In short: An excellent large field event In full: Where people think this course is hilly I'll never know. It had mild undulations, which kept the run interesting. The scenery was superb, and a real pleasure to run through the Great Park, and see the sights. The marshalling was first class and a credit to the event. Its a busy event, but aren't all races with 5000 runners ?. You can't expect not to have to queue, whether it be to get out of the car park, or for the loo, in which they had plenty of loo's. If you want to see proper queues, do the Great North Run !. After the race you got what you needed, something to drink, and some chocolate and a momento of the occasion. The entry is steep, but money goes to support charities, so thats not an issue. Overall a very enjoyable race to compete in.
In short: One of the best races in the calendar, but ...... In full: This race is gloriously scenic in a superb location. The scenery is amazing and the support all round the course is really inspiring. The hills are tough enough to deal with the ones who don't do enough training, but not too hard for those who get their training done. The Marshalls and drinks volunteers were excellent as usual (this is my 4th Windsor Half), so thanks for their help. Nice medal too. Now, to the negatives. Car park is always a disaster (see my previous reviews), so recommend parking in town and walking the mile to the start-line. The lack of a goody-bag is bad, in particular for one of the most expensive races on the calendar. The bottle of water is a given, so apart from the good medal all you get is a FUN-SIZED Mars Bar - little bit rubbish to be honest. VERDICT: Great race overall, just sort out the parking and spend some of the vast profit they make on a decent goody-bag and they'll have cracked it. Recommended race. Date of review: October 1, 2010
In short: Scenery - Gorgeous...Car Park - Hideous In full: This was my first Half Marathon and, living on the South Cost near the beach, I don't really 'do' hills. Iknew the course was undulating so I made sure I did a bit of hill training and, my goodness, was I glad I did! I either seemed to be travelling uphill or back down the other side!
That said, the Great Park is absolutely beautiful and the support was good. My fellow runners were friendly and encouraging and I would do this race again.
Maybe. If they sort the car parking out! 90 minutes to leave was not ideal.
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