In short: Great PB potential and great atmosphere In full: Really flat race, few corners, cracking atmosphere and great potential for a PB. Maybe recommend the event organisers don't have the bag drop all the way down near Concorde 2 though Date of review: March 2, 2014
In short: Hit & miss - odd route but brilliant locals! In full: The hill isn't THAT bad, for people looking for PB's however - forget about it! The worse part is wiggling around the harbour town where I was trying to figure out where to go, saw a couple of guys flapping there arms looking for someone to shout directions but other than that it's ok. Plenty of steel drum bands and enthusiastic locals to keep your energy levels high though. Date of review: March 2, 2014
In short: Be prepared In full: Yes it's tough but if I was fully got the hill wouldn't have killed me like It did. Organisation was very good, some of the Marshall's were exceptional, I really felt for those looking after the road junctions at mile 12, you can only tell unreasonable drivers so much and when one inched out at me I shouted and immediately got an apology from the Marshall, respect re that..
The first five miles bar a couple of bumps are pleasant but the sting is between 6 and 8, if you were undercooked like me then pain ensued quickly.. All the same just when you needed a pick up we either ran past a packed pub car park or a band.. The band and choir in t wells were great.. Just what I needed
All in all a great race, will I be back, yes if it fits and hopefully next time I won't have ran three miles before it starts due to marathon training! Date of review: March 2, 2014
In short: Good run with great local support just don't rely on some elements of organisation In full: As always the course is good for pb's, especially as they now do a staggered start. The support from the locals immense, the stadium finish always a nice touch and there is a very nice medal and decent goody bag. Last year I was a supporter and refused to take the bus option this time as a result ... there were ridiclously long queues in the cold and very wet last year.. our runner actually got ill due to it. So this year we used the car park (not red) and as such didn't have to use baggage either, so it all went marvellously smoothly. Feel bad for those reviewers who tried to use the facilities and found them lacking ... it seems to be a perennial problem. Was slightly bemused by the queue in some kind of caged rat run to get out of the stadium area which seemed to be there so people with clickers could count our running shoe types ... bizarre and frustrating. Also, I agree with one of the reviewers here in that it makes me feel slightly guilty saying this but the lady on the tannoy at the start really isn't suited to the job. She was loud and screechy and made extremely repetitive comments. She came across as somewhat attention seeking and possibly irritated with the lack of runner feedback. Anyway I'm sure she was doing her best it is clearly just not her thing.
In short: Harder than anticipated due to loads of mud and headwind. In full: Even though they're flat, the first and last miles almost seemed the hardest today due to the mud! It's probably a different race in better conditions. Some great hills along the way. Date of review: March 2, 2014
In short: Weather didn't help and questionable value for money In full: Every year we hope that the organisers learn from previous mistakes. In the main they do but a new problem always seems to occur. The starting pens were pretty crammed and the route to them always seems to be so congested that many runners miss the official start.Also (not blaming organisers here), why do so many fun runners end up in the front pens? The first mile is spent dodging these 2hr runners. The first section of the baggage tent was ridiculous. Covering a wider number range than any other, it seemed we were all 1:20 - 1:40 runners so collecting at the end took at least 20 mins and hypothermia almost set in as the queue stretched across the field. My other gripe was the goody bag. For the cost of £42 a cheap cotton tshirt which looks very shrinkable and a few bits and pieces is poor return. I know we are paying for the race to 'happen' but I've never been convinced that the Bath Half has put the runner first. Other priorities prevail. Having moaned about all that, it is my local half so I will do it again and maybe on a sunnier day I will feel more positive about the experience. As ever, the support on route was excellent despite the rain and the last mile is always very atmospheric. Date of review: March 2, 2014
In short: Fast course but incompetent organisation In full: This was my first Reading Half Marathon, and I'm usually not a fan of these big events, but the race fitted in nicely to my marathon training schedule.
First the positives. The wave starts were well managed and I only spotted a few muppets who pushed their way to the front to then run 10 minute mile pace - why do they do that? The course itself was very fast. The first 3 miles uphill helped you started steady, and then it felt like mostly downhill apart from a short sharp hill at 7 miles. The stadium finish was a nice touch.
Now the big, big negatives. I waited 70 minutes to collect my bag after the race in the cold and rain. They seemed to have allocated the first 5000 numbers to the faster runners. It was then surely no surprise that they all queued up at the same time. One tent for 5000 numbers. Really? In 20 years of attending races I have never waited so long. What added insult to injury was seeing runners who had probably finished the race 30 minutes after me getting their bag straight away as their numbers were > 10,000!
When I finally got my bag and started to walk back to the car park I then saw the queue for the buses back to the station. They were even bigger than the baggage queues.
