In short: Terrible terrible T-E-R-R-I-B-L-E organisation In full: All the signs were good. A half-marathon in Windsor Park and in September.
Sadly the reality was utterly rubbish & so badly organised that I've got to assume the team in charge have never actually run the Windsor Half.
The three worst decisions were.... a) The totally daft start time that ensured we were all out during the hottest part of the day. b) The 20 minute delay to the start that ensured no-one was ready. c) The criminal lack of organisation at the exit to the car-park that ensured our lasting memory was one of a race full of potential, but ruined by the bunch of muppets in charge.
Greenwich next year. Bring it on. Date of review: October 18, 2009
In short: This was tough In full: I did windsor over 2 years ago and thought it was tough then but never thought i could experience that heat in september again..but i was soo wrong. I beat my last time as i was better trained but the combination of the heat and the hills were a real killer and wondered why do they start this race a 1pm???! Anyway thought it was a great day out, great atmosphere and loads of great looking women ! The event and the training has also inspired me to do more events but i think im gonna concentrate at being really good at 10k!
In full: I think anyone contemplating doing this race should read these reports on RW. I would agree 100% - absolutely barmy start time was blazing hot. Wonder if the organisers have ever run at that time of day in that environment... Very hilly course so really not for the faint hearted. I was okay with the water stations not my first half by any means but always take some myself the two stops I threw the water down my neck each time. No shade on much of the course. Wonderful surroundings really should have started circa 9am. Nice medal though. Not a PB course although only 4 mins under mine. I wouldnt do it again but it was an experience ticked that one off the list... Date of review: October 5, 2009
In short: Too hot, too hilly, RIDICULOUS exiting out of car park In full: A londoner who did this race to see a bit of Windsor but it turned out that I could have been running anywhere in any park. Really wished that i didn't do this. Will not be back next year. Date of review: October 3, 2009
In short: Some dangerously careless organisation in a beautiful location In full: I was well-prepared for this one and it's not my first or longest race, but the water stations were too far apart and plastic cups impossible to carry. As a result I passed out at 9 miles, and managed to stagger to the end but was still vomiting well into the evening. Until the organisers of this race change the start time and take their responsibilities seriously I think they will continue to have serious casualties on this race. Having said all that - I don't think the car park fiasco was their fault - no one could have predicted an accident happening right outside the exit. From my point of view it has put me off racing for life. Date of review: October 2, 2009
In short: Fantastic & Dreadfull - all in one day In full: I couldn't agree more about the parking. FYI to all - the race director personally emailed me after last years parking debacle and promised me that they had sacked the previous Traffic "Management" company and 2009 would be better - Hmmmm !?!?!? Just in case, this year I parked outside the main field and walked to the car park - it took 10 mins to get back to the car (with 2 children under 5), but I was on the road within 2 mins from reaching the car). Alternatively, get the train or if you live locally, get a friend, neighbour or relative to drop you off.
Apart from the parking, I found the race to be fantastic. The weather was stunning again, the marshalls (the Cadets/Scouts etc..) were amazing. The crowd was awesome and the scenery was beautiful. The family had a great day.
BTW - they aren't going to change the starting time, so in reference to the dehydration, all I can say is be better prepared. I didn't suffer at all and I only took two drinks from the tables. One I drank, one went on my head/neck. Buy one of the hand-held water bottles and make sure you're properly hydrated before the race. Don't forget, despite this year being hot and 2008's race being even hotter, this type of weather is not typical of late September, so I can't believe it will be the same next year. They're due a wet race.
I'm definately planning to run next year and I'm definately not parking in the car park again.
In short: Good but some faults... In full: I've run lots of half marathons and there are never enough toilets, but this was particularly awful - a 30 minute queue before the race. Some warm up at the start would have been good and it should definitely start at an earlier time - 1.00pm is too late. Also, at the end I was only "allowed" one plastic cup of water - I don't want to drink sugary Lucozade after a race; I want H20 and lots of it! Date of review: September 30, 2009
In short: Very nice environment, fantastic runner mates. Kind help on every metres from the beginning to the end! In full: Of course it is not easy, bit hilly but real picturesque 'country side'. If you know this area a bit deeper you can enjoy it deeper during running as well. Valley Gardens, Virginia Water lots of experience and very useful hills for prepare yourself to the Race. And during that you will be surprised: sharp ache in the carf, slow down, suffering, mate comes and tells you: 'staying on focus' 'but my leg!' 'I see, just staying on focus' 'Thanks for it'. And really I am very grateful for him, simply saved me, recovered my fight, belief on myself and at the end I was in Heaven. Simply I did it! Thank you again! It was the first and will be more, much more! Date of review: September 29, 2009