In short: Horrendously late start in cold conditions. Despite waiting at the correct time prediction, spent most of the race fighting to overtake people. Horrendous traffic both at the beginning and the end. In full: Don't mean to be too negative about the race as it had its plus points (even managed a pb), however, the race is too big. Despite giving a good amount of time to get there still difficult to get to the carparks - and no choice but to do the official parks because didn't know Reading at all. Ended up in the wrong car park and spent over an hour after the race trying to get out of it. Could be a great race but organisation needs a lot of tweaking. Date of review: March 8, 2005
In short: This race has the potential to be great, such a shame that it was a shambles! In full: Well, where to start with this one!! I'm glad to see that plenty of other reviewers have had the same thoughts as me on this race. Firstly, to be held at the start like that was terrible, and then to have a speech by the mayor holding us even longer....it beggars belief. Decided to take out my frustration and anger on the course, only problem was the tight start way too small for that field, it should have been a 6k to 7k field max. The first time racers all ground to a halt on the first molehill at 1mile jamming up everybody behind. Couldn't see any mile markers until 4 miles, and even then the signs were tough to spot. The water stations were all on the tightest roads, jamming the field up again. Why not place them on wider roads, or on just one side so the field can get by? The finish was ok in the stadium, though the loop around Green Park was tough, but it's all about a challenge! However, trying to get the bus back to the station was even more of a challenge! Reading residents will surely recognise a true council shambles when they see it - putting the diversion route up the one road - and then close one lane for roadworks! Crazy! Just glad I finished early and was only stuck for an hour!
Finally read the Reading evening paper yesterday, they report on a great race, well organised, with only a few minor hitches! Sorry, but what race were they at?? All the comments about the price are justified - no chance of a refund I suppose? Or any chance of a decent explantion from Sweatshop/Reading council on what went wrong?
Only saving grace was the baggage organisation, great job done there by the army. Also did get a PB by a few seconds, although would have been on target for under 1hr30 if the start hadn't been so shambolic. So in general pretty hacked off with whole thing. Date of review: March 8, 2005
In short: A fast flat personal best course with a chilly sea breeze In full: don't be fooled by the brisk sea breeze at the beginning you soon become hot around the remaining course, I reccommend that you don't wrap up to warm! it was my third half and I found it a fast beginner friendly course, with no real inclines. Date of review: March 8, 2005
In short: No energy drinks left at stn 2/3...when you desperate;y needed one! In full: Disappointing....late start in freezing cold....no energy drinks (except for the first stn)left for those of us finishing in around 2 hrs! I did this one in 2000 and it was much fantastic then....if it ain't broke........ Date of review: March 8, 2005
In short: Organisation a shambles, stewards around the course excellent In full: Here goes......Why advise everyone to go to the station to get transport to the start and then act surprised when everyone takes your advice? Shambolic transport away from the event as well due to poor traffic control and again underestimating the numbers needing transport.
First time runners - please start near the back of the field - passing runners who were walking 4 abreast after 2 km was dangerous and unecessary. Lots of first time runners which is good to see and no problem if everyone starts in pens with realistic ambitions.
In the changing tents at the start any chance of benches being put out up so you could sit down and get changed without having to stand or sit in mud?
Lots of lady runners it seemed and a good atmosphere generally.
Please no oscar-winning acceptance speeches at the start when runners are kept waiting for 25 mins. I ran a PB, but due to the hilly nature on some parts of the course I cannot work out how!
Water stations well manned and plenty available. Stewards around the course very helpful.
No complaints about the support - lots in town centre and around the start.
Just a shame about the frankly amateur organisation at the start and at the end.
In short: Good race and well organised. Very falt and quick course.The camber on some of the roads however is a real killer especially on the second lap. Running along main road in town not best, but overall a good run. Date of review: March 8, 2005
In short: Excellent race though very tough. Would love to do it again but unfortunately can't make it in 2005. No mile markers for first 10 miles, then mile markers all over the place!! Date of review: March 8, 2005
In short: chaos at the start In full: walkers less than a mile from the start on narrow road now told to move to the side so held everyone else up. very abusive when you tried to squeeze past. £39 this year 2005 you must be joking !! Date of review: March 8, 2005
In short: Quick course, well marshalled and organised but dull scenery lack of support and atmosphere until final mile & stadium finish plus rediculous start delay. In full: I went to this run expecting a great atmosphere, this only appeared during the final mile where the bands were playing, but the crowd in the stadium was a great experience. I gave the race a good mark for organisation as generally it was excellent particularly at the finish, however, the rediculous delay at the start didn't help my fully stretched and warmed up ITB which became stiff and cold despite my best efforts to keep it warm and ached for the first 5 miles. Nice quick course but a lack of scenery, felt rather industrial most of the run. I actually stayed in the madjeski hotel, which judging by the trafic queue was the best option. Although I felt overall the marshalling and organisation was excellent, they even had more toilets than the FLM! Felt the £19.50 entry fee was a bit steep, it's more like a £12.50 race, especially as the goody bag only contained a malt loaf & a bottle of water! Overall experience is a nice medal and a pb to go with it. Date of review: March 8, 2005
In short: Crowd support through the town was great In full: Cold start, soon warmed up. A number of short sharp up hills. Managed a Pb without trying too hard so must be a fast course. Enjoyed it very much. The view of the Madejski stadium at the 10 mile mark is very deceptive, there must have been a number of people increase the pace at this point only to suffer later on. I had no problems with transport as arrived early and got out fast. Date of review: March 8, 2005
In short: The transport arrangements were wholly inadequate for 9000 people. However, it was slightly redeemed by the good water/feed stations and the finish in the stadium. However, MUST do better re: transport in future. In full: The shuttle bus service from Reading station was almost non-existant. It took almost an hour and a half to get from Reading Sta. to the start, and when I did arrive, the race started just as I was getting off the bus. Net result that I landed up far too far back in the field and lost about 3 or 4 minutes trying to weave my way through the field, on what is actually a surprisingly quick course.
It didn't help that spectators were getting on the buses as well (free of charge) and taking up spaces that should be used for runners. The same applies for the finish transport, though by this stage we learnt our lesson and walked back to the station. Charge the spectators (or make them walk), and lay on extra buses (more than the 4 buses they actually had).
The stadium finish, water stations and marshalls were excellent, but if they really do want to make the race even bigger, they seriously need to sort out the transport. Date of review: March 8, 2005
In short: Managed to get a PB but was frozen at the delayed start In full: I came last year and came away thinking what a great race despite the liquid sunshine and snow! This year I came away with a PB and wished I hadnt run the race. The atmosphere wasnt as good. The delayed start was hideous nicely stretched and warmed up muscles got cold and cramped. The start was too narrow and I couldnt get up to usual cruising rate for several miles. Shame really as I had such fond memories from last year. Date of review: March 8, 2005
In short: Race doesn't cater very well for stragglers like myself. Will do it next year to redeem myself! In full: My first time, and starting at the back with a delayed start meant a long run through Reading predominantly on my own. Nothing more demoralising than having the roads reopen around you and the drinks stations packing up before you got to them with no energy drink left! Thanks very much to the lady from Basingstoke kind enough to lend me her gloves for the last 3 miles. Sorry I couldn't find you at the end! Date of review: March 8, 2005