In short: What you see is what you get In full: Like the heading says, what you see is what you get. A national graded half marathon with 20,000ish runners in a major city centre, big sponsorship deal and a route that takes in everything. I loved it. There is nothing wrong with the route, marshals, support, public, runners or even the weather (ok it was sunny but not too hot). A BIG thank you to Sweatshop Mizuno, Reading FC, Lucozade,the marshalls at begining, end and inbetween for helping to run this event. Without them it wouldnt happen. The support was good from the public and yes there were a few imperfections like the Archway pinch point in the centre and some of the relay handovers were a bit ropey but all in all the atmosphere was good and the majority of runners curtious. There are always the few who run with buckets on their heads and dont see/ have consideration for anyone else, but there are also the others THAT CUT CORNERS.... oh well nevermind no one is perfect i guess. They appear at every race and always will. You have to remember with this event that it is a big event and attracts thousands of runners and spectators out and with it being a lovely day even more turned out. That WILL cause problems with getting in and out of the venue and queues for the loo but all in all you should of sorted yourselves out and given yourself more time to get there and not be such a hot head to get away. Im not perfect but arived in plenty of time to pick up my pack that was damaged in transit, walk around the village, have a snooze and go to the loo before it all kicked off. Afterwards i sat and chilled out in the lovely sunshine and cheered on the other runners. Well done to all those that ran and never let me stop. I will be back again. Date of review: April 3, 2012
In short: My first half marathon in my hometown! In full: This was my first half marathon and the atmosphere was fantastic. I had high hopes after my training went so well but unfortunately my time wasn't quite as good as I'd hoped for.
The one niggle I have is that there weren't enough toilets on the course. At the 8.5 mile toilet stop the three portaloos just weren't enough; I had to queue for almost 10 minutes, then after that I just couldn't get started running properly again so that's why I didn't get my target time. So it would be nice if there were a few more loos around the route.
Loved the finish in the stadium, made a great end to the race, but as others have said it would have been nice if you got given water as soon as you finished rather than walking for a while to get it.
Might have to go back next year to beat my time. For a first time race it was great and the amount of support along with all the bands was fantastic. Also a special thank you shout out to the little kids on Tilehurst Road who had big bottles of water and showered you when you waved at them - that was a nice touch on such a hot day. (If you get sunburned when running I think it probably means it's too hot to be running a half marathon!!)
So sad to hear about the runner who died at the end - thoughts with all his family and friends. Date of review: April 3, 2012
In full: This was my second reading in a row, I travel from aberdeen which illustrates how much I like this half. Generally a fast course with two medium hills the people of reading come out and support it and offer plenty sweets and encouragement to keep you going. I can't understand the negative comments though there are a couple of pinch points but surely expected given the race turnouts. True there are a few runners that require manners and should know what their time should be and to prevent holding up others but you know to start further up the field or just quicken the pace. Plenty of water stops and lucozade points and enough markers to ensure you know what you need to do. True, water point at the end would be good but impractical as the finish line would become backed up, ok my endomomdo app showed a bit over as well but if in any doubt surely stretch yourself more to get that pb why leave it to chance. Only gripe was getting out the car parks as per previous year but that was it. Will be back again next year to further reduce my pb Date of review: April 3, 2012
In short: I think this is now my favourite half marathon In full: Second time I've run Reading and I have to say I'm surpised with some of the negative comment's I've seen. Firstly my Garmin measured this as 13.1 miles. It's the same course as it has been for several years. Garmins are not 100% accurate and you add a fair bit on to a distance if not running the racing line. I do not think there is anything wrong with the distance, many many people set PB's in this race! The atmosphere for this HM is the best i've come across. This is a large race and it only gets the amount of support it does from sepctators because of the numerous runners. Yes it means a busy and crowded start but that's what you get with big races....it's a breeze compared to the London marathon start for example and not many people complain there! If you don't want crowding I would suggest you pick a local, small HM but you won't get a 10th of the support/atmosphere you get in this race. For people commenting that the stadium finish was an anti-climax...for heaven's sake, what do you want, royalty to applaud you as you cross the finish line. I guess some people are just impossible to please. I've now run 15 half marathons and i think is my favourite of them all despite never having a great running performace here. I agree that perhaps the water should be given before the medal but that is the only minor criticism I have.
I'm also very sad to hear of the death of Ged Clarke, this is a very unfortunate and tragic event and my thoughts go to his family and friends. Unfortunately nothing is without risk in this world but I hope his family can take peace in the fact he died doing something he clearly loved and had so much passion for. Fortunately these instances are very rare but as the case with a professional footballer shows, instances of this nature can happen even if you are in optimum physical condition. Date of review: April 3, 2012
In short: 3rd time was not a charm - will think long and hard about next year In full: My third time doing the Reading half and have to commend the fine people of Reading and the bands for yet again providing fantasic support on the way round... I was even tempted to pick up a free beer from the pub this time .. .but resisted ;-) I put my hand up to the rest of you for being a blue in the blue pen when, due to calf tears and colds during training, I would have been better suited to the green pen. But we all work on assumptions that training will go ok .. and I tried hard to get as far back in the pen as was possible. At least they try to segregate (unlike runs like the British 10K!) The negatives from this year were: 1 - massive administration error which resulted on us having to make a mad dash up the motorway on Saturday before the half to pick up the packs the had forgot to mail out. And the guys at venue weren't even sympathetic to the stress and inconvenience caused. 2 - I also think it maybe time to reduce numbers. Though we were running along at the same pace of most of those around us from the start, until knee trouble hit, it is just unavoidable not to start tripping over folk ... and we even had to stop at one point! 3 - definitely agree that making the water the last thing you get to pick up on exit is probably a mistake as it is so rammed it takes you a fair old time to get to it.... and I really did need it!
In short: Amazing atmosphere, PB course, shame about the distance In full: Firstly - a moment to say how sad I was to hear about the death of one of the runners after he had crossed the finish line. A tragic thing to happen & my thoughts are with his family.
The was my 13th half marathon and I loved it - the atmosphere was astonishing all around the course and hats off to the people of Reading who were out in force to support us!! From reading other people's comments, I think I was quite lucky with my experience - I didn't have to queue long for the pink car park, I didn't need to wait for a bus, the people in my starting pen all seemed to be running at about my pace, and although there were a couple of pinch points on the course (one where I actually had to stop) generally it was fine and it made such a difference to be running on a course with no traffic! The stadium finish was as good as expected, although couldn't believe we had to wait so long to get to the water at the end and after crossing the finish line there was definitely a bit of an anti-climax. Medal was the biggest I think I have, even counting my marathon medals, and I was amazed to run 1:48:08, a PB by 2 minutes, but I think because my Garmin starting bleeping mile markers earlier and earlier than the signs, I ran faster for fear of missing a PB because I just didn't know how long the course would turn out to be! Think I'll probably be back though :) Date of review: April 3, 2012
In short: Disappointing In full: I had been lead to believe so much, but on a personal level this race simply failed to deliver. The start area was a complete mess, with lots of runners starting in positions they clearly were not suited too, resulting in carnage and lots of trips and falls during the first 2-3 miles. As others have mentioned the distance seemed long, I too clocked this as being 13.3 miles. Potentially cost me a PB, as I was a minute off my best. Finish and run off area was spacious, but water as the last stop was a bad idea, needed to come first, rather than last !! This was my 10th Half Marathon, and it will be ranked as #10 on that list....I wont do it again, a lot of money, and not even a T-shirt to show for it....Rip off Britain....Rip off Reading ! Date of review: April 3, 2012