Race Report: Reading Half 2016

With an urgency akin to the baggage drop/collection at the Manchester Marathon the editorial team at MCKEP Towers proudly bring you a sub-par race report from last weekends Reading Half Marathon.

With Simkiss, Davies, Jordan & Poynton all being offered elite entries, they formed a significant portion of this years lacklustre elite field. Despite this, the McCarkiss Endurance Project weren’t considered Elite enough to warrant elite accommodation – if only they were an Elite Project things may have been very different. Instead, Jordan camped up at a local Holiday Inn, Simkiss drove down on the day and paid nearly the cost of a hotel room to park, Poynton wanted to see the sights of Reading so opted for the shuttle bus from the opposite side of the town. Hywel probably cycled down.

The Leicester boys unveiled their bluey purple Coritanian vests with their race bibs JORDAN and PYNTON and thus voided themselves from any notable mention for the rest of this McCarkiss race report. DAVIES and SIMKISS of course wore their McCarkiss chafe-tastic Fastrax vests with pride.

Joined in the elite but not properly elite pen by old Kenilworth buddy Paddy Roddy – Simkiss thought he may have someone to run with/chase, until Paddy announced his optimistic target of a 68:XX finish – with this info the expected finish order would likely read:

RODDY (<69mins)
JORDAN (<70)


In a first for Simkiss, his legs felt good as the race started and was able to not get dropped by everyone around him – Roddy latched onto the back of the ‘proper elites’ (those that probably had been provided accommodation), Simkiss passed Jordan, with Hywel and NYTPON trailing close by.

Jordan trails behind Simkiss in the early stages

Jordan trails behind Simkiss in the early stages

Roddy went through Mile1 with a 4:54 split… sure he’s had a great XC season, but even McCarthy would spot this as a tactical faux pas. MCKEP athletes went through a little quicker than target pace with Simkiss at 5:17 and Davies in 5:22

From 1.5mi-2.3mi the course climbs gradually and Simkiss found himself leading a group – there’s a moments rest before what we can confirm was of sufficient elevation change and gradient to be defined as ‘a hill’ saw the group splinter and Simkiss get thrown out the back.

3-4mi was a mile of work for Simkiss as he gradually reeled in a struggling P-Rod. Entering the University campus Simkiss did his best to give genuine advice and comforting words to Roddy, recognising the symptoms of an over enthusiastic start.

Relax and take a mile to recompose… then push on again!

…Simkiss had once again proven himself to be a patronising arse.

As Jordan and Davies too passed Roddy it was clear he was having a bad day. Toilet issues and stitch were enough to cause a raising of the white flag for the day at 6mi.

The standard of field this year was notably lower than past years, as ‘in form’ Simkiss spent the majority of the race alone after passing Roddy, he would only see (and pass) another two runners before the end of the race – a disappointment for anyone hoping to have strong competition to run against, drawing out the best performance possible.┬áIt would be 40 seconds after he crossed the line before the next finisher trotted in, such was the sparseness of the field.

A shiny new PB of 1:11:36 for Simkiss should’ve been celebrated, but was something of a disappointment. Hywel was next of the group to finish in 1:13:04, with a dejected Jordan trailing in as the clock ticked 1:13:29, only seconds ahead of TYPNON – clearly the Leicester vest was a poor decision and had cost them both dearly.

With only weeks to go until ‘Marathon Weekend’, Simkiss has been taken ill with a mild cold which he won’t shut up about – Jordan has decided in a Gebreselassie like way that his statement about “not [being] sure if [he] want[s] to run London after the disappointment [of Reading]” was perhaps a little premature and over-reactive. Adcock is staging a one man protest and refusing to compete at London following the recent news that Stoke Gifford Council will be charging Parkrun UK for wear and tear on Little Stoke Park.


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