In short: Awful organization and high entry cost spoil what could be a great race In full: I didn't have high hopes for this race as the reviews from previous years were poor but somehow I still felt let down.
Pros: 1. The scenery, Big Ben, Embankment, great views and mimics part of the London Marathon. 2. The medal's nice. 3. T-shirt although too big, nice. 4. Crowd, very supportive.
Ok that's the good stuff over, here comes the bad news....
Cons: 1. We were there at 7.55am before the baggage bays open, didn't even have any baggage. We were escorted by marshals towards the start and held in St James' St. We were some 20 rows from the front and quite happy we were near the front. Sadly after being held there for an hour in the sun and walked to the start proper there was some 20,000 people ahead of us, where did they come from?!
2. Race start delayed, come on guys, its bloody hot, no need to keep people waiting in the sun just to hear Katrina and the Waves churn out 3 sh** songs, seriously who cares? Then we had some awful speech by some buffoon who basically had nothing to say.
3. After the delay then had to wait just to get past the start line, 25 mins, didn't hit the start line until 10.15, over 2 hours after arriving.
4. Walkers...walking from the start...argrhh! Spent first 2km dodging a wall of people walking who clearly didn't give a toss. Having to jump on and off the pavement dodging barriers. Wasting lots of energy doing this. Most of the race you're trying to find the slightest bit of space to run. Forget doing a PB here. This was the slowest 10k I've ever done by 10mins. Why they can't start people by predicted finishing time I don't know.
5. Very few distance markers.
6. The finish, no big sign, no balloons, nothing. Just a timing mat on the floor, didn't even realise it was the finish until we were 20m away. What a poor anti-climax.
7. Getting your medal. It doesn't get handed to you after you finish. You have to begin the treasure hunt to find it! No stewards or marshals to tell you where to go. Ask someone with a medal where he got it, went where he said but no...that was for BLUE numbers, we were RED so try to march back where we came from but jobsworth steward would'nt let us back in!
With a reasonable entry cost, starting according to predicted times and medals handed out at finish this could be a classic race. As it stands its an absolute shambles and least enjoyable race I've ever done.
I'll never ever enter this race again. Date of review: July 15, 2013
In short: Start line is a mess, great route, good support, perfect for casual runners In full: This was my second year doing this race. It's a great route and a lovely day should have made it brilliant but the organisation was poor. The start was a farce. We got there early to get to the top of the queue, we were held by marshals before the start line only to find that when we got to the start participants had gone through Green Park to avoid the holding area and we were actually very far back. At the start line the atmosphere was terrible. Last year there had been a good MC, big screens and some good music etc, which is what is needed for a run like this where a lot of first timers / casual runner take part. The atmosphere was dead. The MC was horrific, the music was terrible, (Non stop Abba was tedious!)and we were delayed for no apparent reason. The start line did not even have a race clock so it was impossible to tell what time I crossed the start line at, so unless you had your own stop watch you couldn’t tell how you had performed. The route is great and this race is definitely more suited to more casual runners but this year was definitely a step back in terms of presentation and organisation.
In short: Great course let down by terrible organisation In full: I was so looking forward to this race. It was my first time taking part and was hoping to clock a PB despite the incredibly hot weather. However like others have said, this is near impossible unless you're right at the front. A wave start has to be implemented for a field of this size.
We were penned in at the start for over an hour, as the sun was getting hotter and hotter. I didn't get going until10:15am. Did we need three songs from Katrina and the Waves? Why was it so difficult to get us started on time?
I also had to argue for a medal. I didn't drop a bag as I live in London and the magazine says its not compulsory. I was dripping with sweat, still had my race number on - clearly I had just taken part!
I don't think I would do this one again. Despite it being such a great setting and on my doorstep, the organisation was so poor and the terrible starting conditions make this a bit of a no. Date of review: July 15, 2013
In short: Poor Oranisation Didnt get a Medal In full: 1. Start a joke - should do a wave system, I spent the whole race stuck behind people. I am currently in 36/37 min shape and did 42mins! 2. Course is very flat very good for PB if you start at the front but no way of doing this - get a wave system! 3. Finish - weren't told where to go to get medal. But worse than that,I went to get medal and they said I couldn't get one because I wasn't collecting a gab from the baggage area. WHAT?!!?!?!? How does this make sense? I had my number on, I live in London so don't need to take a bag! 4. Race is £50 - absolute ripoff!
Wont do again but organisers don't care they'll still get thousands doing it next year
In short: This is their 13th time they have run this event and they still struggle with the Organisation, I have seen pub races organised better In full: I've done this race 3 times now and the organisation is still terrible, how long do they need to run this event to get it right.It was meant to start at 9.30 but I didn't get to cross the start line til 30 minutes later,I arrive early at the start point, as I know the best place to start is close to the front, but the marshalls let everyone in ahead of us as they came from every direction except the correct point,I spent the whole time dodging in and out of people walking,no chance of a fast time due to where I started, Will not do this race again and won't reccomend it to anyone else. Date of review: July 14, 2013
In short: It's my own fault In full: I can't believe I was stupid enough to do this one again. Agreed to do it with a friend as their first run. It's just so badly organised. Having experienced the chaos of the start before, we got there over an hour before the scheduled start time yet still managed to cross the start line over half an hour after the (delayed) actual start. We spent the whole time dodging in and out of people walking - fair enough for them but the organisers insistence that its not possible to have time starting based pens in this type of race is pathetic. The BUPA 10,000 does it. And being picky - the water given out was warm and had really fiddly to open tops. Date of review: July 14, 2013
In short: Not enough toilets, baggage bays to far away and poor water providers. London fantastic and the crowd was amazing In full: Come on guys we need more toilets near the start, its no good putting them all at the baggage bays which is half a mile away, especially as you held us in the start position for an hour. You also need better organisation at the water tables, they were trying to undo the lids , just hand out the bottles. However that said, the backdrop of London was amazing, the crowd was superb and the overall atmosphere makes you want to do this again. Date of review: July 14, 2013