In short: good start but got worse as it went on, especially at the end In full: I know this is the first time they have held the race, but you think they would have looked at other races to get a idea how to organise it. The start was ok but the water stops would have been better if they were small bottles instead of cups! Also when you have run nearly half the race in the rain, you expect your spare clothes to be dry as put it in the van, but after waiting for half an hour for ox bag it turns out they put it on the floor outside in the rain, hence yet clothes.
I thought also when I entered the race it said it had showers but I couldn't see any. Hopefully they will listen to these comments and improve it, as I would love to do this again next year, let's just hope they do! Date of review: September 4, 2011
In short: This race has potential to be great if problems at the start sorted In full: This is the first purple patch race I have done. I wish they had posted the numbers out but I understand they tend to always get runners to collect on the day. As others have said start was a bit chaotic. In my option the water stations need to be better organised as they can't cope with the demand especially at the first water station. I enjoyed the traffic free course, their was lots of support around the course. It was nice to run through the town centre. Bray and the stretch by the river being highlights. The marshalls did a great job despite the rain. All in all has potential to be a great race if the organiser take heed of the comments of the competitors. Date of review: September 4, 2011
In short: Flat, fast, great location. In full: For a first event, well done was really well run. The route was very nice, lovely running next to the Thames, Bray wow. The rain didn't help with collecting your bags, this can't be helped. The end was well organised. Free parking in a multi storey was a welcome from the rain. Might need to think about small water bottles in next years race. Date of review: September 4, 2011
In short: Good fast course but a few organisational problems In full: Good points: a fast course, plenty of support not just in the town centre but also in Bray and Cookham, good marshalling and encouragement for all finishers from the PA. Not so good points: the start loop was so short that the reasonably fast runners were passing the start for the second time before the slower ones had crossed the start line. This caused some problems getting through; the marshals did their best, but I suspect some of the later runners went the wrong way and missed the initial loop. The baggage reclaim was also a bit chaotic - more or bigger vans needed next time, and (almost inevitably) there weren't enough loos. Date of review: September 4, 2011
In short: Unforgivable chaos at the start ruined what could have been a good race In full: Everything was going well until the gun, well cannon, fired. Plenty of toilets, quick bag drop, free parking. But as soon as the race started chaos ensued.
The first lap of the town is only half a mile and as the lead runners came back round towards the start hundreds of runners were still queueing on the course to go through the start. The lead runners had to jump up onto the path, navigate around the spectators to run past the start, then cut across the runners who had just started to turn left whilst everyone else is trying to turn right. Ridiculous - and an easily predicted problem (most people around me at the start were asking the question 'do you think the start area will be clear by the time we come back round?'.
The run itself, from that point, is ok, pretty inoffensive.
But just as things were getting better, the finish again was awful. As the rain started to pour, the guys in the baggage trucks had no idea how to find anyone's bags. I stood in my vest in the rain for 30 mins at the FRONT of the baggage queue to get my bag, by the time the guys had found it I was shaking in the cold.
The baggage problem is forgivable in a race's first year. The problem at the start isn't, especially considering the high entry fee - you expect things like that to work perfectly if a race is charging that much.
I can see why they want to stage a race, there isn't much else going for Maidenhead, but if they want to attract people from out the area (I drove for an hour and a half from East London to run this race) then they need to improve the organisation by some way.
Unless they offer half price entry to make up for what happened at the start, I won't be going back.
It's a local race, for local people. Date of review: September 4, 2011