In short: Really nice course, decent medal and a lolly on a hot day. Sadly let down a bit by the terrible parking arrangements. I'd definitely do it again if the parking was improved! Date of review: July 1, 2012
In short: Hilly, challenging but fun. Lots of support along country lanes. In full: Feels much longer than a half due to the hills. Not many flat or easy stretches here. No traffic and plenty of support along the way make up for that. Ice lolly at the end takes away the pains. Date of review: June 24, 2012
In short: Well organised, undulating race in a nice location In full: On the whole I thought this was an excellent race. Course was constantly up and down, but the hills were never horrendous, and only one was vaguely long.
Good things: Lots and lots of marshals, pretty course, plenty of supporters, nice runners village, plenty of water stations, ice lolly at the end.
Bad things: Massive queue for toilets (although there was another set of toilets which was announced over the tannoy at one point and had a one minute queue...), parking wasn't well signposted and I think may have run out before the event Date of review: June 12, 2012
In short: 4th time running so the organizers must be doing some thing right In full: it was my 4th time running the event, organization was good, agree with some comments about toilets not enough, on the course plenty of water stops but wish they could get a suppler using bottle instead of the plastic cups if only on a couple of stops, that is my only moan, glad to see that they widened the start which made it easier in stead of fighting our way through a small gap and the ban on mp3 plays was a good idea. at the finish there was plenty of fluid lucozade, water and the all important ice lolly, tee shirt (which fits) and the medal (wish they could change the design as it has been the same for 4 years) roll on next year
In short: Great race in a great location In full: This continues to be one of the best road half marathons I run. The course is a great undulating rural road course - it really is challenging with a couple of big long climbs but also a great downhill 1m at the end before a flat 0.5m. There are always loads of refreshment vans. The ice lolly is a must and I always look forward to it. They're quite generous at St Albans with a t-shirt, medal, lolly and bottle of lucazade sport! The guys on the PA always do a good job on the lead-up to the races and the kids event is great too. This year, there were a lot more runners and there was neither satisfactory parking or toilet facilities - needs to be looked at. My only other moan this morning would be that I and 20+ other runners seem to have been 'on course' when looking at the result but don't have a time or official place - I promise I didn't take any short cuts! Date of review: June 11, 2012
In short: Enough with the hills! In full: The Good: Fantastic organisation, lively atmosphere, road closures, lots of water stations and loo stations along the route (yey for someone who over-hydrated slightly!), great marshalling, good support, big runners village area, great for warm-up and warm-down, central to town, plenty parking and Starbucks nearby. Great park nearby for supporters and families. Corralling worked nicely, very clear. Lucozade after. T-shirt good. Finish times sent by text within minutes! V impressed.
The Bad: Humongous queue for loos before race (why can no one ever get this right?) A dozen or so loos for 3000-odd runners? Hmmm. Good job they had lots of loos on the course (tho if I'd been chasing a PB I'd have been scuppered). Queuing meant I didn't get chance to look round the runners village - there were sponsors stalls and trainer shops. Didn't get a banana. :-( Needed a banana. Don't be giving me your ice lolly (grump).
The Ugly: The hills and my poor knees. This was my first HM (2h22m). None of the hills was that steep but some were loooooong and they just kept coming for 13 miles. You're always either going up or you're going down. Both hurty hurty.
In short: Rain and hills but good In full: The start was delayed 20 mins, which in the pouring rain wasn't ideal. When we did set off through the park, thousands of runners were all herded onto the footpath through the park, so jams inevitable. Meanwhile, the wide open spaces of Verulam Park were empty. That was just slightly annoying. No more moans, though - the course is good; closed roads, golf course, country lanes. The marshals were chirpy for the weather, there were loads of water stations and the downhill into the park at the end gives great momentum for the finish. So despite rain and hills, managed to take a whole 1.5 minutes off my PB - yeah! Date of review: July 1, 2011