In short: Great race, shame about some of the organisation In full: The race itself was not too bad, mildly challenging but the finish was appalling. Narrow lane in the run up which went across the exit of the car park! Slippy on the mud so not great for a sprint finish. Slower runners were faced with people walking in the finishing lane as you entered the castle before the car park exit and there were not any marshalls to monitor this. We saw this as we were driving out and I all but had to stop myself getting out of the car to ask people to respect those who were still running...absolutely awful to see.
Good support on route which was very much appreciated in the awful weather conditions.
Like many others, experienced the terrible traffic problems but fortunately, as I wasn't driving was able to step out of the car and run to the start. It took me over 7 minutes to cross the start line (according to my chip time) so not sure why people were turned away at 9.00 am?! Have never ever heard of this happening in any other race and really feel for people who were not able to run. It is quite obvious that this race was organised by non-runners who dont appreciate the effort that people have made to get to the start line.
I didn't receive a t-shirt (where were they being handed out?) and only got a foil blanket because a marshall saw that I was sooo cold and handed me one from a box on the grass. A guy from my running club got a t-shirt but no foil blanket! Why was this so sporadic, surely each finisher should be offered the same service? Being handed these items at the finsih should be automatic and not by pure luck. Not bothered about the goody bag - they are very rarely worthwhile but agree that the medal was, well, pretty shabby. Not one to show off to your nearest and dearest.
Glad that I had people with me who looked after my baggage so that I avoided waiting in a long queue whilst being wet through. I dont mind running in the rain/sleet but you want to be able to change fairly quickly into dry clothes.
Whilst the organisers cannot be held responsible for the weather, they must take into consideration that a March race could be hit by rain so grass is not an ideal option for parking. If I ever do this race again would definitely park outside the castle grounds.
Overall, this race has the potential to be great but many many things have to improve so I hope the organisers listen to the feedback. I always like to support my local races but would think twice about entering this one again. It does not compare to Coventry or Kenilworth halfs which are very well organised. As people have already mentioned, the 2 Castles 10k does not experience any of the problems this did.
But, many thanks must go to the marshalls/volunteers on the course who did a sterling job whilst getting very wet!
In short: My local...but it is worth it! In full: What a great way to spend a crisp 'n' dry Sunday morning...just perfect conditions for a long run! Being a Coventrian I will probably sound biased but compared to some others, it is a very good half marathon and I think the best route since its introduction in 2007. First time on this new route for me as it clashed with the Loch Ness marathon last year.
Yes it was challenging in parts but I've seen worse hills..though the hairpin was a bit mentally punishing!
Plenty of water stations and Great marshalling throughout - you were all very supportive which was very much appreciated. And the steel band, just brilliant.
I was also glad that they avoided the goody bag that is usually full of leaflets that you never read. Water, mars bar and banana were in my hand within minutes of crossing the finish line and that's after my medal was placed around my neck! The t-shirt is good quality but just a shame that the small size is obviously designed for a small man...please bring back the ladies fit option as well!
No major gripes but agree about the clock at the finish (I didn't even see it!)and I prefered the previous location of the finish line - this was a bit twisty turny.
I can understand the frustration of those who have travelled from outside of Coventry having to collect the race pack. Easy for me as the Ricoh is not far from where I work but I do think that the organisers should consider postal race packs for next year. We want people from all over to visit our city and run our races so make it easy and stress free for them please.
Thanks to organisers, marshalls and volunteers who helped make the race a success.
See you next year. Date of review: October 15, 2012
In short: Excellent - well worth the mid week trip In full: First time at this race but definitely recommend to all runners of any ability. Great venue and flat course - though personally not being a F1 fan I can appreciate how fans of this sport get a thrill outta running around the track!
Superbly organised - entries on the night was a doddle, in fact, everything from the parking to the toilet facilities was.
Well done & thanks to the organisers, marshalls and volunteers.
