In short: Set a new PB so happy despite the kerfuffle with blue numbers getting to the start In full: I've run Reading Half twice before and always appreciate the big race atmosphere; the bands are superb around the course and the DJ/crowd outside Reading Church were fantastic. The route itself is fine, much prefer the new route with a mile or so around Green Park at the start so the finish takes you straight up and into the stadium - rather than the mile away and back again pre-2015! The last 5 miles are a little bit boring, lots of straight lines but as we were pushing for a PB it was probably better not to be twisting and turning. Stadium finish as always was brilliant although I can never understand why they give you a foil, medal and goodie bag before you even get near a drink of water.
The biggest issue was getting to the blue starting pen. We stood in a fairly stationary queue for a long time only to be told by a marshal at a crossing point to go back to the red & yellow starters steps as it would be much quicker. Lots of blue runners headed back only to be stopped by security who said "don't listen to the marshals"! The race booklet does actually suggest the blue numbers use those steps and they did eventually let us through after a security guard manhandled a female clubmate. Left a bad taste in the mouth but ultimately we got to the start on time as did everyone else who'd been redirected back that way! Date of review: April 4, 2016
In short: Expensive, not enough loos but at least they put the race on In full: Whilst I'm grateful that the organisers endeavoured to get this race on rather than just cancel due to the floods it still isn't great. Even for a UKA runner the price seems steep for a cheap medal and bottle of water post-race. There aren't enough toilets - just a few inside the leisure centre - and the race briefing (which we missed most of due to the loo queue which we joined at 10am) needed a megaphone as I assume they were talking about the course changes.
I've done this race before when the start field was a dangerous mudbath so thankful it was much firmer this year. The new course was fine, it was very hilly but I quite enjoyed it. The marshalls were super in the main but could have done with the ones near the garden centre stopping the cars from turning in on the runners - I saw two near-misses as the driver just didn't want to wait any longer and my club mate was also nearly taken out in the same spot.
Chip timing to start and finish is a plus but isn't enough get me back a third time. A good hilly workout if you are fairly local but I wouldn't recommend travelling too far for this one. Date of review: February 24, 2014
In short: There is nothing like your home run! In full: I run a lot of races but this is my absolute favourite as it's my home run and we train on the course all summer long in preparation for race day.
Spectators were out in force again this year thanks to the sunshine, the noise through Cliddesden was spectacular as always but there were pockets of people all along the course which was fantastic.
Yes it's hilly but for every up there is a down and I'd rather run on closed country lanes than through a town centre. Marshals were great again, made sure to thank as many of them as I could for giving up their time to ensure we could run safely.
Speedy chip collection, high-viz tee very handy going into winter. Lots of loos and loads of goodies at the end, it was like a supermarket sweep!
Well done Felicity, Nina, Neil et al. You should be very proud this morning.
Louise Smith Chineham Park Running Club Date of review: October 7, 2013
In short: Hilly but fast if you train hard In full: This is my local race and I've spent months training on the course route with my running club CPRC, up and down those hills in the heat (just in case there was a repeat of last years heatwave!) The training paid off for each and every one of us. For every up there is a fast down section which offers definite PB potential. Running on closed roads was a delight after dodging cars in training.
Organisation was great, easy car parking, chip & tee collection, big queue at the baggage tent but the St Michaels Hospice volunteers seemed to be coping. The marshals along the route were superb as were the spectators. My family were in Cliddesden and received lots of high fives and positive comments from the runners for their vocal support.
It is a tough race no doubt but I'll be back year after year as it is my home race and the buzz during and after was fantastic. Well done Felicity, Nina et al and a big thank you :-)
Louise Chineham Park Running Club Date of review: October 8, 2012
In short: Fast despite the hills In full: I was supposed to be running Brighton Marathon today but at 20 weeks pregnant had to defer to 2012 so chose to run Frimley for the second year in a row. This is a pleasant run around Camberley and Frimley, the roads aren't closed but it doesn't seem to cause huge problems. The start "funnel" was again a bit chaotic this year trying to enter it from the front. The first few roads are so wide we decided to start at the back and overtake two thirds of the field on the way round.
It's not flat by any means, there's a hill at around 3km that keeps on going and going... round the corner and up again! Still, this feels a fast course to me, 48 mins in 2010, 51 mins in 2011 with a baby on board!
There isn't a lot of support en route, much of the course takes in quiet, leafy residential areas. Thank you to the family who had laid their sprinkler out!
