Windsor Women’s 10k
The Windsor Women’s 10k was a lovely race in a beautiful setting and it was truly inspirational to have Jo Pavey running alongside us! The weather was perfect race conditions, stunning blue sky but not too hot. The course starts with a gentle uphill climb, it just goes on for a very long time – ‘the long mile’ and just when you think it’s over it goes up a bit more! That took me by surprise. After that it’s gently undulating until about 7k then it’s down all the way. Lovely! On a personal note I was quite pleased with my time, considering my lack of training over the run up to it as I’d been on holiday. 56 minutes overall, position 190 out of 1276 (19th in my category). I want to do it next time as a team with my daughter, they call it the generation game, it’s the fastest mum and daughter combo. The medal was lovely, really chunky and there was a nice technical t-.shirt. Only down side it was a bit pricey but overall for enjoyment, setting and value for money I’d give it 9 out of 10
I really enjoyed the race, it is in a beautiful setting with the backdrop of Windsor Castle, the organisation is so good and made the pre race preparations run so smoothly. Free parking right next to the start, loads of the poshest toilets I have ever seen at a race! The start was a slight incline as we set off up the long walk towards the Copper Horse statue. The rest of the run was reasonably flat taking you through woods but always on a path that was closed to any traffic. The finish was downhill with the castle in view. It was stunning! Fab medal, and t shirt at the finish Lovely race and I would definitely do it again.
I last ran an organised 10k event in August at Dinton Pastures which seems such a long time ago so I was really looking forward to getting back into my two 10ks a month challenge when Saturday dawned and we set off for Windsor Great Park for the Women’s Running Ladies 10k. For me it was a perfect running morning with sunshine and a cool breeze. I enjoyed this event last year and it didn’t disappoint this year. It is a very well organised event with lots of parking, a race village, super marshals shouting encouragement all the way around, the best toilets ever and a brilliant atmosphere.
We took our places in the appropriate time pens and waited for Jo Pavey to set us off on our way. However we had a slight hold up as there were ‘Royals’ on the course and we might have had to clear the path to let them through. Diplomacy reigned however and we were off just a tiny bit late with the castle behind us and the Copper Horse on the hill in front of us. Voices around saying ‘Do we really have to run up there?’ ‘Yes, and up and around the corner!’ I had a good start taking it steadily up the hill and then getting into my pace as the path evened out, although not for long as it is quite an undulating course. I enjoyed recognising the landmarks on the route – through the wood, into the park, past the pink house, past the school and the post office, out of the park, a beautiful view of the castle, back along to the statue and down the hill to the finish (which I ran 2 minutes faster going down!) where we received our lovely sparkly medals. I was pleased to see that I had run my best time since last November and that was on a pancake flat course on the airfield at Dunsfold. This has to be one of my favourite 10ks and one that I will be doing again, all being well, in 2019.
Windsor Half Marathon
I am sure we have all carefully studied many training plans with helpful advice and schedules to prepare you for the big day. Unfortunately, for various reasons, I ignored all of those last Sunday and ended up taking part on the back of one training run the Wednesday before. Definitely not an approach I would recommend! My lack of training meant I was not aiming for a PB, just survival. The weather was great,sunny initially then cloud cover to keep it cool as we ran. Organisation and parking all excellent. It felt a real privilege to run off road around Windsor Great Park and Saville Gardens. I had not appreciated how “undulating” (aka hilly!!) it is there. I loved their approach to collecting used water bottles – they had archery targets for us to aim at, a successful shot dropped into the bag underneath. It is mainly a quiet run, with a few areas of enthusiastic spectators. A word of warning, the last mile, on The Long Walk, goes on forever, as you can see the finish all the way and it doesn’t seem to get any closer! Luckily I wasn’t striving for a PB. I missed my PB by over 40 minutes but I was very happy with 2.17. A very enjoyable off road race in beautiful surroundings, which I will use to kick start my training for London next April, for which I will most definitely be closely following a training schedule. I hope to see many of you at various club runs between now and the big day next April.
Despite being a very passive member of the club for the last few years and on very limited training, the Windsor Half Marathon was my 3rd of the year.
I last ran Windsor in 2015, on a very hot day. Thankfully this year conditions were perfect, sunny skies but not too hot. Windsor is a pretty challenging course, starting and finishing on the aptly named long walk, with undulations occurring at regular intervals. My aim was for a 1hr 50 min time, and looking back at my Strava I timed it perfectly, with a slightly quicker second half, thanks to an all downhill last mile! However it should be noted that as I turned back into the Long Walk, I realised I had precisely 7:30mins to achieve my goal. At this point I did my best charging rhino impression, to make it with 6 seconds to spare!
I really enjoy this race, great scenery on beautiful paved roads. The undulations may not be for everyone but all adds to the charm.
I had unfinished business with Windsor Half Marathon. In 2015 I completed it in 2hrs 30mins and it nearly killed me. It was my 1st half marathon and I was completely unprepared for the hills! I swore I would never do another half marathon again. Well then I did Fleet this year and actually enjoyed it. So I decided to enter Windsor! The training went well most weeks I ran the ‘rollercoaster’ and although I hated every hill I was feeling much stronger. So there I was at the start line a little way back from the sub 2hr pacer, the plan was to keep him in sight until about mile 11 and then hope! Well before I knew it I was alongside him and enjoyed his encouragement and running commentary. We came to the ‘big’ hill which this year I powered up (last time I had to walk!) All was going well until about mile 10 and the hills were still coming and I was running out of steam! I had to drop back a bit and just run my own pace. Crossing the line in 2hrs 1min. It wasnt a sub 2hrs, but it was a PB. Windsor is a beautiful Half Marathon and a great run if you love hills. The crowd and support is excellent and really encouraging when you feel like you can’t run anymore. I have conquered my demons and dont feel the need to ever run those hills again!! (and I mean it this time!)
Windsor never disappoints on the scenic front but as for a pb course, or anything near one for me, just getting round yesterday was an achievement. Legs were protesting all the way – maybe it was the 8 hour back marking at Shine last weekend – or maybe I am just getting old!!!!
Charlie St Aubyn
Windsor HM completed. Ran incognito with no particular target and just went out to enjoy it.
Immaculately organised. Think big city HM in a lovely park. Low stress, though they needed more coffee outlets and more ladies loos. The loos provided were vg tho.
It is VERY undulating and needs to be paced properly or the second half will bite you badly. The final mile back towards the castle just seems to go on for ever too. Finish arch never seemed to get any closer That said, on not enough summer training, was happy with the result and a very cheeky sub 6:30mm last mile