As part of my marathon training, I've been trying to book up lots of races to build up my long runs, so I was delighted to find out about The Windsor and Eton Winter Fun Run Race Series at Dorney Lakes after reading about it on Leah's Blog. They were offering a 5km, 10km or 15km option race, and have these races about once a month until April this year, with the latter races offering a 20km option as well.
I arrived super nervous, and having signed up for the 15km, the longest distance I've raced so far, and my longest run this year. The set up was great, with a mini race village, complete with food and drink stalls for spectators and a few stalls setting supplements etc. Dorney Lakes is Eton's Rowing Centre and where the Olympic Rowing was, it was so beautiful and a really lovely place to run.
As we arrived, the morning duathlon was finishing, which Dame Kelly Holmes was racing! Despite there being two events running, one after the other, the organisation was flawless. The stewarts were cheering and helpful. Registration was easy and we got our goodie bags before event starting, complete with zero cal red bull and an electrolyte supplement.
The Race was laps of a 5 km course, with around 300 people competing but only 55 people doing the 15km race.
We started off, with me lining up right at the back, and ran down through the trees to the end of the lake. With several attire disasters (sports bra breaking and hair band snapping) but the 2 km I was settling into my stride and feeling good. We turned about 3 km at the end of the lakes and ran back down the middle which was stunning, with cheers as we passed through the race village ready for lap two.
I took a gel and started my pack of baby jelly babies as we passed through 5km and was feeling good starting the second lap.
The runners were getting a bit sparse at this point, but I just tried to focus on keeping my slow and steady pace, passing the 10km point at 1 hr 10 mins.
Starting the last lap, I knew I was at the back, I hadn't seen another runner for a while, but the stewarts were cheering me on and the competitors that had finishes were clapping and cheering.
The last lap was tough, but I kept consistently running and when I got to the 12km mark new I could do it!
Running into the finish line, last over the line, the cheers were huge from the organisers and those competitors that were left. It felt great. Longest run, and an ok time of 1:51 for 15km. I was chuffed.
The good: The course was great, the organisation was amazing, probably one of the best organised races I've been too, great choice of 3 distances, great medal at the end
The bad: The only bad things I can say is no bag drop, and few participants doing the 15km
Overall a fantastic and well organised friendly race!