Goldline Events, the new organisers of the Sage Reading Half Marathon, has announced plans to make the 2019 event potentially the fastest in Britain and there are plenty of other reasons to be part of the 15,000-strong field on Sunday, 17 March.
Free elite entries are on offer to athletes who have broken 70:00 (men) or 80:00 (women) in the last two years for a half marathon, in a bid to spice things up at the front. Andy Vernon and Charlotte Purdue are current champions with times of 1:03:08 and 1:12:15. Domestic prize money is around £17,000 with further rewards for target times up to a total of £33,000.
It's not all about the elite, of course. Plans for the 2019 race are in full swing and organisers, Goldline Events, promise a course as impressive as ever. Highlights include Reading town centre, beautiful University Grounds and a finish inside Madejski Stadium, home of Reading FC.
Also announced are charity partners for the 2019 race. Cancer Research UK headlines along with Macmillan, Sue Ryder, Babies in Buscot, Sage Foundation and Age UK as Platinum, Gold and Bronze partners. Berkshire-based Creating Better Futures, First Days, Helen & Douglas House, Thames Valley Air Ambulance and Home-Start make up the five local partners.
Judith Manson, race director, added: “We are so excited to be working with our returning partners and welcome Macmillan, Age UK and Home-Start to the family. Charities are at the core of what we do; the 2019 event is set to be bigger and better than ever, providing the perfect platform for charities to spread the word about the brilliant work they’re doing while raising vital funds.”
Just six weeks prior to the London Marathon, the Sage Reading Half Marathon is the ideal event to fill that spring race spot to practice marathon pace ahead of the big 26.2 in April.
Images courtesy Sage Reading Half Marathon