In short: Excellent run, start wasn't as smooth as in previous years In full: This was my 5th time at Reading. It took forever to get to the starting pens and I'm not sure if that's why they delayed the start. They know how many runners there are so that isn't really an excuse. If they'd have opened the whole road leading down from the stadium, it would have eased the congestion. My only other little gripe is the length of the course. I know zig zagging adds distance but I ran 0.17 miles extra and that is a LOT of zig zagging! Several other people commented on the distance too. I missed out on sub 2 hours by 7 seconds which is really frustrating because I would have achieved it if I'd only run 13.1 miles.
The positives outweigh those little negatives though - crowd support was great, I LOVED the showers on course, the angels at miles 11-12 are a fantastic idea and the noise in the stadium was amazing! Parking in the pink car park is a doddle too! Date of review: April 5, 2016
In short: Disappointed by later start than expected having got to start line early as recommended. Otherwise, support on streets was great; free buses ideal; stadium finish lovely. Some guy in red zone dropped a phone and tried to go back! Date of review: April 5, 2016
In short: Beautiful route. Water stations - with added jelly babies and lots of biscuits :-) In full: The path was generally well marked and the weather was overcast - so overall a great course. The organisation was just right. Water stations - with added jelly babies and lots of biscuits :-) Date of review: April 5, 2016
In short: Great start/finish location flat out and back In full: Keep coming back for this one. Must be one of the best start and finish race locations. Then out and back along the old railway line with a little bit around housing and old brick quarry at Southwater. Great marshals, no chance of getting lost. Well recommended by me! Date of review: April 5, 2016
In short: highly recomended........ In full: I have run this race many times and its always a great way to spend a sunday morning. Would always recomend this event,will run again in 2017..... Date of review: April 4, 2016
In short: Lovely race, apart from the medal In full: Fantastic course along primarily rural roads, lovely running weather and a perfect size field for a great event. I don't understand people claiming the hills here are steep. A good half marathon needs some undulation in order to be a proper test. These gentle slopes gave a good mix of up and down and the race took some proper thinking regarding getting the pace right. As has been said, the medal was pretty poor. The British Heart Foundation do a great job but I'd pay a couple more quid for some decent bling. Date of review: April 4, 2016
In short: AMAZING man/lady killer of a race In full: Nothing I had read quite prepared for me how much mud there was - once I got comfortable that times were going to be irrelevant, settled into a yomp encouraged by the brilliant marshalls and grimaced my way round - a very special race and well worth the donation they request - big events eat your heart out - the orion 15 was a step back in time and well worth the trip - and i loved the fact that i got nothing for it - other than aching legs and the satisfaction while hobbling back to the station that i'd got round...that'll do Date of review: April 4, 2016
In short: Good pre-Spring marathon warm-up In full: +ve Well organised race. Particularly impressed with the way that the organisers dealt with people running 3 different distances. Goody bag was v good. Flat and the disatance (20m) was ideal pre Spring marathon. Parking in town centre worked well. SIS gels at some drinks stations. Well marshalled and I had no problem crossing roads etc. Nice early start.
-ve Not enough drinks stations on a hot day and drinks in cups rather than bottles exacerbated things. Scenery wise a bit of a race of 2 halves - beautiful by the Thames and then a bit dull in the streets of Surbiton/Kingston. As has already been mentioned the course does get a bit narrow in places and you have to run in single file which can cause problems. Not much support other than in Kingston itself.
I see that next year a 26.2 mile race is planned. I'm not sure if that will be a success but I do think some thought needs to be given to more drinks stations. Date of review: April 4, 2016
In short: One of my all time faves. In full: An all-time favourite, simple no-frills friendly race. Hills don't get any easier and this year, whilst the weather was not clear to make the most of the views, conditions were near enough perfect for running. Beautiful route as always, mostly self-explanatory. Always welcoming. The best way to see Devon. Date of review: April 4, 2016
In short: Good for PB hunting, but expensive for what it was In full: Nice flat course [Hurrah!] 4 laps [Boo!] Main gripe is it was at least 400m short of 21.1K so got spuriously fast time. [boo-ish] Date of review: April 4, 2016
In short: Good Race - Shame about the start In full: This was my 3rd Reading Half Marathon. Unusually, the sun shone but, as ever, the people of Reading turned out in droves, making this a very special race. My one gripe was the delayed start and the instructions to people to starting arriving at 9.00am. The elite race started at 10.15 am (15 minutes late) but, for those of us in the 'Pink' pen at the back, the race did not begin until 10.50 am. That was a very long wait for people obeying orders and coming early, made more irritating by seeing other competitors wandering up towards the start much later. If I run Reading again, I will come to the start later. It is still one of my favourites, but it could be better organised at the start. By the way, I don't think 16,000 started as less than 11,000 finished. Date of review: April 4, 2016
In short: Good, but could do better In full: First of all, I hadn't had best prepared for this race, so I was here to complete the course and enjoy it. Organisation at the start was good, albeit a little walk from the village, bit of a tight start for the 10k, which meant a little run, walk and run again as we got out onto the streets. the course was lovely once you got onto the river, but it was tight with the half-marathoners coming through which made it a bit tight. the only issue I had was running around the loops of the grassy field - some of the tape was missing and meant it was difficult to follow the route - ended up taking a small diversion at one point before realising my mistake and getting back on course. Nice finish & good event village for afterwards, great idea of having a male/female changing area. Goody back was excellent with medal, tshirt and head buff & foody bits from whole foods. Date of review: April 4, 2016
In short: Highly recommended In full: loved this event, straight into my top 3. only criticism is the late start but considering there was 16,000 runners I thought the organisation was great. Date of review: April 4, 2016
In short: Undulating and Friendly..... Rubbish Medal In full: Start had a very friendly feel to it, good mix of runners of all abilities - getting tech t-shirt at the start is a nice touch. There are no flat bits to this course, you are either running uphill or down. I quite liked this route especially fast downhill finish back into Warwick which was well supported by the local people.
Only bad points where marshals (obv not volunteers - all looked uninterested throughout the course) and generic poor quality medal. Date of review: April 4, 2016
In short: Great Support But Needs To Allow For Large Numbers In full: Ran the Reading Half for the second time this year. Car parking tickets went on sale on Christmas Eve??? - a little awkward as that's when everyone is broke! I purchased a red pass, and hired a car for the weekend, bringing three other runners with me. Firstly I noticed this time that there were no sales people trying to flog expensive gadgets at this one, we organised our meeting point in the stadium, however we were ordered around a little by the marshalls in there. Walking to the start was difficult as we were held up several times on the way. Not sure what time the race actually started, but in the pink pen, we crossed the starting line at 10:45, which rivals with our 45 minute wait at the Great North! Very few toilets at the start, which resulted in having to stop during the race, as the long wait resulted in my hydrating too early! Running the race once again we had some fantastic support from the locals all around the route. A pretty big hill at around 2:45 did slow me a little, but after that the rest were gentle. Great ending with the stadium finish, the large medal, and goody bag. Unfortunately the car parking was a bit of a disaster - we were informed we could leave the car park at 2:15, however the gates were opened at 2:45, we then had a further 45 minute wait to get out of it. None of the organizers made any attempt to improve the flow of traffic out of there, and we all paid a lot of money for that! Sadly the photograpy of the event was taken over by the very expensive Marathon Foto firm, which also means no finishing video that we had from Marathon Photos a couple of years ago. £20 for a single photo or £50 for the set means no souvenir photos this time round (Shame). Date of review: April 4, 2016