Get Set for the Sage Reading Half Marathon

THE streets of Reading will be taken over by thousands of runners on Sunday 17th March when the Sage Reading Half Marathon returns.

More than 14,000 participants will be taking part on the day with runners ranging from elite athletes to enthusiastic amateurs. More than 13,000 people are expected to run in the 13.1 mile half-marathon course which finishes in front of a huge crowd inside Madejski Stadium. A further 1,500 will be taking part in the shorter Green Park Challenge.

Hundreds of well-wishers are expected to line the route to cheer on the participants who will be raising thousands of pounds for charities as they run.

As always there will be a number of road closures around the route of the half marathon throughout the day and these can be viewed at:  www.reading.gov.uk/halfmarathon.

Participants in the main race are due to gather at Green Park for a 10.15am start when they will then embark on a route around Reading which takes in the University campus before they make their way into the town centre. The runners will then travel westwards before heading south to the finishing line via the A33 Relief Road.

A full route map can be found at http://www.readinghalfmarathon.com/ under the ‘Race Info’ heading.

A series of rolling road closures and diversions will be in place at a variety of times between 7am and 4pm on 17th March. A full list of roads affected and approximate timings of rolling closures can be found at: www.reading.gov.uk/halfmarathon.

Roads will be re-opened as soon as runners have passed through and it is safe to do so. Residents and visitors are being asked to plan ahead and allow extra time for any journeys they intend to make on the day.

Cllr Graeme Hoskin, Reading’s Lead Councillor for Health, Wellbeing and Sport, said:

“Sage Reading Half Marathon is recognised as being one of the key annual events for runners nationally and brings huge numbers of visitors into the town.

“However, it is also very popular among enthusiastic amateurs locally who help raise thousands of pounds for good causes as they pound the streets of Reading. There is always a great atmosphere helped by the crowds of people who line the route to cheer on the participants.

“As always, there will be a number of road closures throughout the day and I would encourage residents and visitors to check their journey plans ahead of Sunday 17th March.”

Judith Manson, Race Director said:

“With less than three weeks to go until we return to Reading, things are hotting up! The race village is going to be a hive of activity and post-race cheer. We have an incredible race list of new and returning runners, and it’s growing by the day. Whether it’s your first race or the final few weeks of preparation ahead of the London Marathon, we can’t wait to welcome you to the start line in March. We promise you a race day of rubbing shoulders with Britain’s elite athletes, personal bests, huge finish line high fives and some of the best race bling around!

 “There’s still time to enter so make sure you sign up today for race pack collection on race day at the Madejski Stadium.”

Entries can be submitted online at: http://www.readinghalfmarathon.com/

As well as the Sage Reading Half Marathon, the day also includes the Green Park Challenge which is a 3km fun run for all ages starting at Green Park and finishing at the Madejski Stadium, and the Hilton Hotel Corporate Challenge.

The full list of road closures can be found online at www.reading.gov.uk/halfmarathon. Residents can call (0118) 937 2771 in advance or on the day if they require further information on road closures.

Notes to Editors

Main arterial routes in the town centre will remain open:

North: A4074 Woodcote Rd to A4155 to IDR and A4155 Henley Rd to IDR. East: J10 – A329 Wokingham Rd – London Rd –Sidmouth St – Queen’s Rd – IDR. West: J12 – Bath Rd – Honey End Lane – Tilehurst Rd – Water Rd & Grovelands Rd – Oxford Rd– Chatham St –IDR.

Access from the South will be restricted as runners get underway. Visitors travelling into Reading on the M4 are advised to use junctions 10 and 12 until 2pm to avoid delays.

Access to Hospitals:

Royal Berkshire Hospital: Access from London Road; Berkshire Independent Hospital: access from Bath Rd/Berkeley Avenue; Dunedin Hospital: access from IDR – Castle Hill – Bath Rd access lane (allow for delay). Circle Hospital: access via Basingstoke Rd and Manor Farm Road.

Town Centre Car Parks:

All Town Centre car parks will open as normal, apart from Oracle Riverside, which will open at 12.40pm – use Oracle Holy Brook.

Smallmead Household Waste Recycling Centre and access to Link Retail Park will open around 3pm.

David Millward

For media enquiries about this release email david.millward@reading.gov.uk or call 0118 937 4289