Reading Half Marathon 2012

Just entered this for the 1st time!

Seems a great event, i have done the GNR, Liverpool half, Stoke Arf all of them twice and a few 10k's. 

What should i expect?  Is it hilly-flat, good local support?  I see 16500 is the limit and its one of the biggest halfs (GNR 1st) as regards the amount of runners taking part.

Always been on my list of halfs to do along with bristol, leeds and a couple more i cant remember of the top of my head.

I will be traveling up from north wales by train, i expect that to be a nightmare!! and staying at a hotel in the reading football complexs (it was either that or the hilton, but hilton was £130!! this is a little cheaper)

Many thanks for your imput




  • Hi Barney,

     I really like the reading half.  There are a couple of hills but they're not too harsh and shouldn't slow you down too much as they are fairly early on.

    The organisation and the support are pretty good and it has that "big race" feel/buzz about it.

    The one "con" (if I'm getting picky) is the last 1 1/2 miles.  Just as you're legs are starting to tire you have to run along a boring dual carrige way where there is no support.  You can see the stadium/finish in the distance but as soon as you're almost there you turn off into an industrial estate for another half mile.

    Oh, and the finish in the stadium makes up for the last 1 1/2 miles. It's superb.

  • I'm in - again.

    I looooove this event!! image

  • Barney... The race is first class in everyway... yes there are good and bad parts of the course but the finish is something to remember for a long time. the hotel is very good too . it has early breakfast for the runners etc and a late check out on race day..A bit away from the local station though but there are free busses on race day to get you back..................... enjoy and good luck.image
  • Gatton- Im staying at the 'Millennium Madejski', one of the reeasons i picked that one is i was under the impression its easy walking distence from the start/finish.......Is that right??

    Stadium finish....FANTASTIC, suppose i should of read the small print image

    The couiple of hills dont sound too bad, i would say the stoke 'Hanley Arf' is the hilliest i have done and after doing that twice i dont mind the hills on that one.

  • Barney,,,, the hotel is fixed to the Madjeski stadium so it is within 50 yrds from the finish. However you will have about a 5 minute walk to the start.  This is in Green Park if you are going to google the area.  Everyone has to do this and it is no problem.. I will be there to help you along if you get stressed...
  • I'm in for the first time.  So what's the best option with regards parking?
  • The official car parks are fine.  I used one just south of the stadium (PInk area I think) and it was easy enough to get out.

     The course is quite quick - as someone said a couple of hills but nothing long.  The support is really great although the spectators can crowd some bits.  Great race and can certainly be a PB one

  • Hi Barney,

    It says the course is flat (probably so it doesn't discourage first timers) but it's actually undulating. There are 2 big hills, one near the start to warm you up and one in mile 8 just when you don't need it - after that, though, it's pretty much downhill all the way to the stadium.

    I actually like the bit along the dual carriageway. As Gilly says, the turn that takes you away from the stadium before looping back is a bit annoying but the stadium finish is brilliant.

    Local support is pretty good, lots of people banging pots and the like. Last time I ran, at around mile 10, someone offered their neighbour stadnding across the road a cup of tea - I felt like saying I could do with one..! image

  • I'm in too.  This will be my 3rd year and its a great race.

     The 2 hills are nothing to speak of, the 1st one is quite steep but short and the longer one isn't too steep, apart from that its pretty flat. 

    I don't like the dual carriageway either and the bit when you turn away from the stadium is a bit of a downer but the stadium finish is quality.

  • The whole event sounds great to me, really pleased i have decided to do it after a couple of years of just thinking about it!!

    Im doing the liverpool half two weeks before this so im looking for a PB TBH in either that one or this one..........may be both?!

    Will be going on the friday night for a few light beers (only a couple) with the lads, is it near some half decent night life or is that another stupid question from me?  Any one recommend any where close bye for a small group of 3-4 males only to visit............And come to think of it any one recommend where not to go.  The last time i posted a question like this one on a forum (not this one) we almost ended up walking into a right dodge lap dancing club, one of them times what as you walk in, its like the music goes off and every one turns and looks at you.'s n dont's would be great


  • Hi Barney Im from Reading. The Stadium is a bit out from the main town so you will probably want to get a taxi into Reading. There are loads of bars etc but wouldnt know where to begin on recommending one.

    I believe there is a Jazz Cafe in the hotel/stadium complex if that floats your boat. Personally I salute you for having the energy a couple of days before the run!
  • Was expecting Reading to be flat but it actually does have 2 hills like people say.

    Nothing compared to any of the Bucks halfs, Wycombe, Marlow and Henley if people know those, but not as super quick as Wokingham on a month before.

    I do know people who have done Reading quicker than Wokingham, but I'd imagine that may have been due to the 6weeks between the events, or the person targetting Reading for a flat out effort!

    Quite overwhelming crowd support in places...not sure I liked it...Brass band and loads of cheers at some points.

    Interesting to run through the shopping centre, and of course the massive finish at the stadium.

    You do have to endure a tedious last 3miles down a dual carriage way before that though!

