In short: Wasted Opportunities In full: Having moved from Tunbridge Wells to Berkhamsted recently, I was looking forward to my new "Home" race. Unfortunately, I think I was spoilt by the TW Half (also a Rotary Club event) as Berkhamstead couldn't live up to it.
I enjoyed the race and will do it again as it is local but think it could benefit from some bigger thinking eg.
i) T-shirts in Goody Bag- these can be charged for on entry, give everyone a souvenir of the day, promote next years race and raise more money for charity.
ii) Improved medal - disappointed with generic "school sports day" medal.
iii) More road closures along the course.
iv) £21 entry and a goody bag consisting of a bottle of water, a cereal bar, a banana and a gel doesn't fly. £24 entry in Tunbridge Wells gets you double that plus a t shirt presented by Kelly Holmes.
I don't want to sound over critical but it just seemed that the organisers were doing what they have done for the past 30 years whereas everyone (including the charities)would benefit more from some bigger thinking. Date of review: March 3, 2014
In short: Stroppy Security In full: Third year running this and love this race- despite hills, normally my PB of the year. Spoilt this year by heavy handed third party security behaving like night club bouncers from 20 years ago. For some bizarre reason, an unfriendly and unmovable "heavy" had been placed by the stairs down to the canal where runners and supporters are split and despite using this as a warm up area every year, this year it was deemed out of bounds. This buffoon could not give a reason why and bizarrely, if you know Birmingham, you can walk 10m down the road and access the area there where no one is posted- this is what I did making a mockery of this new policy. At the finish, several times I was pushed aside by representative of the same security company who think because some gave them a high-vis vest and a Wilkie talkie, they are part of a presidential entourage. As usual, all the Great Run staff were great, just steer clear of this idiotic security firm next year. Date of review: October 24, 2013
In short: Thanks to the people of Reading In full: First time dong this run and found the support from the crowd unusually good.
I stayed at the Madjeski hotel so parking etc. was not an issue and organisation was good, though too many people climbed into unallocated starting pens as they were late arriving making the start congested with slower runners.
Drink stations frequent, supplemented by many unofficial drink and jelly baby stations along the way.
Stadium finish makes this run and I feel it churlish to say that you are not in there long enough. All points about fluids not being available for some time at finish are correct.
Course is pretty much flat ( certainly no Tunbridge Wells ) and had I not been struck down with a bug, a good potential for a PB (many thanks to the 1.40 pace maker incidentally).
Will be back next year. Date of review: April 5, 2012
In short: Best so far In full: I live and train in Tunbridge Wells so this was my first time doing my "home town" half. As a recent convert, this was my fifth half in 6 months and I have to say it was the best. Not too big that you felt anonymous like the GNR but not so small that you feel out of place if you are not a club member.
Great weather, great marshals, great course, great atmosphere, great shirt- a quick note on value and for those who did not receive a goody bag- I ran the Brighton Half last week which cost more to enter and offered no T-shirt and a "goody bag" containing 2 advertising pamphlets as well as the course being mis measured.
I am certain that the goody bag problem will be sorted next year and I will be back for another great event. Date of review: February 27, 2012
In short: Could have been great In full: OK, so it was the first time I'd run the Brighton half but fancied another coastal after Hastings in November.
Weather was great and contrary to what some have said, The start area was marked with expected finish times.
I did not use the baggage area as I parked in the Churchill NCP which was 10 minutes walk away so just changed there and walked down so I cannot comment on the organisation there.
Medal good, though I did ot see "goody bags" being distributed- didn't look as the race blurb had said not to expect one.
I ordered a t shirt when I entered and this was sent in the post prior to the event.
Loved the scenery, thought the crowds were encouraging and would like to thank the volunteers for their efforts on the day. Will be back next year, but only if they from isle to reduce the distance to 12.7 miles. Date of review: February 20, 2012