In short: Far too much moan about In full: I am positive person. Organisation for 2014 was appalling. It took me longer to leave Reading than running it. Expensive race and I will not be going back. Date of review: March 9, 2014
In short: Best if you have local relatives? In full: We did this last year, the brother-in-law and I. We both came back to see if we could do a PB without the vile weather and we both did! He did a brilliant 1.53.53 and I did my own fastest ever half. I even beat the road closures. The people of Reading were uniformly wonderful (again) incl all the bands and churches etc who were out as well. Thanks also to all the lovely friendly runners who cheered us up with banter and or encouragement at the points where each one of us slowed, wondered if we were going to be OK etc. There were several sets of people in fancy dress in our start wave and I even got a hug on the finish line from one lovely young lady in a pink tutu. We had our family (with our kit, hot drinks, recovery shakes and snacks) waiting for us, so the short walk back to the red car park was not a problem (it had already opened). We were bemused by the fact that we were not allowed to turn right onto the A33 at that point (it is on the roundabout) and were forced to go some way towards town with everyone else rather than towards the M4. That cannot have helped the congestion and we are sure this did not happen last year. I was in pink zone and the phased start resulted in us going so fast we were strung out To get to the start pens we had to go round with everyone else to the front of the start and then along past all the other pens. As expected, the back route in had flooded. As a non-local I had been watching the flood websites for ages but it wasn't until the morning of the race that there was any info that we had to walk in that way as our published route was cut off. Bearing in mind how much water there still was round there I am surprised that info did not make it into the last 2 emails from the race team. It was never going to drain. I also wonder if it was this that caused the delay at the start while they got everyone round? Cannot comment on baggage as did not have to use it but clearly unacceptable to have to queue in wind and rain. The great advantage of the stadium is standing underneath whilst using loos but I see some people were told they could not? Hope this is sorted out for next year as I think it will an effect on the numbers who come back. Date of review: March 7, 2014
In short: Fab race In full: 1st time at Reading and won't be the last, loved everything apart from the mile down the dual carriageway, but can't be helped. Start, toilets, course, drinks, finish, crowds, medals, goodybags, text results were all great. Date of review: March 6, 2014
In short: Some good and some not so In full: The Good Plenty of toilets at start including ones in my start pen(great idea) Bag drop off was very quick Waved start worked for me Liked the plastic drinks bags and sports drinks Great support on the course Stadium finish Good medal
The not so Bag collection, went horribly wrong and am sure it could have been saved but I was n't Buses, should have realised from the journey to the stadium that it was not going to be good and unfortunately was proved right
In short: The buses! In full: I was one of the slower runners at 2:37 and spent some time having a drink after the race so when i came out to get a bus ended up waiting an hour, missed the next (hourly) train and got to London by 5! The race itself was good and the crowd was great but it was unacceptable to leave runners standing around in the (by then) rain and cold. Date of review: March 5, 2014
In short: I enjoyed the race itself, but bag collection was a fiasco. In full: I am seriously considering never running this again. The organisation of the bag collection was dreadful. The queue for race numbers 1 to 5000 was very long, it took about an hour for me to get my bag by which time I was shivering like mad.
Unless there is some public announcement and apology from the organisors, with a statement of how this will be improved, I will not run this race again. Date of review: March 5, 2014