Four men inside 70 minutes; four women under 90 minutes and 4,325 finishers in 4:31:32. Those were the headline stats from the 36th running of the Windsor Half Marathon held in Windsor Great Park on Sunday morning (30 September).
Windsor Great Park is the only Royal Park directly managed by the Crown Estate. The former Norman hunting forest was enclosed in the 13th century and Queen Victoria appointed Prince Albert as Park Ranger. The current 600 strong herd of red deer was established by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and are the direct descendants of two stags introduced from Balmoral.
Sunday's herd of nervous athletes stampeded at 10:00am precisely and it was just 1:07:53 later when Daniel Jarvis (Liverpool Harriers) charged back down Long Walk to break the tape first after locking horns with Tom Higgs (South London Harriers, 1:09:14), Phillip Matthews (Swansea Harriers, 1:09:36) and Ben Bradley (Aldershot, Farnham & District, 1:09:51).
Among the 120 finishers inside 90 minutes were the leading quartet of women. Louise Small (Aldershot, Farnham & District, 1:17:10) raced to a dominant victory by four minutes from W40 Lesley Locks (Hart Road Runners, 1:21:28), W35 Katie Mauthoor (1:25:15) and W35 Emilie Isaacs (Serpentine RC, 1:28:00). The most impressive women's age group result belonged to W65 Caroline Horder (Littledown Harriers, 1:38:03).
The Windsor Half Marathon course comprises two undulating laps plus the 1.5 mile Long Walk. One section, that is tackled only on the second lap, is through Crown Estate private property only open to runners on race day, making this a beautiful and unique event.
All finishers received a bespoke race T-shirt and commemorative medal and the main event was supported by the 50m Sprite Sprint for 5-9 year olds and the Glynn Shefford Memorial Run of 2.5 miles for anyone aged 10 and above.