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21466 Views 174 Replies Latest reply: Mar 25, 2010 11:58 AM by Gracie Johnsey RSS Go to original post 1 ... 4 5 6 7 8 ... 12 Previous Next
  • Stewarts Rookie 1 posts since
    Oct 30, 2007

    Loved it - even the hills!  The Birmingham Police did an excellent job.  I really appreciate that.  I thought the water stops were perfectly placed and well staffed - same with the Gu.  Thank you to all the volunteers!!  I considered skipping the shirt because of the line, but I'm glad I decided to wait.  I love the design and fit (women's half) and I'm sure the crowding issues will be resolved for next year.  I plan to be there!        

     

  • Andrew46525 Rookie 1 posts since
    Aug 26, 2009

    Overall a nice experience.  Many thanks to the numerous and wonderful volunteers!  The Bham Police officers were gracious and courteous.  I even saw a few of them smiling and cheering!  Post-race was MUCH improved from 2009 (evident in the number of folks hanging around). 

    However there were a few things that left me scratching my head:

    1)     What was plan behind the t-shirt fiasco at the end?  As if 26.2 wasn't punishment enough, within steps of the finish line runners were corralled into a meandering chain-link chute to wait in line for?a red spandex tech shirt.  Red spandex?  Really?  Come on.  I?m no Superman.  And why wasn?t this thing in my race packet the day before?  That way I wouldn?t be standing in a queue, which isn?t my activity of choice after running this distance.

     

    NOTE TO RACE ORGANIZERS CONCERNING SHIRTS:  Please stop passing out tech shirts.  What we really want is a long sleeve cotton t-shirt that we can wear when we aren?t training.  Thanks, Runners

     

    2)     Packet pick-up could be more runner-friendly.  I realize that the race was on a Sunday, but a Thursday PM, all-day Friday, and morning-of-the-race pickup would be much easier.  No one wants to drive into downtown the day before a race, pay for parking and fight with World of Wheels patrons at the BJCC.   Also, replacing the long sleeve T from last year with a dinky cap was disappointing.  That tiny little hat looks real nice, on my 5 year old.

    3)     Relay stations need to be separate from the aid stations, and out of the way of the course.  I realize the relay folks paid their money too, but come on?please get them a nice comfortable tent that is out of the way.

    4)     I was unpleasantly surprised to find that the finisher?s medal was IDENTICAL to the one from the year before.  The ribbon attached to the medal was different, but the medal itself was the same.  Thanks for the new ribbon, MM.

    5)          What happened with the finish line this year?  Due to fencing and barricades there was less space for spectators and families.  And there HAS to be better option than the ?t-shirt cage death march?.   A suggestion would be that half-marathoners  and relayers split when approaching Linn Park and finish on opposite sides of the park.  The halfs and relayers finish to the right side of Linn park and the marathoners finish on the left side.  That way ALL of the park can be used by spectators and our families, and there would be plenty of room to move toward the post-race events at Boutwell. 

    Anyway, overall it was a fair course and a good challenge.  Many thanks to the organizers and volunteers.  See you again next year!

     

  • Stephanie A Morgan Rookie 1 posts since
    Jan 26, 2008

    Great run!  Nice flat course.  The volunteers are wonderful!!  The after party is a great hit.  Very well organized.  I love this run!  Birmingham is a wonderful host city!!

  • hcoon1519 Rookie 2 posts since
    Dec 21, 2007

    I absolutely love this race!  The course is wonderful and the voluteers are awesome.  However, I have a few issues!  This is my 3rd year in row to run the 1/2 marathon and each year the finish line gets more and more chaotic.  Why in the world do we have to wait to get our shirt at the finish line?  What is wrong with putting them in our packets???  I was also very disappointed with the hat.  It is so tiny!  My brother and husband (they ran too) cannot even get it on their heads.  I really miss getting a long-sleeve t-shirt.  However, the expo was great!  I like it at the civic center.  I will be back next year!

  • AngelaMcKenzie Rookie 1 posts since
    Jul 13, 2008

    Nice race! The number of volunteers was wonderful and very helpful. Loved that I could get water and powerade at every station. The shirt was not pretty, but I will wear it to run in. Thank you again to all the volunteers.

