In short: Can't find fault In full: I'm normally one to review pros and cons, but I really can't fault this one anywhere.
I had an issue with my bike and the marshalls were incredibly helpful and went out of their way to help me. Marshalls were also fab at cheering us on and knowing what's what, running/cycling the same route was managed well and really good to keep passing the crowd near the school for cheers. Free technical tee was an added bonus. Everything was smooth, ran like clockwork, really easy signposting everywhere, burger van for my specators, got in and out the car park with ease despite being so busy, juicy oranges at the end were yum, fab wave timing for start meant competitors were around to help out and cheer before and after their race, a good mix of begineers and elites, great competitors cheering eachother on while passing, a welcome hot shower for afterward, the bike route was incredibly scenic round fields and the neighbouring village, a couple of challenging hills made it interesting...
A perfect event for first timers and elites a like. Date of review: September 26, 2011
In short: Expected more In full: After a huge number of halfs this one was a shambles at the start, a nightmare for specatators but couldn't fault the red arrows and cheering crowds.
I was an orange number. I arrived at my pen 10mins before close and was physically pushed back by a man in high-vis and told to go to the crossing. Got to the crossing and another man in high-vis was closing it early. Went back to the orange pen high-vis man who had then sealed the entry and started physcially pushing away runners - hard enough to knock a young girl down and make her cry.
As an organge runner planning on a decent time race I then had to walk passed the whites who were also now sealed and ended up waiting outside the end barriers to filter in to the start. A hugely stressful start. And to the reviewer who said he was upset that oranges had given incorrect times and he had to overtake them all - that is why. I was not the only person starting in a random colour pen.
Course was nice, crowds were good, bands were good, fun water fights with kids squirting bottles. A crowded course so no huge PB potential (unless you are lucky enough to get in your pen up front maybe).
Got to the end and was disappointed to see the crowds at the finish line were held way back by fences. No grandstand, no big finish, no-one volunteer saying well done, just sort of done. Got my bag, medal etc then went to try and exit - I couldn't. The exit was so narrow I got kicked and pushed. The reunion area was chaos, couldn't see my boyf anywhere for the crowds around my letter and almost started crying. Luckily he found me. He had only just got there. It took two hours to get from the start to finish for him. There were no signs for him to get to reunion area from the station, nor any signs to the big beer tent he could have waited in while it rained.
The instructions that arrived said the pasta party the day before was at gateshead quay. That's it. The place is huge and took ages to find where it was amongst the chaos of crowds, and then it wasn't really worth the effort.
The ferry took 90mins to queue. The metro took 2 hours. The queue was still there at 6pm as we watched from the pub.
I get it is a big event and difficult to organise and I get the busy course makes it a big slower, but I really did expect more from a 30+year iconic race that charges so much.
Want a good quality organised half, try Reading or Coventry or Nottingham instead. Has all the pros and is far more slick. Date of review: September 23, 2011
In short: An amazingly race in every respect. Even more credit down to it being the first In full: Pros Great start location People of Brighton supporting everywhere and were lovely lovely course, rare to find a road race with such lovely and varied views at every mile I went to one of the information days in the January before - highly recommend this for the people, info, talks. The organisers mum did a talk on training which was one of the best talks I've ever had. There guys had everything covered - everything! Fab website for info, even an iphone app which was great for updates and getting info.
Cons Pens too small at the start and took us near the back about 15mins to get to the start. Maybe a waves in future?
Whoever spray painted 'the wall' on the arch near the power station has obviously never experienced the wall. I was unfortunate enough to hit it round that power station and seeing that did nothing to help my mind and my attempts to force positive thoughts.
PS The one thing I might add, which it by no means suffered for being without, but an event of this size in this location would do a fab evening post-event party or evening fireworks or something. Date of review: October 3, 2010
In short: Quiet local race In full: Pros Nice route, pretty and quiet. Some lovely marshalls. One lady called my name (by looking u my number) on every lap. Nice T Good weather (bit hot) nice shady parts of routes.
Cons Would the man who kept bugging us about it being the right distance please be quiet?! I just wanted to enjoy my race and was asked 3 times by the guy about 'was it 13.1?' and kept hearing him shouting to ask people and making extra annoucements about it. Yes, I got 13.1 on my garmin, leave me alone!
The start line was non-existant. I'm 5 foot and started at the back... wasn;t quite sure when to start my garmin as it was just a sort of crowd 'go'.
One marshall was rude when I didn't want water and kept stepping in to my path trying to shove a cup on me, I stumbled and almost tripped. I know my own hydration thanks.
When we finished, I was looking forward to chilling in the park. I got up and left sharpish as the poundingly loud reggee music was not exactly post-run relax music.
The guy who did the warm-up?! Do I really need to learn a new handshake? Do I care you were on gladiators a million years ago? All my legs did was march a bit, my arms got warmed up more.
No medal on finish - had to go and collect it from a table. I like my moment of pride having someone put the medal on me. Date of review: October 3, 2010
In short: Good value, crowds, organisation, race T's, medal and not too crowded a good all rounder In full: Pros People of Coventry are lovely! Not a mile went by without local supporters. Smiley, cheering marshallers everywhere. Good spread of faster and slowers runners. Lots of space, not much crowding.
Cons Race village a bit cramped. Same lady as lady as last time with the warmup - she's rubbish! Goody bag a bit poor for a half (but then it is a cheaper race)
In short: Expensive for what it is, but a nice weekend away In full: Pros Good race village Events for the whole family Plenty of toilets (at start and managed to not queue on route) Good crowd support (although only because it was a nice day in the park)
Cons Messy start, delayed, without communication, and barriers blocking people out. All the food vans in the race village were junk. Sweets, burgers, doughnuts, friend food. Had to walk miles to get something half healthy. Could get out the finish. Got my medal etc, then went through the tunnel to the village. Crowded with people looking out for finishers that wouldn't let me though! Like I have the energy to get through a 10 deep crowd that won't budge?!
In short: Well organised, good atmosphere, lots of space on route In full: Good race as a first half, well organised, nice wide roads to run, bit dull scenery and buses back to reading queues were massive (I walked back to town - I don't recommend this, it's a long way!). The stadium finish is unforgetable. Date of review: November 10, 2009
In short: Lots of positives spoiled by one or two negatives In full: A wonderful day, fab crowds, nice flat course, just disappointed by the organisers and the water shortage which they denied and tried to cover up. I suffer from mile 15-21 and it made my first marathon far more mentally and physically draining than it should have been. Seeing people cramp up, walk and pick up half empty bottles from the sides of the road in desperation made this really tough. But, great city, great medal, buses after were fast, meeting area was a bit messed up, good medal and goody bag, amazing support, lovely scenery. I might be back one day, with my own drinks belt. Date of review: November 10, 2009
In short: Lovely route, crowds, support, marshalls In full: Everything went smoothly and to clockwork. The route was lovely and never realised Coventry had so many pretty parks, even most of the road routes were lined with autumnal trees. Loads of public out cheering, marshalls everywhere(!), some good challenging hills to get something different in the legs working even if it did feel like more ups than downs! Not much of a goody bag but a good medal and a good area for start and finish. Only one piece of advice for the organisers and the future - don't make this race any bigger. There were narrow parts which avoided bottlenecks in most cases, but only just. Any more and course and it would have slowed us down. Date of review: October 26, 2009
In short: Good day out, great costume In full: Great supporters but probably because I was number 1! Good day out, lots of fun, great atmosphere, lots of cheers from passers by. Seemed more than 4 miles and lots of stairs/tourists, but it is a fun (nun) run! Date of review: May 3, 2009