In short: Glad I prepped for the hills In full: Likes: Great backdrop. Lovely crowd – I encountered only TWO spitters! Nice medal Food stall (husband dangled a hotdog in front of me as I waited for the start. Evilevilevil.) Cool weather Runners were less aggressive than expected No compulsory/ugly/oversized tee-shirt (when you are poor and tiny…) Supporters could stay close until the race started, so I was not stuck in a pen waiting for 40 mins
Dislikes No toilet system at all Rubbish goodies Was not very clear when the race started – some were still queuing for the loo!
Glad I prepped for the hills - they were more undulating than killer, but they were sort of always there... It did get to me towards the end, but I am glad I didn't walk.
Not sure about the car queues, as I played safe and came into Windsor a day earlier to make a weekend of it.
For out-of-towners: AVOID the Travelodge at all costs. It was a perfectly functional hotel, and great location for pre-race sight-seeing. But because of the same great location (read near the pubs), I didn’t get a wink of sleep until 3am because of drunken lowlifes on the street.
Earplugs didn’t help either - at 3am I went to reception to seek help, the staff was hopeless. I ended up calling the police myself. Finally it stopped - think the cops finally shooed them into cabs. Not the best way to prep for a big race. I was exhausted by the time the race started.
In short: Really enjoyable race - shame about the chaotic car parking at the end In full: Was really looking forward to this race as I love the Great Park. Bit slow to get going as I was stuck in a big pack and spent the first 5 miles trying to work my way forward to a bit of free space! Once I got through, I really enjoyed it. Marshalling and drinks stations were brilliant and very well organised, managed to grab a drink every time I needed one. Good support most of the way round, which was pretty impressive bearing in mind that to get anywhere along the route you had to walk a fair distance. Only real bug bear was the horrendous scrum to get out of the car park. It took well over an hour to get from our parking space to the road and we were only about 10 cars back in the queue to start with! It only improved when some marshalls finally took control and directed each car out. Marshalls should have been there right from the start to stop the chaos happening in the first place. The last thing you want after running 13.1 miles is to sit in the car going nowhere for an hour! Please sort it out for next year! Date of review: September 28, 2010
In short: Good but challenging course but they HAVE to sort out the parking !!! In full: This was my 3rd time running Windsor and the first (after 2006 & 2008) where the weather was on my side - both previous races were run in what could only be described as unseasonally hot weather. Being local and having run the course twice before and having trained a lot on it too, I was well aware of the "undulating" nature but i'm always caught out by how tough the climb is between miles 10 & 11 and how long the last mile on the long walk seems (I swear at one point the finish line seemed to be getting further away !!)
The general atmosphere both before and during the race is pretty good, but some parts of the course are a bit lacking in vocal support but I guess that's understandable as some of it is through crown estate which is not open to the general public.
My one MAJOR gripe is the chaos at the car park, particularly when trying to leave. In all 3 years that I have run, i've experienced big delays in getting out but this year was the worst ever - it took nearly 1.5 hours to leave the car park. You would think that things would have improved over 4 years, but clearly not. It was absolute carnage trying to get out with very few marshalls and a big bottleneck at the entrance. It really left a sour taste in the mouth after what was an otherwise enjoyable day. Date of review: September 28, 2010
In short: Pleasantly surprised by this one! In full: Having read reviews on RW from last years race I was expecting the worse. However I think the weather must have played a part in making last years runners grumpier (understandably).
Well organised (didn't come in car) and beautiful scenery with points of interest all the way round. The cadets worked well as marshalls (special thanks to those who clapped and encouraged). Plenty of drinks stations including Lucozade sport. A challenging course with the "undulations" but made less painfull by good support from spectators and officials alike.
Thank you to the organisers! If I can pass on one piece of advice to runners in future it would be to get to Windsor the day before and enjoy the town or get the train on the day. I walked up to the course at 11.30 and the traffic queues were really bad...don't drive there if you can avoid it. Date of review: September 28, 2010
In short: Fantastic location, great marshalling - parking needs to be improved In full: Windsor Great Park is a great location to run in - although a bit too hilly for my liking. The marshals were great and 'inspirational'. The 'goody bag' of a Mars Bar, water and Lucozade was a bit poor after 13.1 miles. The parking does need some reorganisation; it took us 60 mins to exit the park, with all cars converging on one small exit at once. It would also be better if the race could start in the morning rather than 1pm. Date of review: September 28, 2010
In short: Great course but access to.from the event was a nightmare In full: We live less than 45 miles from Windsor as the crow flies but it took 2.5 hours getting there and 4 hours getting back due to traffic near to the venue. Leaving the park took 90 minutes as there were very few exits and it was a free for all to get out. Road works and diversions made the journey home miserable. The race itself was great. Perfect conditions and a lovely course. Some challenging hills but nothing too onerous. First mile was slow due to the crowds but it soon thinned out. Nice scenery. Not the flattest course and the final mile on the Long Walk seems to last forever! Facilities were good, queues for the bogs were not too bad. Would do it again if the journey to/from was improved. Date of review: September 28, 2010
In short: This was my first ever half marathon. Great scenery and course. The course is undulated from start to finish. The runners were really nice. The atmosphere was nice, but I found the race very quite with not a lot of people cheering Date of review: September 27, 2010
In short: had a great day, got a pb, much better than i was expecting In full: I read a number of negative reviews about the 2009 event, and so was worried about the hills and organisation, but I arrived and parked without problems, and was happy with fairly short toilet queues, the baggage drop, the PA and the start funnel. Yes, there were more hills than I'm used to, but I managed ok - great support all the way round and plenty of fluids available. The last mile is very straight and I definitely pushed it too hard when i saw the line with over a mile still to go - but I got a PB so was very pleased. The mars bar and lucozade at the finish slipped down a treat and I had no problems getting out. A great day all round. Date of review: September 27, 2010
In short: Back again next year . . . In full: I live quite far away from Windsor (over 2 hrs away) but will definately be back again!
GOOD POINTS - Amazing atmosphere, some of the best supporters I have seen at any race -Beautiful scenery, with a breath-taking view of the Castle on the straight to the finishing line - Great stewards, very supportive and helpful - Overall good organisation and classy medal and goody bag
BAD POINTS - The ques!! Ques for the loos, the bag drop off,and out of the car parks . .
Although the course has been changed, it is still pretty hilly, so if you are doing the Windsor Half, make sure you train on plenty of hills - it will make the day much more enjoyable!
In short: A true green run... In full: Having done my 4th 1/2 marathon and securing my PB to date...this would fall as my favourite, until a better time. 1st time running in the Windsor 1/2.
Bits that stand out for this one are, 1. Not running amidst concrete jungles 2. Well manned facilities - special appreciation to the Marshals 3. The finish with the castle in the background - gives the mind something else to focus on rather than the finish line
What does not stand out 1. The goody bag at the end could have held some more value in terms of nourishment. Date of review: September 27, 2010