In short: Bring on the DOMS!! In full: Last did this 5 years ago and for some reason, although I remembered it was hilly, I didn't remember it being quite that hilly!!
Definately a challenge, and my legs are still sore now (it's Wednesday evening) but it makes finishing all the sweeter.
Great marshalls, loved the technical t-shirt - better than a medal - and the bar of soap was an added (random) bonus. Would probably have liked a Mars Bar or a sports drink or something at the end - would have put an extra sparkle on it.
One major gripe - and it's not very original - the number of ladies toilets was WOEFUL. The queue was ridiculous and I was resigned to finding a quiet spot to go until I happened across the (empty) public loos 2 minutes from the start venue! Date of review: November 9, 2011
In short: Good to see it back! In full: Missed this one in 2010 having done it a few times over the years.
In my head it was much flatter than it really is - although it couldn't be called hilly it is undulating, more so on the 2nd lap :)
Would agree that the start line was non-existent, and I do like a chip time that starts from the start - not from the gun. Being picky there though and I really like this race - especially as I always seem to get a PB here! Date of review: October 24, 2011
In short: It was alright In full: Windsor Great Park is always a lovely (if hilly) venue for a race and this was no exception - especially in the glorious September sunshine.
However, having done the half marathon in previous years I couldn't help feeling that this race was just a bolted on event to make the most of the fact that the organisers had already forked out for the toilets / tents / timing /etc and raise a bit of extra cash.
My whinges - there was no start gantry or obvious line, it wasn't clear when the start had happened (didn't hear the horn or whatever), there was only one water station (and it was hot), there was a bus on the course at one point (!) and, although the medal was nice, I really missed my race standard issue bag of leaflets and a Mars Bar.
On the plus side it was nice to see so many ladies running together - a real mix of people - and, due to the following days half marathon, there were plenty of toilets and parking facilities.
I guess I'm just demanding when it comes to races :) Date of review: September 24, 2011
In short: Very entertaining! In full: My first off-road half marathon and (I think) I really enjoyed it.
Thought the organisation was great: the car park was large and well signed, registration was quick and easy, etc. A few more toilets and a lot more toilet paper would have been good, and as others have said - a drink immediately after the finish would have been appreciated. I was gasping!
Thought the course was pretty good - plenty of variation, well signed and very lovely scenery. Getting stuck behind people at stiles and in narrow bits didn't really bother me - I enjoyed the chance for a breather :)
One I would definately do again. Date of review: September 18, 2011
In short: Too hot and too hilly for me! In full: I last did this in 2002 as my first ever half-marathon and remember having a really terrible time due to the heat and the hills - today was de-ja-vu although I did complete it 20 minutes quicker this year (good) it was still my slowest half time for 2 years (bad)!
The 1pm start is a real killer (I didn't realise when I signed up) and for some reason this particular September Sunday is often VERY hot.
I didn't think there were enough toilets (classily I headed back to the car park and ducked between some cars because I didn't have time to wait!), or enough water on the way round (frequency or quantity) and I was stunned there was no goody bag (I know that's not what it's all about, but......) .
It's a shame because it is a lovely location, great for spectators but I don't think I will back. Maybe in another 7 years!
In short: Actually rather nice ! In full: Yes it's run mostly round the streets and underpasses of Bracknell, but some of it is suprisingly pretty - lots of greenery - and it meant a good smattering of crowd support most of the way around.
It was a bit hot for me and the mile long hill at about half way made my life a misery but it was my own fault for going off too fast!
A nice rice, good sized field, well organised, cheap and a suprisingly good goody bag. Date of review: May 27, 2009
In short: Awesome! In full: 5th time I have done this and after missing last year because I was pregnant it was fantastic to be back in Reading - especially as this was my 'come back' race.
The support was better than I remember, the bands, the jelly babies, the smiley volunteers and of course the stadium finish - all make it one of my favourite events ever. Date of review: March 30, 2009
In short: As always - a pleasure In full: I love the Reading Half Marathon - the plentiful, noisy supporters, the excellent oganisation, the brass band in town, the stadium finish, the HUGE number of toilets....
Not getting a race number, and the extra large queue for the baggage tent was a tiny bit of a downer - but all in all - totally fab.
Continues to be one of my all time favourites - see you again next year!
In short: Undulating! In full: Having read some of the comments about this race, and seen a copy of the route profile, I was a bit concerned about the number of 'killer' hills there seemed to be.
Certainly it is a hilly course, but the real gradients don't hit you until the 8 and 11th miles, which is probably where you could really do without them! Not too bad though - and it added to the fun.
The route is lovely - really pituresque with lots of lovely houses to gawp at, and not much traffic to contend with.
The organisation was great - the baggage tent was fantastic, especially as it was so cold, we got away on time, the plentiful marshalls were all smiley and encouraging and - going against what someone else has said - I thought the goody bag was alright! for £11 you get a great half marathon, a long sleeved t-shirt, an apple, a mars bar and...... a marker pen!! What more do you want. I thought it was a bargain.
Overall - definately one for next year - well done Marlow Striders. Date of review: November 5, 2006