In short: Fast Race, needs a few tweeks In full: Really enjoyed the race, despite the rain (I guess managing sub 2 for the first time helped!) ;) Was surprised how nice the course was in terms of scenery, was expecting something more Readingesque. The course was pretty narrow for most of the way, which was bearable for the number of runners present, but could cause problems if there were more runners. Would need to space runners out more at start too. Although there wasn't masses of support round the course compared to some of tehe bigger halfs, there was enough to keep me smiling (always helps!) Like the idea of a number for life too. Date of review: September 5, 2011
In short: Looking forward to the next one In full: Unlike a few others I really enjoyed running under the bridge at Maidenhead River and down the Hight Steet at the end. I thought the course was great and loved running through Bray and along the Riverside. I didnt mind the rain one bit and was actually glad of it.
My only complaints were: 1. not enough loos 2. Silly small lap at the start which lead to lots of confusion and people running in all directions 3. No goody bag. The medal was nice but I thought a company as big as this could have organised something.
But overall for a first attempt Purple Patch did really well, ill be back. Date of review: September 5, 2011
In short: Has the potential to be the areas fastest HM course In full: Organistation was ok. Found it easiliy enough from the train station. No sign posts in town though. Baggage at the end was a pain. Spent 20 mins standing in the rain. The start needed some timing target timing markers to help people line up. Pace runners would have been great. The initial loop didnt work as the faster runners ran 500m then came into the back of slower runners who still hadnt really started (Announcing this over the PA at the start would have helped. At least saying first loop runners stay right, faster 2nd loopers stay left. In the end there was one guy shouting directions. Quite a few slower runners missed the first 500m loop and went with the faster runners so therefore didnt run the full distance). Course wise, very flat, very fast, plenty of scope for overtaking people, course wasnt crowded, so really good PB potential aside from a few areas which slowed you down. I'd actually rate it as faster than the RHM course as it was flatter with less crowd to weave through at the start. Support wasnt as good as RHM for example, but it was a horrible day. For next year based on course speed I'd say more people would be up for doing this race, so the course should try to avoid the stepped area somehow. There were no mile markers on the course which would have been helpful. Water in cups isnt ideal as its too easy to spill, plus not everyone wants to drink at the water station points. It needed a lucozade or energy driink station too.
On the whole, I'd love it if they could double the size and scope of this race for next year and iron out the kinks as it can be somewhere that people can easily come and knock out a PB.
No goodie bag at the end :/ Really needed a mars bar or lucozade sport!
Well done to purple patch though. You know exactly what you need to work on for the next one. Date of review: September 5, 2011
In short: great first Half in Maidenhead. In full: Really enjoyed this race, well done to Purple Patch for putting it on. Super to see so many runers in Maidenhead, I had been expecting that a lot of it would be souless roads given all the road closures but in fact most of it was actually very attractive - Bray, Cookham, River etc and very flat. Excellent cheering and marshals. Surprisingly Bray had the best supporters although I didn't see Heston popping out of the Fat Duck to clap he must have been busy cooking. As a slower runner I did get caught up in the lapping by the front runners at the start, a sharp elbow from one of them nearly knocked my friend flying and stopped her race before it had started, but that's easily fixed for next time. Requests for next year, would prefer to run down the high street and directly to the finish rather than round the lap again that last bit felt very very long, a 400m to go sign would be appreciated as well. And as always ... more loos for the start please although I was lucky to find the ones in the town hall with a shorter queue having balked at the portaloo queues. Date of review: September 5, 2011
In short: Good race but poor organization, on the plus side this was the first year so hopefully things would improve for next year. In full: For people who arrived early, the car parks were not well sign posted. Directions to the start of the event were good. Race villiage was ok but baggage areas was not very well sign posted and the trucks that bags were stored in were too small for the number of runners and these were left open meaning that when it rained the baggage got wet. The course was nice in places, the start was a complete mess with a small loop which then came back through the start. This should have been a larger loop as not everyone had passed the start line meaning that you were bumping into the who had not even started yet, very poor. The steps down to the towpath were a bad idea, in the wet these could be dangerious. Not sure I liked the idea of running around the park at the end or through the under passes as these were quite twisty and seem to slow you down.
Lets hope that this is a good learning experience for the orgainsers and that things improve for next year.
In short: Good first time some start/finish admin to sort out, enjoyed the route mainly In full: Well organised for the first time, it took Reading years to get theirs right, you can't please everyone! Well done Purple Patch I look forward to next year. BTW Nice medal. Date of review: September 5, 2011
In short: Much more right than wrong and a fine addition to the calendar. In full: Lots of positives about this one; road closures, easy free parking, flat fast course, brilliantly marshalled and sign-posted to name but a few. I think the problems at the start have been exaggerated and only delayed faster runners by a few seconds. They'll be resolved next year I'm sure. Baggage van not needed if you went by car so don't know why so many did use them and that probably caught the organisers out. Overall a very good first half marathon by the Purple Patch team. Date of review: September 5, 2011