That's no surprise, my comment on the Oxford Half Marathon Facebook page has now been deleted. How many other negative comments have been deleted? What a shame they can't handle criticism and just keep sending out PR.
Anyhow, on a positive note, it's the Stroud Half Marathon on Sunday. Can't wait, brilliantly organised and less than half the price.
Hate to say it but I thought the Oxford Half was the most chaotic I've run in, (about 30 or so since the 1980's). I ran last year and was one of the hundreds who couldn't get within miles of the stadium. I think last year the start was delayed by at least 15 minutes? Really annoying when you're trying to warm up and mentally prepare. I had to walk and run nearly a mile just to get to the start and that's after jumping the queue on the dual carriageway. Hey!, no worries, it was the first year and mistakes happen. But, it did annoy a few people on the start line when the organiser said, "We're really sorry, but due to circumstances beyond our control, some of you haven't been able to get here on time".
This year, 2013? Having passed on my concerns this year to the organisers (hoping to help, not criticise) and being told that the parking and access issues had been addressed, I was gutted to see that the traffic queue had already started at Sainsburys (about 1.5 miles/ 2 miles away?). The organisers had specified parking options but had obviously not addressed the issue. I knew the short cuts so I could get past the traffic, no problem, but so many people were upset, families split up and runners' preparations spoiled. The start was delayed again, this year by only about 12 minutes. I just feel really sorry for people who were worse off than me or those who even had to turn back, thinking that they had missed the start.
Mile markers missing or difficult to see? Yes, but not too serious compared to the start access. The additional queues at the finish though were really annoying. I just wanted to get out of there, but hundreds of us were crushed into a mess up, not knowing what we were being given and having to go back to get medals, hideous when you're cold, knackered and sweaty.
I never complain, but when this event cost me £33, you can't help feeling that the organisers are taking the p.ss, especially when you read their self congtatulatory press release after the event. I'll give anyone a chance to get it right the first time, but having a mess up second time round, with a stadium, traffic management consultants, the lot, I have no sympathy if the organisers lose their contract to run it next year. Have they taken down negative Facebook reviews? I'm going to put something 'constructive' on it now.
Am I alone with my feelings of frustration? Quite a few people were worse than me!