In short: Poorly marshalled race, Round trip of 150 miles for this one, only to go the wrong way at an unmarshalled turn, getting lost and having to walk back to the finish. In full: This was an organisational shambles for any non-local runner, which I am. I just do NOT understand this race.
I had 150 mile round trip from Birmingham for it. They had electronic timing pads at each kilometre with an attendant but NO marshals at critical turns. Why??????
As there were only 31 entrants I was soon running pretty much alone. I had one local runner just ahead of me on lap two and we were going at about 46:40 pace. At the point where we should have turned left under an underpass there was no marshal, just a small "arrow" sign which we both missed as it was on a lamp post. It was about half a kilometre before we realised we had gone wrong. By then we had been joined by another runner who had also suffered the same fate. They ran off to try and find the route but by then I was going to be a 50 minute plus finisher so I just walked back to the stadium.
Looking at the results, the runner I had been with only just broke 49 minutes instead of coming home in 46:40-ish.
If the organisers can spare all the attendants needed to stand at kilometer marks 1-9 surely they would be better deployed as marshals?
ORGANISERS: You MUST have a marshal at every critical turn. It is no excuse to say, as I was told, that most of the runners are locals so they know the route!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is up to YOU to make sure that there is no doubt as to which way you are supposed to go especially when, due to the low numbers, you are unable to follow a pack of runners. Although this was a two-lapper we all know that it is impossible to run at maximum effort AND keep a lookout for all the signs.....you basically just follow the runner in front because you are concentrating so hard on your race effort. The fact that a minimum of three runners out of 30 went wrong says it all.
Another gripe: I was unable to pay the lower affiliated entry fee because the system would not accept my club, Midland Masters. I was told that all this would be "sorted out by email". Still waiting............
This is all such a pity because you start and (with a bit of luck) finish in the stadium and other than the appalling marshalling it would have been a good race. Date of review: February 18, 2014
In short: Well orgainsed PB race In full: Well-organised race although my partner and I both had Garmins that measured our run as 10.15k Did anyone else find it long?
Would definitely do this race again as it had good parking and lots of space. A short walk from the finish to the race village was a good idea to warm down. Also, the post-race massage was very good for us decrepit oldies! Date of review: September 2, 2012
In short: Organisers - how can you take people's money and sleep at night after this timing fiasco? In full: Organisers - these are the issues you need to deal with.
1 Your basic task is to get the runners' times right. My time and placings changed twice and are still not right. A lot of people's gun and chip times are exactly the same even though they could have been nowhere near the front at the start.
2 There was a mat across the run-in a few yards before the finish line that most people thought was a 'timing' mat and they therefore stopped their watches - and even stopped running. What a stupid idea to put it there.
These two things were enough to ruin this race. The worst thing is that a lot of people will probably do it again next year because of the PB potential and not because of these issues.
Organisers - if you can't do it, DON'T! Date of review: March 15, 2012
In short: Good and could be even better with just a couple of easy improvements! In full: Start very cramped with slow runners caught at the front but very good value for money with an excellent shirt a the end; do much better than all the cotton ones usually handed out.
My only grumbles would be not enough loos and the fact that it said markers are every 1k but in fact they were every mile. I always feel a 10K race should have K markers.
More obvious start and finish signs would help but for a cheap and cheerful run this is very good. I don't know how they do it at the price.
Other than that a great race to go for a PB Date of review: January 5, 2012
In short: Water by Lidl, course design by Marquis de Sade! In full: Killer hills esp the last one from about 4-4.5k! Add the heat and the wind and you've got just about the most challenging race in the Midlands. Couldn't run as fast downhill as I wanted as they were so steep but this is a real challenge. If you can run here you can run anywhere. Date of review: August 24, 2009
In short: As an inexperienced runner I was nearly mown down by huge tractors. Not enough water stations. In full: I agree with the comments about the tractors. I'm 57 and was doing only my third half marathon i my life. Finished in 2:00:27and could have done without having to dive into hedges to dodge four or five of these vehicles. Although others have praised the water stations I thought there should have been more - a four mile gap between 3 and 7 is too much on a warm day - or any day for that matter. On the positive sideit was well organised with easy parking. Date of review: July 27, 2009
In short: Nice course but maybe difficult to PB - lots of small but challenging hillss In full: Nice run round country lanes. Lots of families there with the kids doing the fun run. I wonder if they got the measurements of the main course right as the race map showed the start being past the pub whereas it was quite a way short of it and if no-one had adjusted all the markers it would obviously make the first 1k longer and the last 1k very short. I say this because my first 1k was 6:28 (which I find hard to accept) and the last was 5:09 - a big difference. Even the downhill stretches had some short sharp uphills and it wasn't at all like it looked on MapMyRun! Overall a nice event, with a good T-shirt. Having travelled from Bham Ididn't go to the Pub after but would have liked to!! Date of review: July 5, 2009