In short: Huge field has pluses and minuses In full: I was in the blue zone and finished in 1:48. Unlike some reviewers below I dropped my baggage and picked it up afterwards in reasonably good order. The queue afterwards was huge but it moved quickly and I ended up waiting for 9 minutes. Not bad but it was blowing a cold wind and threatening to rain. The cadets were working really hard and I think at times struggling to keep up with the sheer numbers. But not a disaster.
Rest of the race was good. Start was fast, course was busy but no real pinch points. Plenty of water stops. Excellent chunky medal and a decent goody bag.
Mass participation races aren't really my thing but this was a decent day out.
There are two things that no race organizers can have too many of - loos and baggage handlers. Date of review: March 2, 2014
In short: A decent day out in Reading In full: This is a straightforward no-frills 10K race with a decent and pretty flat course that takes you along the Thames for a bit and along the River Kennet and round about a couple of town centre streets. All the usual Purple Patch features including excellent baggage stow. Fast results this year with the new timing chip - finish the race and get a till receipt with your time, splits and overall and category positions. Impressed. See you next year. Date of review: October 6, 2013
In short: A tough but fun event In full: A basic village-green event, for hikers as well as runners. Very friendly folk, tea and food in the village hall, accommodating organizer.
The course has some pretty tough climbs,including to Leith Tower, from which stunning views. But also a lot of good and runnable sections. Challenging underfoot, though. Recent heavy rain meant mud and lots of stones and slipper tree roots. To be expected, but still ... the unwary (like me) can easily take a tumble or two.
The climb to the top of the hill at 20 miles is near-vertical, and pretty much trashed my legs from then on.
I've given this a max rating for pb potential because it's the only 40K I know of so pb is guaranteed :-)
Thank you to the organizers and marshals, I enjoyed myself today. Date of review: September 14, 2013
In short: Fast and flat and very well organized In full: I second the comments below about smooth organization, especially of the baggage stow. A good event although a bit larger than other PP races. The course is flat and with long straight stretches, and distance markers in km and miles. I'd prefer some variety of terrain and incline, though, and the early start means it's the first train of the day from Reading, which can be unreliable. But these are gripes specific to me. Well done PP, another good race added to the local calendar. Date of review: September 8, 2013
In short: Excellent day out In full: The 7th staging of this, I think they said, and it shows. Organization flawless, ditto marshalling, and an extra water station laid on in hot weather. Lovely course too. Particularly good baggage stow. Thanks to all, and I'll see you again next year. Date of review: July 28, 2013
In short: A truly absurd event and all the better for it In full: My fourth outing and it doesn't get any easier. Superb event, this is. Flawless organization and atmosphere, wonderful marshals. Ludicrous gradients and those steps are the stuff of nightmares. Add 30 to 45 minutes to your usual half marathon time. A truly absurd event and long may it continue. See you next year! Date of review: June 23, 2013
In short: A nice day out In full: A true village-green race with the local Brownies doing the cakes and tea. Chip timing means the results are up on the board within a few minutes of finishing. Great course, cheery marshals and all in all a pleasant experience. I'll be back. Date of review: June 9, 2013
In short: Very good event indeed In full: Start is 10 mins from the railway station. Race HQ nearby, with loos and baggage stow. Great town-centre start and finish plus a bit in the middle too, with plenty of support and cheering. Good and varied course with a bit of rough, a bit of smooth and some mild ups and downs. Smooth organization and friendly marshals. And results up by mid-afternoon. Excellent race, really nothing to fault. Must do this one again. Date of review: May 26, 2013
In short: Nice little race In full: Nice little village-green race with a fast course and pleasant community feel. Well organized and very efficient, and well marshalled. Clearly a well-established event with an experienced team. I'll be back. Date of review: May 12, 2013
In short: Another great day out In full: Cannot fault this event. Lovely start and finish venue, nice and mostly flat mostly off-road course, great marshals (hi Alice!), plenty of water stops, supporters can watch from the pub part-way round, excellent baggage stow (important for non-motorists), distinctive medal. Rescheduled twice this year because of the weather. Others might have cancelled and said "sorry no refunds". Like all Purple Patch events, this one's to do every year - when do I sign up for 2014? Date of review: May 5, 2013