In short: Brilliantly organised race In full: Really enjoyed this race even though it was the worst conditions I've raced in! Very wet and cold, but hey, it's November in the UK. A mostly flat course with just the underpasses to mix things up a bit so good for a PB. You do 2 laps of the course through Fairlands Valley park twice which is a nice scenic area to run in. Great organisation and the marshals were very encouraging. Good facilities with changing rooms and showers and I did not have to wait at all for loos or baggage. Only slight gripe was the long wait for a coach with enough spaces on it to take us from the car park to the start - it was very cold and wet waiting around and meant my feet were wet before I'd even started the race! I really love the medal too. Thanks FVS running club!
In short: Enjoyable race in spite of the weather In full: I'll get my gripe out of the way first. Having arrived in Stevenage nice and early I was near to where the parking had been allocated. Perhaps I came in from an odd direction, but I saw absolutely no helpful signs to the location of the parking, nor to the "Showground". I then made my way to the town centre and found the Swimming pool. Again, no signs to direct to the carpark that was being used. Fortunately there were a couple of coaches parked up and I guessed they would be for the runners. I would have been happier if I hadn't had to guess. Just a simple sign would suffice.
That aside, the organisation of the race was very good and the marshals did a fantastic job of directing and encouraging the runners around the course. In weather like we had today I would rather be running than marshalling for sure!
Good facilities at the start, including changing rooms and a stand near to the start line so that we didn't have to wait around in the heavy rain for too long. Water was in cups, probably half-filled with rainwater :)
The course is a good one for a PB. The inclines are not too challenging and the section around the lake allows some recuperation (twice - since it is a two-lap course). According to my garmin, the overall elevation gain was about 400ft.
The bus transfer to and from the venue was well organised and I didn't have to wait around very long at all.
I would happily run this event again. Hopefully the parking won't be moved again and I'll know where to go next time. Date of review: November 4, 2012
In short: Well done Fairlands Valley Spartans In full: Despite heavy rain at the start, organisation was still very slick and the marshals were amazing, really cheerful and encouraging in horrible conditions.
Excellent organisation too, there was a mix up with my race number but the RD put that right within minutes of me being in touch.
Not as easy as you would expect, the course defines "rolling" but still pretty quick and good use of underpasses to avoid major road crossings. Plenty of water stations (cups are perfectly fine in this sort of race and limit rubbish, just get used to getting most of it down your front or up your nose!), well signed, good car parking, showers in the changing room, accurate timing, fast finish on the track. How they manage all that for this price is remarkable. Date of review: November 4, 2012
In short: Great value, well-organised and good atmosphere. In full: This is my second go at the half-marathon event in Stevenage. A well-organised event by the club (as usual) with a great show of support from the large volunteer group. Definately possible for a personal best time over a reasonably level course. Decent scenery away from the roads and good encouragement throughout. Queuing for the toilets in the last 20 mins before the race start could be more of a pain, but that little niggle is more than made up for with a quality little running shoe trophy/memento for this 25th anniversary half-marathon event. Well done Spartans! Date of review: December 5, 2011
In short: Good for a PB In full: Well done again for an excellently marshalled race. Pity there was a 10 minute delay at start - no reason given! Marshals encouraging all way round - but little crowd support. Prize giving afterwards appeared rather chaotic and PA system could have been much better. However despite underpasses, a good course for a PB and I would certainly do it again Date of review: November 22, 2011
In short: Friendly, excellent organisation and quick In full: It's the third time I've run this race and the organisation gets better and better. The course is pretty fast despite the gentle ups and downs, but I've always wondered why the slightly longer lap comes second (surely better phsycologically to have it first?). Thanks to the many marshalls for their unfailing encouragement. The warnings of doom for runners with ipods seemed a bit OTT, but that's a minor niggle and I'll be back next year. Thanks Date of review: November 18, 2011
In short: First ever Half, lovely race for me. In full: What a great race, marshalled to the max!! you cannot get lost even if you tried!! RThe trophy was a greta surprise and currently has pride of place in my front room. Where i run its quite flat so i found all the underpasses very challenging - but in a good way. Everyone (runners and organisers) very friendly. I'll be back next year for sure. Date of review: November 17, 2011
In short: Another excellent event organised by the Spartans In full: This is the second time I have ran this half marathon, it was excellent the first time and maybe slightly better the second time. The course is very good with potential for a PB. The organisation of the event was superb with coaches taking the runners and spectators to the start line and back to the town at the end. Regular marshalls, water stations and lots of encouragement. The real added bonus that was lacking last year and has made this year slightly better, would be the trophy at the end of it. Excellent event, will certainly be back next year. Date of review: November 14, 2011