What a lovely race.
I can’t stop saying it. Lovely! SheRuns Windsor was one of the most well organised, scenic and fun races I have ran in a long time.
Last week I was asked if I wanted to run the SheRuns Windsor 10k in one of the new Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Bras. They sent me a bra and paid for my entry into the race.
After a long walk from the train to the race start area (I can’t complain, it’s actually called the Long Walk) I grabbed my race package and tshirt with no problems and found fellow #teamnaturallyrun members Charlie & Leah by the Expotique (another branding issue. Expo is fine. Women runners understand these things without having to be feminized). I also ran into the lovely Cat who dropped by this race after coming in as the 3rd female in the Richmond Marathon the day before! Being caught a bit off guard by the reality of an actually sunny and hot day in the UK, we were worried we didn’t put enough sunscreen on. Alas, a trip through the expo didn’t find any samples so we were left hoping for the best with our runners tan lines. The toilet queues were fine if you went early enough. Annoyingly a lot of spectators were using the toilets right before the race. Come on guys! Bag drop, and a lot of the course marshals were lovely local Scout volunteers who were efficient and friendly all day.
The race started heading straight up the hill in Windsor Great Park for about 3km. It was a tough hill but I found my legs quickly and enjoyed the slightly slower pace than a normal start. Into the forest we ran flat for a while and there were loads of spectators all along the course which was probably due to the weather, but their smiles and cheers were much appreciated. The waterstops were really well organised and the only problem was the cups were plastic so you couldn’t pinch to drink. I did the safe thing and came to a full stop at each water stop.
At about 5k the hills started again and rolled up and down for basically the rest of the race. I actually enjoyed the uphill more as I kept getting a stitch on the downhill (thanks probably to the banana bagel scarfed on the train). Just past 8km there was some serious mirage magic going on as the castle looks like a 20 minute walk away, downhill. Cue the sprint legs…. FOR 1500m!!! At about 750m I almost let up but then I saw a girl in a running skirt ahead of me so I had to beat her, my legs hated me. My face was bright tomato red and I’m pretty sure there was actual sweat flying off my body.
This is also where most of the marathonfoto staff were positioned prime red face location. See illegal screen grab for an example below.
I finished right bang on my normal 10k time and was happy with it considering the hilly course and hot weather Top 11% of finishers too feels pretty good considering they can’t all be PBs! The finish line was well organised with medals, bananas, water, luna bars, vitacoco and crisps plentiful for our grazing.
There was an awesome band playing (Dolly Parton! Yes!) and we watched as the speedy top 3 ladies collected their wooden bowls from 80 year old fell trees in the Great Park while we rehydrated and took tons of photos. I obviously snuck into the Expo and grabbed a pair of the new Yurbuds range for Women and some Cliff shot blocks for the upcoming half marathon I have to come back to Windsor to run at the end of May. Gulp.
It was a great race, well organised, and whoever paid-off the weather forecast, it was money well spent. On the negatives, there was slightly too much Women-esq branding for me. I think a race can be Women-only and welcoming to all Women without having to make things too feminine. That’s my opinion though and it didn’t ruin a great day spent running with friends.
Now, the new bra. It really stresses me out that 40% of women don’t wear a sports bra when exercising. ESPECIALLY when running. I’ve seen women running that must get a good 30cm of “airtime” when they jog. OW. Not only does that hurt while running, but what goes down doesn’t always go up again… if you catch my drift. It’s not hard to get a bra that fits. Trust me. Like running shoes, take some time and get fitted.
In the no-new-stuff-on-race-day vein I wore the Shock Absorber bra out on my Saturday activities and found it to be snug and secure for all the biking, running, and bootcamp-ing I did. The only thing was the top clasp on the back got in the way when doing roll-ups and sit ups and stuff on the ground. Ouchy plastic bits.
The day of I felt comfortable in it from the second I put it on, to the second I got home. Even on the train after being super sweaty it was comfortable and didn’t bother my skin. Running in it was also a dream. Until recently I always ran in basic “squeeze and squish” sports bras, which given my size did the job fine. Switching to a higher performance bra like this one has it’s benefits but for someone with my less-than-ample chest it’s really a personal choice if you want to spend the money (and effort putting them on) on one. I would say yes. Do it. But seriously, to each their own. THAT said, if you’re a B-cup or over. Get this. Your boobs will thank you for every km you run in one.
Thanks Shock Absorber & SheRuns Windsor for a great day.
Great post and congrats on your time! Awesome effort considering all those hills 🙂 I agree about Shock Absorber bras too- I’ve got 2 at the moment, and think they offer great support, although I do find the band often comes up a little small… Beki x
I’m totally with you on Shock Absorber bras, my chest just doesn’t take kindly to running in anything else now! Supportive but actually comfy enough to wear when not running- perfect.
Sounds like you had a great day – thanks for a post that made me feel I was there with you.
Well run, Laura – it was great to finally meet (even though it was brief – I totally under-estimated how far that ‘Long Walk’ would be!). I had my reservations about an all-female race too and some of the branding was a step too far (like EXPOtique!!) but overall it was a fantastic race and really well organised.
Belated congrats on an awesome race! 🙂