In short: A tough half marathon challenge through beautiful countryside In full: Well organized tough and hilly half marathon run principally through sedate country lanes Date of review: December 21, 2015
In short: Nice countryside run with a fast finish In full: This was the first run where I had the confidence to push at the end, where I changed from panicking that I wouldn't finish it to actually trying to run a decent time. The course was challenging but not alarmingly so, and a downhill finish is something I love. Would recommend. Date of review: November 20, 2015
In short: Second year running and great again! In full: Great scenery and well organised, is a lock a rotary run so all for a good cause. It's. A tough course, especially first few miles heading up to Ashridge. Pretty good support along the route as well!
Only thing that Could be improved is a better quality medal! Date of review: March 15, 2015
In short: Nice scenery but some major issues In full: On the positive side the route is good, very scenic. On the down side it is expensive, congested and the marshalling is frankly unenthusiastic. Most marshals didn't even look up. The price is very steep and there is nothing at the end except a cheap looking medal, certainly not worth the entry fee. Date of review: March 7, 2015
In short: Easy on the eye, hard on the legs and lungs In full: Having done the Tunbridge Wells Half Marathon for the last couple of years, I thought I’d give Berkhamsted a try as it’s nearer to home and the two races seem comparable in terms of size of event and the type of course.
Just like Tunbridge Wells, the course is very picturesque – probably more so as you’ve also got the tree-lined lanes to add to the rolling fields and pretty villages.
And just like Tunbridge Wells, the course is undulating to say the least. Actually found Berkhamsted harder as it’s undulating throughout whereas most of the climb at TW is concentrated on two hills which are out of the way by the eight mile mark. Berkhamsted had few flat sections and saved a nasty little climb for just before the twelve mile mark, although with a welcome downhill last mile.
Getting to/from the race was very easy as the start/finish area is a five-minute walk from the station, which also offered plenty of free parking.
Organisation at the start/finish was pretty good. Comparison here with TW probably less favourable though, as TW benefits from the use of a large sports hall meaning there’s plenty of shelter if the weather isn’t great. TW also has a very efficient bag drop (in the same sports hall) and a brilliantly organised toilet queue.
At Berkhamsted the queue for the bag drop got quite long with 15 minutes to go, but actually moved quite quickly. Plenty of toilets, but they’re scattered about meaning the queues are disorganised.
Start area was a quite congested and virtually non-existent timing pens made for a slow get away as runners of different paces were all jumbled-up.
Once out on the course the marshalling was excellent – I don’t think I’ve seen more marshals at a race, and all friendly and encouraging. Although the roads along the route aren’t closed, there didn’t seem to be too many cars and what traffic there was behaved considerately (and was well controlled by the marshals).
All-in-all, a really great race. Friendly atmosphere, good organisation and great support from spectators and marshals alike, along a beautiful course with some leg-sapping undulations. Date of review: March 2, 2015
In full: first time in running event, was quietly impressed with the organisation baggage drop off was smooth and pick up the same did not have to wait for bag the course was as described as undulating which it was, plenty of water stops, the marshals were great as usual, parking plenty at the rail station which was free and only a few mins away from start, the down side which is very minor the medal was a little plain and could not hear the announcement from towards the back Date of review: March 1, 2015
In short: Actual run is good, nice route - venue & organisation, could be better In full: My first time at Berkhamsted, but as I've run numerous Gade Valley training runs I know the course backwards (literally), so enjoyed the actual run - log hills but nothing too severe.
Venue - reminded me of a local park/fun run, i.e. not much there, no proper changing facilities, showers etc, shelter if it had been worse weather. And as a note to organisers, if you send out numbers, give us a baggage label at the same time; would have saved a long, pointless queue!
Value - its a rotary run so I don't expect much for my money, hope they raised lots for their good cause.
So - nice enough run, but I did same course the week before as a Marathon Training run with Gade Valley Harriers as a 17 miler for £5, with better facilities, so may stick to their runs in future. Date of review: March 1, 2015