Having volunteered at the Bristol Half in September and reading many reviews after previous years, I was confident that the event would be well run. I signed up fairly late as I wanted to make sure I could handle another race after completing A marathon before I committed to spending money on it. Even so, the race pack turned up really swiftly, I was plumped in the orange pen, and it gave me plenty of information regarding starting times for the event.
On the morning we used our local knowledge to find a spot to park for free and so we could make a speedy getaway after the race. There were some busy queues in the city centre as we drove past so maybe it would have been better for people to use the park and ride. Something to think about if you were travelling from further afield.
As we made our way to the start line the crowds were all heading the same direction and it was easy to find. Thinking I had plenty of time, I stopped before we got too near so that I could do some sort of warm up as I knew there would be very little space to do it in or near the pens.
I then began to make my way to the pen and began getting nervous when I saw how far down the orange pen was. This meant I began to get a little jog on to make sure I was there on time. The crowds along the side were busy so it was not too easy.
I didn’t have a bag to drop off so I do not really know what the set up was like for bag storage.
Once in the pen they had a warm up for people to join in as the build up nears start time. Quite a large amount of people were joining in. There was good feedback over the tannoy system which kept us informed.
As the race begins you go through the start line which is narrower than the pen itself. This means it can be a bit crowded initially. Along the course it is clearly signposted and marshalled with KM markers clearly visible. Leading away from the start line there were good crowds and as you reach the Portway they do decrease slightly but there is still small pockets of crowds.
As you approach the finish there are good crowds to see you home. Crossing the line you make your way to get your goody bag and t shirt before you are expected to make a fairly long walk to get out of the runners only zone. The idea of this is to lead you back to the race village, I think.
When you finish the race, it might be important to plan which way to head away from the race because the crossings took quite a while as they were busy due to it being the only one near the finish line. The marshals had it well organised though!
The goody bag was good and I really like the t shirt. They gave us a medal and a Lindt chocolate bar too.
All in all, it was a good well organised event and I would like to do it again.