I'll definitely be back next to attempt to beat my time! Date of review: May 10, 2011
In short: Feeling hot hot hot!! In full: Blimey what a scorcher and my congrats to the organisation which was spot on - the weather could've caught them out but despite the intense heat there was plenty of water at every station and each one was very well manned. First time at this race and although I got a PW cos of the heat I'll definitely be back. Nice scenic course which wasn't as hilly as I had imagined but any chance of a PB was hampered by the heat - have never seen so many runners walking so early on and throughout a race and I include meself in that! In the end it was just about finishing in one piece although I did have a wierd moment once I'd crossed the line so my very great thanx go to the gentleman who caught me and the help I received in the tent - never happened to me before! As others have said, I really hope that those that suffered during the race have now fully recovered. Everyone of us deserves a medal and the comrardarie (is that spelt right!!) was brilliant! Liked the t-shirt with all the runners name on the back. The marshalls and the cyclists were fantastic - they showed real concern and were advising everyone to take it steady and willingly giving every runner 2 or 3 cups of water. Hosepipe Man - thank you & can you come out for every hot race! As always, thanx to the marshalls, supporters and everyone involved in the organisation. Date of review: May 13, 2008
In short: Great race despite the weather! In full: First time here but won't be the last. Despite the awful conditions I enjoyed this race and if we choose to run at this time of the year then what can we expect (although the side wind & hail at 8 miles was not appreciated!!)
Very Good organisation so praise to those involved. Although it can be a bind having to collect chip & numbers at least we did have the chance to do this the day before so as not to leave it till race day. We came up from Coventry on Saturday and found the whole procedure very easy. A nice touch having your name on the number which I managed to keep dry by keeping me black bin bag on till 12.5 miles!
A great goody bag - that snickers bar didnt stay long in its wrapper I can tell ya! A decent medal and fab t-shirt - well worth the entry fee.
Thanks to all the marshalls who braved the conditions - it mustve been tough just standing there cos at least us runners were moving!
The weather certainly had an affect on the support along the course (understandably!) but thanks to those who did don their wellies and raincoats to cheer us on - especially those round the pub!
Well done to all involved - will definitely be back to tackle this one again. Date of review: December 6, 2007
In short: Another great year for the Sky Blue City In full: Just keeps getting better.......the minor niggles arent worth mentioning cos they didn't & don't effect the enjoyment of the day.
Its a very testing race that puts your calfs through the mill a bit but there's enough flat parts to make up for that. Once again the view from the top of Kenilworth Rd is amazing & of all the halves I've done this year (10 in total) not many have a view like this. However, maybe I'm biased as it is my home town race!!
Have done every race since its birth (3 in all!!) & the changes in the Memorial Park were a definite improvment. Only one hairpin this year & even that was small.
Excellent organisation and I'm sure the issue with the starting 'pens' will be addressed next year although with chip timing it doesn't really matter that much as you can soon work your way through the crowds cos that what I did. Managed to beat last years time by 2 & half minutes so well chuffed.
Well done to Helen & the team & many thanks to all the marshalls, helpers etc and the assistants in the massage tent who got my full attention after I'd crossed the line!
See you all next year. Date of review: October 29, 2007
In short: Would benefit from chip timing In full: This is a nice race even if congested at the start - unexpected heat considering the recent weather! July should be hot but I thought it was going to be a nice refreshing run in the rain!
Nice medal - but a bit naughty to be given out last year's ones as well. Only know this 'cos one of my club mates got a different medal to me and having ran last year I knew why!
Cannot really fault the organisation but this race would better if chip timing was introduced. I would prefer to spend an extra couple of quid on the entry fee knowing that I was going to get an exact time (I've also been looking for the results on the website!!)
There are worse & better races than this but on the whole its ok. Maybe the distance needs confirming considering the amount of runners who are disputing the last mile (I knew my time was at least a minute off!!)
