Reading vs. Bath halfs

comments please!

1 to 20 of 30 messages
15/09/2002 at 12:55
Hello,
Thanks for all of your half-marathon suggestions. It looks like Bath and Reading are the two that would suit me most, mainly because they are easy to get to! So, I'd like your comments on these - which one should I do? One specific question - what is it like having to do two 'laps' at Bath?

Thanks,
Hild
15/09/2002 at 13:20
Hidegard,
the route travels out of the city and back in. The advantage is you know what is coming on the second lap ie hills,fast sections,best bushes to have a wee if you need one etc.
The daunting and exciting bit is seeing the elite runners speed past on their second lap while you are still on your first and boy can they run.
Last year i remember hearing the sirens and guys on bikes with load halers screaming 'move over elite runners'.Then this little Kenyan guy,must have been five foot nothing went roaring past with a pack in hot pursuit.I said to the guy next to me'they won't catch him'.They didn't.
15/09/2002 at 14:53
I've just put my application in to do Bath. I'll be my first one and I've heard good things about it from friends who have run it before. I'm counting on lots of you guys doing it too to help with the motivation over the winter months!! My longest run so far is 8km, so I've a way to go yet.
BK
16/09/2002 at 08:34
I did Reading last year (my local) and the start was a bit of a disaster. People were arriving 30 minutes before the start and the baggage collection just didn't work. The race was then delayed because the Police hadn't closed all the roads. As you say it is easy to get to and they've got to improve on last year. Are they the same weekend H because I wouldn't mind running Bath
16/09/2002 at 09:10
I believe that Reading is on the 9th(?) or March, and Bath is on the 16th. Because Bath has a later start time (11am), it will probably be the one I choose, despite the two lap course. How long before these events must one arrive anyway?

Thanks for your comments, any more?

Hild
16/09/2002 at 09:36
I usually enter both every year but have decided not to next year.

Despite the bad organisation (mainly just accepting more entries than they have facilities for) at Reading I enjoyed that race a lot more than Bath. You would think Bath would be a scenic course but a lot of the route is through fairly dreary areas. The RW pacing groups at Bath really are a hindrance for anyone anywhere near them and ruined it for me last year. I decided then to very actively avoid any races with pacing groups, no matter how much I would have enjoyed the race otherwise.
16/09/2002 at 10:05
anyone know when 2003 info will be available for Reading? I looked at the website, but it still seemed to have last year's info.

Ratcatcher, what is the route like at Reading in comparison to Bath then?

Thanks,
Hild
16/09/2002 at 10:25
I ran the Bath Half last year. The course
is pretty flat. Over all the atmosphere
was good and from an organizational point of view everything ran smoothly.
It is a good run. I won't be running it again though because I couldn't stand the traffic fumes. I wasn't expecting traffic to be passing me on the right for most of the course; the diesel fumes were particularly bad; I think it is an inconsiderate route for asthma suffers.
(I'm not a full asthmatic).
Apart from that it is a good route and the run feels easier knowing the route when you've completed one lap.
16/09/2002 at 12:07
Hildegard,

I do remember the Reading route as being fairly hilly, but nothing too horrendous. I would say it is probably harder than Bath, but a lot more pleasant.

As has already been said, both have huge fields which will slow things down a bit.

Val.
16/09/2002 at 12:20
Hi Hildegarde

I did Reading last year and really enjoyed it, despite the problems at the start. The crowd support was pretty good (and I had my own crowd as the route goes past my parents house), with bands scattered along the length. The atmosphere with the runners was really good also.

It does have some hills (at mile 3 and mile 9ish) but I don't think they're that bad. I'm living in Cambridge so have no hills at all to train on, and was dreading running up one particular road at 3m in Reading, but when it came to it I hardly noticed it.

Haven't run Bath so can't comment on that. How big is Bath 1/2? One of the things I enjoyed about Reading was hearing the sound so many runners made on the road.
BK
16/09/2002 at 13:42
Kendrick Road must be the one you have in mind Doobs with the church at the top. Its fairly close to the start and not that bad.

Chilly day last year, hopefully better weather this year
16/09/2002 at 17:58
Thanks for the info Doobs. How scenic is Reading then? Or is it just city streets?

Thanks,
Hild
BK
17/09/2002 at 13:14
Mostly city streets.
17/09/2002 at 18:32
the biggest achievement at Reading is that the course organisers have managed to create a 13.1 mile course that is entirely urban (and not pretty either) given that the town is probably four miles E to W and four miles N to S, this is quite a feat!!

it was an absolute shocker this year (way, way, way too busy) and i will be giving it the broadest of berths

don't like the sound of Bath either....
17/09/2002 at 18:44
Hmm, any other suggestions then WwR - any scenic halfs?
17/09/2002 at 18:50
if you haven't done it before it's worth doing just to tick the box, i guess.

the scenic halves round our neck of the woods - M40 - in feb/march (but tricky for public transport possibly) would be:

wokingham, provided they've repaired the landslide that cancelled it last year - about 600 people, flat and 12 miles of berkshire countryside

berkhamstead, 300+ people, a couple of stiff
hills and 12 miles of rural chiltern beauty

don't know how that grabs you?
17/09/2002 at 18:56
just checked a wokingham relatyed web site and it suggests they have 1500+ RUNNERS,

i have to say though it felt pretty uncrushed last time i ran it
The Evil Pixie    pirate
17/09/2002 at 19:31
WwR when is the Wokingham half? Reading was to be my first half - my goal! - butit has hills and so far I have avoided them! I would also prefer a more scenic route anyway!
17/09/2002 at 20:25
WwR,
It seems that Wokingham is just an hour by train from Oxford. Countryside sounds much nicer than concrete. I haven't been able to find any sites that deal with this half - which site did you look at?

Thanks,
Hild
BK
18/09/2002 at 08:59
Evil Pixie. The Reading hills are really nothing to worry about. It was my first half after a 19 year break from running and I would have said the wind and chill were worse enemies that day.

WWR - I may look at Wokingham depending on when it is
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