In short: A great half. Fabulous support. In full: Brilliant organisation. Fantastic support. And great weather too. Couldn't ask for more really.
Frustratingly I ran the race relying on my Garmin to guide me to a PB. My previous PB was on a split of 8:04 so I was confident of a pb as I approached the stadium with a split of 7:59 but the race measured 13.25miles! So instead of a 1 minute improvement I squeezed under my pb by just 4 seconds! Still... a PB is a PB :-) Date of review: April 1, 2012
In short: The usual high standard - but may fall a victim of it's own success In full: This is the 4th year I've run this half, and the first year that I've really felt that it was too busy - there were few places where I could really sustain a rhythm for any distance, and a couple of pinch-points where the race was slowed to walking place (esp just after town centre).
Organisation excellent, atmosphere as good as it gets (excellent bands!), medal could be used as a weapon - all the plus points still there tho. Didn't notice a problem with the mile markers (Garmin GPS was out by .12 miles at the distance, so better than Brighton Half by 0.3 of a mile....) Date of review: April 1, 2012
In short: Best Half Marathon there is... In full: Today was stunning - maybe slightly too warm as there seemed a greater number of people than usual having difficulty. As always, the race was very well organised. My GPS and my friend's GPS (two different ones) suggested that the mile markers were quite a way off, but we both achieved a PB anyway. The finish in the stadium is amazing and the support along the way is fabulous. Great goodie bag too. Well done Mizuno and Sweatshop, fab race. Date of review: April 1, 2012
In short: Excellent race, but now at maximum capacity In full: Bus queues were far longer this year at the station, maybe because people arrived later because of the Twyford to Reading bus replacement service before 8am - not the organisers fault. Once the queue got moving though it wasn't too bad, but we arrived too late to see the kids race. The race village seemed a little more crowded this year, but having done this race a few times now I know where to go to get away from it. No changing area in the baggage tent this year. Yellow pen was well marshalled, although still several orange runners in there who were obviously going to get trampled. The race itself was well organised, no problems to report at all, and the finish area and bag retrieval were very smooth. I'd swear the out & back section just before the stadium gets longer every year though! Date of review: April 1, 2012
In short: beautiful day and fantastic race as always In full: this was my 4th time doing this and it is still as good as the first! beautiful conditions today...thankfully alot cooler than last weekend, so a good time was possible. fantastic support all the way around and the finish at the Madejski Stadium is a real bonus after 13.1 miles of slog.i hate to add any quibbles but there are a couple of points in the town centre which may need to be looked at as therea re some tight spots which on a couple of occasions just about brought me to a standstill...anyone reading this who ran it will hopefully know where i mean! anyway...very happy with beating last years time by 4 minutes (1hr46mins) so i'll be back again next year! well done all at Mizuno and Sweatshop and everyone else involved for organising a great race! Date of review: April 1, 2012
In short: A good race, with the standard jobsworth marshalls. In full: Not totally impressed with the race today. Sally Gunnell just about to speak and the guns went off. I'm sure she was pleased about that. Crowds of runners not in their pens at the start. Think the organisers need to look at London style start, breaking up the runners into pre-run pens. Went the back way to stadium, which at this stage was 1 hour before the race start, and told would have to walk long way round,( NO SIGNS SAYING ONE WAY!) which is atleast 1km, then went to warm up, and told had to walk along road another 400 metres, to then walk back to place I was originally warming up? I personally dont think the site is big enough to cope with the size of the event in terms of volume of runners, rather than the race village. Finally on a positive, excellent support from the crowd, and all volunteers connected to the event. Date of review: April 1, 2012
In short: Good organisation In full: First time of doing this event. A bit more undulating than I thought it would be. We ran around the houses a bit and there were some long dual carriageways, so not a very scenic route. However very good organisation, the finish was pleasant in the stadium. A bit of chocolate and other bits to eat in the bag at the finish. The medal is ok. Baggage storage and collection was very good. Date of review: April 1, 2012
In short: A victim of its own success In full: This is only my second half so not had a lot of experience doing them already. Lovely crowd, amazing atmosphere, goody bag was great, organisation splendid, just two niggles which actually made quite a big difference to my enjoyment of the race. This was one of the most crowded, congested races I've ever participated in - there were just too many people on the road and nowhere near enough space for overtaking. There was one point after 10km where people had to walk because there wasn't enough space to run. In addition, it would have been nice to have markers at every mile just to make pacing a bit easier to measure. Lovely overall, just perhaps a little too crowded for my liking - will be doing a smaller half next time. Date of review: April 1, 2012