In short: A thoroughly enjoyable event In full: I really enjoyed the race. The whole atmosphere was much more like the half marathons I've done than the 10k races.
Others have picked up on the start pens being too small. The warm-up was a bad idea under those circumstances. The bloke in front of me managed to stand on my foot trying to take part - not an ideal start for me.
The course was pleasant and the race village interesting and well set out and there was plenty to do and see while you waited for the race.
Having the pacers was a great idea and the one I was tracking did a great job.
Shame we've got to wait for a year for the next one ! Date of review: May 21, 2014
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 :-]