In short: Inaccurate course for anyone who wants a big pb In full: I have got to say, I was highly disappointed overall by this race, having travelled over an hour and half early morning to get to it. I was in shape to smash my pb, to be let down by the inaccurate measurements of the course. My garmin said like many others complaining of this issue - 13.28 miles which is 290m too long or over a minute worth of running. This shouldn't be allowed and knock people's confidence to want to do the race again. I certainly won't be doing it again. For those of us who are in the elite category 1 min. makes a big difference as its harder to achieve such a margin. I still got a pb by 14 seconds, but instead of clocking 1.20:04, it should have been 1.18:56, which would have gave me a pb of 1 min. 22 secs. Which is right as I was in the shape to do this time. My garmin average 6.02 per mile, and according to the course 6.09 per mile. 7 secs per mile is a big difference. You would have thought if the course was measured by a gramin it would match most people's garmins? Anyway the only positive I can say is the atmosphere was pretty good, with good encouragement from crowd, but that's what you woudl expect from such a big event. Unfortunatley won't be travelling far, to run this event again. I haven't ran a race that has lfet me feeling so disappointed after finishing it, before. Regards Mark Dowson Date of review: April 3, 2012
In short: Excellent race, great crowds! In full: Second year at Reading and as with the previous year, the crowds were amazing. It's a great route, good pb potential (although sadly not for me this year!) although it was quite crowded a lot of the way around. Felt like a lot more people running this year. Only bugbear about the course was that it was slightly longer, my garmin said 13.27!
Organisation on the day was absolutely impeccable, but they need to sort the admin team out next year as there were a load of us that did not get our race packs through, despite being assured they had been sent. To get an email at 6pm on the Friday evening admitting that they hadn't was annoying! However, like childbirth, all forgotten after the event which was superb! Date of review: April 2, 2012
In short: Fast course, good atmosphere and the stadium finish is awesome In full: For a large race the organisation was excellent, the crowds in Reading were great and the course was very quick despite crowding at the start. Good for a pb.
In short: I keep coming back In full: This was my third time running the Reading Half. The track is really good, you see a lot of lovely Reading town centre and the surrounding area. It only has two hills you really notice but each year I set a better time so I can't complain about those!
The organisation is second to none, any faults with space just highlight the event is that popular it's going to be hard fitting that many people in that much space. But as soon as you pass the start line then the groups split and it feels fine.
You get a lot of support going around, from additional water stations (and a beer one!) to the "unofficial" jelly baby stops, hats off to the people of Reading for really giving you the motivation to give that extra 10%.
The ending of the race is an interesting mix, what I have come to term "death highway" which is a quiet (compared to being in the town) run along the motorway at around mile 11 to seeing the stadium and then turning away for another mile slog. But the end, in the stadium, is fantastic, on a nice bit of running track where the crowds are going wild.
I would whole heartily recommend this race to anyone from those looking to dip a toe into this distance, to people who use it as a race pace test before Paris / London / Brighton marathons. Date of review: April 2, 2012
In short: Great for this first-timer; although the course measurement made the last 2 miles challenging. In full: Great atmosphere throughout the course - loads of support and bands to keep you going. Stadium finish itself was great. However the last 1.5 miles where you have to go out and back along the original starting route before entering the stadium is a big strain both physically and mentally, as you think you're almost there after getting so close the stadium!
It was busy everywhere and starting 3/4 back meant you couldn't hear the starting gun at all and wasn't announced on the tannoy that we were off. The only clue was a bit of shuffling for 15 minutes before getting to the start line. There were runners all around me all the way around, but at my pace and position not enough so you felt you were cramped or boxed in at all.
Only downside, like others have reported, was the possible extended course length. Using my time and distance device (not a Garmin but was accurate for several 10k races run leading up to this) read 22.17km. Having trained for 21.1, having to do another 1k at race pace was difficult! Date of review: April 2, 2012
In short: Fun in the Sun In full: 4th time at Reading, agree with a lot of the comments that it did seem more crowded this year, even got elbowed off the course at one point! Garmin reckoned I'd run an extra quarter of a mile, but I would put a lot of that down to zig zagging round people, which I've never really had to do at Reading before. As ever excellent support and very pleased to take over 3 mins off my PB! Date of review: April 2, 2012
In short: Great for Atmosphere, crowd support and the goody bag and medal! In full: Our thoughts and prayers go to the family of the gentlemen who passed away.
A great race which could be better if there was a smaller field. It can't cope with 16,000 runners. I was in the blue pen and it seemed a high percentage of runners had over estimated their finishing time. More marshalls along the pens perhaps to check people are in the right zone might help as we had a mixture of orange and green bib colours mixed with us. Just makes it really frustrating and lessons the chance of a pb. But that aside - the bands and the dj were just fabulous. The goodbag was great and the weather too. Date of review: April 2, 2012