Wokingham or Reading?

any views of the respective PB potential of the Reading and Wokingham halfs? i'll probably do one of them on route to the Brighton Marathon.


  • I did my half pb at Wokingham.  They are far enough apart to do both.

  • Balds, did both last year. Wokingham has 3 or 4 bridges to go over with short inclines, whereas Reading has 2 proper hills, not that long or steep, but more than Wokingham.

    I came about 1min 20 slower at Reading than Wokingham, but i fairness, I built up big to Wokingham, and the effort caused me to lock my back, so had to sit a week out, and when I came back it was all a bit after the lord mayor's show.

    Some people argue Reading is faster, and although I can't see that, maybe if you attack the downs and work it on the ups you can use the much bigger crowd support and epic field to take you home quicker,

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    When I ran them both in 2008 - I prefered Wokingham. A smaller field but friendly and I found the hills more managable than Reading.

  • Reading has a better pb course imho because the two hills are brief and the downhills are long. But the course is hideously overcrowded so that negates any benefit.

    Wokingham is pretty flat with a couple of bumps over a motorway but can be a bit windswept. Smaller field, enough room to run.

  • thanks to all. and to Stevie G for the original tip on his forum about Wokingham entries being open.

  • Personally I find the last 2 miles of the Reading course a bit soul destroying (the A33 has very little going for it, and out and back along the Madjeski service road seems very long), although I always enjoy coming into the Madjeski stadium itself.  I always run better at Wokingham, too, and I guess that probably colours my view a fair bit!

  • Only ever run the WHM but signed up to do both in 2013.  Will report back in 5 months?


  • I got my pb at reading (twice). The "hills" are hardly noticeable. The harder one is right near the start, followed by a very pleasant descent to the town centre.

    Joolska, we are complete opposites, I really don't like the noisy finish in the stadium, but I enjoy the last section on the dual carriageway and green park. It is very flat, but allows me to pick up the pace nicely in the last couple of miles (my fastest split in 2012).

  • Reading isn't a pb course in my opinion, but I've been told that Wokingham is. I think the Fleet half is faster than Reading too, and it's a lot cheaper.
  • For the people who have Reading as their pb course, have you done Wokingham at the same fitness, and with the same effort?

    The only way I could see Reading being quicker than Wokingham is if you do well at Wokingham, and then take the 4-6weeks (whatever it is in between), and develop your fitness in between

  • My two fastest ever HM times were 1:35 at Wokingham and then 1:31 at Reading.

    Both were in 1989 though.  Wokingham was the original route through Sindlesham, Arborfield and Finchampstead, whilst Reading was roughly the same course but in the opposite direction, i.e. I ran up Kendrick Road, instead of down it as the course is now.

  • I've never run Wokingham, Im afraid. Living in Shropshire, I will make the trip down for Reading (a family affair) and enjoy the weekend. I ran 1:27 in 2000. I'm much older and slower now, but ran 1:32 this year. The course just seems to encourage fast running. If you think Reading is hilly (it isn't!), try Basingstoke. I ran it last year and it was brilliant, but I only managed 1:36.

  • Johnny, no one is saying Reading is hilly in the scheme of things, but it has 2 light hills, that's undeniable.

    Wokingham, MK, Silverstone, Gosport, are all examples of flat courses, which at most have slight elevations for bridges.

    Andy, if both courses have changed, hard to compare the times to the current courses!

  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭

    If you're looking for a really flat course for a pb blast, look out for one of the half marathons at Eton Dorney. Four laps round a boating lake so couldn't be flatter, apart from minor bumps over water culverts.

    My pb course is Henley. Does that make me weird?

  • Muttley -yes it does image

    Stevie - their overall profile isnlt that much changed though

  • I ran both this year and ran Reading 3 mins quicker and wasn't really trying for a time.

  • Loz, i find that quite shocking!  3mins is a monumental difference.

  • Yeah but Wokingham really is a bit early in the year mate.  My St Albans 10 time in January was horrendous image

  • Neither - do Fleet!

  • I've always found Reading a couple of minutes quicker & PB'd on it twice, not sure ther is much in the courses but Reading just seems to suit me more... That said one year I did them both then PB'D at Bracknell (which is tougher) - guess its all down to how you feel on the day!
  • I enjoy both of these events and have entered both again for 2013.

  • PG3PG3 ✭✭✭

    I've done both twice and I would say Wokingham is quicker.  Less people and a few gentle inclines.  Wokingham is also cheaper I think. Both are good though.

  • Both similar. This year I was quicker at Wokingham than Reading, last year I was quicker at Reading. Depends on the day.  In the area, Maidenhead was much faster for me this year...like 3 mins quicker.

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