In short: Fantastic, friendly race! In full: I only decided very last minute to go ahead and run this half due to a lack of training - and I am so glad I did! The organisers did a great job overall and I have very few criticisms of the event... the course itself was pretty scenic compared to previous half marathons I have done, with great support almost the whole way, and I really liked the 'water pouches' idea. The route was mainly flat and the inclines were not too horrific even by my standards (anyone that runs with me knows I hate hills!) I struggled around the racecourse loop at miles 10 -12 mainly because of said lack of training but also found it quite exposed to the elements with no real support (except the fab couple of marshalls willing people on!)The medal was fab and it was nice to see a decent goodie bag with a mars bar and lots of other treats being handed out! Overall I had a great time and will certainly be back next year! Well done to all involved! Date of review: September 16, 2013
In short: Sad to say I was disappointed... In full: I was really looking forward to this half marathon - the website made it sound like a flat and scenic route, and having done Reading half (and loved the atmosphere at the end) I was excited at the prospect of a stadium finish again. How wrong I was.
The start was delayed significantly, I think due to problems with baggage storage and road closures,and when the race did get under way there wasn't the atmosphere and excitement I would have expected for a first time race. The route itself I found boring if I'm honest, and I hate to say that because I love Oxford and think it has some stunning scenery. A lot of it seemed to go along by-passes and through underpasses (very cramped down there!!) When we did reach a very pretty bit of Oxford runners were forced to run along the pavement along with members of the public - I felt this to be not only quite frankly annoying, but also dangerous. At other points the traffic control was chaotic to say the least and when running past the lines of cars I got countless glares from the drivers. After a particularly depressing last couple of miles the stadium finish was underwhelming, and although I got a nice medal I was extremely disappointed with the goody bag considering how much I paid to enter. It contained a few leaflets for running events, a plastic bottle and an energy gel.
I know it is a first time event and there are bound to be a few teething problems - but I really didn't enjoy the route, I wouldn't have described it as flat or scenic and the whole event lacked any atmosphere. Won't be doing again - sorry. Date of review: October 11, 2011