In short: A big improvement on last years race, but with a few tweeks could be ba fantastic race. In full: The organisers have obviously taken on board the comments from last years race now that we have an out & back route which covers some of the scenic parts of Birmingham on a mostly flat & fast course. The support from the locals and marshalls was fantastic and the general organisation was far better. However, wasn't too happy to find that public transport is still virtually non existent & the parking charges at the NIA are exorbitent to say the least...would it have been too difficult to offer a concession for competitors?? And...come on...what's with the jar of Cranberry sauce & box of cereal?? You ought to try getting out and running 13.1 miles then see how you feel afterwards...cranberry sauce anyone? no, thought not. You've got bloomin' Cadbury's just round the corner and bananas aren't too expensive are they? But, there was no shortage of after race drinks, so you've gained a few points there. Just one more comment to the jobsworths at the NIA after the race...The hall was not at any time overcrowded so there was plenty of room for everyone to take a few minutes to get changed and have a bite to eat while resting their tired legs...DON'T KEEP TELLING US TO GO OUTSIDE AS SOON AS WE HAVE COLLECTED OUR BAGS, we're not going to hang around for hours, just show a bit of respect. It's still a very good half marathon though and Birmingham should be proud of this.
In short: Getting better all the time...but the original start area of Little Park Street was better In full: This is my home town Half Marathon, so i've done it since it was re-introduced and am pleased that it is getting better all the time. However..although the finish area at Millenium Place was amazing and gave all runners a strong down-hill finish, the starting area just round the corner in Hales Street was far too narrow for most. The original starting area in Little Park Street was far wider & more runner friendly. The route is now fairly unchanged and although challenging; there's no serious hills to contend with. As said before, Millenium Place was an excellent finishing area and made good use of it for once and the atmosphere there was fantastic. A nice touch for those at home to follow the race was the 'race-live' as they could keep up with their friends/relations as they finished via the PC. However, RaceAhead's results service is a bit rubbish as it's been over a week since the Cov Half and although all the runners & their times are listed; there are no club names. Check out the Birmingham Half's results service..that same evening..and you could even bring up the results for everyone in your club. One other thing organisers...the prize listing..what's that all about?? Prizes for elite runners, prizes for non-elite runners...eh? Don't make things any more complicated than they need to be. 1st 2nd 3rd Men, 1st 2nd 3rd Women, and various age groups etc. It's a shame that with only 1500 runners in the half marathon the numbers are a bit low for what is essentially a well organised City event, but perhaps Birmingham's Half the following week snaffled quite a few that would have normally run Coventry. With better promotion and a few little tweaks here & there; Coventry's Half should be a regular event in the Half Marathon Calendar.
In short: Although a few tweeks will be needed here & there by the organisers, a big well done should go out to them for the inaugural Birmingham Half In full: I quite agree with what others have been saying about the route; that an out & back / circuit would have been better as Perry Bar is a pig to get to when 9000+ others are trying to do the same...& then we didn't even start in the stadium! The route was testing physically & mentally at times; especially the A34; mind numbing. But on the whole the organisers should congratulate themselves for managing to pull off a large city half marathon with only a few grumbles afterwards. With a tweek here & there this promises to be a 'must do' half marathon. I'll be back next year anyway, and hopefully the first cross country meeting of the Brum League won't have been on the previous day...not the best preparation! Date of review: October 27, 2008
In short: Great value, Great Organisation & Great Atmosphere In full: Probably not a PB race as the track round the golf course is a bit uneven & narrow in places. But if it's a 10k that offers great value and a great atmosphere you're after; then this is it. A very scenic race and plenty of support all round from spectators and marshalls alike, a real feel-good factor. The snow didn't hamper things too much as the paths and roads were clear, but it's funny to think that at the same race last year it was verging on being too hot!! You couldn't make it up..... Date of review: April 10, 2008
In short: If you want to have a go at a well organised and fairly quick 10k with a good variety of runners of all abilities, then try this one. In full: I can only really add the same comments as most other runners are saying about this run. On the positive side, it is a very scenic 10k and is well organised. The goody bags were a nice touch this year with a T shirt, medal and the bottle of water. However...I did feel so very sorry for the runners who came to the finish at around the 55min - 1hr 10min mark as the bottle neck was dreadful. My wife Diane was part of this and had just set a PB for 10k in 1.01.39, though what her 'official' time will tell could be anyones guess. Would it be possible to send in your own time to the organisers? When race organisers increase the entry limits to their races they should give more thought to the finish area...there have been enough races over the years for people to watch and learn from surely. Anyway, apart from the finish line debacle and the 'water crossing' on the hill it was a thoroughly enjoyable race again and is now becoming a firm fixture in the Warwickshire road racing calendar. Date of review: April 16, 2007
In short: A flat (out & back) course for Wales! In full: A great course for all abilities with definate PB potential, though being a sea-front race meant that there was quite a stiff breeze, especially between miles 7 & 10. But, a great race anyway and to 'cash' your race-chips in at one of the burger bars after the race for chips or a hot-dog was a great idea...a chip for chips! Date of review: March 14, 2007
In short: Always a great race to do. Scenic, undulating, great organisation and a great atmosphere. In full: I have run this race for a few years now. It used to be called The Roman IX (9 miles), but the slight change of course and shorter route (12k now)never detracted from the great atmosphere of this race. And we were very lucky with the conditions today! Date of review: January 28, 2007