Last year, the Reading half marathon was called off at short notice because of treacherous, icy conditions on the roads. The weather remains unpredictable this year; Reading may have had some of its best summer weather in February!
This year’s half marathon starts at Green Park, as usual, and finishes at the Madejski Stadium on Sunday 17 March (St Patrick’s Day).
The wheelchair race starts at 10am and the elite runners, followed by all other runners, start at 10.15am. After leaving the stadium, the route snakes around the Bennet Road gyratory and up to Reading University’s Whiteknights campus. The runners follow the ridge westwards towards Christ Church where they plummet down Kendrick Road towards the town centre.
After looping around Oracle Riverside, which is about half-way, the runners go east along King’s Road before turning towards Forbury Gardens through the Abbey Gateway, then they run along Friar Street and Oxford Road.
The race heads up hill again on Russell Street, along Tilehurst Road to Prospect Park and then back along Bath Road to the A33 and the stadium.
The first elite runners are expected to complete the race by 11.15am.
There will be a rolling programme of road closures around Reading as the race passes through. Northern Way, Hoops Way and Shooters Way around the Madejski stadium will be closed from 7am to 4pm. Tree-lined Hartland Road will be closed from 9.30am to 11.40am and London Street will be closed from 9am to 12.40am. Roads around the Abbey Quarter, including Market Place, will be closed between 9.30am and 12.45pm.
Reading Buses expect their services will be disrupted and they will publish details of cancellations and diversions.
Teams entered in the already sold-out Hilton Corporate Challenge can participate in the half marathon or the Green Park Challenge, a 3k fun run which is also open to individuals, families and children, and starts at 8.30am. The Green Park Schools Challenge has prizes for the first three teams in each age category.