IRISH eyes will be smiling when up to 19,000 Reading Half Marathon runners pound the streets on St Patrick's Day.

Organisers have confirmed that the Mizuno-sponsored event, which made its debut in 1983, will again finish at the Madejski Stadium on March 17, with runners aiming to beat both their personal bests and the �235,000 raised in sponsorship this year.

Speaking at last week's launch of the 2013 event, Mizuno UK head of sport, Paul Stevens, said: "It's an important part of Mizuno's strategy to support running events that put the runner first and help get more people running.

"The Reading Half Marathon does that and we are expecting a fantastic day with record numbers taking part."

To book a place contact or pick up an entry form from the Reading branch of Sweatshop at 44 Station Hill.

*More than 200 runners are expected to take part in the 5k 'I want to run' fund event at 7pm on August 13 at Thames Valley Park, Earley. Register at