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Behind the scenes!

Rotarian Mike Hart, who leads our half marathon organising team, outlines some of the many tasks we put in place during the preceding twelve months to ensure that the event is a safe and enjoyable experience for runners and spectators alike. 

We are so grateful for the support and assistance that we get from local people including clubs, charitable organisations and local businesses. Without them this event could not go ahead!

Just to give you an idea of the scale, we had over 200 volunteers from various organisations (Hospice of St Francis, Pepper Foundation, Hemel Hempstead Rotary Club, 41 Club, Police Cadets, Air Training Cadets) plus family and friends helping on the day with marshalling duties around the course, with water stations, and at the start and finish areas.  We are grateful to Berkhamsted School and to Berkhamsted Cricket Club for allowing us to use their sites for the event.  The course and facilities take us 3 days to set up, and 1 day to clear away afterwards. We had some 811 participants in the Half Marathon, with the fastest completing the course in just 1hr 9 minutes. For the 5 mile Fun Run, 503 took part with the fastest finishing in just over 27 minutes.

The feedback we have had from runners has been very positive.  To give just one example, Tina from Milton Keynes said  “Just wanted to say thank you for a fantastic half marathon yesterday. It was my first visit to Berkhamsted and the organisation was great. So many friendly marshalls and the route challenging but beautiful! I really enjoyed it & will be back”




  • overall event plan

  • risk assessments and safety cases

  • emergency procedures

  • working with police and local councils

Advertising and Promotion

  • websites (Rotary, Runners World, Pepper, Rennie, Hospice)

  • newspapers (two page feature article, online news​)

  • radio publicity

  • email circulation, social media

  • preparing and printing event programme

  • working with local schools, running clubs and park runs 

Securing and working with sponsors

  • ensuring their invaluable contributions are recognised


  • organising online & postal registration

  • setting up electronic tagging 

  • mailing out bibs and electronic tags to runners

  • setting up "on the day" registration

Goody bags

  • cereal bars (1500)

  • bottled water (1500)

  • bananas (1500)

  • medals (1500)

Race Event preparation

  • road signage (some 350 signs typically)

  • directions and mileage posts for both events

  • pre-event advertising banners and signs

  • road closures (in conjunction with local authority and police

  • letters to local residents who may be affected

  • traffic cones

  • crowd barriers especially at finish

  • timing clocks at finish and on lead cars

Manpower planning - over 200 volunteers involved from local clubs and organisations who generously give of their time to provide

  • race and safety marshals round the courses

  • water stations

  • start and finish staff

  • manning baggage drop etc


Site Preparation

  • erecting start and finish scaffold

  • toilets (32)

  • waste receptacles for subsequent sorting/recycling 

  • erecting 3 marquees

  • baggage tent (storage for 1700 kit bags)

  • St John's Ambulance (3 vehicles / 10 first aiders / doctor)

  • warmup / presentation staging

  • registration pavilion

  • radios (25) and booster mast at Ashridge

  • public address system

  • logistics (4 vans / drivers and loaders)

  • tables (60) and chairs (100)

Water Stations

  • set up tables (10)

  • water bottles (55)

  • water trays(200)

  • Plastic cups (1200)

  • plastic waste bags (100)

  • plastic waste collection and recycling


  • cups and prizes

  • briefing the mayor

and of course, when it's all over there's the 

big clear up operation!

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