In short: More an experience than a race......unbelievable In full: Finally got in through the ballot for the first VLM and the experience was worth all the hard work and training. The crowd support is truly something to behold and the atmosphere was buzzing for every stretch of the 26 mile course. I wanted sub 4 hours and missed it by 7 mins due to chronic cramp from 20 miles but in end, wasn't too bothered because its a challenge to complete. A few minor gripes (the start pens were poorly organised, the bottles dropped in the middle of the road rather than the sides nearly sent me over a few times) but this is one of those life experiences you have to do. A PB can wait for another race! Date of review: April 28, 2010
In short: Third time doing this one - and still a great race.... In full: Still one of my favourite races as it combines a nice city centre route to keep it interesting with the stadium finish - its always a good atmosphere and in the main quite flat with a couple of sharp turns and hills to keep it interesting. One minor negative compared to previous years was that the finisher T-Shirts were top notch Mizuno shirts which I've loved, the T-Shirts today were no-make cheaper versions with poorer designs which was a bit disappointing. I'll still probably come back for a fourth time in 2011 though! Date of review: April 11, 2010
In short: Not a bad race - but could improve. In full: This is the second time I've done this race following the 2008 one and this time the route had changed meaning a steeper climb on the final 1.5 mile stretch - which wasn't pleasant!
Wasn't much going on considering it was billed as a 'festival of running' - no real major support from NIKE and only getting a medal for the entry fee was pretty woeful. The start was also chaos as there were no timing pens or anything to separate the quicker and slower runners - took me ages to work my way through the crowds. On the plus side, the marshalls were good, the water stations were stocked well and the weather was great. The course was partly scenic around the lakes too and I did end up with an unexpected PB which was good prep for the VLM. Date of review: March 9, 2010
In short: Well organised, surprisingly scenic - quite a tough course though... In full: First time doing the Coventry half and must be said, thought the organisation was great and the route had the ideal mix of street roads and park scenery. Found the course a lot tougher than I thought, with a few killer hills (park hill lane one was horrid!) and the weather was a lot sunnier than expected. However, it was generally an enjoyable morning and I would do it again. Date of review: October 26, 2009
In short: One of the best races in the calendar - no question..... In full: I first did this race last year and vowed to do it again - and this year didn't disappoint either. Most reviewers have said it all really but firstly, the run is terrific value for money, particularly with the current economic climate - so well done to the organisers and Muller for that. A tech T shirt, proper rucksack, food/drink and a tray of yoghurts is outstanding for the entry fee (I note a couple of people are still moaning about not getting a medal too -some people are never happy!) Secondly, the race course itself is really good; couple of small challenging inclines early on but otherwise flat and I managed a PB. Only way to improve further is either chip time or amend the start to perhaps use both roads to merge into one (1200 runners on one tight road is hard). Big congratulations to Tim and Muller - fantastic race and organisation. Look forward to 2010's event.
In short: Big fan of this race - and a PB to boot.... In full: Did this race last year and enjoyed it so was eager to do it again - it didn't disappoint. Weather was better than last time around. Really like the course, enjoy the citycentre section and was pleased to knock a minute of my 10k PB. Stadium finish is always great and although no medal - the Mizuno T-shirt is fantastic - same again next year please, organisers! cheers. Date of review: April 19, 2009
In short: Its a good course, as people say, the start ruined it a bit... In full: I did this race last year, it was my first ever competitive race and I really enjoyed it, although at the time I thought the start seemed cramped. Having done many races since and coming back to this one, especially with an additional 300+ runners this year, the start was a bit ridiculous. As previous people have commented, no organisation of slower/faster runners and no chip timing meant a potential PB course was ruined for me, I lost at least a minute at the start. The course is still good, but generally, the race could be so much better. Date of review: February 3, 2009
In short: Potentially a fantastic race, some things to improve though.... In full: You could tell this was the inaugural race as there were a few teething issues that need improving, but generally on reflection I enjoyed it.
Plus Points: Course was definitely undulating and kept interest. Atmosphere was fantastic all the way round, both runners and support were in the mood! Medal and T-Shirt were quality (you don't mind so much paying £22 if you get a decent race, medal and shirt) In-race organisation, closing roads etc was impressive for the second city.
Negative Points: Why the hell did the baggage truck close an hour before the race? Ridiculous. The timing pens were a joke. Everyone apart from the first 1000 odd runners, everyone were in orange, I was trying to get sub 1:40 (which is what I registered) and ended up towards the back with the other 9000! Took me ages to work my way up the field. Race was delayed by 20 odd minutes, given it was cold and we'd been waiting for ages anyway - not ideal. Traffic was horrendous into the stadium, as per previous comments - not very green. Underpass-Overpasses were hard - agree with others that an out-and-back course would have been better, taking in some Birmingham parks too.
Generally, not a bad start at all and did enjoy it - but could be so much better.
In short: Really tough race - the support and organisation made it worthwhile!e In full: This was the hardest race I've done or likely to do - the weather was boiling all day and combined with some absolute killer hills, added at least 10 mins to my best time at this distance. However, the atmosphere was first class all the way round, the race organisation was top notch and this race will challenge you like no other. Really glad I did it and pleased with the medal, plate and Tshirt - good value. Date of review: June 8, 2008
In short: Absolutely fantastic race in all aspects - even the weather..... In full: Really really enjoyed this race - the course itself would definitely have been PB potential had it not been for the extremely hot weather, but what the weather limited in terms of PB time, it added to the atmosphere. The event was maticulously organised, marshals were excellent and I can't speak highly enough for the value. The T-Shirt is high quality and neon yellow (great for night running!), the goody bag and medal were class, and the free yoghurts have saved me money on this weeks' groceries! Overall - top marks, will definitely do it again. Date of review: May 11, 2008