In short: I love this race - first did it in 1984 and keep coming back.....What a medal this year! In full: I love this race for the support from the people of Reading (regardless of the weather), the music en-route (spec the drummers by the Oracle) and the finish - what a finish! Date of review: March 5, 2014
In short: Well organised slick top quality race In full: I've ran a lot of the 'big' races and this is right up there for me. I've ran GNR, London and New York, all give you extreme challenges either getting to the start in time, or getting away due to the amount of people, it's not perfect to wait an hour for a bus home, but something I'm prepared to put up with for that finish. Bus queue aside, I thought the day was perfect, well organised and clear start, fast and even quite pretty course, this race though is made by the people of Reading who are really helping turn this into one of the 'Must do's' on the road racing calender, Thanks, will definitely be back in 2015. PS, medal is the best I've ever received. Date of review: March 5, 2014
In short: 2nd time for me. A fair old trip for me so probably won't do it again. Excellent course apart from the last couple of miles, the stadium never seemed to get any closer. Mainly flat course. 50 minute wait for bags took the gloss off it a bit Date of review: March 4, 2014
In short: Great Race, Great Atmosphere In full: I enjoyed the race, happy to wait 20 minutes until we got to the start. Atmosphere all around the route was brilliant with bands playing,people cheering and if you wanted to free beer! Sorry but the bad points, The annoying women from Heart FM at the start and the idiot with the bicycle who tried to cross the road taking out a female runner! Date of review: March 4, 2014
In short: A day to remember In full: This is the third year in a row I have taken part in the Reading Half Marathon and I’m always recommended the race to other people because of the support and atmosphere along the route. The support was again fantastic this year – I love how the people of Reading really make an effort and cheer people on. They are awesome and gives you such a lift!
I read someone else’s post saying how great it would be for the runners to be able to run a full lap inside the stadium, I must admit that sounds a great idea and would give you more time to soak up the atmosphere in the stadium.
It would be hard to give an honest assessment of this year’s race without commenting on the men’s 1-5000 baggage queue. It took 40 minutes to get my bag and that’s bad, however you look at it. I would say though I never had an issue with getting my bags the 2 years before.
The course definitely has p.b potential; I set mine here last year. I think people should be aware there are a few hills dotted along the course.
The medals when you finish are brilliant. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a medal as big and bling as this year’s was.
Finally, it’s the first time I’ve ended up in the first aid tent after a run, I just want to say thanks to the first aiders who helped me – they were great!
In short: Thank you yet again for probably the best half marathon in the world In full: This was my 6th TW Half so by now I am used to the incredible organisation and the vast numbers of volunteers who give up their Sunday morning to make this amazing race.
So, thank you to the organisers, marshals, HQ volunteers, people staffing the water stops along the route, picking up discarded cups and the first aid people. And also to the local residents and other supporters who turned out along the route and the bands booming / singing out along the route too.
And for traffic free and half traffic free roads thanks to the rolling closures.
As in previous years, the paper cups are excellent - so much better than plastic. For anyone struggling to drink from a paper cup and stay running, just pinch most of the rim together to form a small spout and pour in - OK, it’s easy to spill some but even I can get most into my mouth without having to slow down much. Maybe TW Harriers can somehow demo this process in next year’s pre-race notes or at the first water stop?
While the earlier start at 09:00 suited me this time and I was able to drive less than 20 minutes from home (as the previous 5 times), I did check out train times and noted that the first train out of London was cutting it too fine to get to race HQ with enough time before the start. Chatting with one of the marshals pre-race, apparently this train was cancelled anyway. It seems a shame that the earlier start prevents runners from travelling to the race by train. How about a start at 09:30? Or back to 10:00? Or invite Southeastern to run an extra earlier train on the day (as well as run the first timetabled trains)?
With the entry numbers reduced against 2013 and then maybe a higher than normal dropout rate, this outstanding race is suddenly smaller. Yet, surely demand to participate is at an all-time high. Is there and scope to negotiate with the authorities who decide on road closures to revert to the 10:00 start?
Thank you for the excellent race shirt and medal too. And for the text message with finish time received before I’d retrieved my bag. Date of review: March 4, 2014
In short: Big race, great support, good route....shame about the baggage arrangements In full: Pros: Professional; good value (improvement on previous years); great support along the course; great course with variety and good PB potential; great stadium finish.
