In short: Surprisingly hilly well organised race with a silly start time In full: First time I've done this and was surprised how hilly it was. No massive hills (total 700ft ascent over 13.1m) but very bumpy. Didn't seem to be much on the flat except for a mile or so passing the polo fields, where there was a head-on wind to slow you down. It makes finding a pace pretty tough and there were also a few tight bends. It reminded me a bit of a trail run but on tarmac. Last mile down the walk was very fast but seemed very, very long as dead straight!
The parking was very well organised and I had no issues getting in or out. The race HQ was perfect set in the park next to the Long Walk to Windsor Castle. Marshsalling good but not much traffic in the park. Water stations fine but could have been more on a hot day. Either that or provide bottles so runners can carry beyond the station.
My moans would be the start time (1pm). I wouldn't have bothered had I realised as it carves up the entire Sunday. I was also a bit confused by the line-up expected finish times. It seemed that the fastest was 1:30?! I think the start might work better if the road was fenced on both sides much further down the road and there were some pens for expected times. As the fences stopped at 1:45 sign, people poured in there and the start was slow and crowded. Something needs to be done if you want a good start with 4,000 runners on a narrow two-lane road.
A trip around the Great Park makes for some great views including some deer. Support was excellent at the start and at a few points mid-race but mostly fairly quiet.
This is a well organised event with a bumpy course that shouldn't be underestimated. Date of review: September 26, 2011
In short: Actually quite a dull route, but good spots of support In full: Maybe it's a sad thing, but I am more interested these days in how the twists and turn of a course affect the time I'm running. As nice as the flora and fauna look I'm always interested in how the gradients and turns affect my running.
Windsor is an interesting one - There's some good stretches to get into a groove, but also quite a low of ups topped with a tight turn into a down.
The course feels like it's mapped out just for the distance, not to be conducive for good running.. The danger of looped course as well means I was overtaking people far before their second lap, and I wasn't sure of what controls stopped people from just cutting down the last mile after lap 1.
Also, I don't expect water cups for £25, I expect bottles - but the lucozade is a nice touch. Maybe a touch expensive for the race, but a popular race can charge a premium.
May be back, might not. Date of review: September 26, 2011
In short: Undulating is right In full: I managed to equal my personal best (no great time in itself) so it is possible to do well - just remember to include hills in your training. Most of the hills aren't as bad as all that although the one around mile 8/9 was pretty horrible.
I guess they managed to sort out a lot of the car parking issues reported in 2010 as it took us about 20 minutes to get out, which I think is acceptable!
The only thing I'd change is the start time - 1pm is far too late and it really takes over the whole day - 11am next year at the latest please! Date of review: September 25, 2011
In short: Undulating but very beuutiful course - quite tough In full: I had never been able to get a place, but finally found the enties open long ago. Even though I had already entered Run to the Beat that day, I decided to waste the fee and run in beautiful parkland instead of East London.
I know the park well, so I knew it would be a hard course - and it was! The toughest was the last mile. As it is dead straight you can see the finishing line, but it just won't get any nearer. Date of review: September 25, 2011
In short: Excellently organised and marshalled, scenic, challenging, half marathon In full: My first Windsor HM. Thought it was great. Big thanks to all the young people and their leaders marshalling and at the water stations.
The course is challenging, but in a good way. None of the hills last too long, and of course if you go up you have to come down again.
Just a shame this race clashes with others as it would be good if there were a few more club runners at the front end of the field. Date of review: September 25, 2011