In short: I come back every year - fantastic race In full: Must say though that the start was a disaster, got down there in what would have been plenty time in previous years and just got stuck getting to the start pens. Once started a lot of people had put unrealistic times down and it took a lot of sideways running to pass "fun-run" groups of people running next to each other in the 1:40 section. Date of review: April 2, 2012
In short: Great race as usual In full: I've run this for the past 10 years and only remember one problem in this time when the start was delayed, but it's been well organised in recent years and 2012 was no different. The support and atmosphere was particularly good today perhaps due to the nice weather!
I noticed it was a lot busier this year, making it slow through some sections of the course that I never remembered being congested in the past. I hope they don't try to expand the capacity too much next year as it may ruin this race. Date of review: April 1, 2012
In short: Good organisation considering the cram, shame the race was .18 miles over! In full: For my first run in Reading it came as quite a shock when I followed all the directions given in the race leaflet, yet had to wait 40 minutes to get in the car park, another 30 minutes waiting to get on the bus, but once in the race village it was much much better.
Not too sure what happened around mile marker 7 as it did not match my garmin. When my garmin bleeped to indicate another mile down at 8, 9 etc, other watches around me were also going off!!
Completed 13.1 miles before I even arrived at the 13 mile marker, so when I eventually crossed the finish line at 13.28, this put a huge downer on the remarkable finish.
I thought I was on for a PB and if the distance was right I might have made it. The dog-leg at the end was a bit of a killer also.
The most amazing things about this race is the support, the organisation in the race village and the finish! Date of review: April 1, 2012
In short: A great race, with spectacular finish. Start needs rethinking In full: I thoroughly enjoyed the day, and received fantastic support and encouragement through every mile. Loved the finish at the Madejski Stadium.
The start was a little disorganised, but lets be honest, far too many runners must be supplying unrealistic starting times, as there were quite a few slow runners ahead of the 1:30 pacer. Also too many ipoders oblivious to whats going on around them. Date of review: April 1, 2012
In short: Potential PB course if the race was smaller or capped... Gun went off with out a count down! In full: Great course, biggest problem was the start I couldnt get to my start pen and was left with less than a minute to get into the yellow. Having run 1.17 I wasnt classified as elite (previous was 1.20), altough other races of similar size/status this wouldnt be the case.
I dont like to bitch about races as Reading use to be a race that was one of my favourites but the start was sheer madness! After being told to walk the long way round from a marshall with the fun runners dressed up I literally had less than a minute to the start getting through the crowds. Unfortunately a Good for age running friend never got to his pen and was held back by over 15mins slower than he can run. Consequently pulling out very disappointed and it ruined his race. Whilst I run a little quicker this year I was hopeful of a PB and the weather was there just some poor organisation. Also for a hugely profitable race only going to 5th place for the ladies is poor considering the first few places are dominated by Kenyan's. Good Marshalls and of course happy crowds, my friend summed it up, it was like running "London Marathon" with not enough space. Hope this gets sorted next year as the marshalls and supporters/stadium finish are positive Date of review: April 1, 2012
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