As always many thanks to the organisers & all the marshalls for giving their time - and thankfully not having to stand around in the rain! Date of review: July 25, 2007
In short: Flat.........mmmm!! Weather great for running but not so for the supporters! In full: First time at this race & although not as difficult as some I've ran it was still challenging in parts.
Personally, this may have been because this is my 4th half since Feb with the previous being only 2 weeks ago so maybe my legs felt the 'hills' were worse!
No major gripes but with a professional organisation like 2:09 at the helm things could've been better. They had no idea that the rain was gonna fall like it did but there should always be changing facilities & baggage storage. Even if travelling by car, it is still difficult to change out of sweaty running clothes in public. So in the heavy downpour that followed after about 2hrs it was impossible. Myself & a few other ladies took refuge in the very grubby toilets in the car park - but needs must!
Start/finish area could be improved - fun runners should start after the halfers and at the end it should be clearly visible where to put your chips and collect your goody bag. I didn't get one as I finished just outside the 2 hrs but my running buddy did & he said that they weren't worth having anyway. I did however, manage to obtain one of the golf umbrellas - thanks Lee - so I think I got the better deal! As others have said, 2:09 knew exactly how many had entered so there are no excuses for running out.
Disappointed that the medal was a combined one regardless of which race you ran. How many five mile races give you a medal?? Why do organisers do this (mmm..probably cost cutting exercise!!) - if you ran the half it should say HALF and if you ran the 5 then it should say 5!
Water stations excellent but the marshalls were the quietest I've ever known. However, thanks for giving your time in such bad weather & to the small amount of supporters along the course who braved the rain.
Not sure I'd rush back to do this one again but wouldn't rule it out either. Date of review: May 14, 2007
In short: Great organisation but too expensive. In full: First time at this half marathon & was pleasanlty surprised that it wasn't as challenging as I'd been led to believe. It helped that the weather was fantastic so you could appreciate the wonderful scenery.
I personally found it tough from 11 miles due to a recovering injury but could not fault the course, marshalls or organization - just brilliant. The most water stations I've seen at any race and the sponges were great. More races should have these.
But gripes as follows:
1.Far too pricey - no goody bag or FREE t-shirt. Car parking charges horrendous - surely some arrangement can be made for us runners. How much of our money do you want for this race? 2.The medal although nice should be changed - PLEASE. There should be one for the halfers and one for the fullers. Had I ran the full I would've felt cheated that it didn't purely say Marathon so I will not use this as my first full marathon. 3. No mention in the gumph that t-shirts would be available to buy so thank you to the gentleman for holding our t-shirts & allowing us to return to the car to collect some money. 4. Roads were not traffic free. No major incidents this time but could be dangerous due to impatient drivers.
However, still an enjoyable way to spend a Sunday morning and thanks to everyone involved.
In short: Great race let down by the terrible finish. In full: First time at this race and despite the fact that I stupidly ran with an injury so did not do myself justice timewise, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The course was not too challenging even with the slight hill during the first couple of km, although the congestion due to the narrow path would have made it difficult for quicker runners to have passed slower ones. At one point, it was no quicker running than walking!
All the marshalls, and there were plenty of them, were friendly and encouraging. Special thanks to the lady who sympathised with me when I stopped at 4k and considered pulling out. Great support from the locals for a 10k - people of Tamworth please take note!
Only major gripe is the finish area - what happenned? A large area covered in grass available to host a glorious finish was not utilised to its full potential. Funnels are an awful way to end a race - that is once you got to it after eventually crossing the finish line due to the congestion of runners. The final positions & timings will not be accurate so unless you had your own watch actual times will not be as shown on the results - unless you came in the top 10 of course! As it was a hot day people wanted to get a drink asap but couldn't unless friends came along with one but at least we were standing around in the warm. Just so glad it wasn't a cold day.
This is however, very easy to resolve so hopefully the organisers will take note for next year. Chip timing would improve this race. I'll definitely be back to see - and injury free hopefully!