Cambridge Half Marathon Feedback

Cambridge Half Marathon Feedback

Posted by on 5th April 2017

A Note from the Race Director: Adam Moffat

Thank you everyone that took the time to complete this year’s survey, I’m really pleased to see that so many people enjoyed the event despite the terrible weather!  Your feedback is essential to us, we will now evaluate all the information and see how many improvements we can make ahead of the 2018 event. 

I have picked out the top 10 improvement items and provided some notes against each one.

  1. Bag Storage

As mentioned in our previous emails, we are sorry that we got this so badly wrong and will be making a number of sufficient improvements next year, these will include:

  • Changing how the data is prepared, to avoid all of the same standard of runners collecting at the same time
  • Reducing the number of bags in each marquee section
  • Increasing the size of the labels to make them easier to find
  • Installing structured walk ways to make it easier for the staff to retrieve the bags
  • Increasing the size of the team & marquee
  • We will have bag drop bins, to save time pre race which will then be easier to sort into an exact order ready for collection
  1. Foil blankets

This has created a large amount of debate amongst our organising committee, specifically our medical team, who have highlighted that foil blankets are not effective unless they have an insulating layer i.e. a proper blanket underneath.  However, after much debate we will have foil blankets available inside the finish area in 2018. 

  1. More waves so less people on the course at one time

We felt the new waved start worked really, giving those in the middle of the pack (start of wave 2) a much cleaner start.

We will definitely be looking to expand on this in 2018 with the possibility of 5 mini waved starts, this will however depend on successful discussions with the County’s Highways department.  As the first 2 miles are identical to the final 2 miles, albeit in the opposite direction, we are limited on how long we have to get all runners to the cross over point at the Round Church (2.3 miles).

  1. Bigger / More mile markers

This year, we once again sprayed the road and installed mile marker signs.  We installed the signs in the early hours of Friday morning (4-7am), before the traffic builds up.  To avoid the signs being removed by those people enjoying their Saturday night drinks, we installed at a very high level, however, from your feedback we can see this didn’t work for you.  Therefore in 2018 we will have large 2metre flags at eye level installed by a team in the early of Sunday morning, ready for the race.

  1. More toilets

We once again increased the number of toilets and had the 3 x 100 berth urinals to try to get the guys out of the queues.  We also trialled having a large number in pens 2 & 3 close to the start ready for the 2nd wave.  Although this was appreciated by many, I think bringing some of these back onto the Common and generally increasing numbers will be more beneficial in 2018.

  1. Change the route

Now this is an interesting one as we love the route and 96% of you scored it either good or excellent in this year’s survey.

It is extremely difficult to design a perfect 13.1 mile route that shows off the City, Countryside and still allows the general public to go about their everyday business.

We have a few tweaks we would like to make, but have no plans to make wholesale changes.

  1. Better / Louder communication at the start

This is a bit of a challenge, due to the locality of the start/finish, in a very densely populated residential area we have to be mindful of those around us.  We cannot say it is only 1 day of the year as the open spaces around Cambridge house a number of events.  We have only received 2 noise complaints in 6 years and we are very keen to keep it that way! 

  1. Solution to cover the muddy floor near the start

Obviously, the weather was terrible and this heavily contributed to poor conditions, we will look at this ahead of the 2018 event.

  1. Better / more food and drink stalls on the common

This is a challenge, due to the nature of the event, traders have a very limited window in which to sell, therefore it doesn’t make financial sense for them to come to an event with 20+ stalls, as ultimately they are businesses and need to make money from attending events.

I was very happy with the quality of the traders who attended this year, especially as they were faced with some power issues during the day.

We worked with a new single contact to coordinate the caterers this year, it was his first time at the event and he has a number of planned improvements for 2018.

  1. More music along the route 

This year we had 10 music hotspots, with a number of local groups and a few who travelled up from London.  This was our biggest number to date, this is an area we are keen to continue to grow in the future, so watch this space….


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