In short: I really enjoy everything about this race...except the last 2 miles. In full: I've lived in Reading for 25 years so I'm probably biased but this is my favourite half marathon. I know every twist and turn and I have lots of friends running or watching which helps. To be honest though, there is so much public support for the runners that I'm not sure that it mattered. The people of Reading are very encouraging and supportive.
There was a "pinch point" near the Abbey ruins and the last 2 miles is far from attractive but other than that I think it is a fabulous and well organised event.
I didn't have problems with my race pack, although the car park permit was a bit late but it still arrived in time.
Loved the Mizuno VIP lounge too !
If I can keep the fitness levels up then I'll be back next year. Date of review: April 4, 2012
In short: Everything was well organised and ran like clockwork. In full: This was the hardest HM I've done. Not sure how much of that was the course which was "undulating" with some long hills and some quite steep ones and how much was the blistering temperatures.
Was worried about having to pick up timing chip at the start but that worked very well with almost no queues.
The view looking down on Basingstoke at about 9/10 miles in the sunshine was surprisingly picturesque :-]
Was delighted by the support that the runners enjoyed in the villages we passed through. Quite a few people clapping and cheering and offering extra unofficial drinks stations and sweets. Their encouragement in the last couple of miles was very welcome.
Liked the "race village" and the finish in the park. Getting through to the start was a bit confusing but it cleared in plenty of time and I was grateful that we started on time rather than hanging around on the start line.
The organisers did a great job and for a first race it had remarkably few faults.
Well done to all involved in setting up this race.
In short: An enjoyable, well organised race In full: I enjoyed this race. I liked the loop of town first (although I realise reading other reviews that it needed to be longer) and I enjoyed running back through the town at the end. I think that gives it a "bigger" finish.
The system of getting people away from the finish was good and seemed to keep the finish line clear even at peak finish time. (Liked the banana instead of the usual chocolate or mini energy bar)
Starting in the town centre meant that there was plenty of free parking very close to the start/finish. I really liked that. For me it meant that I didn't need the baggage drop so I can't comment on those difficulties.
All in all, apart from me getting a rubbish time when all around seemed to get PBs (unfortunately that was my fault !) I had a great day.
In short: Enjoyable race In full: Good race and the course was well marshalled and signed. It was a good job because the course was mainly on cycle ways and footpaths. The marshals did a terrific job where we had to cross side roads.
The course was certainly "undulating" and the hill at about 8 miles made it quite challenging I thought.
The start/finish location was quite nice and spectators were able to get a coffee while they waited.
Only minor criticism was over the marshalling of the car park that meant people arrived later and left their cars in silly places. Minor detail that I think could be improved for next year.
In short: A well organised, well marshalled, relaxed race In full: Enjoyed the race, although the warm weather made it hard work (well it was for me !)
The whole thing from arriving in the car park to crossing the finish line was first rate. The marshals did an excellent job as did everybody working at the much needed water stations.
Particularly liked the relaxed start - none of the usual jostling for position that sometimes takes place. It made it much easier to get into you normal stride and settle to your own pace. (Thanks to the runners for that :-] )
Only thing I wasn't so keen on was the narrow uneven footpath between about 6 and 8 miles... or maybe I was just getting tired !
Great way to start the Easter weekend so thanks to everybody involved in running this event. Date of review: April 22, 2011
In short: Fantastic day. Organisation near perfect and great support out on the roads In full: Loved every minute of the race. Organisation before before the start in the race village and at the end in the stadium were faultless. Enjoyed the entertainment on the way round and the crowds were very supportive. I had a fabulous day and I'd recommend it to anybody who would listen ! Date of review: March 26, 2011
In short: Great race, well organised and a pleasant route. In full: Really enjoyed the race today. The organisation was excellent and the course was very well marshalled - thanks to everybody involved for their efforts. Add to that we were lucky with the weather and I had a good morning out.
Mind you, that bloke whacking golf balls parallel to the road had me worried - I was waiting for a golf ball to hit someone on the back of the head. Hope he naturally sliced the ball rather than hooking it :-]
In short: Enjoyable and very well organised (despite the weather !) In full: As others have said the start and end were along side the Thames which, while picturesque, were hard going in the mud. Not anybody's fault but it made the going slippery and unpredictable under foot.
The race itself was very well organised and marshalled and the atmosphere was friendly and welcoming.
If there were more runners then picking up race numbers on the day would have been a problem, but with the number of entrants and the poor weather limiting the number "on the day" entries then the system worked just fine.
Only real criticism was that I think £17 for online, unattached entry was a bit steep for this event when compared with others I've done this year. Date of review: October 3, 2010