My very first race was the Royal Berkshire 10k in 2014. This was the event's first year and I came in at a very respectable 48:51. The course changed slightly after the first year and I did return in 2015 and 2016 to give it another go. Racesolutions own and run this event and it is very popular, with over 1800 runners crossing the finish line in 2017.

Each time I ran this race, the weather was unseasonably hot - maybe not so unseasonable then, since I've run it three times. But certainly not ideal for running and on at least one occasion it caught the organisers out as there was not enough water on the course for everyone. However, it was very enjoyable and quite flat. The course passes over the M4 and the Reading to Basingstoke railway twice, so there are a few minor inclines as the road passes over these. In 2016, I think that Network Rail had only just finished replacing one of the railway bridges as the tarmac still felt a bit sticky underfoot - but it could have just been the heat.

This race claims to be the UK's most colourful. Fortunately that doesn't mean it's one of those races where they chuck coloured powder at you, but rather that they sell colourful race t-shirts, there are lots of coloured banners and the medal is rainbow coloured too. There was a little controversy in 2015 when they issued the men with blue and the ladies with pink t-shirts but in general I think the multi-coloured theme is well received.

If you live in the Reading area and are looking to run in your first 10k race, then I can certainly recommend this one.  It is a lively event and you'll find lots of runners across the full range of ability, so you won't need to worry about being left behind.

About Matt

Not known for sport at school, I took up running in my mid-forties. Very soon I caught the running bug and progressed from the Couch to 5K programme, via parkrun, various 10k races and the Great North Run to running marathons and beyond in the UK and overseas. Now in my fifties, I still run fast enough to impress my friends and family, but not fast enough to think I've missed a vocation as an Olympian!

Race History

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