Birmingham and Black Country Half-Marathon

Hi folks - mark you diaries for July 6th. The 7th edition of our secret little race is back and entry is open now.

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Comments

  • I should be back again for the 5th time image

     

  • Chris - you know you are always welcome, fingers crossed for good weather!

  • I used to live in Oldbury and this canal was a staple of my cyclo-cross training. Pretty tempted by this as I've done a point to piint on canal towpaths (minus a tunnel!) in Watford and it was great fun

  • 2Wheels, yeah I used to live in Tipton so it was my reg routes.

    Its a great race, be my 5th running, great goodie bag, massage, showers last year in NIA.

    Oh, and lots of pubs around the finish area image

  • Im thinking of doing this for my 1st ever half marathon! is it really mostly flat? Im not good with hills!

  • zoey, I done this as my first in 2010 and have now done about 10 halfs and I would recommend it for a first half it's 99% flat apart from some canal bridges , I hope this helps
  • It is flat, however the canal bridges can be a bit brutal!!image

    I've done it 4 times (I think) each year I think never again and then.....

  • Ok, I'm pretty much sold. Am i right in thinking that it is a time trial? If so how does that work, is it like a cycling one where you are aloocated a time or do you just rack up when you please?

  • hi 2wheels, yeap time trial. You have given an approx start time based upon your predicted time for half marathon. We start in groups of around 10 ish and timed via electronic chip. So the clock doesnt start for you until you cross the start mat. Its very well done and I am not on commission from the organisers image

     

  • Cool that makes sense - thank you! and presumably the faster you are, the later you start? So with a 1.49 PB and a target of sub 1hr 45 I assume I'll start around the middle? If I do enter I'm coming up from Hertfordshire so keen to avoid a stupidly early start!

  • @2wheels - it's the opposite, the faster you are the earlier you start.  It's along a canal bank which typically is 2 person wide so you want to reduce the amount of overtaking as much as possible by starting amongst your pace peers.

    I ran this last year as my first ever race and it was really good.  The staggered start is spot on;  you are released in groups which fairly quickly spread out and found their level so I was neither holding up others nor being held up myself.  

    If you are slightly out of position at the start it's not going to be a major issue for you as in my experience you won't be coming up behind groups of 6 people together.  As I recall I never had to navigate past more than 2 at a time.

    Travel up by train, the start is just around the corner and the finish is at a great spot for a few celebratory beers image

  • Yes I know the area well, this is all very much my old stomping ground which is a big part of the attraction. I mentioned easrlier on the thread that I did the Uxbridge to Watford 1/2 on the towpaths and as great as it was the start was only split in to 2 waves so at times bunching was a problem.

    I'm trying to convince a friend to do it as his first half and then plan on hitting the pubs afterwards. I think I'm definately up for this and nit just because it finishes by a pub!

  • Hi Folks,

    Cant decide to go for it or not, have done it three times and I get a minute slower each year.

    And the tunnel seems to get worse each time.

    I do love the fact that it's diff & on a Sat though image

    Decisions, decisions image

     

  • you Kaks, how have you been.

    You know you want to image

     

  • Hi Chris M

    All good, was a bit lazy last year, so yes your right I am in (tunnel here I come).

    Only did the Brum Half last year, so need to get back in the habit.

    Challenge on ~ PB required image

     

  • Entered.

     

  • what do you do with all your kit, and how do you get from Birmingham back to Wolverhampton?!

     

  • Be good to return to this run, only this time will have my two sons to compete with. Sign of old-age I guess...

    Kathryn - There are plenty of trains from Birmingham New Street to Wolverhampton. Not ideal, but an option for you I think. How about the organisers arranging some low-cost mini-bus or coach travel???

  • Kathryn you put it in their transport and they bring it back to birmingham. They do regular tripkoi back to birmingham with kit And it's well signposted at Brindley place to get your stuff back. I have ran it four times and there are regular trains. this one of my favorite runs its really well organised.

  • doing this for the first time this year. completed my first HM last year doing the Brum HM, but have the feeling this will be a different challenge! normally only going up to 10k on my runs have just started training to get my milage in for this, but looking first and foremost to complete and let the time take care of itself!

    I too wondered about luggage and kit etc, but sounds like they have it all in hand. Train to wolves, then bus home from brum, hopefully with all kit in tow!

  • its very well organised.

    Luggage drop off at start, luggage will be waiting for you at the end,

    Great goodie bag,

    Showers in NIA

    massage (although I think you pay a fiver for this).

     

     

  • Great idea for the start.I've been put off by the thought of being unable to pass on the path but a staggerd start sounds good.

    Can anyone enlighten me on the make up of the path itself as in what percentage is good quality gravel or trail as oppose to uneven grass that might cut up rough in the rain. I'm looking for a good flat PB course and any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • HI BCB,

    Although totally flat its not really a PB course, the course depends upon weather but I will go for a pair of old road shoes, they will get muddy, not racing flats. MT shoes will be fine but not really nessacery. Most good gravel.

    The bridges towards the end of the race are the killers, just 10' high each but enough to begin to hit already tired legs.

    I will say this is a great race, my 5th running. You will love it or hate it though. 

    Are you aware of the tunnel image

     

  • as a first timer on this course i need to know about the tunnel

     

  • Hi John,

    If you look at Irondogs post, the first one on this thread that is a pic of the tunnel. Handrail if you need it, bit slippy underfoot but as long as you remember to take your sunglassess off you will be fine image

  • Thanks for the advice Chris M,think I'll enter anyway,sounds quite a unique race I'd be daft to miss regardless of it's PB potential

  • Another question about the staggered start - any way of predicting the start time? (expected time 1.45), trying to work out the logistics of getting there.

  • Chris M wrote (see)

    HI BCB,

    Although totally flat its not really a PB course, the course depends upon weather but I will go for a pair of old road shoes, they will get muddy, not racing flats. MT shoes will be fine but not really nessacery. Most good gravel. The bridges towards the end of the race are the killers, just 10' high each but enough to begin to hit already tired legs. I will say this is a great race, my 5th running. You will love it or hate it though.  Are you aware of the tunnel image  


    I'd echo that, as I said earlier in this thread, I know these towpaths well from when I lived there, the surface is good all the way round but if it's wet I suspect water will gather, but those bridges at the end will hurt.

  • Hahaha and a scary tunnel as well! Killer bridges also,that's it I'm in.Sounds like the most fun you can have in the West Midlands.

  • 2Wheels,

    I think your start time would be about 9:45. I am a 1:40ish and have started at about 9:45, I dont think there is any problem with you starting later, earlier might be a problem when the speed machines are out.

    You could mail Irondog, I believe he is one of the organisers.

     

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