Reading Half Marathon 17-3-19
On the start line for this year’s 36th running of the Reading Half Marathon were the club’s Simon Bekker and Phil Quantril. A mass participation event encouraging 15000+ runners including a number of international athletes this was always going to be a wonderful experience in terms of atmosphere alone with thousands of spectators and varying forms of musical entertainment lining the route through the roads of Reading and the majesty of a finishing in the impressive surrounds of the Madjeski Stadium home to Reading FC and London Irish Rugby Club.
On the back of a seemingly world’s end week of rain and strong winds the jet stream decided to relinquish its brutality on race day by operating on much less tightly packed isobars and opening up the clouds to produce much sunnier skies. Still the ponchos were not going to be disposed of until the last possible moment.
Expectations for our boys going into the event were very different with Simon just hoping to finish after experiencing the very discomforting effects of sciatica in recent weeks and Phil looking to put in a solid run ahead of next month’s Manchester Marathon. Packing as many high fives with race supporters into his run as was possible this gave Simon the motivation to complete his objective with time being somewhat immaterial. Phil was not without his own difficulties during the race and whilst things did not go as he had hoped for at the outset, he was latterly philosophical of his run. The performance level is clearly there but sometimes there are things that just cannot be prepared for.
Both were in agreement that they would return again in 2020 for the 37th running of the event owing to the many positives of the event such was the excellent race organisation and route.
Report by Simon Bekker