For the 16th year running, the ever-popular Reading Half Marathon came to its finish within the confines of Madejski Stadium on Sunday, as over 14,000 runners completed the challenge in the Royals’ home.
After the disappointment of last year’s event being cancelled due to an unseasonal downpour of snow, this year’s Reading Half Marathon went ahead in perfect running conditions.
Mild and clear, with the recent brutal wind having passed for the most part, it was ideal circumstances for PB-setting or for first-time runners to enjoy the day.
Fitness fanatics, fun-runners and fundraisers gathered at the Race Village at Madejski Stadium in the morning, before heading down to the start line in Green Park. Once again the route headed into the heart of the town – passing by the University of Reading, the Royal Berkshire Hospital and Reading Station – before looping back up the A33 and eventually into the Madejski Stadium bowl via the south-east corner.
Residents lined the streets again in support of the thousands of runners whose encouragement helped to put an extra bit of energy into tiring legs.
The winner of the elite men’s race was Olympic athlete Scott Overall, whose impressive time of 1:03:50 was the best of the bunch – it was his second victory in the event, having won the race in 2014 as well. The winner of the women’s elite race was Steph Twell, another Team GB Olympian, who finished in 1:11:37.
For many competitors, the main focus was on raising money for worthy causes and once again thousands of pounds have been raised for various charities. Fancy dress was the order of the day for some – running in ungainly costumes providing its own challenge.
Among the fundraisers was Craig Peters, who works as Disability Officer for Reading FC Community Trust. You can support his fundraising for the Royals’ disability programme by donating at: justgiving.com/fundraising/craig-peters29
Congratulations to everyone involved in another fantastic event.