Tewkesbury 5 ...

No it bloody well wasn't.

There were two races - a half marathon (with its own problems - no water at finish, no toilets at finish, incorrect medal given to some competitors, goody bag full of air and nothing else) and a 5 mile race.  I'm in the form of my life, or at least of the last ten years, and I've done the half at least ten times, so I decided to try to break my 5 mile PB.

I came third, in just under 29 minutes, and I was overjoyed, until my clubmate (who was also going for a PB, and who won the race) told me that his Garmin said it was 4.73 miles.

I was, and still am, absolutely livid.  I paid good money to enter a 5 mile race, never mind that it was advertised as a "fun run".  On the day I then had to pay an extra £3 to park in a field (not entirely the fault of the race organisers, but pretty typical of this race).  To run my heart out only to have a completely useless time was an absolutely gutting feeling.

Sadly, the company responsible for the race (Google them if you like) have form in being piss-poor organisers.  They it was who organised (if that's the right word) the Cheltenham Half Marathon last year, which was a complete shambles, and which has led to the Police and Glos Highways cracking down on road races, so that several have been cancelled, and all have had to jump through fatuous H&S hoops to get a permit.

I had a word with the organiser at the end, who told me that it was a "community fun run".  Well, it said 5 miles on the entry form, and not "approx 5 miles", or "4.73 miles", so why not create a 5 mile route? 

As a friend of mine has remarked about a lot of mass-entry races, the organisers take as much as they can get away with, and give back as little as they can get away with.

I won't be running either race again until the organisers are given the heave-ho.


  • any event that described itself as a fun run, should be assumed to be just that


    (ps garmins aren't as accurate as a UKA course measurer)

  • Any event, run under UKA rules, that describes itself as a 5 mile race, should be a 5 mile race.

  • any event that describes itself a an accurately measured 5 mile road race run under UKA rules, will say so on the entry form...

    Otherwise it is a 5 mile fun run run under UKA rules....

  • I have signed up for the 'fun run' this year. (This Sunday 19th May 2013) There has been a last-minute change of organiser - it was originally advertised as 4.2 miles but I have just had confirmation that it is definitely 5 miles (they responded to my question within 5 minutes at 10pm, so must be working hard at it!). They seem to be on the ball with detailed emails being sent out and a new website just created - www.tewkesburyhalfmarathon.co.uk if anyone is interested in a last-minute entry. From what I remember the 5 mile route is mostly tarmac and not the prettiest, but it is flat and good for beginners.

  • You do understand that if your Garmin disagrees with the race organisers, then it is almost certainly the Garmin that is wrong. 

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