In short: Didnt want it to end!!!!! In full: This was simply the best race I've ever done. Fantastic support, superbly organized and considering the volume of runners the volunteers did an amazing job. Only queue I had was 10mins to get my bag which is absolutely nothing when you take into account the 1500 runners taking part. Defo be back and thanks again to all the volunteers, supporters and bands that played in sections around the course really lifts you :) Date of review: March 3, 2014
In short: too big and underorganised In full: well I have waited 24 hours to see if anyone will send an email apologising to the runners for piss-poor organisation, but it hasn't arrived. While I liked the course and the people of Reading were fantastic, and the stadium finish is cheesily great, plus for once plenty of loos, thanks for that...the organisation as not good at all. No coach parking for our club bus, we had to wait longer than we were supposed to for the start, the men had to queue for ages at their baggage tent while (thankfully) the ladies tent was virtually empty, But the wait for the shuttle bus - over an hour in drizzle and wind, after we have been running and we are stiffening up gee thanks! I think its just getting too big, even with staggered starts I found myself weaving around too many runners on the course. So even though the medal was lovely and the stadium finish is unique I wont do this Half again.
In short: Excellent event!!! In full: Really really enjoyed this event. By far the most picturesque course (if you discount the landfill site...) and running over the Clifton Suspension Bridge a couple of miles from the end was awesome. It was really well organised with aid stations that were very very well stocked with a good variety of stuff and the volunteers were brilliant.
A huge plus were the detailed written instructions of the route provided on the URL website. I am rubbish at navigating and the instructions were clear and easy to use on the move so didn't get lost.
This event is obviously well known in and around Bristol as we met some lovely people en route who had done the event and their encouragement and good wishes were really well received.
This event is also great value for money. At the end you get the biggest medal ever, a mug and a T shirt as well as a lovely plate of chilli and rice. Just what you need after climbing the hills and slipping in the mud of the Community Forest Path.
In short: First Half Marathon and will definitely be back next year, and great support. In full: This was my first Half Marathon and I had a wonderful time. Finished in 2:02:26 which was below my target of 2:05, but maybe could have gone faster if I wasn't dodging so many people. Bag queues were not an issue for me, as with my "slow" time and then hanging around in the stadium, by the time I got to bags I walked straight up and got mine. Also I was staying at a hotel, so can't comment on the shuttles/car park situation.
The race itself is great with some phenomenal support along parts of the course and a huge kudos to the people of Reading for coming out, and all the impromptu water and jelly babies stops en route. I'm sure if the weather had been kinder we would have seen even more. It was a great goody bag with t-shirt, snacks, drinks etc and the medal is excellent and solid.
The only downside for me was the stadium finish as the music was playing so loud you couldn't hear the crowd noise, plus you actually spend little time in there. It would be better if you could do a lap of the pitch, rather than just running down the short side.
Regardless I will definitely be back next year! Date of review: March 3, 2014
In short: Let down at the end In full: I had a great time at this event. As part of a running club with a coach for all of us I was suprised the organisers wouldn't give us any form of parking permit so had to get ourselves to Reading train station to then get another bus to the stadium. If I remember correctly the stadium is a park and ride for Reading so why wouldn;t they allow any form of parking?
Race was great and very supportive and the finish was alos a lot of fun.
However the baggage area was arranged in such a way that everybody finishing at similar times had to all queue at the same tent resulting in massive lines. I waited about 30 mins to get my bag in the rain and wind. Then the queue for the buses was even worse. Didn't even make it to the front when after an hour we gave up and walked back to Reading. Took over 2 and a half hours from race finish to getting back to the station 3 miles away. Date of review: March 3, 2014
In short: Brutal but Beautiful In full: Stunning!! 80% Off road and tricky underfoot in places. Not one long hill but lots and lots of short steep ones. Great marshalling and excellent sporadic support (Due to coast path it is a bit quiet - although the better description would be peaceful) Up some steps in the Cathedral grounds a few hundred yards from the finish just to be cruel Date of review: March 3, 2014
In short: A top race, a real highlight in the calendar! In full: This is the second time I have run this race, having previously run it in 2012 (was injured in 2013) and it was as well run and enjoyable as I remember. Other than a bit too much wind, it was near perfect running conditions and despite spring hill, I still managed a PB, so very happy! The only downer I experienced were inconsiderate motorists on route. However don't let this put you off, as really it is an excellent event and I will definitely be back next year! Date of review: March 3, 2014
In short: Fantastic event - entices you to run hard til the end! In full: As a local lad, I've long been intimidated by the legend of Spring Hill. I recently joined TWH and this welcoming club has transformed my running! The course is challenging but this didn't stop me smashing minutes off my pb.
The TW Half has a reputation as one of the UK's best small races and the 31st edition did not disappoint. Picturesque route through rolling Kent countryside, local support cheering every step along the way... the rousing rhythms of a samba band inducing a surge of adrenaline as you finally crest that unrelenting climb up to Fordcombe.
