In short: Still got lessons to learn In full: Bottle necking in town at the start made worse by ridiculous queue to get down a narrow underpass within the first mile. PB disappeared immediately. Better water stops needed ie longer lay out, more staff and more than 1cm of water in the plastic cups. Excellent marshalling and good support along the route. Date of review: September 17, 2012
In short: Prefer 2011 route In full: I gained a new PB this year but found the two loops demotivating and thought the route through Bray and then Cookham (minus the loop at the start) would have been better for those like myself that are not good runners and need distractions. More supporters than last year but then this year it was dry. Problem with first subway as too close to start so created bottleneck, and at water stations they did seem to struggle to get the cups filled in time. I think at some point the 12 mile marker disappeared, or wasnt there to start with. A shame they moved the big purple inflatable from the finish line as you had to then search the floor for the mats instead to see where the end was. Having said all that I do like purle patch events, they are always so friendly and encouraging and this is a flat course and in my home town so I will definitely run it again (going for the 5 runs to change my race number colour!) Date of review: September 17, 2012
In short: Lovely Scenery. fast course In full: A few bottlenecks at the start (subway, park entrance and some of the steet furnature caused problems) but this will always be a problem starting where it does. Surprisingly scenic route - Maidenhead doesn't exactly sound like an inspiring place to a run a half marathon! Queue to pick up bags was long, but moved quickly - I was getting cold though. A bottle of water at the end rather than cups would have been nice, and maybe some apple/orange segments for those of us who don't like bananas! Otherwise well organised and not too crowded - definate PB potential, especially of the start can be sorted out. Date of review: September 17, 2012
In full: Lots of positives - great support from local people on the route, fantastic marshals, good parking and start area, friendly and in places a really nice route. Negatives - two big bottlenecks in first half mile - narrow road and dreaded underpass where you had no option but to wait and file down steps - ruining PB hopes; very long queue for baggage at the end (anyone parked nearby would do better to leave bags in the car), too many people wearing headphones. Date of review: September 17, 2012
In short: Loved it In full: Another great PP event. Improved from last year and I understand that the subway issue will be resolved for next year so will definitely be back. Date of review: September 17, 2012
In short: Fast race on a flat course In full: This is one of the flatter and faster half marathons I've done; although I didn't get a PB, many of my friends did, so the potential is definitely there. Quite a bit of support round the course (no doubt helped by the two-lap format), and plenty near the start and finish. Baggage drop and reclaim was a bit slow, but better than last year, and having it inside the building was a definite plus had the weather not been so kind. The underpass was a definite bottleneck (though OK when I passed through it), but there's little alternative. All in all, a good race and one I'll do again. Thanks to the marshals, who were encouraging us all the way round. Date of review: September 16, 2012
In short: Flat and inoffensive! In full: Not bad for a "lap" half marathon (the lap repeats miles 2-6 ish as 7-10 ish!), and the flat course definitely has pb potential.
The marshalls were friendly and cheerful and there was a great spread of people around the course: some awesome cheering by youngsters!
It's a shame that so many runners were wearing headphones, as I witnessed several near-misses as swerving runners hadn't realised that others were behind them. Besides which, in what was a mixed and friendly field, they missed out on the banter and encouragement given by other runners!
A nice race which I may do again, but it's not a classic. Date of review: September 16, 2012