Around 15,000 participants took part in the 2016 Reading Half-Marathon of 13.1 miles. Here are a selection of my favourite participants for many various reasons. Such an event is maybe easy for the professional athlete and there were some who seemed to fulfil that category, however for others, elderly, disabled in some way or simply ” not an athlete”, things are harder and the effort they must make is substantially greater.
- For all participants and spectators there is substantial effort to get there on time. Roads are closed. Car parks are full and queueing is mandatory.
2. The race was open to all-comers, including elderly and physically disabled. They each found their own way to overcome the difficulties associated with a 13 mile run.
3. Thirteen miles is a decent length to run and all participants deservedly recieved a medal for finishing
4. The top athletes entertained the spectators and enjoyed the occasional. It was great to see real happiness on the faces of so many runners.Jenny Nesbitt finished as the fastest female on her half marathon debut in 1.12.53.
5. For the top athletes their finish suggested that they had plenty more energy and some might have seemed as though they would do the course all over again
6. Coming down the running straight many finishers accelerated or gave decent celebrations.
7. Some participants ran in groups and some such as these Breast Cancer supporters finished as a group
8. Normal runners also enjoyed their day out
9. Not everyone was in trendy running gear. Seems a suit is good enough for some
10. Not everyone ran alone. Some took along some of their family.
11. A variety of different coloured clothing and running shoes was worn
12. One of the major sponsors of the event was Garmin who sponsored not only the important foil blankets but also the event. Many participants wore Garmin or Fitbit watches or other equivalent.
13. Vitality were the sponsors of the whole event as main sponsor.
14. In the whole event I only observed one episode of loss of temper due to an event that happened in the finishing straight and may have impeded one runner. The marshals quickly diffused the issue. 15. Every race needs a winner. The winner of the 2016 Reading Half-Marathon.Professional marathon runner Robert Mbitha cruised to victory in 1.02.56