In short: A great mid-week road race In full: I echo Scobos' comment that the first 2K are narrow. But if you get your starting position right (or if your not bothered) it is a good race. I rate it up there with the Polaroids. Hope to do it this year Date of review: March 10, 2005
In short: First one - an everlasting hill - really enjoyed it In full: Has a bit of everything - town centre, country lanes, riverbanks, grounds of a mansion hall, a horrible hill that goes on for ever and steepens right at the end so that it feels like a cliff, a big downhill to follow. They say you always remember your first! Loved it! Date of review: March 10, 2005
In short: Nothing worse arriving as advised for 8.45AM and having delayed start to 10.30am In full: To ask people to get there 1 hour 20 mins before start and then start 25 mins late meaning 40 mins on the start line in freezing cold temperatures was really crass - the goody bag was a complete joke and not worth the carry. Medals randomly given out to runners outside the stadium. Access to starting point ridiculous. Worst organised half marathon I have done. On the positive side the streets were lined with greatly appreciated cheering & support, and the drinks stations were regular and well manned. Results put up quickly, but no reference on the website as to where and when the photographs will be published. The stadium finish was nice and medals a superior quality than most halves I have run! Date of review: March 10, 2005
In short: depressing last few miles around industrial estate In full: having seen a collapsed runner near the 11 mile mark it was brought to my attention how few stewards were on this part of the course surely this is the part of the run where people's bodies are more likely to pack up on them? Date of review: March 10, 2005
In short: great atmosphere and good spectator support (sweets oranges) In full: run goes through two big parks which gives nice change of scenery from the city setting. well laid out changing , watering and marshalling. great finish with 1000's giving support. goody bag and nice t shirt. Date of review: March 10, 2005
In short: Problems again, but won't stop me coming back In full: maybe 12000 entries is too many for Reading, but the course itself is fine and well supported by the Reading public. Good PB potential (did one in 2004) and deserves support. More buses next year and stop people driving into madjeski after race end would help congestion methinks Date of review: March 10, 2005
In short: Sods law strikes In full: The organisers tried to make up for the mess up on times in 2003 by getting new disposable chips in the running number. Thesewere delayed in arrival from the suppliers so most had to be collected on the day. This caused total chaos and it got worse as people joined the queue at 10.00 onwards. I strolled down to the race HQ for 8.00 when there were no queues and then went back to my base for breakfast. The chaos meant that the race start was delayed but no one told the runners until 5 minutes befor the due start time leaving little time to react by finding somewhere warm or telling supporters to delay coming down to the course. Upshot was everybody got cold wet and v.p*****d off. That said I recorded a new PB by over 5 minutes and got my result. The baggage reclaim etc was however in the swamp known as the Bath recreation ground so changing without getting dry kit wet and muddy wasn't an option.
But I'll be back in 2005 in the hope that its third time lucky, but if my mum didn't live three minutes from the start I wouldn't bother, the only sceneary you will see is on the Saturday touring the shops the run itself could be anywhere on two major urban roads (yawn) Date of review: March 10, 2005
In short: Organisation at start and end needs to improve if they're to increase the numbers In full: Great crowd and marshals, good route up to mile 11 but it's cruel to take us close enough to taste the finish and then take us round a crapy business park for 2 miles.
Need more buses or better bus access. Shame to run into the stadium and only run on an eigth of the track. Borrow Nike's big yellow, flourecent, lit mile markers (6 foot across) and ditch the pot of paint, I only saw one mile marker on the road and 3 on lamp posts.
Still a good half with a good atmosphere, but I may try a smaller one before returning to a 10,000+ runner run. Date of review: March 10, 2005
In short: My first half marathon and longest run ever. Great fun. Ached in new places because of the hills but loved the downhill stretches. I'm definitely hooked and looking for my next event. Date of review: March 10, 2005