by Gareth Bird
Earlier this year Radio 2’s Chris Evans told his listeners he’d entered the Windsor Half Marathon, so I decided to enter on the spur of the moment. It would have been a good idea for me to check what time the event commenced as the 1pm start meant the risk of it being hot, and it was!
Race instructions were all on the website with just the race number arriving by post. Despite the 4,000 runners the traffic was fine via A-roads and parking was very close to the start in Windsor Great Park. There were a few traders on site and a good atmosphere with music blasting out. The whole run was on surface roadways, allegedly slightly undulating, but in the words of Chris Evans in his post event interview, ‘that is not undulating, they are hills’! The start/finish is on one of the vistas with a great view of Windsor Castle, the course runs the perimeter of the Park, with no traffic and wide paths so overtaking is easy, just as is being over taken!
There was good support around the course along with water stations, some of which were visited twice as the course does a part repeat lap. There was loads of support on the never ending finish straight and a nice touch calling runners names as we crossed the line.
Getting out of the site was tough going, obviously never easy getting so many cars out, but I am sure it could have been done better. If you run this event then consider parking off site if you need a quick get away.
So why enter this event? Well, if you are finding that half marathons are not quite the challenge they used to be and don’t have time to train for a full marathon then give this event ago. It’s easily the toughest half marathon I have ever run. If you fancy entering the half marathon then here’s the place to enter: http://www.runwindsor.com/
(Gareth finished in 1:44:19, while Nick Clay also ducked just under 90 in 89:52. Well done both! – Ed.)
Pre the half marathon there was the Glyn Shefford Memorial Run, a 2 mile event for younger runners. More info here: http://www.runwindsor.com/the-event/glyn-shefford-challenge/