race number.. guess its still early days for them though

15/10/2012 at 12:02

i thought it was a really well run event, and i've done my fair share of events over the years. As for the 8/9 mile marker not being obvious, i think thats neither here nor there to be honest. I think if you've dialled in your pace by 5-6 miles it should be pretty easy to stay consistent up until mile 10, regardless of the odd mile marker missing. I noted that you still had a good time Peacey, (you still beat me :0) but by the sound of it you're a bit of a racing snake and frustrated you didn't hit sub 1:20. Do you not run with gps?

Edited: 15/10/2012 at 12:02
15/10/2012 at 12:14

Thanks David, yes i wa running with a GPS, the issue i had was that i wasnt using the autolap function, instead i was hitting the lap button at each marker so i could be 100% sure of my pace (Garmins are circa 0.1-.02m out over a half) and missing 2 markers meant my average pace reading was all over the place so i just ran the final few miles based on feel, i dont think i would of sub 80'd anyway but annoying all the same.

15/10/2012 at 12:21

that makes sense, no wonder you got p@ssed off. although i've done plenty marathons, this was only my second standalone half in 17yrs!! I pb'd (1:22:28) so obviously i'm stat searching now to see what i could pull out the bag on a different course. would you say oxford was a slow/fast course?

15/10/2012 at 12:28

Well done on your time!

I've definatley run quicker courses but all things considered its a reasonable PB course, bit twisty in places for my liking but thats just a personal opinion!


Bedders..    pirate
15/10/2012 at 21:18

Just to say, I was the Pacer for the 1:55 time and missed just one of the mile markers which I think was Mile 8 but it did not distract at all from the day and for me it made the next mile more fun as I was not sure whether to pick up the pace or not. I would like to have seen 5km timing mats and something over the road at the halfway point but these are minor gripes.  

Other than that I thought it was a good course, great people to run with, lovely weather and although the queue at the end was long for bags I am sure they will sort this out for future years.

I will definately run it again.    


16/10/2012 at 08:11

hi, guess i must have just missed the 9 mile marker then, i guess it was somewhere along the river bank? Didnt make a difference at all as you said. By the way, thanks so much for you pacing on Sunday bedders, really helped me run the race in the right way, and allowed me to knock 3 1/2 minutes off my pb. Yeah, i agree the course was really nice, just think the way they organized the finish could have been slightly different, I guess this will get better every year too

Bedders..    pirate
16/10/2012 at 09:03

well done Dave great result - I was worried I dropped you in the last mile but you came good in the end and sailed through. You were great company - may see you in London!  

16/10/2012 at 13:25

I too took part in the Oxford half at the weekend - it all seemed pretty good, but I missed quite a few of the mile markers (including 8 & 9) as well, perhaps they could be better placed.

It was a really good day out; I loved the balloons on the pace makers - made them very easy to spot, the atmosphere was great and I really enjoyed the route into town and along the river (even though I kept getting stuck behind slower runners on the narrower paths!). Thanks to all involved with organising/supporting and pace making

Not sure about the route out of the car park though - it's a bit troublesome having to leave via the route everyone's running on. Not a huge deal right now, but if the event gets bigger it could cause a lot of problems!

Also interested to find out if any pictures will become available of the event - I've seen the Oxford Mail's picture page, but this is just thousands of images dumped on the site with no way of searching them ... will the pics appear on marathon-photos.com I wonder?

16/10/2012 at 17:06

I thought that they spoiled the whole race with the chaotic bag drop arrangements. It would have been an unmitigated disaster if the weather had been worse. As it was it is unacceptable that it takes 45 minutes plus to retrieve your baggage after a race. Of the 600 plus races I've run (including big city marathons) the baggage arrangements at Oxford were easily the most disorganised and poorly planned.

Bedders..    pirate
16/10/2012 at 18:43

I am sure the guys at OHM are kicking themselves for the chaotic scenes at the end with the T shirt give out and the bag hand out being as it was. However, for me it didn't distract from a great race and if they get those things sorted (and a few others I mention above) then for next year it will be a cracker.

If anyone from OHM is reading this thread it would be good to hear what you think.  

16/10/2012 at 20:31

i take it you won't be returning for 2013 then A J Brooks. thank god the weather was good else you may have self combust On a serious note though i can understand how that may have been frustrating, i left my kit in the car thankfully. What exactly was the delay, not enough manpower to re-issue the bags?

17/10/2012 at 16:14

Hate to say it but I thought the Oxford Half was the most chaotic I've run in, (about 30 or so since the 1980's). I ran last year and was one of the hundreds who couldn't get within miles of the stadium. I think last year the start was delayed by at least 15 minutes? Really annoying when you're trying to warm up and mentally prepare. I had to walk and run nearly a mile just to get to the start and that's after jumping the queue on the dual carriageway. Hey!, no worries, it was the first year and mistakes happen. But, it did annoy a few people on the start line when the organiser said, "We're really sorry, but due to circumstances beyond our control, some of you haven't been able to get here on time".

This year, 2013? Having passed on my concerns this year to the organisers (hoping to help, not criticise) and being told that the parking and access issues had been addressed, I was gutted to see that the traffic queue had already started at Sainsburys (about 1.5 miles/ 2 miles away?). The organisers had specified parking options but had obviously not addressed the issue. I knew the short cuts so I could get past the traffic, no problem, but so many people were upset, families split up and runners' preparations spoiled. The start was delayed again, this year by only about 12 minutes. I just feel really sorry for people who were worse off than me or those who even had to turn back, thinking that they had missed the start.

Mile markers missing or difficult to see? Yes, but not too serious compared to the start access. The additional queues at the finish though were really annoying. I just wanted to get out of there, but hundreds of us were crushed into a mess up, not knowing what we were being given and having to go back to get medals, hideous when you're cold, knackered and sweaty.

I never complain, but when this event cost me £33, you can't help feeling that the organisers are taking the p.ss, especially when you read their self congtatulatory press release after the event. I'll give anyone a chance to get it right the first time, but having a mess up second time round, with a stadium, traffic management consultants, the lot, I have no sympathy if the organisers lose their contract to run it next year. Have they taken down negative Facebook reviews? I'm going to put something 'constructive' on it now.

Am I alone with my feelings of frustration? Quite a few people were worse than me!



17/10/2012 at 17:39

That's no surprise, my comment on the Oxford Half Marathon Facebook page has now been deleted. How many other negative comments have been deleted? What a shame they can't handle criticism and just keep sending out PR.

Anyhow, on a positive note, it's the Stroud Half Marathon on Sunday. Can't wait, brilliantly organised and less than half the price.

17/10/2012 at 19:48
See you next year then Pete
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