In short: Poor organisation In full: I am concerned as the organisers say that they want 25 000 runners on their big anniversary! They can hardly cope with the 12 000 they had yesterday! Double that - they must be joking! The start was a nightmare. There was no way that you even had the opportunity to get to your appropriate time start as the start was way too narrow and the sheer weight of traffic made it impossible. Who was that idiot on the tannoy? Get rid of him. The last thing you need when psyching yourself up for a race was some idiot who likes the sound of their own voice! The parking was crazy too. Getting out of the race at the end was anightmare and very dangerous for cars and people alike. I hope that improvements can be made as this was a great event otherwise! Date of review: March 7, 2005
In short: Wierd, but fast, interesting and well organised In full: Slightly wierd but really interesting race. Great to enter the stadium 3 times, especially at the end. Couple of short sharp climbs on each lap (6 in all), and a bit twisty, but still a very fast course. Very well organised. Only downside was no distance markers. I'll be there next year so don't change the course! Date of review: March 7, 2005
In short: Dissapointing - could have been a good event but let down by poor organisation In full: Good Points: Loads of toilets at the start Excellent atmosphere finishing in the stadium Fast course - beat my PB by 9mins.
Bad Points: Delayed start totally unacceptable given freezing conditions. Course congested by people who clearly started in the wrong place. Mile Markers - was it just me or were there some missing? Course not clearly marked. I found my self taking unintentional short cuts, and running on the footpath - it just wasn't clear where you were meant to be. Perhaps a few more marshalls would have helped? No Changing tents at the finish - again, unacceptable given the weather conditions. Transport - I anticipated the shuttle buses may be a problem and took my bike on the train. Would recommend this option to anyone considering Reading in future. And thanks to the fellow cyclist who helped me find the stadium!
Overall, I think there is the potential for a really good event here but the organisation lets it down. Date of review: March 7, 2005
In short: Despite the crowds and transport issues ...I would do this one again In full: The course is a fast one and having done it three years in a row, I have learnt to plan around the limitations of the transport...We stayed for £40 a head (including breakfast) at the 4* Madjeski stadium. A relaxing shuttle to the start and then chance for a nice show er and relax in the warm afterglow while the crowds subside. Will be back again next year. Date of review: March 7, 2005
In short: Awful Start /Finish The run itself pretty good In full: The train, which was the recommended option was chaos - not enough buses. The departure from the stadium was even worse - decided to walk back. Lots of buses for the car parks none for the trains. It was as if they organisers had forgotten to count how many entrants there were. Date of review: March 7, 2005
In short: Poor at the start good in the middle and terribe at the end In full: Have not stopped sneezing since I got home thanks to a 40 minute wait in the brassic cold for a bus back to town.
Delay at the start is understandable and seems to be due to a bus problem also.
Race was otherwise good, organisers need to sort out the finish area as it was too congested and poorly signed with too few marshalls sorting out the bus queues - as soon as one marshall took charge the bus situation seemed resolved fairly instantly.
The green park section of the course is dull and uninspiring and seems endless from 11 - 13 miles. I will do it again as it is my local half and has good elements - the categorisation here doesn't really do it justice as it is good in parts rather than as dull as my review suggests but is let down by the negative elements. Date of review: March 7, 2005
In short: Well organised but not a particularly exciting course (apart from the stadium finish) In full: A Catch-22 situation - it's nice to have a race starting/finishing in Don Valley Stadium, but the areas outside the stadium are so dull as to make the course slightly monotonous; also, there are far too many tight corners for my liking for 'average' runners who don't have the chance to get away quickly. However (!), it was very well organised, had a decent enough atmosphere and I would do it again...if only because it's in my home town. Date of review: March 7, 2005
In short: altogether a very nice race In full: lovely weather & organisation.Potential there for PB just depends on how you handle the 2 hills.Only complaint the start was a bit late getting going. Date of review: March 7, 2005
In short: Great race but awful organisation In full: Very fast course but awful organisation. We arrived in Reading at about 8.30 (an hour and a half before the race started) to be greeted by traffic chaos. Whilst the welcome area was superb I would agree that the guy on the mike was a total pain.
The start was a disaster, on a freezing day the decision to delay the start was ill advised. What's the point in having chip technology. Also queueing by a sub power generator was not the most exciting.
As a consequence, lots of people diving for the toilets at 1 mile, because they hadn't used the liquid they had absorbed just before the start.
Race was fast though, and having bottles at drinks stations a great idea, although i would agree that two were very close together. Although which sadist's idea it was to take you past the stadium at 11 miles and then send you out for another two miles!
Finish great but we had no chance to enjoy the atmosphere as no sooner did you cross the finish line in the stadium then you were shunted out again before having a chance to wave at friends and family. Outside medal area was carnage and ambulances had a hard time getting away.
The goody bag as good though.
Traffic situation at the end looked awful but fortunately we were parked at the HP car park.
The organisers do owe all the runners an apology Date of review: March 7, 2005
In short: What a joke - far too long waiting for transport In full: After last year where you were not informed of car park costs until you arrive to this year when you couldn't park for love or money.
hardly any crowd and not really any atmosphere - maybe I'm getting mixed up with London?
Drinks - Large bottles, most without lids again too much wasteage. Location of stations strange and all on the same side of the road.
Not a great day, although got a PB and stiff legs ! Date of review: March 7, 2005
In short: Small friendly race. Nice countryside. Some challenging hills. Long flat parts and downhills too. In full: The proximity of the club house to the start/finish is a good thing. Somewhere warm to dwell intil the start. Hot food and drink is served.
Efficient start and well marshalled all the way round. Traffic still on the roads and you know how motorists can be sometimes. You can never quite relax!
Challenging course. Some hills, lots of flatter places in which to stride out a bit, notably the finish - downhill.
Back to the lovely warm club house for coffee and toast served by friendly folk. Clearly took pride in the event making it a pleasure to participate in.
In short: More buses from station, please. Miles 10 - 13 a total dog. Deceptively quick course. Superb finish. Much improved post-race arrangements. Roll on 2006. In full: Another Reading, another PB. Really enjoyed it. Only gripe was the shuttle bus from the station - which was what delayed the start. Got to Reading Station at 08:50, got to runners' village at 10:02. Only just managed to get bag onto lorry and no time for a warm-up. ENORMOUS queue at the train station. I'm guessing this was because of changes to car-parking arrangements - certainly a lot easier last year. Still, it's nothing three more buses on the route won't sort out. Post race was infinitely better than last year but could do with better signage to the various bus-stops, and more buses. Gripe over - this is a fab event on a speedy course with friendly support, good marshalling, plently of drink/energy stops and a magnificent finish. Thanks to all involved in putting it on - see you next year. Date of review: March 6, 2005