In short: great first Half in Maidenhead. In full: Really enjoyed this race, well done to Purple Patch for putting it on. Super to see so many runers in Maidenhead, I had been expecting that a lot of it would be souless roads given all the road closures but in fact most of it was actually very attractive - Bray, Cookham, River etc and very flat. Excellent cheering and marshals. Surprisingly Bray had the best supporters although I didn't see Heston popping out of the Fat Duck to clap he must have been busy cooking. As a slower runner I did get caught up in the lapping by the front runners at the start, a sharp elbow from one of them nearly knocked my friend flying and stopped her race before it had started, but that's easily fixed for next time. Requests for next year, would prefer to run down the high street and directly to the finish rather than round the lap again that last bit felt very very long, a 400m to go sign would be appreciated as well. And as always ... more loos for the start please although I was lucky to find the ones in the town hall with a shorter queue having balked at the portaloo queues. Date of review: September 5, 2011
In short: Good race but poor organization, on the plus side this was the first year so hopefully things would improve for next year. In full: For people who arrived early, the car parks were not well sign posted. Directions to the start of the event were good. Race villiage was ok but baggage areas was not very well sign posted and the trucks that bags were stored in were too small for the number of runners and these were left open meaning that when it rained the baggage got wet. The course was nice in places, the start was a complete mess with a small loop which then came back through the start. This should have been a larger loop as not everyone had passed the start line meaning that you were bumping into the who had not even started yet, very poor. The steps down to the towpath were a bad idea, in the wet these could be dangerious. Not sure I liked the idea of running around the park at the end or through the under passes as these were quite twisty and seem to slow you down.
Lets hope that this is a good learning experience for the orgainsers and that things improve for next year.
In short: Good first time some start/finish admin to sort out, enjoyed the route mainly In full: Well organised for the first time, it took Reading years to get theirs right, you can't please everyone! Well done Purple Patch I look forward to next year. BTW Nice medal. Date of review: September 5, 2011
In short: Much more right than wrong and a fine addition to the calendar. In full: Lots of positives about this one; road closures, easy free parking, flat fast course, brilliantly marshalled and sign-posted to name but a few. I think the problems at the start have been exaggerated and only delayed faster runners by a few seconds. They'll be resolved next year I'm sure. Baggage van not needed if you went by car so don't know why so many did use them and that probably caught the organisers out. Overall a very good first half marathon by the Purple Patch team. Date of review: September 5, 2011
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