In short: If we can do this, surely we'll be ok on the day! In full: It's my first marathon and I applaud Hemel Harriers for this series of events - they have been excellent.
Today was no exception.
I looked out my window this morning and groaned - wind and rain ... and wisely picked my 'old trainers'
The weather was pretty horrible, but at least it wasn't too cold ... but the first four miles were more like a Hellrunner event, than a marathon training session. Three miles of 'puddle dodge' - which I gave up on - meant that after 1.5 miles, I was squelching onwards. Then after this 'pace ruining' start, we are confronted by a mile of hill. By the first water stop at 4 miles, the voice of '16 more miles??' echoed in my head.
Thankfully things got a little easier and the level tarmac was a welcome relief.
The marshalls, as every, were great. I felt sorry for them - standing shivering in the cold - at least we were warm!
The course was really good and quite scenic and I got chatting to a few strangers - lots of friendly people to talk to.
I've never 'raced' 20 miles before, so was pleased with a 3:03 time - if the conditions were taking into account, perhaps I'll grab that magic 4 hour marathon .. who knows.
If anyone is thinking for doing the Marathon in '09 - make sure you attend all these training run that have been put on ... it really is fantastic to see your progess with many other seasoned and 'first timer' runners.
Today was probably my toughest ever run - but probably the best ...
In short: Interesting route In full: Well, it's Watford. It's hardly going to be the most scenic of runs in the country but as it turned out, the route cut through some interesting places and managed to find some great hills along the way.
The organisation was spot-on ... really good traffic management and marshals. Lots of people running made it feel special and it was a great fun to watch us all run through the streets and parked cars near the beginning, like a riot was taking place.
We were really lucky with the weather too ... it threatened all kinds of sleetly, overcast rainy stuff, but we got cold but crisp with sunshine ...
I put in a PB which I was pleased about.
My only negative was that I would have preferred a medal over a teeshirt! Date of review: February 4, 2008
In short: Flat - good for beginners In full: I'm not a 'fast' runner, yet I managed to do my first sub 2 hr (1:55) so I'm happy. I imagine this is the lack of hills, so if you're after a steady run in cool conditions, this will be good.
I was worried about the run ... how would a few hundred people down a narrow canal fair ...
... the start is a lap of a field, which soon splits people up and apart from one gate near the beginning that caused a bit of a pileup, it wasn't that bad - no worse than other races i've done. The organisers had limited the amount of people it allowed to run - sensibly - it was a good number.
I heard some people at the end of the race complaining about the under footing and I guess if you're hard-nosed street runner, you won't like it - but what did they expect - it's a canal !!!
The event felt 'small' but everything was efficiently done (although someone stole the 3mile water stop overnight!!)
There was a van to drop off your bags, which was there waiting for us at Watford, which was very well done.
I had a great run - it's only my 2nd ever half-marathon ... the first was a very hot and hilly St.Albans, so this was much needed confidence boost and I was happy with my pace and result.
Might not be for everyone, but I personally had a great day. The sun even came out !
In short: Well oraganised and pretty rural 10k In full: Well attended and well organised 10k ... and you get to see houses that you wish you owned! Electronic timing and full results service online. Date of review: October 14, 2007
In short: Good, fast, challenging 10k with bittersweet ending In full: Quite a fast 10k this ... despite the ending. I and a few others have got their PB here. The hill at the end is challenging, but also a good it that you know it's the end - so you can give it your all.
Downsides: No electronic timing and no online results I can find anywhere. I've just got my own stopwatch and I have no idea where I was placed :( ... (50:41) Date of review: October 14, 2007