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Well that was my first ever race of any sort and I must say anybody who expects more really must be a prima donna. The traffic all over Oxford is notorious at any time so why you wouldn't leave ample time is beyond me, got there at half 8 without the slightest hiccup.
As for the course I enjoyed it, the bypass sections were a little dull and certainly the sustained slope around mile 10 did me in more than I thought it would. Superb local support though and I loved the resident who brought out speakers playing the 'olympic' music!
I would certainly love to finish in front of a grandstand at every race in the future too! Well done to all involved. I gather there were 'politics' surrounding its staging but don't care one jot for that - it's got at least this one individual hooked on races so it was worth it for that at least, thanks
I'm with you waccyracer as an OUFC fan and a proud Oxonian have to say I enjoyed it immensely. Wish I could have enjoyed the finish more but I was out on my feet and almost worse by then having taken 7 minutes of my pb to come in 1:54. I suppose it was easier for us locals knowing where to park and allowing plenty of time but I did end up parking on Grenoble Rd and not using the baggage drop.
I guess it's all a bit trial and error the first time so hopefully it will improve as it grows. How many years has Reading been going? As I didn't find it particularly smooth in terms of getting everyone to the start line this year either. It's all a learning curve I guess but thought it worked pretty well considering the difficulties and I was expecting a hitch or two.
Carrie Anne - I agree with you about it not being completely flat, I certainly felt the last 4 - 5 miles were uphill but this was probably as I'd run out of steam big time!
in all my years of road running - solo and pushing Phil
i'm struggling to remember a race of HM distance thats actually flat
i expect there is - but i dont know of them
well done to all who run today
Russell, you can find the chip times here: http://www.racetimingsystems.com/public/results.aspx?raceid=1960
I enjoyed a 4.5 minutes PR, so I'm well chuffed. Coming in from out of town, I managed to miss the traffic chaos (though my cab driver was whinging to me that we would hit traffic and then...we didn't ) and though I was shocked by the bag line, I got my stuff in before the original start time. I found the very beginning and the very the end the hardest mentally, but loved all the community support in the middle. Especially the lady playing "Chariots of Fire" out of her parked car! I was in the back of the pack, so I didn't encounter any problems at water stations, and many of the marshals were encouraging to me.
what a great race, really enjoyed this one allthough i was a tad slower than i wanted to be ,i slowed a bit at miles 10and 11 .
however the race was excellent and well organised for a first attempt i had no issues with the marshalls drink stations or parking i arrived at ten past eight and had no worrys. Great support through the residential areas aswell, and what a place to finish ,fantastic
Theirs allways going to be a few teething problems with a first race ,you have to expect this (,baggage and parking) but these are easily rectifeid for next year.
p.s hello waccy good to see you to good luck at abingdon mate
Areas for Improvement
I would run this again, it was a good/great race and am sure it will improve for next year.
Hey everyone, this Oxfordian (is that even the right term?) took pictures from outside her home and posted them to her blog!
I really enjoyed this run - thought it was a great course (but then I'm a fan of city/town races rather than countryside) and I thought the marshalls did a good job, especially in the town centre area. The support around the estates was great too.
My only complaint would be the lacklustre goody bag! It would've been good to have at least a banana or cereal bar included and given that it was a half, perhaps a t-shirt?
I thought it was a bit of a shambles. Not just minor improvements needed, but a major rethink.The most serious issue for me was traffic management. I was nearly run over twice. The first time, at a mini roundabout, the marshall half heartedly put his hand up to stop the traffic and then put it back down again, letting traffic through despite the fact I (and others) were already on the roundabout. The second time I was waved to cross a road, despite the fact the traffic hadn't stopped (and didn't). I presume that if a marshall tells me that it's ok, then it is.As others have said, getting to the stadium was a nightmare. A few people have said that we should've known that Oxford was bad for traffic. I live in Windsor. I rely entirely on the race organisers to give me advice, as I have no idea what traffic is like in Oxford on a given day/time. It should be reasonable to expect that arriving an hour before the event is plenty time, and it normally is for events I've attended up and down the country.
I appreciate it was the first year and there are always teething problems. I ran the Maidenhead Half Marathon three weeks ago with a similar amount of runners, which apart from the start, was really well organised, which proves that it can be done.
