In short: Shows promise, but could do better In full: Positives - Great weather: a tiny bit chilly to start but clear blue skies all the way around- - Running through Watermead Park: a very pleasant part of the route and you'd easily forget you were running through an industrial city - I was happy with my time of 1:53:12, especially since I've only been running at weekends for the past couple of months - A nice medal, t-shirt, banana and bottle of water: all you really need in way of a race-pack - The post-race meal at the Landsdowne Pub on London Road, which never disappoints when it comes to food Negatives - A ban on MP3 players, because of 'elf and safety. I'm used to running with music, and while I suspect it may have been for insurance reasons, banning music players seemed a bit over the top to me - The finish forced you through a couple of army tents and we were penned in like sheep, steadily seizing up, as we waited to pick up our medals and t-shirts. Why couldn't they just have a wide cordoned off area for this - there was the whole of Victoria Park to play with? - A bit of confusion in pre-race correspondence (i.e. where to pick up race packs; besides, why couldn't they mail them like every other race?) - The support was quite poor, compared to other races I've done, like Reading, Hastings or the Great North Run. Big thanks to those who turned out to cheer us on, but Leicester's Sunday morning shoppers just looked at the runners like we were zoo animals Date of review: October 14, 2012
In short: The friendliest half marathon in England? In full: The Hastings Half is sooo friendly and the local support is the best I've seen (even better than the Great North Run). OK, the race bag is non-existent and it's a bit of a hilly beast, but you don't notice them as you smile your way around the course and enjoy all the sweets and orange segments handed out by the locals. It's kind of like stepping back in time. In a good way. Date of review: March 20, 2011
In short: Great race, that gets better and better In full: The Reading Half is becoming an essential fixture in the event calendar. It's well organised (I forgot my number and it was as easy as pie getting another) and the crowds are very supportive. OK, it's a bit boring scenery wise, but the stadium finish makes up for it. Oh and it's quite flat, so good for PB hunters. Date of review: March 21, 2010
In short: Fine, but not out of this world. In full: RiotRunner is a new race and for a first event, the orgnasation was pretty slick. Top marks for the handful of marshalls who made this event tick over. But maybe it was the icy course and concrete hard sand or maybe I'm unfairly comparing it to the more established and buzzy HellRunner, but there seemed to be something missing here. Fine, but not out of this world. Date of review: January 31, 2010
In short: Good race, with the potential of becoming a Great In full: Warm weather always brings out the spectators, but the support in Reading was fantastic. Thanks everyone. Date of review: March 30, 2009
In short: Nice course, but after last year's reviews a bit disappointing In full: Reading previous positive reviews on this race, I was a bit disappointed on the day. The course itself was great fun - very wet and muddy with friendly marshalls. On the downside: - Massive queue for the loos, 3 for 250 runners - Race started 10 minutes late; not criminal, but was cold to be standing around (probably those loo queues!) - Villagers scowled as we drove in; they obviously didn't like being invaded by loads of runners - Mostly "proper" runners taking part, not ideal for fun runners - Had to park and get changed afterwards in a farm, with loads of dirt and dung - Massive queue for the tea afterwards - didn't bother
So, all in all, doesn't get the thumbs up like the Grim Challenge and Commando Challenge. Like I say, I loved the run itself, but not particularly everything else that went with it.
In short: Great fun, forget about your time and just get muddy. In full: I did the Sunday race, which includes a couple of two mile runs either side of the obstacle course. Great event, superb organisation and good weather (which always helps when you're getting wet and muddy). http://www.theredrocket.co.uk/jogblog/2008/10/13/commando-challenge-2008-race-review/