In short: Good easy course In full: Apart from the delayed start(If people don't arrive in time start without them!)everything went smoothly. Nice course, good support, excellent bag transfer,PB and drove straight out of official car park with no delay. When will organisers stop givinig a microphone to some old duffer before the start of races? Date of review: March 7, 2005
In short: Generally enjoyable race going through a variety of different areas. Excellent atmosphere, especially at the end when you make your way into the stadium. This was my first half marathon and it certainly inspired me to do more. Date of review: March 7, 2005
In short: Organisation let-down In full: The race was fine enough, but the delay at the start wasn't great. Even worse was the fact that energy drinks ran out at the 3rd drinks station before many runners had got through there.
The stadium finish was excellent, but miles 10-13 were quite depressing. Up to 10 miles I really enjoyed the course, though. Date of review: March 7, 2005
In short: Good flat couse, spectators and marshalls great In full: + Points. Good pb potential,Crowds,Marshalls,toilets,baggage,medal.
- points Delayed start,being hurried out of the stadium at finish,no changing area at finish,easy to miss signs, water bottles to big,and what looked like total confusion on getting out of the stadium area for cars and shuttle buses. Luckily I had a lift to the hp car park from the kind people at team spirit.(thanks Tony) This could and should be a great event. Just sort out the logistics Date of review: March 7, 2005
In short: Achieved a new PB shaving 15 mins of my last half marathon time. In full: A cold but worth while day finishing in 01:52:32. The race start was delayed due to a thousand or so runners not being at the start, which in this day and age with the timing chips technolgy is it really necessary to delay as everyone has there own pace time anyway. Knowing that there was a large volume of entrants I got there early read some articals in my RW and had no problems at the start, and at the end I enjoyed the pasta and other runners company at the Madejski complex, so when I came to leave missed all the parking ques and the roads where clear. Personally I'm not sure the whole malt loaf thing in the goody bag (although a very different idea) was a good one, it seemd a little chew, and abit much to finish. Date of review: March 7, 2005
In short: Getting away from stadium sucked In full: First timer for Reading first time for a half marathon. Parked at the station only a short delay to catch bus but needed a queueing system. Start area was well organised with a nice mass warm-up then a horrible cool down due to the delayed start. Once we started I really enjoyed the route despite a niggling injury. Water/energy drink stations were well manned and the atmosphere was fantastic especially running into the stadium. Managed to get through the melee at the finish only to join the melee that was queueing for buses back to the station. Surely it can't be that dificult to set up a zig-zag queue back up the slope to the stadium. That is no criticism of the marshalls only the organisers, an accumulation of too many runners and inadequate queueing systems. Slightly spoiled things but still a good run. Date of review: March 7, 2005
In short: So many gripes by other people, I had a fantastic day!! In full: Before I start I'd like to thank the lady that ran next to me for 10 miles, I only hope she's a runners world fan and can read this, sorry I was breathing so hard I didn't ask your name. I know you wanted to stay with me but at 10 miles I just had to find out what I had left in the tank.
I've read through the other ratings and so many of you are upset with this race, I hope the organisers take note.
I'm afraid I didn't see any of the problems described here.
For me the organisation was as smooth as silk, it was just a shame about the delay at the start. If the organisers knew how long it was we should have been told. I for one was quite desperate to relieve myself but didn’t want to leave the start, I ended up with a full bladder all the way round.
It was good to have the music on the course, more crowds would have been welcome, and the route was quite torturous with so many sharp turns, but then I suppose that is the nature of city events. I agree the scenery was quite dull but I wasn’t there to look around.
The guy on the mike needed to be publicly flogged, but he did try to get people to a point at the start that was consummate with where they expected to finish, all in vain.
This is the biggest gripe I have about the race and it’s directed at the runners themselves. I started off at the sub 1.20 sign and there were literally hundreds of runners in front of me who didn’t have a hope of getting anywhere near this time. This is just downright impolite. Jogging in a crowd doing the same pace is easy, trying to get past a solid wall of people is hard work! Before 2 miles I passed a chap who was walking!!!!! By the time I got to 2 miles I was already 2½ mins slower than I wanted to be!!
Whilst I appreciate any organisational problems people must realise or know how fast they can run, they must know they can’t run 1.20 or 1.30.
Get a grip people!!!!!!
Aside from that I still managed to get within 20 secs of my PB, and I had an absolutely fantastic day, coming into the Madjeski Stadium was nothing short of phenomenal.
Thanks to all the marshals, I shall be back again!
In short: Needs much better start coordination In full: Can't complain as I made a new PB, whic would have been faster but for the first couple of miles.
The start was far too congested, there were too many runners in the wrong time zones. Never understand why Reading suffers from people being late,a nd other bigger races like Bristol cope fine? The start made even worse by the delay, though not as bad as two years ago.
The drink stations were well manned and that side of things along with the support were good. Also there were no delays getting out of the car parks, if you avoided the stadium car park that is. Date of review: March 7, 2005
In short: Good run once we actually got started In full: My first ever, so I've no real comparison points. Getting there was a bit vile, despite the fact I was in good time. It was a bit nippy waiting for the start, it wasn't THAT bad, just a case of huddling together for warmth like sheep. Once started I really enjoyed the run. The only real disappointment was finding a malt loaf in my goodies bag - what was that about? MInd you I'm munching it for breakfast as I write this. Martin Daly Date of review: March 7, 2005
In short: A good race spoilt by too many runners In full: Have been running since 1983 and never experienced so many delays in travelling to, starting and leaving a race. I really don't think the organisers could cope with the number of entrants they had. I understand there have been delays in the race before and certainly friends I ran with will not be running the race again. I think the organisers should reduce the number of runners to ensure that those who do enter have a better experience on the day. I won't be running the race again. Date of review: March 7, 2005
In short: Too big for it's boots! In full: Having run the Reading many times in it’s old format I must say that the move to the Madejski Stadium has killed the race. The start is from a residential side-road that’s too narrow for the numbers and the final 3 miles are along a bleak dual carriage-way and around a desolate business park, with little or no support. The final entry into the stadium is poorly organised with no roped-off path for the runners and I found my passage being obstructed by pedestrians meandering around.