  • d0431 Rookie 3 posts since
    Jan 31, 2009

    Don't listen to the complaints about the technical shirts. If you don't like the way it looks on you, shape up.

     

    Would like to see the course reversed every other year. I like the climb up Highland the way its done in the Vulcan Run.

     

    The walkers need to be forced to the back of the pack - I run a 9:00 pace and I'll be tempted to move further to the front next year to get past these roadblocks.

     

    Afun race with great volunteers.

  • Armando Leyva Rookie 1 posts since
    Jan 29, 2010

    It was a great event!!  Thanks a lot to all the volunteers, who made us life easy. Also Birmingham Police did it great taking care of the course; I already checked in for the half marathon, so next year we'll come back for the complete challenge. It was nice to run with y'all!

  • GaryDTalley Rookie 3 posts since
    Jul 25, 2009

    This was a great race. The volunteers were great and very supportive. The police kept the traffic blocked. The course is pretty tough but not too bad. Water,Powerade and gels available at the water stops. They even had some people giving out beer near the end. That was the last thing I wanted at that time but it did make me laugh.

    I will definitely make this a yearly event.

    The after party was good with bands playing

  • Kristieb77 Rookie 1 posts since
    May 2, 2009

    I love this race so I keep coming back to do it every year.  I always hit a personal best, or at least come close to it.  I few suggestions though: it has grown to a size in which starting corrals are not just nice, but necessary.  Slow runners and walkers need to be highly encouraged to stay to the right, especially in the beginning so those who want to run faster aren't weaving as much; then again starting corrals would help with this problem.  Also, ALL bathrooms need to accessible in Boutwell.  If it's not possible, then another venue should be selected.  I waited in line for over 30 minutes that morning to use the restroom, and never got in.  Then I made my way to the portables, and waited there for another 10 minutes, only to have to jump out of line to get back to the starting line with 2 minutes to spare.  If I had my preference, Boutwell wouldn't even be used and a new facility, like the BJCC, would be used to hold all of the cold runners before the race and give us all a place to stretch.  Memphis, Knoxville, and other major cities with events like this, have venues that do hold all the runners who want to be in out of the cold and have a place to stretch, so it is reasonable to ask for this.  Also, the course was mismarked (according to my Garmin and many others I talked to)-mile markers were .25 miles before the actual mile.  I'm sure you've had comments from others, but we miss the t-shirts in the bag.  We like having a cotton t-shirt as well as a tech shirt.  And, THANK YOU for the gender specific shirt and it was time smaller females like myself have a shirt we can actually wear.  I would suggest maybe doing a design contest for next year though.  The design of the half tech shirt is just too busy, but the marathon tech shirts are great (or at least what I saw online)!  The water stations were great and the volunteers were encouraging. The medals are good, but the ribbons were smaller than usual and I am getting ready for a new style of medal after having four that are nearly the same.  Thank you for having photogs out on the course and at the finish so that if our spectators couldn't get a good shot, then maybe we will have one from the professionals.  I do agree that if this race is to attract even more runners and stand out as a premier event, major enhancements must be made.  Overall though, I loved it and will do it again next year and every year as long as I can. 

  • Dow Ford Rookie 3 posts since
    Dec 12, 2007

    Good course, good time of year.....  It will talk some effort to move this race up to upper ranks of "runner-friendly" races. 

     

    1)  The hat-instead-of-a-tee-shirt trick was sad.  The hat only fits small children.  It will not stay on an adult's head.....

    2)  The pasta dinner was just wrong.  All indications on site were that you could "walk" to the McWane center.  Way to far.  We were advised by everyone at the hotel that it was "unsafe" to make that walk.  The meal was like a light snack, not something you would eat before running a marathon.  Really?  2 oz of pasta and a lettuce leaf?  Many runners are vegetarian, but all the dishes had meat or chicken.

    3)  The finish line was a lesson in unpreparedness.  It would make a great "Saturday Night Live" skit.  Please....give the shirts out at registration and be done with it.  What is so special about those "finishers" shirts anyway?  You can buy all the previous year's shirts for 2$ each in the expo!

    4) The hotel is convenient and adequate.  Would it kill them to set out some coffee urns for complementary coffee on race morning? 

