By Matthew Farrall and Evelyn Williams.
It was a lovely cool day for running the Reading half marathon this year and a really good supportive and fun crowd were outside Christchurch; always a popular viewing spot.
Runner and Katesgrovian Andy Coltman said he was “a bit peeved with the £41 joining fee” but the support he gets in Whitley and Katesgrove really “gives him a lift and adds some paces.”
Another local likes the yearly race for another reason. Edgehill man Michael Wyatt said “I like the fact the roads are closed and I can walk down the middle of the street like when the snow comes.”
There were some great costumes including a Viking long boat, the Mario Brothers, Deliveroo, Spiderman, a Star Wars stormtrooper, a Jamaican bobsleigh team and the big bad wolf.
It was good to see an old friend or too amongst the runners. Whitley boy Darren Fyfield said “I’m rolling back the years mate – fittest I’ve ever been, at 48.”
A very happy crowd listened to a rock band (with no name) on Kendrick Road banging out some great standards such as ‘Johnny B. Goode’ and ‘Keep on Running’.
Meanwhile, at the bottom of the hill on Mill Lane, the entertainment was provided by Beatroots, Reading’s community samba drumming group. The indefatigable drummers made excellent use of the acoustics under the IDR spurring the runners on as they left Katesgrove for the town centre.
After a loop around the Forbury and down Blagrave Steeet, where racers were under the watchful eye of Queen Victoria, the run continued to the west before turning down the A33 and back to the Madejski Stadium.