In short: It's not a beast! It's very friendly! In full: They should drop the 'beast' from the title as it's a very friendly race in all respects. There are hills...but none are aggressive. The organisation has taken on board last year's comments and it's a much better race for it. I liked the 'bus shuttle too, it took all the hassle of parking out of the pre-race routine. Date of review: February 24, 2013
In short: A very good first ever running of this race! In full: The term 'multi-terrain' is accurate but about 11 of the miles are on the road. Excellent organisation. Very good end-of-race refreshments. Goody bag contained an energy bar, a medal, and a T-shirt. The marshals ans supporters were surprisingly friendly/vociferous.
In short: A hidden gem! In full: If a race starts from Picketts Lock, you know it will have excellent parking and facilities. So why it isn't better supported is a surprise to me. OK, so as you go through the first kilometre, you've already discounted 'Scenic' and 'Glorious' for the route..but when you get onto the towpath, it opens up and becomes a great multi-terrain course. 99% of it is flat and there's an uplifting final lap on the track. Sadly, it usually clashes with one of my regular races but I'll always do it if I can. See y'all next year...hopefully. Date of review: October 21, 2012
In short: Great race! More people should be encouraged to enter next year. In full: It's all in aid of a good cause. The scenery is magnificent. It has an unbelievable start and finish. But it should have more people taking part. Date of review: September 16, 2012
In short: Welcome back, Hitchin Hard Half! In full: A welvome return for an old 'friend'! Very well organised and a 'nice' challenging course. Parking, marshals, goody bag, and the usual facilities were all excellent. If the Olympics are half as well organised there can be no complaints.
If this race had experienced the normal weather for July, I might have struggled but I loved all that rain! Date of review: July 14, 2012
In short: Well organised and very friendly...but there were a couple of problems In full: Having to queue to go down the stairs and through the gate was frustrating. The 2k marker was well out of place as I did 6:38 and then 4:00...which works out to be an average of 5:19 and that's nearer the truth.
Nevertheless, a great race and I'll certainly be back next year. Date of review: May 20, 2012
In short: Well organised and a very enjoyable race! In full: As ever, St Albans Striders put on a great show! The last time I saw that many marshals was in a John Wayne Film Festival! The wooden medal with a string 'ribbon' was a nice touch.
It's the first time I've used that type of non-returnable chip...a great improvement on previous versions.
Yes, the first kilometre is always the slowest but I'm not sure, short of a staggered start, how to get around it. Perhaps, with the new chip timing, setting off the faster runners first might be an option.
See y'all next year...for sure! Date of review: May 13, 2012