Other comments have mentioned the water stations... impossible to drink from a cup while running full flow! Refreshing to wear most of mine - apologies to anyone I splashed close behind.
This is a fantastic event, enthusiastically marshalled... I'm still buzzing from the sense of achievement! Date of review: March 3, 2014
In short: Fantastic course as always, followed by baggage nightmare In full: I've run Reading five times now, and there's no doubting that the course itself, the support and the pre-race organisation are all fantastic. It's a great course, not that challenging barring a couple of minor hills, and definitely has great PB potential. The support on the route is extensive throughout the race, and the water stations/lucoazade stops are plentiful.
This year was the first year that I've had to drop a bag at the baggage tent. Whilst before the race, there was no problem. Like many others with race numbers 1-5,000, I experienced the pretty terrible problems of collecting baggage. Being left out in the cold wind for 45 minutes after completing a half marathon is far from ideal. The number of people shivering, myself included, was frankly worrying. All the more baffling was the fact that the women had their own tent, which had zero queues, and numbers 5,000+, at this time, were completely empty too. I saw the queues for the buses, and decided to walk to the station, which seemingly, was just as quick.
It's a shame that such a simple thing as this can tar a really good, mass participation race, but I'll be back next year I'm sure after contacting the organiers. Hopefully without a bag! Date of review: March 3, 2014
In short: fast race if you get to your pen quickly In full: My third bath and having experienced freezing and boiling hot weather in previous Bath half's it was the turn of rain. There was very few places to avoid the rain I love bath, the people of Bath provide fantastic support well done. I like others probable due to the rain didn't get to my pen quicker enough. I did feel they were more packed than normal. The speaker system would have more chance of being heard if he had used a road cone. I ran 13.29miles with the first two miles over a minute slower due to having dodge slow ipod wearers running 3 or 4 in a line. I feel using cones in parts to section off the elites from the rest of us allows too little space and the congestion is awful. however, though not a scenic course it is largely flat and is very fast. I do think its to expensive will likely be back Date of review: March 3, 2014
In short: A tough mudfest, but terrific In full: As a newbie to this I'd heard many people raving about it for years, and now I know why! Fantastic organisation, ranging from the signs into the car park through to loudspeaker announcements inside the school hall, aka Race Control, and all done in a friendly, humorous and efficient manner. Favourite comment - at the start when seeing my black outfit I was told "oh no, the helicopter will never find you dressed like that...." Love it! As an unprepared newbie (I did the Brighton Half as 'preparation' 2 weeks before!) I realised that this was tougher than I'd anticipated - I was only running the Half but virtually the whole of the lower trail was thick mud - thats about 6 miles of it before the first of 2 (4 for the marathon) 'stings'! The weather was fine, a little blowy but its all in the game. The marshals were tremendously encouraging, and all drinks points also had chocolates and sweets to grab - superb thank you! The views on the Down, especially as you go up to Chanctonbury Ring, were terrific as always (the the pain in my legs was making me think otherwise at that point!).
I can't compare previous events, and I know the course changed slightly. All I can say is that this is what running is all about, its friendly, tough but you're only against yourself so its eminently do-able, great (if not terrific!) value (the medal is superb!) - forget PB's, get out there, and have a blast! See you next year Date of review: March 3, 2014
In short: Great atmosphere, too many people! In full: On the whole a great experience with great crowds, stadium finish, brilliant medal and goody bag. The route has a few cheeky inclines in but not massive hills. However it felt that there are too many people doing the race which caused a lot of problems. A few examples of these problems are not being able to meet up with people afterwards due to such large numbers of runners and supporters, having to wait almost an hour to get your bag after the run and some poor people having to wait over an hour to get the shuttle bus back to the city centre. At the London marathon there are more than twice the amount of runners and you can pick up your bag without even queueing at the end! I would highly recommend this run for people who want a good atmosphere, but for people in groups looking to enjoy the run and a day out together it's not much fun due to the amount of waiting around and the large crowds in and around the finish point. Date of review: March 3, 2014
In short: Great run, would highly recommend In full: Two long but gradual inclines with a few nice declines that you can atatck. Nice villages and scenery on route with some great support from residents. Only criticism would be the last road leading to the finish where the road wasnt closed and so runners were confined to the cycle lane while running on the road with traffic flowing in both directions. Seemed to be well organised with good marshalling and it was very nice and very benefical to have pacers run the route and big thnak you for their efforts as well! Date of review: March 3, 2014
In short: Brilliant race! One of the staples of my Spring race calendar In full: The organisation was faultless, as always. Ample portaloos, nice technical tshirt, the ever encouraging marshals all around the course who gave up their Sunday morning so we could run!
And of course, the beautiful scenery - hills not withstanding. It can actually be a quick course as it's not overcrowded like many other races. I'd happily put up with the pain again next year. But first, some weight to lose and more hill training.
Well done again TWH, I'll be back - hopefully this time to conquer Spring Hill. Date of review: March 3, 2014