THE adrenaline will be pumping when a record-breaking 20,000 runners set off from Green Park today (Sunday) for this year's hotly anticipated Reading Half Marathon.

The extravaganza, now in its 29th year, is sponsored by sportswear giant Mizuno.

The action-packed day begins at 8.30am when Olympic Gold-winning hurdler Sally Gunnell fires the starting pistol for the 2.8KM Green Park Challenge before taking to the track herself.

Beijing 2008 Olympic bronze medallist Tasha Danvers and Reading Mayor Cllr Deborah Edwards will lead the countdown 90 minutes later for the wheelchair half marathon before setting off the main race at 10.02am

Surging crowds will line the route through south Reading, the town centre, Southcote and Coley and back onto the A33 before the athletes are cheered up the finishing straight to the finish inside the Madejski Stadium.

Many runners will sport wild and wacky fancy dress costumes and Midweek staff Maxwell Kusi-Obodum, Laura Routledge, Tessa Watkins, Emma Harrison and Joy Masefield are also running for charity.

Meanwhile nearly 80 companies will field four-strong teams in the Reading Half Marathon Corporate Relay Challenge in partnership with the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust, and Audi Reading are the official race car partners.

There will also be a rolling system of road closures up until 2pm with the main routes affected including the A33, Shinfield Road, Berkeley Avenue, Bath Road, Castle Hill, Liebenrood Road, Tilehurst Road and Northumberland Avenue. Access to the Royal Berkshire Hospital will be via London Road.