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
In short: First half marathon, but definitely not my last. In full: Very well organised race, weather was a problem, but that couldn’t be helped. There was plenty of water available and the marshals were fantastic, lots of encouragement. I trained very hard for my first half marathon, this race was just about getting round and finishing, I think I will wait until the autumn before I do another half marathon. Date of review: June 12, 2006
In short: The heat killed the race this year but dealing with it wasn't made easier by the shadeless monotonous course on busy roads In full: Good points - Cheerful organisation - Lucozade and ice lolly at finish - Generous prizes
Bad points - The heat (but they couldn't help that) - Shadeless route - Busy roads - Boring course Date of review: June 12, 2006
In short: Well organised again, with plenty of water and excellent marshalling. Course not quite as scenic as last year but great to run through city centre near end. In full: Very hot conditions made PBs almost impossible, but the hill at mile 11 also added a special challenge to this race! It has the potential to finish you off for the final couple of miles.
The new course is not quite as varied as the old one - lots of straight long main roads - but the big plus is running through the centre of the city. Sometimes a little narrow running on pavements between St Albans and Harpenden, making it hard to get a steady pace going early on.
The organisation seemed excellent again and there's always a great atmosphere at the start / finish. Seems to be growing each year and overall, despite the heat, very enjoyable. Date of review: June 12, 2006
In short: Good race for a first half-timer In full: Apart from the stifling heat (which organisers could do nothing about of course), the race was pretty good for a first half marathon. Semi shaded route, and plenty of water stations, but the finish line let the race down. Very chaotic after the 'tape' and I was not sure where I was supposed to hand my 'chip' in or the tear-off strip on the bottom of my number. Would have been better to have bag handed to each finisher with the goodies inside rather than drifing around looking for them. Otherwise a good run and I'd consider it again next year. Date of review: June 12, 2006
In short: Suicidal heat, running paths not wide enough and the lake at the end -- not for me next year! In full: My first competitive half marathon, my first race in the UK. How disappoiting! Of course the heat got everyone down and that's hardly the organiser's fault. Being from Texas I coped better than most, but even I could have used an extra drinks stop between miles 8 and 10 in particular.
They had a new path this year and I do wonder what the old one was like. Didn't appreciate having to jump around nettles and dodge traffic just to pass someone. If you're not going to block off a lane of traffic, please next time at least prune your footpaths! And the run around the lake at the end provoked serious psychological difficulties -- I would have rather run that last mile on the city streets rather than having to trudge around a lake that looked smaller than it was and offered very little in the way of shade.
People along the way were very nice and the marshalls were excellent. The area around St Albans is quite nice but the path we took was fairly uninspiring! Then there was the hill at the end -- ill placed but probably caused more trauma because of the heat than it generally would.
Didn't come near a PB -- but really my partner and I were lucky to have survived! Date of review: June 12, 2006
In short: Brilliantly organised, liked the route, shame I can't run in the heat In full: There were loads of water stations, all manned by enthusiastic volunteers, a good route, decent medal, free t-shirt and excellent atmosphere. The organisers were even doing a survey at the end on runners impressions of the race. Only problem was the heat. It was a killer. I recorded my worst time since 1999 after succumbing at 10 miles. It is the same every year. No matter how bad a summer we have you are guaranteed that the day they run the St Albans half will be the hottest of the year so far. I know it is probably logistically impossible, but could the race be run a few hours earlier? Well done to everybody who managed to record a decent time. Date of review: June 12, 2006
In short: The Heat made this Hard! In full: By now you have probably read dozens of reviews mentioning the extreme heat (almost 30 degrees), which did make this run very tough, and I think soured some peoples experience of the race. But this was hardly the organiser’s fault (for those recommending not to do it again). Quick Reality check – average maximum temperature for June is 20 degrees, so although we have had a few days of hot sunny weather, I’m not sure the organisers could have predicted this and moved the start much earlier as though we live in Honolulu or Los Angles. It could just as easily have been 15 – wet with gusty winds – so you’ll never be able to cover everything 100%. But there was plenty of advice before the race to take on water, plenty of well manned water stations, and lots of St Johns Ambulance support – who did a great job. The A road running was dull – and no shade, but the town finish was very good. Finish area with T-Shirt, Medal, Drink, Iced Lolly, and hose down was also very good. A few tweaks needed, but I thought this was a pretty good race – although my time was a personal worst (heat!). Date of review: June 12, 2006
In short: So hot!!!! In full: My first ever half marathon for me and I knew it would be hard with the weather but fantastic support from public and marshalls, especially the kids throwing bottles of water over you at the top of the steep hill! Just wish there had been more water between miles 8 and 10 - doing that in no shade under the midday sun wasn't fun. Next run will not be in the height of summer and I plan to run the whole thing! The only way is up! Date of review: June 12, 2006
In short: Route dreadfully uninteresting, and busy traffic In full: I believe this was a new route for this year, and there were just too many dull stretches of long straight main roads Date of review: June 12, 2006