In short: Forget about your time and enjoy the scenery In full: This was the first time I'd run this race, and the first time I've run any distance off-road. Arriving at Windsor station we soon found signs to the race start. Only 6 loos but somehow we all managed -- just a couple more would make a difference though. It felt like a good friendly mix of runners, not too clubby. We soon spread out along the towpath. The scenery is lovely, especially running on shady paths along the Thames. Nearer to Marlow, running on unfamiliar grass under a hot hot sun, it was harder going.
Organisation was OK but not great. There was no map of the course included in the pack and no indication of where there would be water stations. A snack of some kind afterwards would have been welcome, even if it's just a banana. The marhalls though were unfailingly encouraging and enthusiastic.
I will be back next year though -- it's a lovely scenic race that I can get to on the train from London and there aren't many of those. Date of review: July 30, 2010
In short: Lovely course and well organised In full: This is a well organised and very picturesque run. Although a flat course this is not really a PB course. With numerous gates, changing terrain, and the general public, do not expect to run as fast as you would on a road HM. This should not, however, detract this being an excellent summer race. Date of review: July 30, 2010
In short: Stunning scenery, great atmosphere, flat course with excellent organisation In full: A thoroughly enjoyable race. The scenery along the whole route was very pretty and was helpful in distracting me from the pain. Despite being basically flat, the course isn't PB material really (unless it's your 1st Half). The majority of the towpath is either compacted gravel or grass which after 10 miles left me wilting for the last 3 miles. So, just go out enjoy the scenery and treat it as an enjoyable training run. It's approximately 10-15 mins slower than running it on road. The Marlow to Windsor route (next year) is also quicker (based on historical results) Pros: Scenery, marshalling, atmosphere, flat course, good medal. Cons: None really. Date of review: July 28, 2010
In short: love this race - purple patch are the best In full: This is one of my favourite races. It's a beautidul off road course meticulously organised by the brilliant Purple Patch Runners. Although no hills, it's a testing course which catches you out if you're not careful. Everyone should do this race. Date of review: July 27, 2010
In short: Definitely not a turkey of a race ! Could be "bovered" ! In full: I'm still glowing after I got up early for this event rather than plod read a red-top in front of the idiot box like a large mass. And not thumbing a child's games console either we were rewarded by some sumptuous vistas. That's honest and legitimate ! Passing wasn't exactly straightforward but there were instances when this was feasible - uniquely along the more canopied stretches which were some of the most lush, ie. not prissy and trapped like some wilting annual in a clay pot. Although spongiforms weren't provided to wipe away filth there was ample H2O, mainly held in cups but at the final station provided in recyclable plastic bottles. I managed to track lazy Betty Bovine (and friends) together with noxious fumes and cowpats, but escaped towards the royal-blue finishing arch and into fresh clean air. Although we all must have seen several domestic pets (specifically canines) these were all pretty much well-behaved. Thankfully I didn't identify another snouty-nosed blonde bitch chasing after her own tail; that would have had me in stitches and spoiled my race forever.
In short: Very enjoyable experience for an aged half marathon debutante! In full: This was my first half marathon, aged 60. I would recommend it to any beginner. It was a most beautiful course and there was a very friendly atmosphere. The organisation was superb, with the car parking, buses, water stations, clear directions and mile markings and above all the marshalls were wonderfully friendly, helpful and encouraging. Date of review: July 27, 2010
In short: Varied scenic course, with fantastic marshalling, and PB potential In full: Other reviewers have written about inadequate loo facilities at the beginning, but this is nearly always the case. Indeed the start was held back for 5 minutes to ensure all the loo queuers were able to join the start - one of the organisational benefits of having a 500-strong field, rather than thousands.
Plenty of variety on this scenic course along the Thames. I wouldn't have thought it would be an obvious PB candidate but a couple of us smashed our's by a few minutes running close to 01:30.
Mashalling was fantastic, very friendly. I'd recommend the race to others, and a lovely area to spend the rest of the day - we went onto the Cartier International Polo at Windsor Park which is usually held on the same day.