Sunday, October 24, 2010


L gets up at the unearthly hour of 5am to take Son to the station so that he can be back at Warwick for a 9am lecture. Despite the fact she’s only gone for less than half an hour, MD has to go through the whole welcoming a member of his pack home routine, loudly. So now the whole street are awake, including Daughter who is on half term break and is particularly unhappy about it. After which, it hardly seems worth us going back to sleep, so we don’t.

Talking of MD. L saw this, the World Loudest Bark, and thought of him. He should have been there. Oddly there doesn’t seem to be a collie among them.

The understatement of the year award goes to the organisers of the Birmingham Half Marathon who have admitted the event needs ‘fine tuning’... They’re referring to the delays crossing the finish line, which were so obvious they couldn’t deny they’d happened. They seem to be in denial about everything else. Even then they blame that problem on medical incidents which ‘had to be dealt with quickly’. Which wasn’t the case. There may have been a medical incident but there always is somebody who’s need medical attention after a half marathon and they would/should have been prepared for that. The hold up was actually caused by the handing out of foil blankets, water and collecting timing chips far too close to the finish line. That was obvious when I arrived, as it was already starting to back up then.

Steve Hollingworth, Birmingham City Council's director of sport and events, goes on to mention the ‘great feedback’ they’ve had. Hmmm. There are over 300 messages across three forums on Runners World and rising by the minute. Probably only two or three of them could be described as ‘great feedback’, the rest are highly critical.

Something I learn from looking at all the post race comments is that everyone rates the Reading Half Marathon as a really big, well run marathon - 12,300 finished this years in March.

It’s the world’s 19th largest Half Marathon according to 2009 figures and second only to the Great North Run in the UK. 5th biggest in Europe.

1. 30th Goteborg, Sweden 40,523
2. Bupa Great North Run, UK 37,582
3. OneAmerica 500 Festival, USA 30,281
4. Country Music, USA 22,920
5. P.F. Chang’s, Arizona, USA 22,111
6. Paris, France 21,552
7. Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio, USA 20,077
8. Vattenfall Berliner, Germany 17,888
9. Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas, USA 17,880
10. Rock ‘n’ Roll, USA 15,729
11. Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle, USA 15,677
12. Wien-Energie, Austria 15,483
13. Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago, USA 14,459
14. Chicago, USA 13,532
15. Nike Women’s, USA 13,421
16. Walt Disney World, USA 12,444
17. ING Philadelphia, USA 12,379
18. Medellin Int’l, Columbia 12,100
19. Reading, UK 11,867
20. Disneyland, USA 11,645

It’s already almost full, so if we’re interested we’ll have to get in quick. L says she’s game. I assume she means for the race.

However it’s the same day as the Kilomathon. Which I’d like to support, as it's local, but they’re being very cagey about the route, which is worrying. I have no wish to do circuits of Derby’s new ring road, if it’s finished by then.

I check the Kilomathon website to see if there’s any update on the route and my support suddenly evaporates. They say they have changed the entry system to 'something much more beneficial to charities and also gives runners the option to enter a fantastic road race for just £5'... if you raise at lot of money for charity that is. That's blackmail. If you don’t fund raise then its £45, which is an inflation busting increase of 50% on last year's price of £30, plus a £2.75 booking fee of course. I'm thoroughly fed up with running being hijacked by charities. Reading isn’t that far is it?

(Monday 25th October)


  1. Did you hear about the Cardiff half? They re-routed it due to a health and safety concern about some scaffolding in the road... No-one thought to re-measure it. And it was too short. Nobody's time was valid.

  2. I did. Probably as big a cock up as at Birmingham. Hope they sort it out for future years. Cardiff is on my list...