In short: An enjoyable, well organised race In full: I enjoyed this race. I liked the loop of town first (although I realise reading other reviews that it needed to be longer) and I enjoyed running back through the town at the end. I think that gives it a "bigger" finish.
The system of getting people away from the finish was good and seemed to keep the finish line clear even at peak finish time. (Liked the banana instead of the usual chocolate or mini energy bar)
Starting in the town centre meant that there was plenty of free parking very close to the start/finish. I really liked that. For me it meant that I didn't need the baggage drop so I can't comment on those difficulties.
All in all, apart from me getting a rubbish time when all around seemed to get PBs (unfortunately that was my fault !) I had a great day.
In short: A decent first effort with room for improvement In full: The good - 2000 runners, well supported (esp considering it's the first year), excellent marshals, flat scenic course, road closures, chip timing, plenty of free car parking, nice medal.
The bad - absolute chaos at the start, 45 minute wait at bag drop and bags left uncovered in the rain, no marshals/signs in the area just after Maidenhead Bridge, no t-shirt or goody bag, too few toilets.
In most respects this was a good race and would have been an 80%. Fix the chaos at the start and the poor bag drop, throw in a sunny day and a few minor tweaks here and there and it will be excellent. Looking forward to next year. Date of review: September 5, 2011
In short: Very flat, good potential for PB In full: Good half marathon, loads of marshalls and road closures. Can't believe no one's mentioned the steps to go under the bridge, vert dangerous in the wet and slowed to a walk at that point. Very congested at the start and nightmare collecting my bag at the end. But if you're looking for a PB this has got to be the race for you, fast and flat. Date of review: September 4, 2011
In short: will be back next year if they sort out the start, didnt know which way to go as some were shouting left and some right at turning, bit of bottle neck at start. apart from that enjoyed the race especially the rain as was getting a bit hot by then!!! Date of review: September 4, 2011
In short: good course great marshalls, good effort for 1st race In full: Really enjoyed the course and the whole event apart from the short loop at the start which should have forseen creating problems for the faster runners. The last mile had too many twists and turns in it. It was good to run through town centre but surely could have been more direct. Overall very positive though. Date of review: September 4, 2011
In short: Fast course, some teething problems, fantastic marshalling, closed roads In full: Problems at the start will need sorting out but once out on the course it was great to have closed roads (not always the case in a race of this size), lots of support from locals and excellent marshalls. Flat course made for a PB despite the sharp corners in the park and underpass. I was glad for rain in the last couple of miles as very hot and water in cups is not as easy in bottles at pace. Date of review: September 4, 2011
In short: Excellent. Marshals and crowd were superb all the way around and no-one's fault with the monsoon towards the end!!! In full: A great race and well done Maidenhead!
I didn't use the baggage vans so can't comment but found the rest of the organisation to be excellent. The short loop at the start did cause some problems but hopefully can be sorted out for future years. A great half marathon and a PB to boot so very happy. Date of review: September 4, 2011
In short: Excellent race - genuine PB potential In full: Run by Purple Patch, before the race they proposed two innovative offers 1) the "number for life" where runners can retain their number for all future Maidenhead HMs & 2) the "silent bid" for the number of your choice with money going to charity. Both excellent ideas!
The race was well run on a fantastic flat course. I think this will become very popular with PB hunters in years to come.
The only two areas of constructive criticism would be 1) send numbers out to runners in advance & 2) (a genuine issue) sort the bad drop. Picking up bags at the end was atrocious & farcical. Was waiting over 40 minutes at the back of a van with a throng of people waving a number in the air in the hope that it would be noticed and found.
Despite this it was a fantastic race (& good local parking nearby too)! Date of review: September 4, 2011
In short: Enjoyable half marathon despite the downpour In full: I know you can't order the weather but jeez today Maidenhead experienced a monsoon - which made some areas of the course quite tricky including the steps and paved area of the course - particularly near the end! Anyway, other than that (and my blisters) I really enjoyed this race. It was well marshalled throughout and there were lots of crowds too cheering every single runner on which was very much appreciated! However, as I'm a slower runner, I found that near the back some traffic leaked through the road closures, I found myself coming head on with traffic or even being gently nudged by impatient, large 4x4s on their way to church. However, an exceptionally well organised race which was good fun to take part in and I will be back next year! Date of review: September 4, 2011
In short: Great course PB potential if they could find a longer loop at the start and avoid the Park at 12 miles to go through the town. Excellent first time half and would suit all typers of runner In full: As the leading lady and eventual winner I was in panic after the first loop go through the start again to see the back of the race and nowhere to run through losing about 20 secs to cut across the pack with lots of flying elbows. The finish through the town on a wet day although some supporters that were cheering presented a risk when slippery and had to slow, additionally running past the road where the start/finish barrier was could affect some runners moral. If the organisers could look at the start and the last 1.5 miles this was otherwise a perfect race. I also agree that maybe rather than kit lorries to have a flat covered off area and line the bags in race numberorder as the trucks were very full and with the rain bags were not coming off in order or quick enough... Less of the minors and more of the BIG positives:
Excellent location for the 1st half marathon, on time start, good race finish with water/bananas and helpers at hand for the chip cutting and water top ups. Excellent marshaling all the way round (+ supporters), good commentary and a lot of hard work put in. Hope Maidenhead residents appreciate the hard work and the opportunity this brings to the local area. I will be back next year to try and retain the ladies title especially with the great prizes...... Date of review: September 4, 2011