In short: Great Value Off-Road Half Marathon In full: I previously ran this race when it was a 10-mile run, the HM is abit further, but you don't really notice the extra distance. The 10km option is a great idea. This is a great off-road HM in the Hertfordshire countryside, with some lovely views across Herts/Cambs, the odd big hill, but what do you expect in this area. Fabulous supportive marshals from those manning the car park to those on the course. And at the end what more could you want then a great selection of cakes (my vote for the ginger bread men)and a good cup of tea. Who needs a goody bag which is full of stuff you end up binning or not using. This is a great no frills race all for £7, bargain, and well supported by lots of non-club runners and club runners from all round the Herts/Cambs area including Ely and St Albans and further afield from Crystal Palace. Well done Royston! Date of review: September 22, 2013
In short: Excellent, cheap and cheerful race. Well organised from parking, plenty of toilets, number collection to great marshall support from all round the course. Great alternative autumn HM, with a great mix of terrain. Great local race. Date of review: November 18, 2012
In full: This has to be the toughest race I've ever done including marathons and 20milers. I trained on this course in the rain and the sun prior to the event, take the rain any day, as theres no much shade either, plus also I knew all about the big and little hills. The definition of hard has never been so true. You just have to accept what ever the elements throw at you on the day. Really supportive marshalls at every turn and great pockets of support all around the course, thank you. Having not run the original HHHM, this was a great organised return event. Will definately look out for this next year and by that time my legs will have just forgiven me! Date of review: July 10, 2012
In short: Cannot believe I have not done this before In full: This is a great 'no frills' cheap local race. Extremely well organised, great supportive marshalls. Course is a great mixture, uphill start, good blend of everything in the middle and fast downhill finish. High majority of this is all off road, on great trails. Two water stations between 2-3 and about 7-8km. All this for £9.50, bargain. Great quiet local race. This is the first time I've run this race, hoping it will not be the last. Date of review: June 12, 2011
In short: Amateurish Organisation Ruined PotentiallY a Good Race In full: The Edinburgh weekend of running is a great chnace for people of all standards and endurance to take part and enjoy the atmosphere of a big city marathon. My running club has supported the half marathon, marathon and marathon relay for the last 3 years. This was my first time of running Edinburgh. Previous marathons include London, Cardiff, Dublin and Paris.
1) Crowd support was sporadic in places at the start but in the second half of the marathon there was some great areas of really energetic support and a great finish.
2) Water and energy drinks were regular, even though on the plan the enrgy drinks did start abit late in the race.
3) Well marshalled during the race.
1) I got my number 1 week before the start. My girlfriend got her number 4 days before the start. I cannot think of any race where I have entered so early and received my number so close to the start date. I would expect to get that number weeks before the final week. Not acceptable.
2) Not enough mens urinals at the start. There were only 2 units (8 in total). I have run smaller local Half Marathons with better facilities. The queue for portaloos or the urinals were just as long. Also it was not obvious that there was a second unit of urinals these were tucked away, and only information from other men, did the word get around.
3) If I had not switched on my mile alerts on my Garmen GPS, then I would have missed the majority of mile markers. The mile markers were to small and were not easy to identify. The mile markers were circular and probably no bigger than the length of a A4 piece of paper. In fact 1 of the markers was positioned off the route. Mile markers need to be obvious. If there not, dont bother putting them out, your wasting your time
4) The finish just where do you start:
5) From the finish line to the luzozade distribution area was probably 200-300m. Having crossed the line and immediately all runners are cooling down, there was not a single marshall, first aid person, or helper checking on runners welfare or providing foil blankets. The lack of protection and ability to provide protection for runners would be compounded later.
6) The entire area between the luzozade area, first aid, t-shirt/goodby bag and baggage was extremely too congested. To get through this area took me over 40mins. By this time I was shivering in just my club vest. If there had been a medical problem here, assistance would have been a long time in coming and prevented by the sheer weight of numbers present. I did see the first aiders at work and there efforts should be applauded.
7) The wait for the goody bag/T-shirt was horrendous and the organisation and leadership of the the whole needs to be thoroughly examined. There was NO leadership or organisation. Total shambles. There rubbish and empty boxes every where, lying a first world war casaulty cleaaring station.
8). Just when it couldnt get any worse, oh it can. Baggage reclaim. I have done baggage 3 times at the London marathon, to say what I witnessed was extremely poor would have been complimentary. First of all runners number signs were already being taken off lorries and placed on the ground in front of the lorries but inside the crash barriers. This is great, especially when you have runners waiting to reclaim baggage obstructing the sign, so now you have runners obstructing other runners because their trying to read the sign which should have been hanging up in the first place. When I eventually got to the correct lorry and position, there was 1 adult, 1 scout or cub and 3 young teenagers who had absoluately no idea what they were doing. I'm assuming the bags were not in number order as they were asking runners to describe their bags rather than search by number the easier option. Again NO leadership which resulted in DIRE organisation. Having done London baggage 3 times I have never seen such organised chaos. All the time there are runners still desparately trying to there bags, getting congested in an ever descreasing space and body temperature decreasing rapidly. All these problems could have been solved with more space and better leadership at the top. People volunteer to help, they wont come back if they've had a roungh experience.
9) Your friends and family missed you crossing the line becasue the big screen did not work. In fact Ive never done any race of any distance anywhere in the world or even the universe, where there are no spectators at the finish line.
10) Okay, so you've run 26miles in just over 4hours, queued for the best of an hour, got cold, shivered, now got 3-4 layers on, trying to get warm. You will get warm with the trek for the bus. I wished I had measured the distance it felt close to 2 miles. Tooo far. Plus you've brought your bus ticket on line or earlier, nobody checks the tickets, I know people got on who had not brought a ticket, so the whole system is open to abuse.
I'm an experienced runner and volunteer for either marshalling or helping at the finish at either local 10km, half marathons or the likes of the London Marathon. Edinburgh has the potential to rival London as an alternative race, but unless the organisers go back to basics and examine the above, then their race will attract bad publicity and the search for volunteers could become fruitful.
For me the race was not marred by the strong winds on the way back or the rain , that did not bother me, the race was marred by the poor organisation.
I hope the organisers read the above comments and other comments written here and act upon it. It would be a tragedy if the organisers failed to listen, and ruin what is a great a weekend of running for all abilities and for the City of Edinburgh.
In short: In full: This was my third Watford HM since 2007, and probably will not be my last, and also my fastest. I tjhink it is one of the toughest local HM in the area.
The use of the marques instead of the colosseum was brilliant and worked a real treat. Actually I prefered them to the colosseum. Great marshalling and fab support at varous postions around the course.
Only downside for me were the runners who ignored the organisers pleas for no headphones. If you wear headphones you must be totally aware of whats going on around you. There were a few occasions where headphone runners had no idea that there were other runners in their vicinity. A bit selfish, but this should not detract from a great organised run Date of review: February 11, 2011
In short: Great Christmas race that even the weather cannot stop In full: This is the 4th time (I think) I've run this race and it has become a real Christmas fixture. Extremely well organised especially the parking. The course and distance is 'runner friendly' for all abilities. Even the adverse conditions in 2009 failed to stop this race from happening. Great combination with the junior race which was great fun to watch before hand. This race is just what you need to burn off the food/drink excess's from the day before.
For me the only disappointment is not with the organisation or the race, but knowing other runners who had entered but then could not be bothered for what ever reason to show up. Their loss, they missed a realy great well organised race.
Well done Pirton Date of review: December 27, 2010