So that was the first ever Birmingham Half Marathon. All told it was pretty good. Here’s a brief report on the day:
It was of course a horrible night weather-wise (not as bad as up in the Lake District of course but thank goodness all the runners there are safe). By the time a group of eight of us got into a shared taxi at 7.40am it was just down to light drizzle and had stopped by the time the race started. I have no doubt that any complaints about the race will be based around the traffic at the start (big queues to park) and the loos (big queues to wee). Neither affected me much but I suspect the former was responsible for the 15 minute delay at the start. The pen system at the start worked well with runners starting according to their predicted finishing time.
The race was off by 9.45am and I have to say that it felt great to run on such wide roads. There was no runner congestion and generally good support all around. The underpasses and flyovers of Perry Barr were on the undulating side and running through the centre of town was fun but the really tricky hills were in Edgbaston. Every corner you turned seemed to be another uphill. The support on these roads was great and the water stations were well placed. Big thanks to Helen Foot who acted as my support crew by having a sickly orange energy gel ready for me at about mile 6.
The last two miles of this course are great. Given how tired my legs were after yesterday’s cross-country efforts I probably didn’t make the most of the two mile ever-so-slightly-downhill section but I gathered a little speed as I came past the large crowds lining Broad Street. An attempted sprint finish didn’t quite come off but I finished 96th in 1hr 27 min 11 sec. That’s a second best time for me at this distance.
Overall there were about 40 Bournville Harriers running. Four of them were ahead of me with a couple of personal bests being achieved. Full results are online now. Well done to all.
I think the race was a triumph but I’ve no doubt there’ll gripes, especially from runners themselves (not flat enough, not scenic enough, no chocolate in the goody bag – runners can be a miserable bunch). But anyone who got themselves organised enough to arrive early, took in the atmosphere (lots of music along the way as well) and had the right attitude will have come away with a smile on their face as well as a medal around their necks.
By way of an aside yesterday’s cross-country was great as usual, and of course, muddy:
(pics Paul Foot although it must have been his wife Helen as Paul was one of the people stuck up a mountain in the Lake District)
I think you’re spot on with what you said about the Brum half marathon last weekend. Atmosphere was cracking, especially in the city centre, and the bands were excellent. Definitely a shame about the lack of chocolate in the goody bag (I was desperate for a sugar hit after two hours of running) and the water station at eleven miles had no water left when I got there after one hour 45 minutes.
We’re looking for a few more races to do soon – any tips? The Suicide Six looks interesting but I’m not sure I’ve got the bottle.
PS I’m setting a blogroll up on my blog soon. I’ll add you to it when it’s sorted.
Thanks for this.
A couple I think you’d love are the Sneyd 10 miler in Staffs (14th Dec, fairly flat and fast) and the Telford 10k (21st Dec, very flat, very fast).
There are listings on localish races on Bournville Harrier’s website.