In short: Badly-organised big city marathon In full: Inadequate marshalling for parking. Inadequate bag drop and collection - it's not difficult to set up numbered marquees (you did it last year IIRC) On course, good water stations and energy gels (except the first one) The start line wasn't clear - would it be too much to ask that you have a sign that says "Start"? The mile 1 sign was facing the wrong way - hence the chuckles in the pack The mile 23 sign appeared twice - this sort of thing is amateurish The mile markers were still too small - why not just buy the metal signs that Vitality or Great Run use? No one should have to search these out - they should be enormous No idea why you'd use the cricket ground - it's a terrible place to host a marathon race village and seems like you couldn't afford MUFC Date of review: April 10, 2016
In short: Another really good big-city half marathon In full: It's a great race, and I'll be doing it again. The extra hill around Selly Park is a nice touch, and an improvement on the twists and turns of the back of Hagley Road. Two suggestions: Think about where the water stations are. Powerade and water were right next to each other in Cannon Hill Park. They could easily have staggered these. At the start, the funnel before the timing strip wasn't used properly for the orange wave. Runners were massing up near the line before the klaxon. This meant that there was massive congestion in the first mile. It's actually dangerous, because you've got joggers in that orange wave getting in the way of people going well under 90 minutes. And it's slippery, and the roads are very narrow at that point. I really wouldn't mind starting 1 minute later if it meant there was less congestion on the course. Date of review: October 20, 2013
In short: Good big-city run In full: Look, I actually liked the original Abbeydale Road/Millhouses route! It went past my house, so I was used to the never-ending climb up to the Tesco petrol station. Penistone Road is little more than a flattish slog - and we don't even get the trip under the stands at Hillsborough any more.
The t-shirt was very good this time, after a couple of very shoddy efforts in previous years.
The start is still poorly-managed - the Orange wave is too big and there are far too many 50-minute sorts getting in the way of 40-minute runners in the first 500 metres. Since this is steeply downhill, and narrow, it's a recipe for trips and spills.
Every year, I ask for them to relieve the congestion at the start - put a tight bottle-neck in just before the start line. Every year, it's the same problem. Bupa managed this at Birmingham in 2011 - any chance they can apply this to Sheffield? Date of review: September 29, 2012
In short: Perfect organisation for a big-city race In full: The start was brilliantly-organised. A wave system was in place, and feeder pens allowed you to join your wave without having to push through the crowds. Plenty of side streets to warm up in as well. Just before crossing the start line, there was a bottleneck - genius idea! This really eased congestion on the course proper and meant there was no tripping over other runners in the first few hundred metres. Could they have aplit up the orange wave - perhaps signage for those aiming at sub-1.30, sub-1.40 etc?
Well-placed drinks stations, though they should have smaller bottles of Powerade to cut down on waste.
Yes, the hill at 10 miles was tough, but something had to make up for the downhill just after the start. I actually quite enjoyed it! Massive PB, so I'm not going to complain too much...
The finish was very straightforward, and the officials were very quick to move runners away from the finish area.
Definitely coming back next year! Date of review: October 26, 2011