In short: Good value run on the sunny south coast In full: A fast run with a few challenges - not quite a flat as you first think but no serious climbs. A fine partly sunny day along the beach which I found quite warm. I could have done with more water - the combination of insufficient helpers at the water stations handing out inadequate half filled plastic cups of water did not help. It only put pressure on the helpers when the main field arrived and I have never mastered drinking out of a flimsy cup when running. Prefer a small bottle any day and prepared to pay a few extra quid in registration for it as well.
Shame people still feel the need to start at the front and slow down faster runners behind, but as the first expected finish sign at the front of the start was 1hr 40 it is possibly no surprise.
Other these 2 things, a well run event at a great location. Date of review: April 4, 2011
In short: Well organised race - even kept the snow away In full: A stress free race due to clockwork organisation. I last ran the race in 2006 and the new course is a great improvement by avoiding the park in the early miles. Unfortunately Rumwell Hill was as bad as I remembered which dented any aspirations for a PB. Well done to the organisers and the marshalls. I look forward to next year. Date of review: April 7, 2008
In short: Great PB potential - a PB for organisers next year?? In full: Flat wide course which is quick. Great goody bag and crowds. No excuses for delaying the start by over an hour on a wet, windy and cold morning because the 1st aid tent wasn't erected in time. Poor announcements and facilities in such conditions. Runners village looked like Glastonbury. All the organisation problems are solveable. Bristol is run better! There is an incentive for the organisers. Date of review: March 16, 2008
In short: Don't just blame the organisers...we also need to be responsible In full: I love Bristol, I love running around Bristol (even if I did get near to Avonmouth), I loved the Bristol crowds and I loved the big race atmosphere.
If the start is right, then the rest will follow - less congestions even in the narrow bits. There was an attempt to organise the start with the colour codes, but there was no planning that people would pay no attention to them, or that people would not turn up on time. You need to treat us all like children to ensure that we have a good time. Enforce the colour coding. If people are late, then start them at the back, dont let them filter in from a side road in front of everyone. We all knew the start time.
A word about the goodie bags - ditch them - I would prefer just a banana or two. I also loved getting the park and ride to the race, but it was a shame that the bus didn't drop us or pick us up near the start.
If I could have one more request - could we run around Bristol a little more and less on the Portway - it was a bit of a grind and a bit dull.
I'll be back next year to see if the start has improved. Date of review: October 15, 2006
In short: Millennium Stadium make it all worthwhile In full: Excellent course for those new to Cardiff. Opera House, Castle and a magnificant stadium to finish - and what a buzz it is to finish there. And almost all traffic free (except for the ambulance at the start!). Good start time so no danger of getting too hot. Also good map in booklet.
Most of the grumbles about congestion and slow runners at the front could be helped by having timing pens, otherwise lots of wasted energy weaving past slow runners (and if you are slow and running with friends, don't all run in a line across the road - it causes a real jam). Narrow in place causing bottlenecks but what do you expect with so many runners? It's great being part of a big race so these things you have to live with. Shame some of the mile markers had gone missing, a few more marshalls were needed at the Barrage and the cobbles in the park were a killer so near the end. But I forgive all for a chance to run into the Millennium Stadium!
Thanks to the Cardiff crowd for great support.
Will do it again, and if you sort out the start, I might get a PB on this course. Date of review: October 15, 2006
In short: Great venue but the heat made it harder work In full: Wow, it was hot. Did not expect this temperature in Scotland of all places, so a winter training programme didn't seem like much help. A great city to run around with a course that tried to do the city justice while keeping it to only 1 lap. Great start on Princes Street and finish in the park. The run between 18-23 miles were not so grand (sewage works, traffic jams). The supporters were excellent with the locals spraying the runners with water over the last few miles. Enough runners to feel that you had been part of a big event.
Some gripes. Can't understand how mile markers can't be accurate. School boy errors. Too many cobbled streets for my liking. Spacing of water and energy drink stations seemed odd. The two could be very close together then nothing for what seemed a long way. Why can't decent maps be produced for these races rather than very generalised pictures pretending to be maps. I quite like knowing the route before I run it.
This was my first marathon so I have little to compare it with. It is a great city to run around and well supported. I would consider doing it again but not in a month when temperatures could be this high. I am pleased that the organisers are thinking of changing the month of the race. Date of review: June 25, 2006
In short: Rumwell Hill is a sting in the tail but a good one lap half In full: I ran the half marathon for the second year - not the easiest course in the world - undulating with a steeper section between 9-11 miles. Weather played it's part this year with squally showers and a stiff breeze in the face for the first half. The course is quite exposed and the scenary is a little dull at this time of the year. The outer reaches of the course has no spectators - the 2 lap marathon must be very lonely. Good organisation at the start/finish though could the start be on the widest bit if the road please. Also the start time zones were a bit bunched up so they were no help really - too many people to far farward for their pace. Date of review: May 28, 2006