AS THE final runners make their way into the Madejski Stadium we can begin to look back on another fantastic Reading Half Marathon.

In the marathon's 34th year the men's race was won by GB runner Andy Vernon, who set a new course record in a blistering 63 minutes.

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Andy Vernon setting the pace early on in the race

In the women's race 25 year-old Charlotte Purdue took their title in only her sixth half marathon.

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Charlotte Purdue

After catching her breath and recieiving the winner's trophy from Sir John Madejski and Reading Mayor Mohammed Ayub, she told the Chronicle: "I didn't think I was going to make it, I was seeing stars at the end, for the last 600m.

"My number fell off halfway round so I had to run holding it! People still seemed to know who I was though as they were cheering me on.

"The other half marathons I have done have all been just women's so I really enjoyed getting to run with the men as normally you end up quite isolated and you're running completely alone.

"It was really good out there and there was a great atmosphere!"

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Although Charlotte and Andy finished fastest, the crowds relentlessly cheered on the 15,000 runners who took on the course.

In the midst was a human sized Pikachu, a full Jamaican bobsleigh team and a WaterAid camel.

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In return for all the training, high carb diet days and strained hamstrings that go into a half marathon, the runners were rewarded with specially designed medal adorned with a Maiwand Lion.

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A full write up and picture supplement will run in this Thursday's Reading Chronicle.