In short: Hadlet Wood Ten - British 10k Review In full: From the day ‘Nike’ announced it would be sponsoring this event, I was excited. Being a great fan, my hopes of the event personifying Nike’s power in the sporting world, was hugely disappointing.
The first impression I had was that the infrastructure of the race had a really small budget. Considering the takings from entrance fees and spins offs from some 25,000 participants, it did nothing to reflect the enormity of the event.
As my team and I came out of Piccadilly Circus Station, we navigated our way to the baggage drops in the pouring rain; eventually arriving at a few tables with inexperienced attendants taking our bags from us, and placing them on the wet floor! There was insufficient security and post-race we came to find our main bag
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Hadley Wood Running Club open, and others bags left unattended in most parts of the baggage reclaim area. Shocking! You would think lining the streets with an army of porta-loos to cater for the nervous entrants would be a pre requisite ...I did not see any! One of our team waited 20 minutes for a relatively short queue near baggage collection. The rest of us making our way towards the start had to bribe shopkeepers for the privilege. Nearer the start, women were getting so desperate that they resorted to baring all in the park near the Ritz, alongside male competitors who were trying to look away.
Finally, the 20 minutes estimated time to the start, took at least double that, leaving no chance of a warm up. Instead we were damp from the downpour, and even more desperate for a loo!!
I’m no speedy runner, but if you were, you had no chance of a PB unless you were right upfront, and I mean upfront! Within 2 minutes of the starters running past those that were waiting in the funnels, you could see the congestion building. People were walking in the first 1k! WTH??! The mixed ability start made the run a shambles. There was no decent clear run ahead of you, and maintaining a steady pace was a challenge. I can think of at least 3 hairpin bends that I got caught up in, with that amount of people. Surprisingly, and thankfully, there was no one crushed!!
No doubt the Internet is riddled with complaints and criticisms, but for me the biggest disappointment was with the inaccuracies of time. There were huge differences for those of us equipped with the latest Garmin watches! Slower split times, and some of our data has not yet been found!
Never mind, I suppose. Those of us that took part were thrilled to be part of such a nationwide collaboration and just hope that whoever sponsors next year’s event will take heed of all the critique. Not a patch on the organisation of the Royal Parks Half Marathon. Date of review: July 9, 2012
In short: Excellent Route & Crowds marred by lack of staggered starts & crap goody bag In full: Early start at 9.35am meant alot of people are grumpy to begin with on this Sunday morning and particularly if the start is delayed and your dodging slowies for the first 3k.
Safely organised with a gradual walk to the start, however the PA system was inaudible and the mayor spoke for over 5 minutes about something, I cannot lip read! Nice to hear the National Anthem but maybe not 3 times. All this meant a delayed start and build up of tension amoung the ranks.
The free for all that ensued was borderline dangerous as I saw someone hit the deck and I was clattered from behind.
Given the numbers involved it is a minot miracle more people were not floored and injured. Why cannot this event have staggered starts for ability when the London Marathon and BUPA can with simarly large numbers?
The course was well laid out with good KM markers and encouraging crowds and marshalls.
Would have been a nice touch to have your Medal, goodie bag and t-shirt handed out as you finished as in the Bristol 10k rather then having to wander off for 20 minutes.
£50 does appear steep as I have yet to receive my photo or race time coming up to 36 hours later.
With such high level sponsorship you would expect better organisation and goody bag.
Summary of suggestions:
1) Staggered start by ability 2) Improve the PA system 3) Limit the Mayor to a 2 minute speech 4) Medal etc given to you as you finish 5) Secure and covered bag area. 6) Race times published within 24 hours 7) Toilets in Green Park to prevent public peeing. 8) More catering vans/stalls at finish - you have a captive customers base.
These improvements should make this a truly "Great" British 10k. Date of review: July 9, 2012
In short: Venue location & route - excellent, organisation - rubbish In full: This was my missus first ever 10k and thankfully she knows know different. Plus points - Venue location, good for beginners, excellent route. Negatives - Value for money - questionable, organisation - laughable, wet bags in the baggage bays, 45 - 55min shuffle to just get to the start line, no direction at the end of the race, absolutely crap goody bags (bag of nuts and berries with a flyer!), an app on Facebook that people could use but then didn't appear on the screens. No customer support even though they have a link on the website saying 'contact us'.
Lets see what the photo looks like that i will be able to download (thats meant to be worth £17.99) I hear what has been written before about the amount of people but i can honestly say that other than the route and a generally good atmosphere I will NEVER be entering this race again!
In short: Great for beginners but, as we all know by now, some organisational issues In full: Covered baggage bays, medals at the finish line and replying to emails would improve this one but the race pack info was excellent and there was nothing in the slight amateurishness that spoilt my day.
I'm a beginner and on the slow side and this was a very comfortable race to be part of for me. I was surprised at quite how many people I was overtaking but I set off about 30mins after the "start" and there was enough room that it rarely bothered my rhythm and I found the range of ages and abilities taking part really inspirational.
