A sunny 6th of May, Bank Holiday Monday saw the inaugural She Runs Windsor 10k event. The setting for this event was the stunning Windsor Great Park with the start and finish line on the Long Walk with Windsor Castle as the backdrop.
Communication leading up to the event had been excellent with regular email updates and information forthcoming. The day before there was an ‘Exoptique’ which enabled runners to pick up their race packs and browse the marquee for running treats. With sponsors including Shock Absorber, CEP sportswear, Halo Headband, Yurbuds and Clif Bar to name but a few, this was a lovely expo which was obviously developed with the runners in mind. Not one to shirk the opportunity to shop I managed to purchase some neon pink CEP compression socks and a Halo headband to get geared up for the race.
The organisation was slick and I didn’t encounter any problems when collecting my number or picking up my t-shirt and canvas bag. Parking was plentiful and there were no issues with access on the Sunday or on the day of the race itself. The only problem for runners who left it a bit late to arrive on Monday morning may have been hitting the traffic that was heading for the Star Wars event at Legoland Windsor!
I couldn’t fault race day. Again it was really well organised. Plenty of toilets (always important) and lots of information forthcoming over the tannoy. Apparently 27% of the field were running their first ever 10k which is fantastic. The music in the build up was just right to get everyone in the mood and the atmosphere was brilliant. There was also plenty for family and friends with refreshments available from a Coffee and Cake camper van and a Toasted Sandwich van.
We were introduced to the pacers who were all wearing matching CEP kit. Each pacer carried a different colour balloon which had a target time written on it. I did see one of the pacer balloons drifting off in the sky just before the start but the organisers quickly got round that. I found myself near the 50 minute pacer at one point and she was really encouraging.
There were some supporters scattered round the course and there were water stops at 2km and 6km. The course was really well marked out and took us on a really lovely route through the Great Park. Maybe I’ll take the family back and I’ll walk it and take in the scenery properly!
This course had one of the nicest finishes I’ve run in a race with the castle coming into view as we turned onto the final downhill and into the last kilometre. Support was heavier round this part of the course and really helped to lift the runners as we came in.
As we made our way out of the finish area I was presented with my rather stunning medal and then confronted by a welcome plethora of goodies: bananas, water, Luna bars and crisps (yeah was surprised at that one to be honest). As I exited the goody area there was a live band playing and there was a real carnival atmosphere. We couldn’t stay for long after I finished but I said a quick thank you to the guys from CEP for helping me pick my compression socks and then I was off home, buzzing from my first race back after a long time away.
Overall: a great inaugural event for She Runs Windsor. It was good value for money (£25) when you consider the venue, the Expotique, the amenities and the goodies which included the canvas bag and a technical t-shirt. There was a lovely atmosphere and if they did this event again I would have no problem taking my children with me. The organisers did a great job which meant a headache free, turn up and run, day for me. I would highly recommend this as a women only event for runners of any ability.