Has anyone noticed that according to the race results at race timeing systems, 500 participants have not completed the race or are still running it? This accounts for 25% of entrants, including me. I notched up a PB of 1:29:18 according to my Garmin. I will be a bit annoyed if they have managed to balls this one up. I've only been running and triathloning for 4 months, but in this time I have notched up 15 events, but this is my first experince of having something as crucial as a timing chip malfunction happen. I could forgive it as pure chance if it was just me, but over 500 participants - not acceptable.
The only proof I have of completing the event are a dozen offical race photos from the organizer and sore legs. Does anyone know what happend?
Dear All, as one of the organisers of yesterday's Oxford Half Marathon we hope everyone enjoyed the race. It is not easy to hold a City Centre event for the first time and we have had many issues to cope with over the past year! Obviously the Council wanted to keep road-closures to a minimum in this first year and they have acknowledged that this will be changed from next year onwards and local residents given plenty of notice and disruptions kept to a minimum. The originally intended route did not take in the cut across Cowley Road which was unfortunately imposed by the Iffley Road roadworks, and this will alter for next year. Apart from one or two negative comments the feedback from competitors, spectators and media has been fantastic. Some competitors said it was hilly, some said it was flat; some enjoyed the route and scenery, others didn't - it is impossible to create a route that pleases everyone!! A great winning run by James Bellward, who was quoted as saying "The course was flat and fast, probably the fastest course I have done"! Not everyone enjoyed the stretch through the MINI Plant facility but we think it is a great idea to take the race through the facility of your main sponsor - especially when you have such a superb sponsor like MINI Plant Oxford. Traffic was a problem for later arrivals coming into the Kassam Stadium and this will be addressed for next year, but the Stadium finish and support was excellent. Our thanks to everyone who took part or supported, brilliant for the streets of Oxford to be lined with runners and applauding residents; also thanks to all of our Event Partners and the many people who marshalled and manned the water stations, and we are delighted to be supporting Helen & Douglas House. Lastly, it was great to have Liz Yelling taking part - a very genuine and inspiring lady.
Again really great to have all your comments and well done to everyone who ran and made it such a special day
There is an essential problem with running races through the tourist-friendly bits of old cities, which is that there are tourists and others milling around - it's not just Oxford, I've heard the same sort of issues affect e.g. the Florence marathon.
There's no easy answer to that one - you could of course hold the race at dawn on midsummer's day, which would help cut down traffic issues (foot and motor), but then you would have an interesting time getting marshalls. You'd probably have to offer free entry into the following year's race or some such... which puts up the entry fee.
That said, to run New York and many American marathons, you have to get up at some hideously early hour and they cost a HUGE amount! (Unless you are a NYRRC member who has done X races in which case it is merely expensive - a good model, though, for how to include local runners).
I left Bicester at 8am and at 9.30 was still 1/2 a mile from the car park, this is probably due to all the idiots who flew up the outside lane and cut in at the slip road ! I dumped mine on the dual carriageway on the end, worked out well as I was straight off after the race.
I had to stop twice for cars who just ignored the stewarsds pleas, was sent the wrong way buy a steward also and had to cut through some dangerous traffic to get back on course.
Got a PB though 1:49:36 so every cloud...............................
I really enjoyed it! It was certainly no more 'boring' than other city half marathons like Nottingham or Lichfield. Yes it was busy getting into the parking but a) I know I should have left more time and b) they delayed the start for us - what more could they do? It's better parking than others I've done recently - use your common sense and realise 3000 people getting into a car park is going to cause congestion (I didn't...but lesson learnt!!)
I had no problems at the water stations and although it would have been nice to run through more scenic areas the route was fine (but more hilly than I was expecting!)
The stadium finish was great and my parents got to see me 5 times on course - previously the most they've ever seen me is twice. SO it was good for spectators and they loved the stadium bit at the end.
Getting out of the car park was no problem at the end. I found the race hard but did get a PB of 4 mins
Yes they may want to make changes for next years but massive credit for starting this and running this despite lots of local negativity (my sister's athletic club in the area sent rounds lots of emails telling them not ot enter or volunteer - how supportive!!!!)
Will be back in 2012. Well done on a good first effort.
Good value for money compared with other city half marathons, more than enough free parking for many more participants and absolutely no traffic at all when I got there at 8.15 A.M.
Thanks and well done to the organisers! See you next year...