In short: Hard muddy and undulating course In full: Turned up expecting a pleasant jog round the forest ended up in a gruelling mud-bath. That will teach me to not research my races properly! Only planned to run to the nine mile station - and frankly that was enough. Still a well organised race, a bit clubby but friendly and some nice scenery when not stuck or sliding about uncontrollably - will come back next year for the full race. Date of review: March 21, 2011
In short: Hardest thing I've ever done! In full: Gloriously beautiful race along cliff tops and the South Downs. Mind numbingly exhausting, hardly a flat bit anywhere. Tremendous atmosphere, fabulously stewarded. My only grumble was that it seems no one bothered to write my number down when I finished. Oh well - maybe next year. Date of review: November 11, 2010
In short: Well supported, pretty well organised race. In full: Generally well organised race. Good two wave start. 1st mile a bit condensed. The run on the Portway is occasionally pretty but a bit tedious (also a deceptive slowly rising hill). Crowds great (even in rainy/overcast weather). The hill and cobbles on the last couple of miles killed me. Nice t-shirt, very poor goodie bag. My one major quibble is putting the two Runner's villages either side of the Start/Finish line - completely bonkers because there was a ten minute wait each time you needed to cross the road - put up a staffold bridge next time guys - it works perfectly at the London Triathlon. Date of review: September 6, 2010
In short: Quick multi-circuit track, fun amateur event with great atmosphere. In full: Enjoyable six and a bit circuits round the marshes in fun supportive atmosphere and much more fun than most of the big 1/2 Marathons. 2009 was super hot and not all the course was in shade - so punishing. Not entirely convinced about the distance though, it's the same course as the Homerton fun run where 3 laps = 10k. Jolly good fun though. Date of review: August 24, 2009
In short: Well organised, huge event, not flat, bit dull. In full: My first time at Reading and a bit of a mixed bag. Here's the good stuff:
Very well organised and marshalled. Buses from the station ran like clockwork. A good staggered start banding system for different runners which means you don't spend the first mile walking. Nice crowds and a generally good vibe amongst a noticeably young field of runners. Loved the "unofficial" ale stop.
As with any event this big you spend a lot of time in queues. The bus queues after the race were enormous and the Stadium is a good 2 miles outside of Reading town centre - so it's a rather dull walk down the bypass back to town. Could have done with a decent sized changing tent too.
Word of advice, watch the first few miles of hill - damn near killed me! Date of review: March 30, 2009
In short: Well organised event in pleasant location. In full: Well organised, if sligthly short on Heathsiders. Pleasant but not really buzzing. Quitely challenging course. Date of review: March 1, 2009
In short: Nice flat run around the park In full: Truly foul weather today, but a good turnout and mix of runners - if anything a bit less clubby than most. Reasonable organisation, seemed a bit chaotic but race started on time and a nice base in the Regent's Park hub. Very flat and lots of PB potential - well I got one. Date of review: October 5, 2008
In short: Big up, big down - sore legs In full: A pleasant and challenging course around a nice bit of greenery. Race itself mainly on pavement. Lots of club runners but a good mix of pace. Hard work, especially when it's sunny. Heathside give it their usually feel of well intentioned amateurism and the overall vibe is fun and good natured. Date of review: June 24, 2008