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Madejski Stadium welcomes runners to end of Reading Half!

5 April 2016

Thousands of runners finish at Reading FC

Reading came to a standstill on Sunday in order to host the 33rd annual Reading Half Marathon – which once again saw runners reach the finishing line within the confines of Madejski Stadium.

Runners met at Madejski Stadium in the morning to head to the on-site Race Village, before heading down to the starting line in Green Park for the start of the race, where Sir John Madejski was on hand to wave the participants on their way.  From there, the course looped through the streets of Reading – through the grounds of the university, past Reading Station and the town centre, and alongside Royal Berkshire Hospital – before heading into the final straight inside the home of the Royals, finishing in front of the dugouts inside the stadium.

Sir John Madejski, Reading Mayor Sarah Jane Hacker and Olympic 400m sprinter Iwan Thomas MBE give runners a send-off at the start line

Throughout the entirety of the 13.1-mile course, the streets were lined with locals who were giving a boost to the runners – whether that was in the form of offering sweets and drinks for a much-needed hit of energy on a warm day, or just by offering support and encouragement from the sidelines.  And the stands at Madejski Stadium were also filled with supportive spectators, who cheered the runners through the final few yards of their gruelling challenge.

More than 12,000 runners took part, raising fantastic sums of money for much-deserving charities.  That included a number of Reading FC staff, former Royals captain Ady Williams, and GetReading's Reading FC journalist Charles Watts – there’s still time to donate to Charles’ chosen charity Woking & Sam Beare Hospices!

Can finally see the start line. Here we go!

— Charles Watts (@charles_watts) April 3, 2016
A number of fundraising runners took part in less-than-practical fancy dress of every variety – and Wokingham-based pilot Scott Forbes became the first world record breaker in the history of the Reading Half Marathon!  His time of 1.18.13 would be impressive even if he had been fully kitted-out in race-wear… but the fact that Scott wore a three-piece suit for the entirety means he will be entered into Guinness World Records!

Scott Forbes looks remarkably unflustered after setting a new world record

As always, plenty of Reading supporters chose to show their colours throughout the race… if you were wearing the blue and white hoops for the race, tweet @ReadingFC with your pictures and we’ll make sure we share your pics with the world!

@ReadingFC@readinghalf always 😀

— andy patrick ✈️ (@Andypatrick64) April 4, 2016
In the elite athletes’ race, Kenyan runner Robert Mbithi took the gold medal on the day with a time of 1.03.57, while Worcester AC runner Jenny Nesbitt won the women’s event on her first ever half marathon outing with a time of 1.12.54.

Judith Manson, Race Director, described the event as a huge success.  “A big congratulations to all the participants that took part in the race on this beautifully sunny Sunday. Reading has once again played host to a fantastic event with so many dedicated runners crossing the finish line as first timers, charity fundraisers or seasoned elites – and even a world record holder!

“The success of the day would not be possible without the fantastic efforts from our team of events staff, marshals and volunteers so I’d like to say a huge thank you to them as well as to our partners, sponsors and charities for their continued support.”

Many congratulations to all the runners that completed the race at Madejski Stadium!

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