Windsor Women’s 10k - Running4Women
The race was very cheap and was easy to book. I booked the race online and received the usual email confirmation but did not receive any further emails from Running4Women. I had to find the race booklet and details of race times, parking etc. online by googling the race. The bib number also arrived with no information besides the number.
I only had a journey of 45 minutes to get to the Windsor 10k, 2 hours later we arrived. You’ve got to love London traffic. Travelling there with my friend Paula we got a little bit excited when we saw Windsor castle. Windsor is such a picturesque town. We drove into the park which was well sign posted and walked into the race village. It was very well organised with a community tent for friends and family to wait, a kid’s play area, a sales area with sports good, toilets, changing areas, information tent and food stalls. Some of the food stalls weren’t open as they were set up ready for the half marathon on Sunday.
We wandered around the stalls and up to start and I immediately noticed the huge hill start and decided a PB was out of the question. The very aptly named long mile is long and beautiful. It’s surrounded by greenery and at the top end is Windsor Castle. You couldn’t ask for a better setting to run in.
At around 11.30am there was an energetic warm up for the ladies. I very rarely partake in warm ups, I don’t warm up before I run a normal training run so why would I throw myself around before a race?! Any thoughts on this welcome.
15 minutes before the race all ladies arranged themselves in pace order. There was a 45 min, 55 min, 60 min section. I couldn’t see past 60 minutes. I was averaging a 54 minute 10k in training so placed myself near the 55 minute pacer. I was surrounded by really lovely ladies who had either run Windsor 10ks before or the Windsor half before and they told me the first hill looked worse than it was.
There was a lead car at the front and only a small number of ladies in the 45 minute section. It always feels great to set off at the front and not have to overtake lots of people. The first hill was already mentally draining, the long mile seemed to go on forever and by the time I had reached the top of the hill I was feeling tired, like I had put too much energy into the hill. The hill however had not finished it had just turned left and kept going up through the trees.
The course was continually undulating. The big ups and the big downhills. I was overtaken by lots of women but have a great downhill and would overtake them again.
Water bottles were being handed out on course at regular intervals and there were target bins to throw them in when you were done.
By the time I got to the half way mark I realised if I kept my pace I had a chance I could perhaps knock a little off my PB but I was flagging with the hills and had started to slow down. It wasn’t until around the 7km mark when a really lovely bystander shouted there’s only one more hill to go that I really put my foot back down and went for it. I must have overtaken 20 women on the hill. I then carried on propelling forward on the long mile down. The finish line just didn’t seem to get any closer but the view was of the backdrop of the castle was amazing. My endless run eventually ended and I had managed a PB. Just a tiny shade over 51 minutes, 51:09. I was very pleased.
Through the finish, the volunteers were handing out medals and mars bars to each runner. A couple of minutes afterwards I received a text confirming my exact finishing time.
I checked the Facebook page for the link for the results the next day but I did receive an email to purchase photos. I did get a great set of 8 photos for £24.99.
Overall I would say it’s a really well organised race on course. The course itself is beautiful but incredibly undulating (HILLY). I wasn’t impressed at the lack of information sent out by the Running4Women. In fact apart from confirmation of a race place and selling me race photos I didn’t receive any other communication. However the race itself was very well priced and a great park and countryside setting.