Monday, 9 June 2014

Rock ‘n’ Roll Liverpool half-marathon, May 2014

I thoroughly enjoyed this half-marathon.

The start area was well provisioned using the facilities of the nearby Echo Arena and we lined up in our starting pens amidst the Liverpool docks.

The start of the route meandered through the city. It took us past the Liver Building, The Cavern Club and Eleanor Rigby just in case anyone was in any doubt as to where there were. A few sites that if you weren't looking for them it would be quite easy to have missed.

We then worked our way along the course taking in views of at least one of the cathedrals. The route then moves along three parks - Princes park (home of the Liverpool parkrun and Sefton park. I didn't get the name of the third park but it provided some welcome shade and cool on a warm day.

The third park butts on to a long promenade which basically takes you all the way back to the start. It's quite a lengthy promenade but there were views of the Mersey to keep your mind occupied. Before you know it, you can see the finish line.

The medal and t-shirt were great and you got to fill your own goody bag at the end - thankfully plentifully supplied as there were a few filling their boots!

There was a concert being held near the finish area, The Christians and The Farm were on the bill (younger readers may want to look these guys up) but they could be heard from the seated area just a little bit away.

As above I did enjoy this run. Great location and some thought had gone in to locating and creating a decent before/after gathering point for all runners.

It was the first of this type and so you could expect a few teething problems:

  • Great volunteers, but they didn't seem to know too much about what was going on in terms of the timings and pens at the beginning
  • Oddly there was very little support around the course - not the organisers fault I guess, but not the reception i'd expected from Liverpool
  • There was a massive queue for picking up t-shirts at the end. I think this could easily be sorted for the next one, but standing in a queue for 20 minutes wasn't the best thing
  • Free beer at the end - was great but a non-alcoholic freebie would also have been welcomed
Those are tiny things really. The really disappointing things was the Rock ‘n’ Roll element. On the whole there wasn't any. I can remember seeing four bands on the course. There was a band in the dock at the start - quite quiet; same for the second band; the third were Tiger Factory (I hope) and they were playing loud and live and well were doing what I was expecting going around this race; the fourth had just finished playing. The rest of the music was djs or CDs - and not the most inspiring.

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