Where Greenwich, London
When October 5, 2008
First Man John McFarlane 1:10:12
First Woman Birhan Dagne 1:18:22
Last Finisher 4:14:34
No. of Finishers 7,252
Unfortunately, the most common sound at London's first half-marathon was feet splashing through puddles rather than skipping along to motivating music.
Conditions were atrocious, with driving rain and gusty wind. In addition, the Tube broke down, and with it the main transport route into the O2 Arena, where the race started, stranding thousands of runners en route to the start.
In the circumstances, the decision to delay the race start by 45 minutes was a good one, but it wasn't communicated well enough, leaving those who had already changed into race kit hanging around in the cold.
When the race got underway, it became clear that there were some serious glitches. Bib colours that didn't match the starting pens (determined by expected finishing time) led to confusion at the start, while a shortage of marshals (organisers blamed the weather and transport problems) led to delays at water stations and baggage reclaim trucks. But the course had a few highlights, taking in a Thames-side stretch, the Royal Artillery Barracks and Greenwich Park.
The promised scientifically selected music was hugely underwhelming, after six of the 16 planned stages were closed. This was disappointing for those who had left their iPods at home expecting to be carried around the course on a motivating wall of sound.
In short, this was a good concept that was imperfectly realised.