In short: Great Fun - Great Course - Great Big Queues In full: Overall a fantastic race, great support even from the somewhat bemused Japanese tourists all round Westminster and along the Embankment :-)
Pros - Great location, traffic free, flat course and excellent support.
Cons - Queues for the Loos and the Bag-drop were horrendous. The Good-Bag, was literally that "a Bag". I think they forgot to actually put anything in the bags ??? Just an empty brown bag - little bit wierd !! The wooden medal was different, but doesn't really do the race justice. The free bananas and drinks were appreciated.
Overall, a great run though. I would recommend it to anyone, just remember to get there earlier than you think you need to, so you can use the loo and drop your bag off or you WILL miss the official start. Date of review: October 12, 2009
In short: cracking event- worth the hassle of entering In full: After the less than straightforward online registration the rest of the event seems to have gone swimmingly, I arrived not long after the baggage tent opened, so managed to avoid the worst of the queues for that and the loos. The course starts out wide, so I didn't have problems with overcrowding, but I was starting from somewhere near the front of the green 'wave' (second start). Nearly pancake flat course means its good for PBs, was too tired to take in most of the festival but it seemed to be popular. Date of review: October 12, 2009
In short: My first half and I'm converted! Fabulous organisation, glorious scenic course through London's most historic roads and parks (no hills, big + for me!), great for spectators too. Deserves to be classic like the Great North so book for next year now Date of review: October 12, 2009
In short: All 2008 issues sorted, brilliant In full: Last year I did this for my first half marathon. Had to come back and do it again. Last years was great, this year they fixed any small problems from last year. Toilets - still long queues but probably three times the number that they had last year. Support - last year support was great, but it got a bit lonely in the park. This year, all the main cheering spots by charities were moved into the park making it a more supportive atmosphere and just what was needed through the difficult miles Date of review: October 12, 2009
In short: Potentially great race let down by several issues In full: Great location etc and nice festival, but:
- website problems: a disaster when initially trying to register and still no results 24 hours after race - the fastest front "Orange" pen was filled with runners of all ability; took me 6 minutes to cross start line - loo and baggage queues incredibly long compared with similar and larger events
In short: Not the race it could have been - a glorified fun run In full: There is so much that is great about this event, which is what makes it all the more frustrating that a little bit more thought and effort is not put in to make it a race for runners and not just a glorifed fun run.
The baggage drop-off at the start was a very orderly and structured process but with that many runners arriving within a short time period you either need it a simpler process of just dropping off or a lot bigger to avoid the queues.
Not having any process of checking people entered the right coloured start area is not great for an event of this size if you want to attract club runners and give everyone the chance of a good time.
Not having barriers or even just tape separating the two flows of runners going up and down the embankment was poor. As was to then not have a timing chip mat at the far turn to make sure people stuck to the course.
All that aside, everything else about the event was fantastically well done, a stunning course and a great atmosphere!
Get the basics right and this race would be head and shoulders above anything else around. Date of review: October 12, 2009