In short: Good race, not completely flat and busy in places In full: Massive crush to get to the start but they opened barriers - this was due to the bad weather I think. Once started the course was good and spectators were great. Long wait to get through tunnel at the end and freezing cold, medals right at finish would be better. Disappointing goody bag for such a race. Date of review: March 19, 2013
In short: Great & easy course, plenty of support! In full: Have done this race several times and it's one of my faves esp for PB potential. For the price paid I think the race is very good value. You get the goody bag with some well needed treats for after the race (mars bar, crisps, energy bars etc) plus drinks, foil to wrap up in after the race and to my surprise bin bags were given away before the race - this was a life saver as it was tipping down and I'd forgotten to bring a bin bag to keep dry pre race start. All this is a ton more than you get at some pricier London halves.
In general this was a very well organised race with friendly marshals and staff. The only thing I struggled with this time was finding the blue car park afterwards - bit of a pain when freezing cold, wet and wanting to get home asap. Signage was non existent in the main area and I had to ask two marshals who gave conflicting info and then the help desk who finally helped out. There were plenty of loos, never had to queue too long.
There was a load of support despite the rain which was great. The atmosphere upon entering the stadium is fantastic. I'll be back again next year. Date of review: March 18, 2013
In short: Flat, fast course, great spectators, terrible terrible weather! In full: First time I have run Reading. High PB potential as course is largely flat / all roads. There is one shallow short hill about mile 2 for a third of a mile. Excellent support most of the way to mile 10 then you head out of the town and support dwindles. Lucozade and water at good intervals. I really enjoyed the event and smashed my PB. Downsides were that signage back to car park was poor, stewards could not direct me. Goody bag full of landfill (which I hate). But small gripes as thoroughly enjoyed it. Date of review: March 18, 2013
In short: A good race..... In full: But let down this year by the weather and long bag queues in the wet, Also i could not get on with the "water bottle gels" Deffo not good if you have false teeth!!! The medal is a bit understated compared to previous years, I like it, But feel others may have been disappointed if it was their first half, Also a lot of runners seemed to think they were faster than they actually are (Due to number swapping??) The free shuttle buses worked fine, But shame on the 2 idiots that left their goody bag rubbish on the bus seats as they left for the following runners to sit in-D%^^heads-If you had been wearing a club running vest or i could have seen your number i would name and shame you/Your club!!!-The course seemed a bit overcrowded this year, (I got tripped twice-but luckily didn,t go over!) Fair play to all the supporters for coming out and staying out in such wet weather and also to the organisers whom i,m led to believe complained to Reading cCuncil about the number of potholes on the course leading up tp the race-I did not see one pot hole so i,m guessing Reading Council filled them in before the race-Well done to both the Race Organisers and reading council!-Despite the "Niggles" i will probably be back in 2014 as i enjoy reading and for the last 4 years it,s been a "must-do" in my race diary, Although i think i might be a bit biased as i treatit as a holiday race and a weekend away :-) Date of review: March 18, 2013
In short: Needs much better organisation for an event of this size In full: The entry fee versus the level of organisation particularly around the start just isn’t value for money. A major event of this sort deserves better organisation although if you are simply looking to experience a mass event it’s OK. My guess is that for those wanting to do their best and getting caught up in the crowds trying to get into the start area 10 – 15 minutes before the start and then finding the race had started would have had a major disappointment. This was partly down to a lack or organisation and marshalling. The start itself seemed a farce - did I fail to hear a countdown? When the claxon sounded twice did I hear the starter say 'no not that one' before another claxon sounded? Presumably the runners in the front line didn’t have to guess whether the race had started or not. The finish was also a bit disappointing with a distinct lack of atmosphere – despite the opportunity given by a stadium finish. Let’s not mention the goody bag! As for the positives – a reasonable course for a good time, good information ahead of the race and good responses to e-mail queries from the organisers.
In short: No good for spectators in the rain In full: This the first time in 7 years i've not run. What a day to pick to spectate. Weather was dreadful. However, was very well organised, stadium was electric, was nice the see the winners come through the line. Will be back next year. Well done to those who run. Date of review: March 18, 2013
In short: Memorable despite the dreadful weather In full: Despite the weather yesterday, Reading remains one of my favourite Half Marathons. If I am still fit enough, I would like to come back next year. A special 'thank you' to the people of Reading who turned out to support the race in the rain - they deserve the medals! A mini-gripe was that there was no silver blanket left for me after my finish (2 hours 24 minutes) and I would have appreciated clearer exit signs to Green Park after the race. Nevertherless, my enthusiasm for this race remains! Date of review: March 18, 2013
In short: Great fun, love the course In full: Weather aside (which was horrendous)I really enjoyed this race. Second year of running and I will definately do it again. Some queues at the endand walking to the car parks, but this is inevitable with so many people taking part. I thought the water bottles this year were a triumph as well, I usually lose time taking a drink so i loved the squirty plastic bags!! Date of review: March 18, 2013
In short: Wet Wet Wet but great fun In full: This was my first time doing the Reading Half and I will definitely be back next year. Yes the weather was awful and very wet but I have trained many times in weather conditions like this so I was prepared. I thought all the people out there stood in it, Marshall's, supporters etc were brilliant! Finishing in the stadium was awesome!!! What a great way to finish a race. The end of the race was hard work, all the baggage tents where flooded etc and the queue for the buses back to the station was horrendous in the rain. I was only 3mins off getting a PB so I will be back next year to put that right! Thank you Reading Date of review: March 18, 2013