Göteborgs Varvet is the biggest half marathon in the world. In 2016, 64 000 people registered and over 49 000 finished the race. Although, don't get intimidated, because the race is very well organised and the race flows nicely. Göteborgs Varvet is also a great event for the city of Göteborg and more than 200 000 people get on the streets to watch and support the runners. In overall it is a great experience, weather you are there to run it or watch it.
Expo - Large and organised. It has many shops with a little bit of everything for running.
Toilets - I don't know how many toilets there were this time, but I was only in the queue for about 10 minutes before my start. The toilets were relatively clean, had toilet paper and alcohol gel to clean your hands.
Landscape - The start is in Slottsskogen park, a lovely green place with lots of space for the runners, friends and family. The course is beautiful crossing the river twice, running along it, going inside the city center through the main avenue and finishing off in Slottsskogsvallen, an athletics stadium. There's nothing more cool than to finish inside a stadium with the stands full of people cheering.
Start groups - There were about 35 start groups, the first starting at 13h and the last at 16h. They are all organised by the estimated time of each runner. If one can prove the time by showing a certificate from a previous race (not older than a year) one gets seeded accordingly. If not, one can run a 10 Km seeding race (there are many in different cities in Sweden) and also get seeded accordingly. Both will be seeded first. Those who can't prove their time will get seeded by the estimated time typed when registering, and since that is less accurate, they get seeded to start groups after the runners who presented proof their times. Truth is... for a race with so many people it flows quite well. I have been to races much smaller and way more crowded.
Water - There were 10 water stations in 21 Km! Half of them had sports drinks as well. Each station was quite long and it was always easy to get a cup.
Showers - There were showers during the course and that felt sooooo good!
People - There are people everywhere!!! Cheering, supporting, offering beer or champagne, holding funny signs and having fun. People have fun, runners have fun!
Finish - After the finish there's plenty of water and energy drinks. Finishers also get a banana and a chocolate.
Bag deposit - I didn't use it but I know it existed.
Course - The landscape is nice but it is a tough course... There are two or three bigger hills, one of them around 15 Km, which is tough. Those you know about it before. What you don't expect is that tiny little-but-long-like-hell-hill in the main avenue, around 17 Km, to kill you the way it does. I have walked the bloody thing dozens of times by now and it is not even a proper hill, but when your legs are dying it feels like mount Everest. This doesn't necessary have to be a negative, so be aware and turn it into a positive!
Price - It's an expensive race, there's no way around it. The start kit doesn't even include a t-shirt, but we are in Sweden, and things are expensive.
Stairs - Who the hell invented the super steep stairs for the runners to go up and down after the finish line??? One gets to the goal, gets a medal, drinks and snacks and then to go out of the runners area has to necessarily go through a set of stairs. It is so incredibly painful! If there's no other way could the stairs at least be less high and steep?