     

    Finally, we ran the old course in 2007---The one with the famous "hill."  We loved it.  What is the point of coming to Birmingham if you can't run a killer hill?  A two loop marathon course is not something I would ever be interested in doing.  Birmingham is a great city....while in a marathon there, why would you ever need to run over the same ground twice?

     

    Keep trying, folks.  Listen to the runners!!!!!

  • Dow Ford Rookie 3 posts since
    Dec 12, 2007

    Good course, good time of year.....  It will talk some effort to move this race up to upper ranks of "runner-friendly" races. 

     

    1)  The hat-instead-of-a-tee-shirt trick was sad.  The hat only fits small children.  It will not stay on an adult's head.....

    2)  The pasta dinner was just wrong.  All indications on site were that you could "walk" to the McWane center.  Way to far.  We were advised by everyone at the hotel that it was "unsafe" to make that walk.  The meal was like a light snack, not something you would eat before running a marathon.  Really?  2 oz of pasta and a lettuce leaf?  Many runners are vegetarian, but all the dishes had meat or chicken.

    3)  The finish line was a lesson in unpreparedness.  It would make a great "Saturday Night Live" skit.  Please....give the shirts out at registration and be done with it.  What is so special about those "finishers" shirts anyway?  You can buy all the previous year's shirts for 2$ each in the expo!

    4) The hotel is convenient and adequate.  Would it kill them to set out some coffee urns for complementary coffee on race morning? 

     

    Finally, we ran the old course in 2007---The one with the famous "hill."  We loved it.  What is the point of coming to Birmingham if you can't run a killer hill?  A two loop marathon course is not something I would ever be interested in doing.  Birmingham is a great city....while in a marathon there, why would you ever need to run over the same ground twice?

     

    Keep trying, folks.  Listen to the runners!!!!!

  • carol.braswell Rookie 1 posts since
    Dec 2, 2009

    From a first-time half-marathoner, I really enjoyed the course.

     

    There were hills, but none were especially steep. Also, the last part of the course was very flat, which made the end more bearable!

     

    As opposed to most reviewers, I like the technical finisher's shirt.  However, I would like a cotton long-sleeved tee to wear around town. The medal is great!

     

    Logistically speaking, the organizers have plenty of room for improvement. Pace groups were not well identified for the start, no one knew when to start because the gun went off early, and the post-race shirt pick-up was a complete disaster. Everyone in line around me was complaining of cramping legs due to standing after running 13.1 miles!

     

    Overall, it was a good race that has room for improvement, and I'll probably be back next year.

  • Mike Putman Rookie 1 posts since
    Jan 11, 2010

    First time half-marathoner...loved everything.  Only one criticism...not enough port-o-toilets.  Other than that I thought it was well-organized, thoughtful route, great water and fruit breaks, and encouraging Birminghamians along the route!  Keep up the good work!  Very impressive!

  • LowDead Pro 68 posts since
    Feb 26, 2009

    At the start:

    GOOD:  Um...

    COULD DO BETTER: Have pace CORRALS at the start and allow runners to enter the starting corrals from the side instead of having to work your way up from the back.  Shoot a gun, play some music, do something, anything to generate some excitement!

     

    During the race:

    GOOD: Water and nutrition stations were plentiful and very well staffed.  Very smooth.
    COULD DO BETTER: More CHEERING and MUSIC... long stretches of silence are great for training runs, but depressing during a race.

     

    After the race:

    GOOD: Great food, entertainment, and FREE BEER!

    AWESOME: My wife won a door-prize: a 42" LCD TV!!

    COULD DO BETTER: Wider exit chutes to avoid clogging and a more efficient finisher shirt pick-up process.  More free food once inside, like fruit, donuts, etc... one BBQ sandwich can only take you so far.

  • Michael Bullinger Rookie 1 posts since
    Nov 5, 2009

    I really like the event. Not too many runners, nice modified track. I ran it three times so far and I will comeback.

    BUT, the finish area where every runner picks up a drink, fruits and the shirt... That area was too small and not well organized. Sorry guys! I finished early, but I saw the crowd in there after 2 h. Better routing forthe future. THX.

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