In short: Swishing from side to side ! In full: This was my very first St.Albans Half, so I'm not in a position to compare it with earlier years. Although the course was apparently altered at the last-minute, and didn't include a stretch through the centre of this historic town, the predominantly rural setting with the pack running along tight country lanes with the occasional muddy dub was exquisite. My only concern on the day was my hayfever, which thankfully didn't flare up. The Start/Finish were easy enough to get to from St.Albans BR and the short walk to the event was a decent warm-up. Although it was obvious that those coming by car were in for a wait getting away afterwards, this had been intimated in the publicity for the event. To be honest what other gripes there were, especially regarding confusion returning chips and the dearth of water at the finish, were more to do with the slightly inadequate cordoning off of finishers. In fact water was provided at the end; the problem was people had to go looking for it, and like other general difficulties was exacerbated as much by runners bunching up in a few places. At only 5'5" or thereabouts I had the added problem of being wrapped within a taller group. The run itself felt more hilly than anything else, but the climbs were broken up by the plateaus. The relief came from the good shading along the scenic route with old trees rearing up and over sometimes densely crowded lanes. The final downhill mile also emboldened most - me included. Despite not training properly I was carried along by the majestic sight of a bloody gorgeous & pert blonde bird. Although I had to press on close to the end, for most of the race I found myself slightly behind her with no one else in between, passing her repeatedly after taking breathers to down some fluid I was carrying. Unquestionably the defining feature of this event: a lovely sunshiny day that'll bring a smile to any lad's face.
In short: Too hot, why change the route again and worse organisation than prior years In full: 1) Why did they change the course? I downloaded the map 2 weeks before and it showed the 2007 course, which was fine. How many times can they change it - every year? Annoyed me as I ran the course before the event. 2) I was told by one of the gazillion marshals that there was water at the bottom of the hill. I got to the bottom of the hill and was REFUSED water as i was going the "wrong way". On a very hot day how to annoy a runner is to tell him he can't have water. This was once one of my top runs, going down the list fast. Date of review: June 11, 2008
In short: I thoroughly enjoyed the route and there was such a good atmosphere, although finish was a bit hectic collecting goodies. Lots of water stations and marshals were awesome! Date of review: June 11, 2008
In short: Enjoyed the route but not the heat! In full: This was my first time running St Albans 1/2 so have now views on the change of route. I did enjoy this route but the problem for me was the heat as I Just can't run any sort of pace in hot weather... all obviously out of anyones control. Lots of water stations and well marshalled all round. The end was a disaster, I queued for at least 20mins, I thought it was or getting chips collected but it was for the t-shirt and medal. I'm sure the organisers will re-think that for next year. Date of review: June 10, 2008
In short: More hilly than undulating but a scenic exploration of the environs of St Albans. Not much time for chatting as there is another climb on the horizon. Great organisation and a great day out Date of review: June 10, 2008
In short: Excellent course and marshalling - except for the end! In full: Lovely course - not too hilly, not too flat. Don't agree that it had no atmosphere - the marshalls and supporters en route made it for me. Agree with all above about lack of organisation at the end though - maybe take a leaf out of the St A Race for Life organisers' book for managing the end of the run. overall though - great. Thanks to all. Date of review: June 10, 2008
In short: Nice countryside, good downhill fast finish In full: Well organised start, couple of bottle necks to cope with. Nice hills not too demanding. Good run. Enjoyed the route downhill to the finish. THEN TOTAL Caos at the finish, organisation???..where to go?...hunt the medal! And the car park!!! took OVER an HOUR to get out. More attention needed. Date of review: June 10, 2008
In short: Start and finish in a beatiful park In full: Good transport links and ample parking made this easy to get to. Known for being hot, the organisers were well prepared with water every 1.5 miles - brilliant!
Undulating course kept the race interesting without slowing the pace too much. Over all a great race I'd do again. Areas that could be improved would be a wider start (it'sa bit narrow for the first mile) and better organisation at the finish. It wasnt clear where to get medals / tshirts etc Date of review: June 10, 2008