Helen Pickering

Birmingham, United Kingdom
Member since Aug 2017

My Upcoming Races

2018
Bath Half Marathon
2017
Great Birmingham 10k
2017
Iron Run - July
2017
Robin Hood Marathon & Half Marathon

My Completed Races

2017
Cannock Chase 10k
2017
Derby 10 Mile
2016
Gung-Ho! Birmingham
2016
Birmingham Black Country Half Marathon
2014
The Color Run - Birmingham

My Latest Reviews

Completed as a first timer in 2017

4

Enjoyable 10 mile race

Derby 10 Mile

I thought this was really well-organised. It starts and ends at the Derby County football stadium, with the event village inside the stadium concourse, so protected from the weather. Plenty of toilets and it was easy to collect race packs and hand in baggage. The only downside was that it was impossible to hear the loudspeaker announcements unless you were stood right next to them, which meant most people missed the start of the Rememberance Sunday minutes' silence. Runners were divided into start pens based on predicted finish time.

The course is mostly along a river path and through a country park which is nice; there are short sections alongside roads though. Drinks stations at 4 and 8 miles, plenty of marshals and attendance in several spots of St John's Ambulance volunteers. There was reasonable crowd support I would say though not as much as if we'd been running in the city centre, of course.

The first and last two miles were essentially the same but in reverse, and I enjoyed the initial and final run round the exterior of the stadium. There was a rock choir singing us in but I think they went on break when I got there!

Back in the concourse, volunteers have out the goodie bag a bit at a time, which was a little odd as you had to carry it all in your hands. There was water, a banana, fluorescent green technical t-shirt (unisex design only sadly, and with massive sponsor details on the back, but otherwise a nice design, decent medal with the event and date, buff with sponsor details, and a gel.

I would run this event again.

Posted on 12.11.17

Really enjoyed this event

Robin Hood Marathon & Half Marathon

A great event for my second half marathon. A well-organised, mass participation event. It took 14 minutes after the front runners for my wave to be allowed to cross the start line, which was a little tiresome but better than a massive crush at the start.

The are some hills in the first few miles, but some nice downhills too where you can pick up some pace. My favourite section was going through a big country park at Wollaston Hall, though you don't run through it for long.

There was lots of local support - the purple-clothed Notts Women Runners were out in force to cheer on their members and everyone else. Plenty of people giving out sweets to the runners which was nice, as well as people playing music to keep us motivated. 

There were four water stations (at 3, 6, 9, and 12 miles) and all but the first also had Lucozade Sport bottles. The water was in an odd squeezable pouch which took me a while to figure out. 

Loads of crowd support in the race village along the final run to the finish line, then we were given a nice grey cotton t-shirt (unisex sizes), cracking medal, water, more Lucozade, an Alpen bar and a Boost bar. Then back to the car which had been parked for a fiver in the Council car park over the river, opposite Trent Bridge - a five minute walk away.

Posted on 25.09.17

Completed as a first timer in 2017

3.8

Good fun

Iron Run - July

I really enjoyed the event and thought it was good value for money. Great use of natural terrain (expect lots of going up and down hills) and some obstacles I haven't encountered elsewhere. 

You get a medal and a t-shirt which is good. Both are decent quality but the design (under the new brand name 'Uventure') is very uninspiring.

Toilets and hosepipe type showers provided but apparently the showers ran out of water. 

Registration and bag check was fast and the warm up was decent. I'd have liked to see more marshals, there were some obstacles without a marshal when there probably should have been one.

Posted on 07.08.17

Completed as a first timer in 2017

3.1

Good but a bit expensive

Great Birmingham 10k

A decent race. Good to get to run through parts of the city centre including past Selfridge's. Then you head out through some industrial areas and out to Edgbaston, a very short section through Cannon Hill Park and around the cricket ground then back to the city centre. 

Lots of local support, especially in the city centre, and plenty of music which was nice. Pretty flat. You get a decent goodie bag with a nice t-shirt and medal, but it is a little expensive.

 

 

 

Posted on 07.08.17

Completed in 2017

4.2

Great value trail run

Cannock Chase 10k

First timer this year and I really enjoyed it. A nice run along the gravel trails of Cannock Chase. Well signed with plenty of marshals. Nice to have our names on our race numbers which made it easier for other people on the Chase to cheer us along! It's a hilly course so be prepared.

The event was well-organised, though I think they could have done with a few more toilets at the start. I had to wait 15 minutes due to the length of the queue - yes, I should have got there earlier but even so. This meant I ended up starting near the back which meant some dodging around slower runners - again, my own fault. However there is a section near the start where you have to go single file up a hill, which for those of us at the back meant a wait then walking behind other runners. Perhaps the organisers could consider sending groups off at the start - say 30 at a time or something, which might help alleviate this problem. It is more difficult to organise but the event is chip timed so it shouldn't present any difficulties with the results. 

You can park for free at the start, there's a great medal and a decent goodie bag (medal, mini bag of Haribo, Cadbury's Fudge bar, and a squeeze pack of almond butter), plus a banana and water at the end. Given all that I'd say it's great value for money.

 

 

 

 

Posted on 06.08.17