This had a bit of the feel of getting your mates together for a run round the park, which I can appreciate might not have felt like value for money but it was exactly what I wanted out of the run and preferable to the hyper-slick Nike take over I'd feared. Knowing the area well and practically memorising the race pack info (I was a bit nervous!) probably meant I avoided some of the problems - info did seem a bit hard to come by on the day. All in all though I was pretty impressed that they made it work so well with such a big crowd. Date of review: July 9, 2012
In short: HUGE POTENTIAL but enough few bad organisation to let down the whole race In full: Yes, this race has huge potential to satisfy everyone and be a one of the most prestigious competition. But unfortunately, wihout pen start and organised team of baggage staff, some portion of the racers weren't happy, ran out of medal and t-shirt, that is just embarassing! Date of review: July 9, 2012
In short: Another British 10k, yet another shambles In full: I first did this race in about 2008, because a friend had a spare number. It was the most shambolic thing I had ever had the misfortune to take part in and I vowed never to do it again. I even went as far as to vow to never wear Asics again for as long as they were involved with this event.
Then this year, I was again given a free place, so put my principles to one side and turned up on the start line.
Yet again, a total and utter shambolic disaster. The organisers aren't capable of running an event for 2,500 people, let alone the 25,000 that took part.
This is clearly marketed as a charity/non-runners event, so most of the course is spent dodging walkers in green tutus walking 4 abreast with linked arms, or trying not to get tripped from behind by those to got stuck at the back of the start line and are desperately trying to make up time.
I read somewhere that the organisers of this race have tried a few times to get permission to do an alternative London marathon. God help us all if they ever get permission, because I wouldn't want them to organise a kids birthday party, let alone a city marathon.
I also feel sorry for anyone who did this as their first race and thinks all others are so uninspiring and stressful and unrewarding.
I was embarrassed to be part of such a disaster and I urge anyone reading this to warn anyone tempted to take part in the future to save their cash and possibly also their sanity Date of review: July 9, 2012
In short: Good course, too busy for PB, mildly shambolic organisation In full: I suspect many did this for the opportunity to reclaim the roads of central London for one day. On this basis it didn't disappoint.
It was expensive, which is to be expected for organising a big event in C London. I didn't feel overly ripped off w 2 good quality t-shirts and a photo. Contents of goodie bad were laughable but I don't really care about that.
Bag drop had potential to descend into chaos (due to weather and size of event) but wasn't much worse from other events i've experienced.
I'm sure I saw runners pinching t-shirts before the race, which reflects badly on them, but does beg the question as to why they weren't stored securely.
Time based starting pens would be preferable to avert the much discussed issue of walkers; but to be fair to the organisers they did make it clear that there wouldn't be any, and the start line would be first come first served. Unfortunately their request for slower people to keep to one side didn't seem to be adhered to or marshalled.
Atmosphere on a very rainy day was surprisingly good.
There are many courses better suited for a PB, and offering much better value; but for a mass event running 10k round central London, this delivered. Date of review: July 9, 2012
In short: Great course, terrible organisation In full: I could write so much about how terrible the organisation of this race is from it taking two weeks and far more emails than ought to have been necessary to get someone to even reply to my issue with my race number tshirt meaning that I had to make a trip into London the day before the race to collect a new one, to the fact that some people didn't get a medal at the end because they ran out(!) and a million things in between but it has all been said before. It is such a shame because this could be a great race, it is a really nice course and the atmosphere was brilliant, but for a race costing this much I expected much more. Date of review: July 9, 2012
In short: A nice fun or charity run being in London, but poor organisation and value In full: Well, I think it's all been said before. Poor signs from tube stations, terrible bag drop (no cover from rain, not secure, helpers couldn't find bags in the jumble at the end). Good atmosphere, good crowd, decent marshals on the route although spectators crossing the road a nightmare. Very crowded run, slow runners and even walkers at the front, a few people bumping and pushing, very rude, but most OK. Nowhere to change before or after. One plus point, quite a lot of loos at the start. Did it for charity, won't do it again. Date of review: July 9, 2012
In short: Great fun - but get close to the front In full: I have been reading the previous reviews and thought I would add a little balance. Yes the contact before the event is poor and could definately be improved. I didn't like the idea of everyone wering the same shirt but actually on the day it looked impressive. The baggage control needed a cover to prevent the bags getting wet but with a little forethought runners could always put the gear they are going to change into in a plastic bag inside their bag - my clothes were lovely and dry! Get real, there are 25,000 people running in this event and there are bound to be queues to start - top tip, get there early and then you will be near the front. Run with a friend and this will distract you from having to run around slower runners and getting worked up about it. My watch at the end showed that I had actually run 10.65k so there was a lot of bobbing and weaving involved. The crowds watching were magnificent, the sites inspiring and no pot holes in the road. Why were there not enough medals - probably because some people decided to grab things from bags rather than wait to be handed one. It was worse last year because I saw a number of people taking more than one shirt when the provider was distracted at least this year you had to exchange a voucher. In summary if you are a serious runner, get there early and move as close to the front as you can, accept the fact that there will be people ahead of you that should have started further back, I have yet to run in any event even with waves where some believe they can run faster than they are really able. Finally always smile when you see a camera it will enhance your day. Date of review: July 9, 2012