Cons: too big...many people overestimate their ability causing hold ups on the course; baggage collection please sort out for next year...took 45 minutes to collect my bag.
Will be back in 2015!! Date of review: March 4, 2014
In short: Must Do Event In full: Goes without saying this is one of the toughest marathons in the UK, but at the same time one of the most enjoyable and rewarding. Great organisation, amazing scenery, killer hills, great support,bespoke medal. Shame it is unlicensed and only 26 miles rather than 26.2. Date of review: March 4, 2014
In short: Could be so much better with very minor changes In full: 2014 was my second EB Half, and my debut running event in 2013 other than parkrun. Being local I feel obliged to take part, although that may change if improvements aren't forthcoming. It's a fairly straightforward course, with a hill that increases in steepness at about mile 3 for 1 mile.
First half of the race is very scenic as you run along the seafront and up towards Beachy Head. As soon as you turn off the seafront towards the harbour at about 8 miles your head starts playing games, and it is very dull from this point, and spectators are few and far between at this point. People that made the effort were very supportive though.
A 79 pence medal was issued. I know they have to be careful with costs, but a bespoke medal would be one of the improvements I would make as it's not the cheapest half. It would be nice to incorporate a bit of town centre to the route and less harbour.
Organisation though is very good, race packs sent out early, good instructions, marshals etc, and availability of chocolate bars at the end made up for the medal a bit. Roads were reopened before end which was a bit of a shame for slower runners.
All in all, worth doing, and very well organised, but could be so much better with minor tweaks. Date of review: March 4, 2014
In short: Good race but very pricey In full: I keep coming back to run the Bath Half and my experiences are almost all good.
For me the wave start worked like clockwork and it only took me half a minute to cross the start line. I do however understand how runners further back can have problems with congestion. I had no issues collecting my medal and goody bag, but the baggage area seriously needs altering. It seemed every runner predicting to finish under 1hr 45 had a similar number and therefore had to go to the same baggage area. This meant queuing for over 20 minutes in the rain and wind. At the very least foil blankets could have been supplied to help keep us warm (the entry fee was £40+ after all).
Another minor issue is the race t-shirt. Is it still too much to ask for a technical t-shirt that we can actually run in? At least there was a choice of sizes this year and not a 'one size fits all'.
In summary, great atmosphere with the crowds not being put off by the rain and a generally well organised event.
In short: favourite half, but next year I will drive and lock bag in the boot! In full: Very enjoyable race and a modern era PB, some of the best support you will find and it's a relatively interesting course for the first 9-10 miles. It's my second time doing it and I don't remember the baggage chaos last year but I am sure it will be fixed next year. Given the numbers involved which some people forget about this organisation is great. There did seem to be a number of people who were set off in faster groups but were obviously slower and were a little dangerous by all wearing headphones. The price is expensive but it's my only plus £20 race a year so I will always find the money. Date of review: March 4, 2014
In short: Best Ever!!! In full: I've done this race a few times before but this year was by far the best ever, great crowds and cheering all the way, medal is brilliant and a finishers t-shirt too, will be back next year. Date of review: March 4, 2014
In short: Missed most of the hassle In full: 3rd time in Bath and a GFA place eliminates the cost but having paid for the first 2 I think it lacks value for money. Even close to the front it was pretty crowded for the first few miles. And having to wait for a slower colleague at the end I witnessed the queues to get off the course and get t-shirts and then for the baggage reclaim. Not good. What makes this race for me is the fast course and the support which is always amazing and I thought was even better this year despite the weather. Thanks also to all the marshalls who I thought did a good job sometimes in trying circumstances. Not a standing around day. Will probably be back next year with the GFA. Whether I would if I had to pay £40+ is another matter. Date of review: March 4, 2014
In short: Ok half with good support but a few things to improve In full: I enjoyed Reading but the start was far too narrow and too many slow runners at teh front - made the PB impossilbe by mile 1 as I just couldn't get running (despite being in the second wave with a planned sub 1.25). They need to tighten this up. Few too many hills for an easy PB and the water containers were impossible to use! I also was very glad to be a woman at the end as the baggage claim for men was awful!Don't issue numbers based on finish time! Finally- there were just about enough toilets - a bit crowded with 30 mins to go but that is always the way! Date of review: March 4, 2014