In short: Absurd, great fun and uplifting vibe In full: This is a truly unique event. I was happy to forget about the running and the pb for once, with my usual sub-2 sacrificed for a very post 3! ;-). It was psychologically interesting to just don some fancy dress, drink the wine, spend time all the way round lightly jogging and chatting with friends. Now you can run it 'properly' but to be honest I think you probably miss out a bit if you do (this is probably a traitorous comment for runners). The organisation is bang on and the marshalling excellent and friendly. Also in addition to the medal and tech t-shirt we were treated to an amazing array of fruit at the end... and then the hog roast .. and more wine :-) Excellent fun, excellent views. Go play .. enjoy.
In short: As always, well worth the trip into town. In full: Another great friendly run around the lovely flatness of Victoria Park. Slightly sad to note the demise of the infamous towel from the post run goody bag. Though the new 'man-bag' will undoubtedly find use :-) As always a fab atmosphere and fab post run bagels. I brought 4 newbies with me this year and with a batch of pbs in the group and several beers at the after party pub it proved a good day out for all. Looking forward to doing it all again next year :-) Date of review: August 11, 2014
In short: Good run with great local support just don't rely on some elements of organisation In full: As always the course is good for pb's, especially as they now do a staggered start. The support from the locals immense, the stadium finish always a nice touch and there is a very nice medal and decent goody bag. Last year I was a supporter and refused to take the bus option this time as a result ... there were ridiclously long queues in the cold and very wet last year.. our runner actually got ill due to it. So this year we used the car park (not red) and as such didn't have to use baggage either, so it all went marvellously smoothly. Feel bad for those reviewers who tried to use the facilities and found them lacking ... it seems to be a perennial problem. Was slightly bemused by the queue in some kind of caged rat run to get out of the stadium area which seemed to be there so people with clickers could count our running shoe types ... bizarre and frustrating. Also, I agree with one of the reviewers here in that it makes me feel slightly guilty saying this but the lady on the tannoy at the start really isn't suited to the job. She was loud and screechy and made extremely repetitive comments. She came across as somewhat attention seeking and possibly irritated with the lack of runner feedback. Anyway I'm sure she was doing her best it is clearly just not her thing.
In short: Well organised, busy, flat and windy route In full: Seems we got lucky with the weather as the rain predicted in the mid week forecast had passed. That being said the head wind on the last 2 miles does provide an additional challenge, otherwise fast route with plenty of, much appreciated, local support. Date of review: October 27, 2013
In short: Undulating, dodge the bus stop kind of route - really like it though In full: Organisation is good. Vibe is friendly and I think it is actually quite an attractive route. Downside this time of year is the slippy leaves underfoot in places. Nevertheless this route has held my pb for a few years now and I managed to smash it again this year. So I have to say it has excellent pb potential .. clearly better for me than any of the good weather flat park runs I have done ... go figure! Date of review: October 25, 2013
In short: undulating route down country lanes In full: Outstanding organisation and marshalling. Had a lovely village fete feel at the start/finish area. Was a warm day for the time of year so was very glad to be carrying own water as water supplied in cups at water stations. The run through the school with the band playing was a rather nice touch... we all love a little uplifting band after all :-) Undulations made the course challenging (well for me anyway) but would definitely look to do it again. Date of review: September 30, 2013
In short: Another fabulous year at a fabulous, friendly run In full: Recovering from injury so this flat, friendly, lapping run was a perfect test for me. Beautiful day amongst beautiful people. A must in my yearly running calendar. Happy 10th anniversary ... here's to year 11 :-) Date of review: August 18, 2013
In short: Spring arrived for a predominantly flat run down pretty country roads In full: Good organisation. Queue for toilets was a bit of a meandering mess, but it was quick moving and I've seen worse. Fantastic work by smiling marshalls and some lovely local support. Much appreciated the orange at the end. Will definitely consider doing again. Date of review: April 7, 2013
In short: 3rd time was not a charm - will think long and hard about next year In full: My third time doing the Reading half and have to commend the fine people of Reading and the bands for yet again providing fantasic support on the way round... I was even tempted to pick up a free beer from the pub this time .. .but resisted ;-) I put my hand up to the rest of you for being a blue in the blue pen when, due to calf tears and colds during training, I would have been better suited to the green pen. But we all work on assumptions that training will go ok .. and I tried hard to get as far back in the pen as was possible. At least they try to segregate (unlike runs like the British 10K!) The negatives from this year were: 1 - massive administration error which resulted on us having to make a mad dash up the motorway on Saturday before the half to pick up the packs the had forgot to mail out. And the guys at venue weren't even sympathetic to the stress and inconvenience caused. 2 - I also think it maybe time to reduce numbers. Though we were running along at the same pace of most of those around us from the start, until knee trouble hit, it is just unavoidable not to start tripping over folk ... and we even had to stop at one point! 3 - definitely agree that making the water the last thing you get to pick up on exit is probably a mistake as it is so rammed it takes you a fair old time to get to it.... and I really did need it!