First 2013 Grand Prix race this Sunday

Reading Half Marathon

This Sunday sees the runbritain Grand Prix kick off at the Mizuno Reading Half Marathon. The race, which starts at 10am from the Madjeski Football Stadium, also incorporates the England Half Marathon Championships. The festival of running will start with juvenile races from 8-30 am in Green Park over a 2.8km course (or 1.5 miles approx).

Last years winners are not expected, so new Mizuno Reading Half Marathon Champions are likely with the fastest starters expected to be from a strong British contingent that will be challenged by an international field.


Andy Vernon (Aldershot) (MINUS 3.7 handicap, 25th on the ladder), Craig Hopkins (Portland) (MINUS 2.8 handicap, 112th on the ladder), Paul Pollock (Kent) (MINUS 4.3 handicap), Dave Webb (Leeds) (MINUS 2.8 handicap, 200th on the ladder) and Mike Skinner (Blackheath) (MINUS 3.7, 26th on the ladder) are expected to be very much to the fore and cannot be discounted in the final reckoning.

Andy Vernon has shown good form recently with 3rd place in the UK Cross Country Championships and with a best 10k time under 28 minutes he is clearly in the running for top honours. Craig Hopkins returns from his Portland base, that is shares with the likes of Mo Farah and Galen Rupp. His recent 14:34 indoor 5km clocking suggests his preparations are on song. Mike Skinner is returning to his best form that saw him win the 10 000m race at the Olympic trials in 2012. World Championship marathon runner Dave Webb should never be discounted as his experience and pedigree is clear from previous performances that include a 47-minute 10-mile performance.


The women’s start list also suggests fast times and exciting competition. Faye Fullerton (Havering) (1.7 handicap, 57th on the ladder) should be an exciting prospect as she takes on Maria McCambridge from Ireland and the in-form Sonia Samuels (Sale) (0.1 handicap, 29th on the ladder). Again an African challenge will add to the international quality and help to challenge for the time bonuses that the organisers have offered to entice the best runners from British clubs.


The majestic finish within the Madejski Stadium will be a highlight for all finishers, many whom are amongst the 13000 that ran last year.

Points will be awarded for the first 250 finishing positions in the men’s and women’s races with the first British finisher awarded 250 points and the 250th finisher awarded one point. These points will be carried forward to the other races in the Grand Prix with the runner’s best four performances counting towards his or her overall total.

Will you be on the scoreboard? The 250th fastest time at Reading last year for the men was 82:53 and for the women it was 1:40:49. If you are in that sort of shape we expect to see your name on the board!

Good luck and have a great run!


See details at

Course map at