UPDATE Birmingham half marathon – 24th Oct 2010

UPDATE – tell us your thoughts. The third Birmingham Half Marathon saw over 70 members of Bournville harriers compete in perfect conditions.

However there were reported problems at the start and the finish of the race. What was your experience and how can the problems be overcome next year? Let us know in the comments so we can feed back to the race organisers.

Highlights from a BvH point of view include Mel James coming in 1st F45 (8th Female overall) and runner up in the Midland championships; Dean Parker getting a great time of 1:14:14 (28th overall) and Mark Hobbs also getting under one and a quarter hours in 1:14:49 (34th overall).

There were some fantastic performances with 56 (78%) of the 72 Club members running personal best times, 1 new Ladies club record by Mel James plus 7 new club age best records from Mel James, Dean Parker, Mark Hobbs, Rob Andrew, Sean Rose, Phil Williamson and Sarah Vince.

An interesting note on how the club is improving is demonstrated with 40 members who ran on Sunday also ran last year’s race and 28 (70%) of the 40 were faster than last year!

A big thank you must go to members and friends who lined the route to cheer us on..

Paul Foot’s photos are here.

Brian Smith’s photos are here.

Some additional pictures taken by Sharon in Cannon Hill park are here.

Martin Watson has posted some videos from the day.

Official results are on the race website and also on this spreadsheet and also as a PDF (which includes club listing).

We’ve extracted the Bournville results although there are a few anomalies which we’ll try to amend when we have more information.

10 Replies to “UPDATE Birmingham half marathon – 24th Oct 2010”

  1. A good Idea Adrian,

    I ran Birmingham because it was a local race, not out of any sort of patriotism, but because it is the only sort of race I can afford to do.

    I am not particularly interested in big events, but as long as I am seeded correctly and can run relatively unhindered, it is of no con cern to me,

    What is generally more worrying, was the hold up that many runners experienced at the the finish, it was quite cold that day, once you had stopped running, so I doubt it was of benefit to those peoples health….. mildly paradoxical perhaps.

    On the ‘good cop’ side, I liked the coarse, as I did last year, and although I have relatively little experience in half marathons, if the organizers sort themselves out, it could become a classic.

    As a club we probably help.

  2. Ed, It was my intention to collate all the comments above and write a letter to BCC Events Section voicing our concerns/Issues/Suggestions.

    I agree with you that it would be best if we did as a club as it would be more likley to be acknowlege are comments. I will ask if we have headed letterheads with the Clubs name.

    Do you want to do a version (I will do one also) we can compare/amend /update and I can deliver.

    Just to make you aware that the Director of Leisure & Culture was one of the people who could not cross the line either. She was very unhappy with the org also and has already had the Events team in for a de-brief.

  3. They wont, unless,we as a club, complain, I’ll even write the letter.

    Perhaps something like this:

    Dear Sir or madam,

    I’m sure I’m/we are not the First to comment on the Eternal Second City’s* third rate half[cocked] marathon bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla,,,, then a bit of insincere complimentary stuff for balance, bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla,,, then back to bad cop, bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla.

    I hope the family is well, kindest regards, Ed Winhart Ley and co.

    *The Rome of the Midlands

  4. I didnt experience any of the difficulties above but I only have two issues with this years half.

    1. As I was heading back towards town along the Pershore Rd, I was almost stampeded by runners on the wrong side of the barrier.

    2. I would advise against having drink stations were the course runs side by side because as I was running back down the Pershore Rd, I could barely see the road by the Nature Centre through all the empty water bottles.

    Overall, I think the council should “man up” and allow the use of the Bristol Road, I believe it wil make the event a more pleasant experience for all.

  5. The start and finish were much better organised in 2009 than in this year, they need to go back and look at what they did differently then.

    It was extremely frustrating to set off at the start line to, within seconds, have to pull up due to a bottle neck. Similarly, it was demoralising not to be able to run across the finish line at the end and to watch the minutes tick by and any chance of a PB slip away whilst trying to get to the timing mats.

    Having said that, I think the route was kinder and they got the water stations and after race massage much better organised this year.

    Would definitely run it again and only hope the organisers learn from their errors.

  6. I agree with the above suggestions about access to the start, and would add that the different colour-coded areas need to be better signposted, so people don’t end up stuck in the wrong spot. The crowds at the start were definitely an issue, and I think as well that having such a narrow, steep down-hill section right at the start of the race is a bit dangerous, as people haven’t had a chance to spread out yet and are naturally going to be doing a lot of weaving and lateral running at that point in the race.

    It’s mostly important that the organisers just give it another go next year, as it’s a great event and I’m sure that most of us with complaints would be gutted if the organisers decided not to stage it again.

  7. I enjoyed the course but the start was chaotic & definitely slowed everyone down. The spectators were blocking the runners from getting to the start line so maybe they could be kept away from the start line next year, also more marshalls on the start line helping everyone get to their correct pens would be good and the stage outside the symphony hall meant everyone was crammed behind it in a small gap trying to get to the start line too – I think better access to the start and more marshalls would be good. Also, I think they need to cut off everyone’s timing chip and hand out the goody bags futher from the finish line to stop congestion. I hope they do it again next year though as it is only a new race and you can’t beat running a half marathon around your home town!

  8. The finish was extremely disappointing not to be able to run across the finish line when I had been running for over 2 hours was disappointing to say the least. I stopped my Garmin at 2.06 at 13.17 miles. My chip time was 2.11! Five minutes to get across the finish line! They need to address this issue for next year .

  9. The bad start cost me at least 30 seconds and thus a pb, so for me it was a waste of money.

    I’ll stick to smaller events in future.

  10. Congratulations to all concerned.Some great times achieved.Useful preparation for the XC Season!
    Barrie Roberts