On your marks: runners prepare to race
Runners gear up for race day
The Reading Half Marathon gets underway on Sunday 2 March 2008, with over 15,000 runners preparing to complete the 13.1 mile course. Find out more information about the half marathon below.
02.03.08 | Reading Half Marathon | 13.1 miles
From its humble beginnings in the early 1980's the Reading Half Marathon has quickly become one of the most important fixtures in any racer's calendar.
Now, 25 years on, the race attracts huge numbers of participants and has remained one of the top events of its type in the country. It has also attracted many top athletes, including several overseas winners in the last few years with Kenya's Simon Kesimili taking the 2007 crown in a record time of 1:03:35.
See photos of 2007's Reading Half Marathon here:
Thousands take to Reading's streets
It's a little known fact that the Reading Half Marathon was one of the first races to introduce wheelchair athletes into a road race and helped to get the London Marathon to accept them later that year.
Runners will journey around the town centre on race day as the course stretches around Reading, eventually culminating at the Madejski Stadium where the finish line will be set in front of the North Stand.
Starting at Green Park, the race gets underway at 10.05am and heads towards Reading University before winding down into the town centre via London Road, London Street and Mill Lane. The race also takes in the Oracle, Minster Street and under Abbey Gate to the Forbury Gardens. This marks the half way point of the marathon.
The route then loops round the old Town Hall and into Friar Street. Further on and the course joins the A33 dual carriageway, before heading towards the Madejski Stadium and the final stretch. Following a brief detour via the Green Park loop the race makes its way up and into the stadium, finishing in front of the stands.
Click here for a detailed circuit map of the course:
There are two official charities of the 2008 half marathon. Money raised will go to the Fire Services National Benevolent Fund and CLIC Sargent, who provide support for children diagnosed with cancer or leukaemia. The Mayor of Reading's Charities, The Duchess of Kent House Trust and Pancreatic Cancer UK will also benefit from runners' sponsorship.
BBC Radio Berkshire will be live at the course during race day. Listen to Andrew Peach's programme from 9am for all the build up.
last updated: 26/02/2008 at 15:56