Vitality Reading Half Marathon provides Paul Pollock and Lily Partridge with early leads in 2015 Grand Prix

Lily Partridge

The sun was shining on 15,357 runners at the 2015 Vitality Reading Half Marathon yesterday and the new look race course did not disappoint. Pledged by the organisers to be flatter and faster than ever before, impressive finish times were logged across the 190-strong elite field. Amos Kiplagat was crowned winner of the men’s race in 63 minutes and 9 seconds with Lily Partridge (handicap -1.2)  finishing in top spot of the women’s race in 70 minutes and 31 seconds. Lily has claimed 250 Grand Prix points for the win and another 100 bonus points for running sub 71 minutes. Paul Pollock (handicap -5.3) finished 2nd in the men's race and, as the first British finisher, collected 250 for the win and a bonus 100 for his time of 64:05, which was under the threshold of 65 minutes.

The men’s winning race time came in 90 seconds faster than the 2014 event, and the women’s nearly two minutes faster. Five of the seven fastest female times in the UK were recorded at the Madejski Stadium yesterday proudly demonstrating just how fast the new course is.


Winner of the men’s race Amos Kiplagat says: “The Vitality Reading Half Marathon is a great event and with the new course, it really was a brilliant race! The flat course set us up for a comfortable run and the cheering both on the course and in the Stadium was fantastic.”  Paul Pollock crossed the line in 64 minutes and 5 seconds, closely followed by Ian Kimpton (handicap -4.2) with 64 minutes and 30 seconds.


Commenting on her win, Lily Partridge says: “I can’t believe it! When I checked my watch at the ten mile marker I knew I was on for a massive personal best so I’m delighted to have gone sub 71 minutes. The weather today has been excellent and the crowd support has been great!” She was closely followed by Gladys Yator in 70 minutes and 44 seconds and Alyson Dixon (handicap -0.9) in 3rd with a time of 71 minutes and 29 seconds.


Partridge knocked three minutes off of her PB race time, with only three British women running a faster race time in the last 5 years. Furthermore, five of the top six finishers race Personal Bests.



The Green Park start line was alive with energy and a rainbow of club and charity running vests.  Sir John Madejski set the runners on their way through the streets of Reading. There was an incredible atmosphere across town with roaring spectators lining the streets for the runners. Thousands more packed into the Madejski Stadium treating every runner to a hero’s reception.


Nick Pearson, Race Director, describes the event as a huge success: “A huge congratulations to each and every runner that took part in the race this weekend. Every year we are bowled over by the hard work and dedication of the half marathon runners, be they first timers, charity fundraisers or seasoned elites. And to the spectators, thank you for coming out and making it such a special atmosphere.


“Witnessing a sea of colour weave through Green Park and head into the streets of Reading was an extremely proud moment and I would personally like to thank our team of events staff, marshals and volunteers that make this event possible. I also want to thank our sponsors and partner charities for their continued support.”


The event organiser expects to raise a record amount of money from this year’s event, coming in close to £1.5 million.

Grand Prix points are awarded for the first 250 finishing positions in the six races that are in the series. 250 points are awarded to the first British finisher, down to 1 point for the 250th British finisher and there are extra points available for fast times. Up to the best four scores from the six available races count at the end of the series. If the athlete scores points in less than four Grand Prix events, their best two, three or single score will count towards the final standings. Prize money totals £18,000 and is shared by the top 10 male and female British runners at the end of the series.

We hope to have the 2015 Grand Prix standings live soon on this link.

The results of the Vitality Reading Half Marathon can be found here.

Don't forget to #clickyourclock on your weekend's result to see your % improvement of your handicap score and to be entered into the Reward Running competition for this week!