A thin running hat will be cheap, cover the ears and can be stuffed in your pocket when you get warm. That's what I did with my karrimor hat half way thru Sunday's Warwick Half which started in zero degrees.
Alternatively get a cheap beanie and throw it in the bin half way around
@Ceinwen I thought the start was awesome! Felt like a thousand people huddled in the 'tunnel' made of those ancient high walls and tree-branch roof. You are right though, it added to the nervousness and I really enjoyed that.
Pretty sure the start was bang on 9. My Garmin says 9:03 when I clicked start and I'd say 3 mins was about how long it took me to get down the 'tunnel' to the start
@2wheels - it's the opposite, the faster you are the earlier you start. It's along a canal bank which typically is 2 person wide so you want to reduce the amount of overtaking as much as possible by starting amongst your pace peers.
I ran this last year as my first ever race and it was really good. The staggered start is spot on; you are released in groups which fairly quickly spread out and found their level so I was neither holding up others nor being held up myself.
If you are slightly out of position at the start it's not going to be a major issue for you as in my experience you won't be coming up behind groups of 6 people together. As I recall I never had to navigate past more than 2 at a time.
Travel up by train, the start is just around the corner and the finish is at a great spot for a few celebratory beers
I have to come out in support of the organisers. I thought they did a great job. The race pack, the BHF event website and the posts on this forum contained lots of information; everything you needed in my opinion. I wonder if being new to races and so quite nervous that I go through all of the information available in a way veterans don't tend to??? I didn't have any confusion on the day about the logistics.
There were clear calls to avoid the 8am rush, there were maps showing where the start line was, where the baggage drop was, where the finish line was, where the toilets were located, where you should congregate ahead of the race, what time you'd get called to the start, what time the start was etc etc, all things that I've seen complained about as unclear in posts here.
The medal - yes that was a bit naff but for most people they end up in a drawer somewhere anyway don't they?
The t-shirts - I agree, there's no way I was going to be running in a cotton t-shirt, a technical T would have been a better choice if funding allowed.
The parking - is it really the organisers fault that we had so much rain? I certainly don't think they could have expected snow even mid-March!! Next year, just in case perhaps it would be a good plan to set up offsite parking at the business parks south and north of the castle and close the castle car park as soon as the hardstanding's are full - but that's hindsight....
I live very close by and I thought I could leave late and breeze in but I was totally wrong and had to park up and walk. That's my fault alone isn't it? I KNEW that maybe 2500 cars were going to be converging on the place but I didn't fancy getting up any earlier. I can't blame anyone else for that and if people missed the start isn't that because you didn't allow yourself enough time to get there?
Oh and Kudos for the water stations having bottles of water - I'd gladly pay extra entry fee not to have to stop to drink from the plastic cups.
I'll be back next year and I'll be recommending it to my friends. It was a great atmosphere, it was well organised and hopefully in 2014 it will be warmer and drier.