I was really disappointed to miss the inaugural Cathedral to Castle Run, luckily I managed to get a place this year.
The 10 mile multi-terrain run started near Lichfield Cathedral and ended in the grounds of Tamworth Castle.
The event was well organised and the marshalls on the day were superb. The queues for the bag drop and the toilets at the start looked a little lenghty. The race organisers have promised to improve things in 2019.
The local support in Lichfield was a little limited, however, the support in Tamworth was spot on.
If you enjoy multi-terrain courses then I can guarantee you'll love the section through Hopwas Woods. The hill was epic and my knee is still recovering.
The plastic medal and the goody bag were both a little disappointing. However, the technical t-shirt and free race photo downloads made the race good value for money.
The race organisers have already listened to feedback and have promised a better medal in 2019.
Posted on 16.04.18
Please liaise with whoever replaces London Midland. Having a half-hourly train service on the main line into Birmingham was a farce. People were unable to board trains and on the way home were collapsing due to overcrowding.
As a Brummie, I wanted to feel proud of my city and to enjoy the Great Birmingham Run. I didn't. Unfortunately, although the crowd support was amazing the course was pretty dire and uninspiring. If this is the best Birmingham has to offer then I feel for the Commonwealth Games marathon runners.
The hill of doom from last year had been replaced with a couple of challenging hills. To be honest, I preferred the old course with the finish on Broad Street. I guess race/road closure related logistics meant that the course had to be altered.
Starting at 13:30 was strange and I know a lot of runners struggled with their pre-race fuelling. Perhaps have the start a little earlier, even 12:30 would be better. It felt like the Great Birmingham Run was playing 'second fiddle' to the marathon event.
The start/area was completely chaotic. Why are families allowed in the area near the baggage buses? It just adds to the confusion. Supporters were able to access and block parts of the course, this was a real issue in the final section near Moor Street. Do what London does, keep the supporters away from the finish area and baggage buses.
Finally, please make the baggage buses more secure.
I left my bag on the first orange bus. When I collected my bag, my race number wasn't checked off againt the number on my bag, I could have walked away with someone else's gear. The buses were just as bad last year. Perhaps provide bags for baggage like other major events do.
Posted on 17.10.17
After running the Lichfield 10k several times, I've decided to share some hints and tips:
1) The queue for the t-shirts gets quite long after the race. If you have time, collect your t-shirt before the race.
2) Get in the queue for the portaloos at least 20 minutes before the race starts. The queues were longer than ever this year.
3) Don't get caught up in the stampede at the start. Stick to your own pace.
4) Don't start too far forward. Please be realistic about where you are likely to finish.
5) Watch out for the uneven road surface, especially in the first couple of miles.
6) Save something for the crossing over the A38.
7) The local support is awesome. Make the most of the jellybabies and other treats available in the later stages.
8) Smile for the cameras and thank the marshalls.
9) Leave something in the tank for the final 100m uphill sprint to the finish. It's on grass so it can get slippery underfoot.
10) Leaving the carpark does take some time. You'll need to factor this into any post race plans.
Posted on 12.09.17