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Behind the scenes!


Rotarian Paul Franc, 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 very grateful for the support and assistance that we get from the Community including clubs, charitable organisations and local businesses. Without this help, the event would not be possible.


Just to give you an idea of the scale, last year we had over 200 volunteers from various organisations including 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 it all away afterwards. We had some 834 finishers in the Half Marathon, with the fastest man completing the course in just 1hr 9 mins 18 secs with the first woman in 1hr 21 mins 2secs. For the 5 mile Fun Run, 448 took part with the fastest man finishing in just over 30 mins 39 secs and the first woman in 29 mins 21 secs.

Previous 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 marshals and the route challenging but beautiful! I really enjoyed it & will be back”.



For 2024, as in previous years


·    overall event plan

·    risk assessments and safety cases

·    emergency procedures including medics

·    working with police and local councils

Advertising and Promotion

·    websites (Rotary, Runners World, Pepper, Rennie, Hospice, DENS)

·    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 timing chips 

·    mailing out bibs and electronic chip to runners

·    setting up "on the day" registration

Goody bags

·    cereal bars (1500)

·    bananas (1500)

·    medals (1500)

Race Event preparation

·    road signage (some 350 signs typically) to try to deal with the increasing          number of impatient drivers

·    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 for both races

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 to try to control the impatient      motorists

·    water stations

·    start and finish staff

·    manning baggage drop off in the large marquee


 Site Preparation

·    erecting start and finish scaffold

·    toilets – both sexes and unisex

·    waste receptacles for subsequent sorting/recycling 

·    erecting 3 marquees

·    baggage tent marquee (storage for 1700 kit bags)

·    St John's Ambulance (3 vehicles / 10 first aiders / trauma paramedic)

·    warmup / presentation staging

·    registration pavilion

·    radios (25) and booster mast where necessary

·    public address system

·    logistics (4 vans / drivers and loaders)

·    tables (60) and chairs (100)

Water Stations

·    set up tables (10)

·    water bottles - reuseable (55)

·    water trays(200)

·    paper cups (1200)

·    waste bags (100)

·    waste collection and recycling


·    cups and prizes

·    briefing the mayor(s)


Cricket Club Facilities

·    provision of drinks and food

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