Given the date of the Reading in early March it is inexcusable for the organisers not to provide warm facilities for runners before and after the race, a marquee is fine in the summer but in March a building like the old Riverside Leisure centre is essential, even more so after the race when a cold windy football ground is not the place to be kept hanging around! Concerning the football ground, why oh why, do they not present the runners with their medals in a funnel after the finishing line so that friends and family can actually see you receiving it? Instead they make you struggle through the mêlée of St. Johns and Territorials outside for another 100 yards before you finally find it – so no friendly hand-shake and a medal at Reading just a brusque “don’t stop here mate” and outside into the chaos! Finally a word about the compare comes from my wife who after 2 hours was sick of his comments. I understand you have to “big-up” the event but his constant claim that finishing inside the Madejski is an even better experience than finishing London Marathon outside Buckingham palace is frankly ludicrous, and to anyone who has ever run London, as we both have, is mildly patronising!
I understand the organisers have ambitions to make Reading the largest half-marathon in the country but it’s obvious the infrastructure around the stadium cannot support it. The traffic problems were clear for all to see with this year’s 12,000 runners, double that amount it would be chaos! Personally I wonder if The Reading is now driven by the commercial interests of local business like Green Park and John Madejski rather than being organised for the runners? I simply cannot think of any other reason for it being routed around the vacant business parks other than to give them some local exposure, a pity!
In short: Ups- Loos, Marshalls, stadium, SIS drinks, fellow runners. Downs: delay, transport at finish, queues at finish, NOT child friendly, number of runners too high In full: Generally felt that all runners were not treated with any respect whatsoever. I got there early, as was recommended and had no problem getting to the start. Warmed-up, then instantly froze waiting in the line. And then informed by the loudhailer there was a delay. Surely 10:05 means 10:05 with such a crowd getting hypothermia? Waiting around in such sub zero conditions wearing nothing but a bin liner is downright irresponsible. Next year have several staggered start races, that will ease congestion everywhere. They want more runners? Laughable. I'm surprised a good outfit such as Sweatshop continue to put their name to this event, apart, of course from the profits generated from the large entry fee. Bigger is not necessarily best! Too many runners, too many pinch points around the route that can make overtaking simply impossible. But the worst bit...followed by the best bit....had to be the last hill into the stadium....why were there so many dogwalkers, prams, and other hangers-on allowed to come the other way straight into the path of other runners just entering the stadium? I had been really pushing for the last couple of (flat) miles as a PB was in sight..I ended up tripping over a dog, crashing into a pram and nearly knocking a youngster over. Oh Joy when my legs had already ran 13 miles. Then into the stadium for a sprint finish...and a PB - great! Then the melee afterwards - admittedly better than last year but not a great mix to combine tired, cold people with family spectators, cars, motorbikes. But thanks to all the very nice helpers taking chips and handing out the goodies - very courteous in difficult circumstances. Then met up with my beaming family, all problems dissolved seeing their proud faces and wanting to wear the medal. Great, now lets get them home in the warm...what queue do we join...ah, that one on the roundabout with impatient traffic going down it on both sides, and the occasional shuttle bus. Ideal for the kids, that one. Got home, and despite the above general whinge the actual race itself was great, and crowd support was better than ever. Thanks to all volunteers, you did a great job in circumstances that were made very difficult for you. Date of review: March 7, 2005
In short: A well organised race, but delay was disappointing In full: Thank you to all the marshalls, helpers and supporters, they were really encouraging, especially the small children with drums and saucepans. I travelled by train to Reading, arrived at 8.30am, only a short wait for a bus. However, waiting over 1 hour minutes for the start of the race was awful as it was freezing. To have to wait even longer for the start was not good. There was some crappy old singing outside a church at the beginning. I waited at the back of the race to start, so no warm-up session for the slow ones!
The last 3 miles around the stadium was the pitts. Was it me but I did not see mile markers for 6 and 7 miles? Was anyone else confused about these markers?
Just a note to the organisers - I would have liked to see my 2 children run in the green challenge as well as running my race, the logistics of the race made it impossible. Could anything be changed for next year?
In short: A decent time and the Cheeky Girls - what more could one want? In full: Had no problems with the after-race process; medal, mediocre goody-bag and luggage all collected with ease. No queue for buses from the Madejski, alhough one had formed by the time my bus was leaving. Main negative point was the fact you weren't really allowed to enjoy the stadium finish before being dragged away. Unfortunately my day was marred by my beloved Gloucester rugby team losing their semi-final, but I probably can't put that down to the Reading 1/2 organisors. Marshalls, spectators and of course the world renowned Cheeky Girls, (with whom I had the priveledge of lining up next to at the start) are all worthy of commendation. Suggestion: the starter's gun be used for other means than the conventional - i.e. threatening that man with the microphone. Date of review: March 7, 2005