In short: the heat made it awful for a beginner, my first half marathon In full: only so hard because of the heat, and the new route, the marshalls did not seem to know the route or where the water stops were. Very well organised at the beginning but as a slow runner the end was a bit challenging with traffic already starting up and marshalls not clearly visible towards the end so the route a bit of a guess. The real killer was the slow uphill along a busy A road, not much fun along there and not enough water. The rest of the route was generally pretty or ok. Bit of traffic dodging needed though. Why couldnt the race have started earlier? The heat made us all suffer to the extreme. I doubt to do this race again owing to the June heat possibility, but it wont be my last half marathon. Date of review: June 12, 2006
In short: Brain-melting heat, route akin to lessons in how not to get run-down by passing traffic!! In full: Wow, imagine placing your treadmill in the Sahara - that is if the Sahara for the most part was one long, narrow stretch of road with a few crazied drivers throw in for good measure!
As a beginner to races, this being my second after the FLM, I found this route, well, boring..not much to look at or inspire you.
For the slower runner a complimentary map was needed as at more than one point there was confusion as to where to turn next. Quite daunting if you do find yourself alone.
The hill at 11 miles (who's idea was that?!) was certainly "character building". However the stretch though the town centre was full of smiles, cheers and a feeling of achievement as you watched people going about their usual Sundays!
The St Johns ambulance crew were a true credit and the Medal and T-Shirt made it all worth-while! Date of review: June 12, 2006
In short: Single track at times (not helpful) In full: What can I say? has anybody mentioned the heat? My 2nd half marathon but my first in suicidal heat. Even though I did manage to scrape 3 min of my previous best (think how much it could have been). single track at times which really was not good with so many runners + I saw a couple of near incidents with cars. Well marshalled and water stops good, enjoyed it overall Date of review: June 12, 2006
In short: The heat was hell as was the Folly Lane hill at 11 miles! In full: Course was scienic in parts, but frustrating along the narrow pavements of the Harpenden and Redbourn Roads, meaning you had to risk your life to pass someone (some crazy drivers!) Great marshalls and plenty of drinks stations (although needed more on the Redbourn Road - I saw a lot of people struggling). The relentless heat made a good time impossible, not helped by the hideous hill at 11 miles and equally hideous lap round the lake to finish! Could do with starting earlier to avoid the blistering midday heat. Will be back next year though! Date of review: June 12, 2006
In short: Torturous in the heat. In full: Did anybody mention that it was very hot? I was looking forward to this and was determined to do it despite the predicted heat and am glad I did. But it became a case of finishing rather than time so I stopped caring if I was walking or not by half way around.
Plenty of well manned water stops and excellent marshals and St John's Ambulance (saw several poor people collapse on the sides and always someone with them or very near them).
Didn't mind the course although it was too narrow in places and could have been more in the shade at times - I wouldn't have minded crossing the road for that reason.
Also felt that the run around the lake could have done with more marshalling to keep the pedestrians away from the course - nearly found myself in the lake because of a mishandled pushchair.
Would do it again next year if the weather is cooler. Date of review: June 12, 2006
In short: God it was hot! In full: Great organisation, some really nice stretches in the park, through the town, and another bit near the beginning. Aren't there any other places to run around St Albans than along the main road to Harpenden? Thanks you to the fellow sufferer whoi warned me in advance about Folly Hill - in that heat, at that time of day, it was a real challenge. Nice family atmosphere, but it might be better in June to start the half marathon earlier. With the walkers going off at 8, surely half eight would be possible? Date of review: June 12, 2006
In short: Very hot, hill at 11 miles a killer. In full: Would have been a great run if not for the heat. Marshalls were fab, very encouraging, but long stretches of boring road. Don't think I'd run this distance again in that sort of heat. Date of review: June 12, 2006
In short: The heat, that hill, and the stretches along featureless roads made this a very tough run. But the marshals and overall organisation, the run through the town and the splendid treats at the end somehow made it all worthwhile. Date of review: June 12, 2006