RW Race Report: Standard Chartered Great City Race



by Kerry McCarthy

standard chartered great city race

When: July 14, 2011
Where:
London
First man:
Chris Busaileh 15:35
First woman: Emily Wicks 16:50
Last finisher: 49:00
No. of finishers: 5,100
PB potential: N/A
Overall rating: N/A

This is a race that does a good job of encapsulating the frenetic nature of life in the Big Smoke. It's a frantic, elbow-jabbing, spit-dodging, heel-trampling dash through the financial centre of London. Think every man and woman for themselves - don't bother with the niceties. And this is precisely why it's so enjoyable.

Organised by the team behind the London Marathon, the Great City Race is a 5K that brings out the primal instinct in most of the 6,000 or so runners who attend this sellout annual summer event.

Although it is an individual race, the USP here is the chance to compete in teams and by industry too, so that City law firms, financial institutions, media outlets and insurance companies can battle it out for bragging rights over the next power breakfast in their respective fields.

It attracts runners of all abilities, although those of the winners' calibre are in the minority - the vast majority appearing to be once-a-season wonders, runners who are reluctantly switching from the gym to sweat their way round the city streets in the name of team bonding.

The lack of experience or awareness of race etiquette and the abundance of financial services-fuelled testosterone makes for a thrillingly madcap atmosphere. It's running stripped down to its bare bones - run as hard as you can for as long as you can and be damned if the fella with the Eat My Dust T-shirt looks like he needs some help by the side of the road. Fantastic.


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