Andy a lot of people for the bigger event's will say they can do x time and them end up doing it in y because they had good intentions but didn't do the training or just doing it as a one off and don't understand distance racing times.
Your going to find it like that for a lot of races with pen's. If your thinking of targetting a race for a PB reading is a good half to take a look at for a big city race or just go for some off the smaller low key races. Done some in the past with just a 100 of so folks at the start line.
TRI if your local get yourself down there for open water what Tom said above makes a lot of sence.
Plus if you go there next year your going to find yourself a regular training buddy or two which is very useful.
Going back to the thread hijack thank god you guys sound like you actually know where anything is. Stupid question it's become a joke in the cake household espeally after sunday's half and what a lot of local brum's called a hill is there any decent training hill's out there or is Sutton park my best bet? Moving from yorkshire/peak distract so used to 10% gradient's and crazy stuff like that.