In short: much improved organisation in a welcoming city In full: Fourth time of running the Bath Half. After giving it a wide berth last year after horrendous organisational difficulties in '09, we were tempted back again because the atmosphere is fab. Found the organisation to be much improved, got to P&R early, and there seemed to be a greater no. of P&R buses. One criticism about organisation is that I was in the white pen (B) with an estimated finish time of 1:55 and my OH *behind* me in the green pen (D) with est. time of 1:40. What's that about? It may help to explain the frustrations at the start. Needless to say, I didn't dare go as far forward as my bib indicated!
Great support on this race, there is a wonderful atmosphere and I love that the good citizens of Bath pour out onto the streets. Great having some extra bands on the route. Only room for improvement here is to do something on that industrial stretch (Upper Bristol Road?) .. the radiocars didn't quite cut the mustard.
I know many people run with MP3s, but it's just not safe with the numbers that Bath attracts, and I appreciated the 'ban', def. noticed fewer runners plugged in in comparison to earlier years.
In short: outstanding organisation, good support along the route, brilliant stadium finish In full: My DH and I opted for this as an alternative to Bath - several years of chaotic organisation there, we thought it was time for a change. Reading ran like absolute clockwork. We didn't test the baggage or shuttle buses, cos nearby pre-booked parking and provision of a space blanket made that unnecessary. Can't fault the organisation of the race. Marshalling was encouraging, friendly & efficient. One hiccup in the town centre, where crowds moving forward led to a very narrow passageway through for runners.
Route well supported - crowds brilliant, great to have music/bands around the course, thanks Reading!
Route for me was quite crowded (1:55 finish) at the start and at several points along the course, not able to set my own pace for much of the way. But happy to accept that when you get such a lovely atmosphere.
Only (slight) bugbear would be the positioning of water/energy drinks along the course - if you want both water and energy drinks you end up carrying two bottles??!
In short: vast improvements to last year, and a fabulous place to run a Half In full: after last years fun and games expectations were high, organisers had to improve. And improve they did ... park & ride much improved, as was finish funnel. Well done these guys.
This is the third time I've run Bath Half and I love the atmosphere ... the sunshine today brought the crowds out, support was fantastic, drink stations, loos, first aid, marshalling etc all excellent. Shall be back. Date of review: March 15, 2009
In short: Well organised friendly race In full: First time doing this for me. Positives were that the race was well organised and fairly priced (I applied in advance), friendly encouraging marshalls and no huge hills to deal with.
Considerations for improvements - I know people who hadn't pre-registered who were put off coming at the thought of having to register between 8-9am - yet I saw people registering ten mins before the start. Also, why was the registration table set up in front of one set of toilets, putting this much needed resource out of action?
I thoroughly enjoyed the race though, and it's great to take part in an event that is well organised, friendly and not hugely expensive. Well done Roadents! Date of review: February 23, 2009
In short: fantastic organisation and great potential for PB In full: First time I've done this race, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Friendly, low key, reasonable entry cost, well marshalled.
Would have appreciated directions to the end point, as with a point to point that's where I decided to park, and got horribly lost trying to find it. Also, it wasn't at all clear that there would be a minibus provided between the start/finish, it was a bonus to find that there was one, but it did mean we'd driven two cars up to Aberdare unnecessarily.
In short: excellent organisation, challenging course In full: Plenty of parking, toilets etc at start, excellent organisation at start and finish.
Found the course a tough one due to weather conditions - course along coastline therefore very exposed and windy - difficult to get clothing right as lots warmer in the (few) sheltered parts. Great atmosphere amongst fellow runners and the marshals, very encouraging. Very few spectators along the route, but who can blame them, I wouldn't want to stand out in that wind.
Race faultless apart from one big BUT - course measured short, which in my mind is inexcusable.
In short: great course, day was ruined for my family by chaos in Castle at the end :-( In full: Really good course, good atmosphere amongst runners and crowd, decent organisation on the day, but I feel poor planning ... not enough to put me off doing the race again, esp. as it's in my home city - but that in itself makes me feel slightly ashamed for ppl who'd have driven miles.
City Hall absolutely overwhelmed, couldn't cope with numbers pre-race - top tip: send out baggage tags in advance, or put more than one person on duty! And bigger, more prominent signage at City Hall, Castle and enroute would've been greatly appreciated.
Timely start and lovely to run down to Bay and around. Drinks station at 5m was hopeless, all others ran v smoothly.
Crowd really encouraging on the way. Marshalling was excellent (aside: you'd think they'd know what rough-ish distance they were at tho!) My family appreciated the pacers to help know where to find me in the throng.
But - husband and two children gutted not to be able to get into castle grounds to see me finish or to meet me afterwards. I can only think that the chaos of those crowds at the end was actually a safety hazard, and tbh made a joke of the whole event. I can't imagine many people will remember Cardiff for anything other than the half hour queue to get out of the castle grounds after the race. Very poor Cardiff, try harder. Date of review: October 14, 2007
In short: well organised race, lovely parkland route but lacked that special buzz In full: thoroughly enjoyed this race today, beautiful park route, seamless organisation, timely start and great marshalling. Still yearn for that one-time stadium finish tho, which was just *the best*. Race start could benefit from some finish time markers; there were people walking 3-abreast within the first kilometer. Felt that a lot of the route wasn't populated with supporters, but those supporters on the course were vocal and a wonderful boost. Date of review: September 9, 2007
In short: buzzy start & finish with great views but little atmosphere enroute, good PB In full: Chuffed to be taking part in the first Great Wales Run, sad to see that there weren't as many entries as expected. Put off by entry fees? I was really encouraged to see the elite and celebrity runners taking part.
Despite info. in race pack and on website boasting of excellent transport links to Cardiff Bay, I failed to find public transport that could get me to the Bay by 9am on a Sunday morning. Did anyone else? I eventually drove, parking was straightforward.
The start was at a fair pace, and route quickly opened up to allow runners to find their groove. Course was fast and flat, bar a slow climb and a quick descent into Penarth Marina, so pleased with taking almost 3 mins off my PB. Within 1-2km of the start tho, and despite spectator-friendly weather, support evaporated, marshals were few and not really enthusiastic in supporting. Could really have done with some uplifting music and cheering onlookers on Cardiff side of the barrage (7-8km ish?) Water stations and finish like clockwork. Fabulous finish, breathtaking views, and made me feel proud to have Cardiff as my adopted hometown of 19 years! Date of review: August 8, 2007
In short: Really well organised race with excellent atmosphere and good encouragement In full: This was my first Bath Half, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The organisation and marshalling were excellent, the goody bag was packed, and the crowds were uplifting. Wonderful atmosphere amongst the runners. My young family appreciated that the route went past Victoria Park, so they spent time in the playground.
Plenty of drinks stations and first aid. Only downside for me was the number of portaloos along the route - a long queue at every one, I spent 4½ minutes waiting at 9 miles :-( Date of review: March 26, 2007