Other big races seems to manage the organisation so why did Reading get it so very wrong? Date of review: March 2, 2014
In short: Brilliant race from start to finish - except that bloody hill! In full: Great day out - brilliant organisation and set up. Route a good mix of villages, country roads and more rural. Spring Hill is tough, very tough but something about it makes you wanna sign up for next year just to crack that hill! Great medal and nice technical top! As Arnie says ........... "i'll be back!" Date of review: March 2, 2014
In short: Terrific course and event (definately PB if the wind behaves and the ground is dry). Organisation and facilities were just great and rank up there with any city half - highly recommended. Date of review: March 2, 2014
In short: Great crowds, but awful start as always and expensive In full: The start was horrible as too many people crammed in and people were seemingly coming from all angles. If you weren't there very early then you'd be stuck behind slower runners for a while I imagine. Learning from previous disasters at Bath I got to the pens very early, but still not early enough. Difficult access at the venue I guess and perhaps too many runners for that access? Took a long time to get going and a slow first mile. After that the crowds were great and the run was really nice.
Bag drop and collection was good, apart from the ridiculous very first section, which covered 3 X the numbers of the other number categories and subsequently had a huge queue. My brother who is a top 100 runner was close to missing the start because of this.
Good marshalling, fluids and support and a pretty swift exit after some initial queues. Decent goody bag, but pretty punchy price-wise and a pants t-shirt for the money.
Enjoyed the atmosphere on the course. My local race so I will be back, but I probably wouldn't travel for it if I lived elsewhere. Date of review: March 2, 2014
In short: 4th time running this race loved it In full: Great support the course is a bit of a challenge but do able well organised fantastic marshals hopefully be back for a 5th go at that hill Date of review: March 2, 2014
In short: Get in a little hill training, first then you'll love this route! In full: A very enjoyable event, a fairly tough course. The route is not full closed to traffic, but that has no impact at all to your run. A good couple of hills and some steady gradient climbs (hardly noticable) make it challenging but certainly not extreme. A great atmosphere, and some nice people out there. Date of review: March 2, 2014
In short: Great support let down by organization In full: The course itself is excellent with a good mixture of flat and some mild climbs. The support from the people of Reading was brilliant. They deserve better. The baggage collection was a joke for male runners numbered under 5000 - and nobody had the gumption to change it. Then to top it all, I had to queue over an hour for the bus back into town. If I had known it was anything like that I would have walked the short 2 mile walk into town but there was no indication. The longest I have ever taken to get home from a race and I am local. Won't be doing it again and it will be Bath every time for me from now on Date of review: March 2, 2014
In short: No nonsense, bargain race In full: A basic but fun race around one of London's most attractive open spaces. No chip timing, and the bag drop is informal (bags piled around trees at your own risk). Most of the run is on grass or compacted mud and shale paths, which is gentle on the legs. Many people know this route from the old bushy park park run. On a still day it's a flier. The one glitsch was that the leader apparently got misdirected at the end, and ended up running six and a half miles. He still came in around 34 minutes, so hats off and commiserations to him. Date of review: March 2, 2014
In short: my all time favourite race In full: I know that there was some issues with baggage, hence i dont use it. I know every year there is a huge queue for the bus, so i walk back town. This year we waited around 10mins for the bus, so a record. For the race, i love it, my all time favourte race. Crowds, the route, the stadium finish. fantastic run.
In short: Bad baggage collection lets down what would be a great race In full: Good points, very generous goody bag, stadium finish, good course, well supported on course and traffic free Bad points; the baggage collection; the tannoy announcements; plenty of stewards/security rather than willing (and helpful) volunteers. I don’t know what the organisers were thinking with the horrendous baggage collection for the men. Why are their separate baggage tents for men and women? This makes no sense at all. The queues are predictable as the numbers seem to be linked to speed hence the bottlenecks. I.e the first 5000 males runners to cross the line all have to go the same tent, All the tents need to be in a line with big wide entrances so that you get the largest number of runners to the tables at once not queuing one at time. I did Cardiff half in October they used a similar format to the London a long line of trucks where runners can access maximum frontage without having to queue. They could see there was a problem (as there were vague announcements about delays) why did the organisers not talk to the baggage tents co-ordinators and move staff around to deal with the peaks. Rather than sending in the stewards to get us cold and wet runners to queue the organisers should have been sending up to the stadium or under cover to keep us warm. I tried to seek shelter when I realised the monster of a queue but was turned away from the stadium and told to walk around to where the buses where. I was tired cold to I just gave up and sat on the floor.
The changing tent was not better, muddy floor and a long walk from the kit tent. The nail in the coffin for this race was when I had got changed and was eating some hot food was the tannoy telling people to hurry up and collect their bags as they queues had now gone. I went home for fear of a serious sense of humour failure.