In short: A Brilliant First Half Marathon!!! In full: For my first half marathon, I thoroughly enjoyed it, Found it very tough, however without hard work there is no reward, Found the Marshalls very friendly and encouraging and the locals that you pass on route as well. Could of done with a few more people towards the end cheering you on, however in terms of organisation it was first class! Will definatly be back next year Date of review: February 9, 2010
In short: Fantastic organisation and lots of hills! In full: Have done this race I think 4 or 5 times and pleased to get a PB this year of 1.46, knocking 2 mins off last year :-). Fantastic organisation, friendly people, lovely course with some challenging hills, plenty of water and energy drinks too (although agree with earlier comments about large size bottles of energy drink getting wasted). Great prep for FLM (at least that's flat!) and better weather this year too. Will be back in 2011. Date of review: February 9, 2010
In short: Challening course but scenic, very well organised and very enjoyable! In full: Really enjoyed this race. I grew up in Sarratt, one of the villages the route passes by, but moved to Edinburgh about 15 years ago. Have wanted to come back for a while to do this. The route seemed to manage to take in every hill around, which made for a challening course, which I don't think has great PB potential. However, I'd far rather take in the hills and have a more scenic route than keep it flat and unattractive. So it worked for me. The marshals and supporters that were about were friendly and supportive and overall I thought the organisation was superb. It all seemed to run like absolute clockwork. It would have been nice to see more supporters out around the course as well as in Cassiobury Park for the start and finish. The organisers might like to think about getting some publicity in to some of the residential areas to encourage this. But this is a very minor point. Overall, I loved it and I'd do it again. Date of review: February 9, 2010
In short: You'll swear it's not Watford! But it is, and it's hilly but fast. In full: This is my second attempt at the Watford HM, the first one being my first attempt at the half marathon distance. I managed to smash last year's time and gained a new personal best under 1:40 which I'm chuffed about considering how hilly this course is. The hills are well positioned to achieve a PB since the second half of the course is easier than the first so my advice would be to push hard for the first half rather and then let your legs carry you to the finish (he says) rather than aim for a negative split. Having said that, the last couple of miles are quite challenging and the finish line seems to never arrive when you turn that final corner in Cassiobury Park.
The good thing about this course is that it is never monotonous - it starts in the park and quickly goes urban, uphill, downhill and then somehow rural, trail and then urban and park again. It's quite challenging since with each 'bend', change of inclination and change of scenery, you seem to lose your momentum. I was really grateful for this year's addition of bottles of Gatorade along the way (choice of flavour too) which was refreshing and strategically placed. A minor point - they should consider smaller bottles since there were lots of 3/4 full bottles being thrown.
The marshalling was great once again. It wasn't as cold as last year which made it that little bit more enjoyable. There's a good playground for the kids too if you're trying to make a day of it with the family. Overall, this is definitely one to add to your yearly running calendar and more rewarding than some of the bigger events I've been to (no medal though). Date of review: February 9, 2010