  • Pretty dull for most of the route with the different experience of finishing inside a football stadium.. depending on your allegiance to Reading F.C that's either a good or not so good thing!

    Couple of minor hills, quite a few twists and turns with a long stretch along a dual carriageway to finish.

    A lot of money for a not that special race in all honesty, unless you're a Reading fan
  • Marathon minnie...

    If i go for two nights, which i am on this one.  I like to have a look in the town/city where i am and see whats happening.  If i go the night before i just have a good walk around town then back to hotel and eat jaffa cakes and drink lots of floats my boat image . 

    Stevie G...

    I have done 'Henley' , nice to hear its not as hilly.  The other way to look at it is.  If you start and finish in the same place.......hills dont matter because your gonna run down the same amount as you run up (my way of looking at it anyway) 

  • I'm in.  Did it last year and really enjoyed it.  Can't say I remember it being hilly...  but I guess it all depends on your classification of 'hilly'.  Windsor is what I call hillyimage

    Stayed in Hilton- it wasn't cheap but well worth the money and a short walk from the start/ finish.  They also allowed you to use their shower facilities after the race which came in very handy.

  • I'm doing this again after a few years gap. It really isn't hilly. Compared with the potteries or north Wales it is flat. The first climb is early on, and not really too steep or long. The second climb is short and sharpish, with a bit of a gradual climb after it. So long as the wind is not in the wrong direction the dual carriageway bit is dull, but a good chance to pick up the pace a bit in the last couple of miles. The hardest bit is twisting and turning through the town centre, trying to avoid bottles and sports drink pouches under foot.

    It really is not scenic, and it is expensive, but i have to say that it is a well organised race (and my pb course)

  • Reading is my curse, but once again i am in... this is the most expensive race in history for me having entered 3 times but only made the start line once - Stress fracture and flu ended hope in the last 2 years.

     Good fast course, and free shuttle bus is a big advantage when staying in the town centre. 

     Does anyone still know if the unofficial beer station is still there??

  • It was last year ! along with cheers from the locals if anyone took a glass image
  • Ok you all talked me in to it. Entry sent !

    One of my closest events but i over looked it last year, and in 2012 im going to aim for events ive never done before, so it seems like a good idea.

  • Barney Wales, by that logic, Snowdonia marathon should be a sinch because that starts and finishes on the same elevation too image

    You never make up going down hat you lose going up.

  • Can't decide whether to do this for third time and bannish bad memories of poor times or do White Horse Half - just a few more miles along the motorway - on same day instead. Anyone done both?

  • DM Returns - the unofficial beer station is there, outside the Nags Head, at the bottom of Russell Street, near the 7 mile point I think.

    Look for the table on the left as you turn the corner.image

  • I decided to do Reading, really want to conquer bad memory of hobbling last 4 miles this year.
  • Stevie G . wrote (see)

    Barney Wales, by that logic, Snowdonia marathon should be a sinch because that starts and finishes on the same elevation too image

    You never make up going down hat you lose going up.

    Point taken!

    Training not going great this year.........Also My wife, My daughter and My dad have all got some bug which seems to last 36-48 hours.  My wife lsot 4lb in 2 days!! (and she doesnt have it to lose) she was made up with that. 

  • I've finished this once, got injured at mile 6 last year - so this year am determined to lay last years disaster to history! There are hills but compared to Plymouth where I live, they are a nothing. The finish has to be the best ever.
  • Looking forward to this as its my 1st Reading half. 

    Training......'OK'  i havnt done as much as i should or wished for reasons beyond my control.  3 runs per week with last sunday being the longest at 9mile so far, i no it should be more on the LSR at this stage but....

    Just under 3 weeks to go and i cant wait!!!!!

  • Dreading this now. Seem to have developed "runners knee". In agony after 4 miles.

     Gonna get some suplments at lunch and try plenty of low impact excersises and stretches.

    Touch wood!!

  • Sorry about your knee.  I fell running home from work last week - have got an elbow that is twice the size it should be and other bruises to delicate to mention - plus both knees black and blue!!!! Perhaps someone can tell me why we do this!   I, too, can't wait now - just so I can say that I have retired from Half Marathon running!  My son is doing it for the first time - he ran home from work last night - Heathrow to Maidenhead. Today can hardly walk as his hips are killing him!  People who don't run (like my big sister) say continually to me that I am completely bonkers!  Probably right - but then at 66 - who cares - I can still do it!

    All of us have a good one, despite the aches and pains!

  • Fair play 'Gladys1146'  66 and still running!

    Im 38 and feel like i could call it a day at any point and be happy.....and relaxe!

    Its when i hear things like that (66 and still running) it gives me a extra insentive to get out running again, thinking to myself if your doing it then so am i......Also another thing what pops in my head every now and again when im finding it tough is 'One day i wont be able to do is not that day'

  • Good for you.  Thats what I always say and when I get to the last 3 miles, I always say to myself, this is just like running home from work and thats easy!  Thanks for making me feel better and I'm glad I made you feel better - the Pacer for the 1:30:00 was over 70 - so there's hope for us all yet!
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