In short: Very well organised flat, incredibly scenic race In full: Coach to start was great. Loads of water stations every one of which was vital in soaring heat. Last station needed resiting in shade and a perhaps a bit more supervision to ensure fair play - one lad doing his best. Great route with a mixture of surfaces to challenge. Huge range of abilities which was good considering the (relatively) small field. Lady with the hose shower was a lovely surprise. Loads of food avail at the finish. Even with the heat I thoroughly enjoyed it - perhaps as I'm not very fast and walking little bits was the norm for me. Date of review: July 29, 2008
In short: HOT! In full: My first running of this race and I did enjoy it despite my time being half an hour off my best. The organisation at the start was ok although I couldn't hear a word of the starters megaphone. The marshalling was very good and thankfully enough waterstations to cope with the unbelievable heat. My only criticism of the race was the start time, with starting at 10am many runners we're still around the 10m mark at 12pm when the heat is at it's worst. At this time of year I think a 9am start (or earlier!) would make this race much more enjoyable. I look forward to giving it another go next year. Date of review: July 29, 2008
In short: A great course, good organisation, just too hot. In full: The towpath course is good, the organisation was fairly good. Sadly it got too hot for me and I slowed dramatically in the second half. Date of review: July 28, 2008
In short: Heat Wave. Forget the PB. Just admire the scenary. In full: Very Well organised race over a very scenic course. Great Marshalls, well signposted, plenty of water stations and possible PB potential. Grumbles. After 3 minutes of running ended up waiting for half a minute to get through a tight gate, did feel alot of the course was too tight to pass / be passed, did not see the 5 mile marker, never got any water at the second water station as the waterboy was stood infront of the table and passing was very difficult for what seemed like a third of the course. Back to the positive stuff. Good start and end locations,very scenic especially around Maidenhead and towards the finish. Memento was a nice change too (paper weight map of the route). Not a course for a PB, but a very enjoyable run. On the day it was far too hot, especially at around 9 & half miles when you get to a very attractive river side pub in Cookham!!!! Date of review: July 28, 2008
In short: Perfect for first half marathon In full: I entered this race based on the description (flat and scenic) as it was my first half. It was flat and scenic as promised but not as shaded as I pictured for a route along the river. Although the organisers would have had no control over the heat I'd suggest they start any race scheduled for mid summer a lot earlier to prevent runners slogging away at midday on the hottest day of the year (and, for some, a two hour drive back to London in standstill traffic). Surely many runners are awake early on race day and would rather get it over and done with in the cool morning and have the rest of the (hot) day to relax.
Thankfully there was still water at all the stations when I passed. The bottles were a clever touch and I actually left half bottles in easy to reach places (on benches) when I'd had my fill in case other runners were desperate.
I don't think I'd run in the opposite direction as then the first three mile traffic jam on the very narrow path would be at the end of the race when you're desperate to break free of the pack and finish at your own pace. Also the sun would be in your face the whole way! But perhaps in two years' time I'll do the same direction again and be grateful for the enforced slow start to keep my legs fresh for the remaining ten miles.
I was gagging for an ice cold drink at the end and perhaps a piece of fruit to leave a pleasant taste after all that sweat. Instead I hot stung by nettles on my walk to the baking car! I'll watch out for those next time.
The marshalls were lovely, the lady with the sprinkler was heaven sent and the route was very picturesque so all in all a great race. Date of review: July 28, 2008
In short: Beautiful scenery, shame about the heat!!! In full: The final water station ran out of water - that nearly ended me. Wouldn't have been as bad had it not been so hot, but you can't really complain about that! Other than that, the run itself was fantastic. Very well organised with friendly, helpful marshalls. Date of review: July 28, 2008
In short: Very beautiful Half ... but HOT HOT HOT!! In full: Absolutely loved the 'Calendar material' scenery of this route but it became a real mind over matter thing in the last 4 or 5 miles due to the soaring temperature and I struggled to appreciate the scenery as much as I was desperate to finish and grab an icy drink!!
Really appreciated the frequent water stations and was lucky enough to encounter water at every one of them - can't imagine how it must have been for those who got to the last water station only to find it was empty as that last one felt like a lifeline to me. If it's true that some people were taking more than one bottle, I'm appalled. There was no need as one bottle was enough to carry you through to the next water station. Got into a routine of drinking half my bottle and pouring the rest of it down my neck which helped me through this very hot Half!!
Not a race with PB potential due to all the gates and narrow sections but this is made clear in the race instructions anyway. I entered this as it sounded wonderfully scenic ... and it was! I'll be back next year to do this too!
My thanks to the organisers and encouraging marshalls ... as well as to the hosepipe lady who was a real saviour!! More hosepipes next year please!! Date of review: July 28, 2008