In short: Great organisation, not a terribly fast course as off road, but flat and on good paths In full: Lots of water stations much appreciated, great organisation plenty of cheerful marshals at all the right places. Great facilities at finish. Not a PB course as it's off road, but is flat and on good paths, a very pleasant Sunday run. Date of review: July 29, 2013
In short: Overpriced scenic pan flat run In full: Although very flat, this run is not good for a PB due to the chronic overcrowding along a narrow path and through a kiss gate in the first couple of miles (I think that it would be better to do the Up Flow year to avoid these bottlenecks). Very well organised but I feel that it is rather expensive for what it is - water only at the drinks stations (plus a banana at the end) with a hideously garish medal and no tee-shirt/goodie bag. Baggage storage looked as if it was well organised as it was separated into three vans according to number, however there was no order within each van which meant it took them over half na hour to find my bag. The scenery along the Thames however is stunning. Date of review: July 29, 2013
In short: When the race is this good, who cares about your PB? In full: First time doing this event and really enjoyed it.
Pros - Excellent organisation (bus transfer, number pickup, baggage drop and just about enough portaloos!). - Scenery is superb as you make your way along the river. - Marshalls and volunteers were very encouraging and enthusiastic. - A better-than-your-normal medal at the end.
Cons - As other people have stated there are a few pinch points at the start of the race, so unless you are right at the start of the wave you'll end up walking at some stage. - Watch your footing on the different surfaces, as I managed to roll my ankle by mile 3 (though at least it's more interesting than a pure road race).
More waves could solve the pinch problem (though people were still going off in the wrong coloured wavse yesterday). Or a lap of the field to thin the runners out a little (though then you have to fiddle with the course)?
But, don't less these minor cons put anyone off doing the race. Fantastic scenery, great route and an excellent example of why people run.
I will definitely be back next year. Date of review: July 29, 2013
In short: Super Flat Half with Multi-Terrain In full: This is a super almost billiard-table flat run across multi-terrain following the banks of the Thames from Marlow to Windsor (and vice versa alternate years). The organisation is slick, including the very convenient bus service from the finish (where you'll park your car) back to the start - I highly recommend that you use this. The usual loo queues prevail, but that's easy enough to plan around. The marshals are present along the whole course, providing great encouragement, and with the right number of water stations (increased by one due to this year's warmer weather). There is a brief section where you're on or crossing public roads, but the traffic is light and generally considerate, so this presented no issues at all. At the finish there is a great atmosphere and lots of crowd encouragement, with water, a banana and a rather nice medal for all finishers. As Half Marathons go, you couldn't ask for better scenery in the south of England except perhaps on the coast, but what you get here is scenery AND a flat course. I'll definitely do this one again next year. Date of review: July 29, 2013
In short: Nice scenic run, but a bit underwhelming In full: This would be a lovely route to run on your own, but the number of kissing gates, flights of steps, bridges and single-file paths at the beginning make it problematic for a race. Too many bottlenecks in the first 2 miles and sections where walking is unavoidable made it really hard to get into a steady pace. Date of review: July 29, 2013