The finish funnel was different this year and seemed a lot slower, being sure to stay in finishing order before being given a sticker then being called to a table to have your race and finish numbers recorded... all before receiving any water. Seemed a bit long winded compared to last year! Date of review: April 10, 2011
In short: Mixed feelings - good race, shame about Eastleigh drivers! In full: Well organised - parking at Civic Offices, t-shirts in the main hall (get there early to get your size though, Mediums gone by 9am), short toilet queue, started on time, clearly marked course showing all KM markers, delicious cake at the end.
The course itself was fast and flat, aside from one long incline so offers definite PB potential if that's what you're after.
Never been to a race before where the residents trying to drive out of/onto closed roads give the marshals so much verbal abuse, swearing included - just doing their jobs guys and they're probably volunteers as well, give them a break. It's not like the race doesn't run every year and there aren't flourescent yellow signs everywhere stating there will be road closures/runners in the road.
Really spoilt the morning for me - running with my sister towards the back in only her 2nd 10k (finished in 1:06) we really picked up on the bad vibe from these people, especially when one lady felt the need to shout out her window the race was causing miles of tailbacks!
The spectators who did come out to cheer the runners on were great and irate residents isn't the fault of those organising the race but we wouldn't do this again. Date of review: March 27, 2011
In short: Fantastic support & great rural/urban route In full: First time at Fleet after running Reading last year. Loved the run today, short drive from Basingstoke, parked straight away (free) - no hanging around for hours in the cold with tens of thousands of others like last year in Reading! Baggage drop a breeze and lots of portaloos near the start.
The start itself was a bit congested the first mile through the housing estate but opened out once we reached the High St. The spectators were brilliant today in Fleet, Dogmersfield & Crookham - much appreciated. Enjoyed the fast first 5 miles through Fleet itself before going rural. Nice downhill with 400m to go, lovely medal & a banana to finish.
Really enjoyed the Fleet Half, thanks to Fleet & Crookham AC for a well organised & supported event. A varied, at times very pretty route with a few inclines. I'll be back! Date of review: March 20, 2011
In short: Well organised, beautiful route In full: First time at the Salisbury 10 and it offers plenty to keep runners coming back each year. Race HQ, plentiful parking, toilets & the start all in the same place. The marshalls were all very vocal & friendly as were those manning the water stations. The route iself was lovely out along the river and back again the other side. A couple of short sharp hills at 6.5 and 7.5 kept things challenging and the finish on the athletics track was wonderful, lots of support and allowed for a real sprint finish. My clubmate and I used it as a marathon pace race finishing in 1 hour 30 but I'd come back in future to run it a bit quicker; offers real PB potential. T-shirt and cup of water at the finish. Great morning out, thanks Salisbury AC. Date of review: March 14, 2011
In short: Thanks to all involved at RRR In full: I regularly run the course route with club mates as a training run on quiet country roads, the first 5 miles are relatively flat with a few inclines in the next 5 miles. First time running the actual race (20) so big thank you to all the enthusiastic marshals who became even more vocal when thanked for their efforts/time & people manning the water stations.
Lots of support at the 2/9/12/19 mile crossroads junction - my family were there which perked me up each time we passed. Each and every runner was incredibly friendly, made for a lovely atmosphere where the course was lacking supporters.
I agree with Weevil - the guy practicing his golf swing scared me a bit - was glad he was gone on the second lap!
I had an excellent morning out in Bramley and would definitely do this again next year (just don't tell my legs) - it's 10 minutes from my front door so it would be rude not to! Well organised at the start and finish, great goody bag and a medal. Well done RRR, see you next year!
Lou Chineham Park Running Club Date of review: February 21, 2011
In short: Aching all over today, very enjoyable team effort! In full: Entered with 7 other friends in two teams of 4. We decided to stick together round the course and had a fantastic time. Loved running through the water hazards, scrambling under the cargo net and hurdling the smaller jumps. Was pooped by the second lap and had the boys hauling me over some of the higher obstacles. The hill halfway round was a killer, had to walk up that the second time.
Disappointed to see on the results that despite all 8 of us crossing the finish line together, one of the teams is listed DNF/S. I can only presume some of the chips were not working as many of the other teams are also listed as DNF/S. There are some teams listed as DQd for finishing over 10 secs apart so if lots of chips were defunct that needs looking at!!
I would definitely do this again next year, it was so much fun I'd recommend it to anyone! Date of review: November 22, 2010