In full: 'Run to the Beat' sounds promising and fun but running through industrial estates (Woolwich) for almost half of the race is dull. Lots of spectators along the way to cheer you up - great. The music stations were 2-3 live bands (which was nice), most of the sporadically placed 'music stations' were deserted stages where they played Ministry of Sound tunes and it felt like they are playing the same songs over and over again.
Quite hilly. First half goes up, second half goes down. You start and return to the O2 and will pass Greenwich Park (you skip the steep climb). It gets much nicer after the first half.
There were a lot of runners and spectators – commuting to The O2 was a nightmare (as always). Tubes (jubilee line) were running every 30minutes and when they came, they were so packed, people started to faint and cry. This is not the ideal start for a 13mile race. My friends who made the effort on a Sunday morning even got stuck on the tube for 45minutes. Well, this is TFL not the actual event.
We luckily kept our bags in our car, the bag drop was a mission on its own, pre and post race.
There was not much space to properly warm up and find a quiet area to focus, the race got delayed due to tube issues. It was quite cold and windy and we had to wait a good while in our waves until we got going. All the warm up effort was gone. No goody bags but nice medals and silver blankets after the race. Your time is recorded via time chip.
Getting away from there was the biggest issue. If you weren't departing immediately you were stuck like forever at The O2. Tube closed, no cabs coming, you had to wait for the boat approx. 2hrs. Finding a place to eat or just to sit was impossible. Food is (well-known) quite pricy there. We returned home in the early evening.
The T-Shirt was a joke. Felt like plastic, the print was cheap and I wished I had know this when I ticked the box to purchase it.
But I would recommend it with barring the above in mind. It's good to know what to expect and how to prepare yourself for it. It's a half marathon for all abilities and it takes place in London, quite easy to get a place and this years (2011) race sounds very promising because NIKE is sponsoring it. So definitely better shirts with a decent print. Well, I hope so. Date of review: August 9, 2011
In short: To long waiting around in pens . Didn't get over start line until37 mins cold and damp!! In full: The transport was very poor had to walk 6 miles to nearest tube as they closed all nearby for reasons of croud control!!! Date of review: October 20, 2010
In short: A nice course, great for a first 13miler In full: An opportunity came up to grab a place in this race so I took it.
Getting to the event was tricky due to London Underground engineering works over-running and only 1 way in, but thankfully the organisers postponed the race for 45mins to allow people to get there.
Sadly the weather wasn't with us, but that didn't dampen our spirits.
The organisation was sufficent, but the toilet area was a little chaotic and queue jumping was rife. :-/
The route was well marshalled and took in plenty of Greenwich.
I was disappointed with the music aspect of the run, particularly as this was what appeared to be the driving force behind the run! There were a couple of live acts, but the rest was a few vans dotted about with some speakers and I definitely didn't feel empowered to run any faster at any point round the route.
I was presented with a nice medal at the finish, but the other goodies were energy bars and smellies in big boxes and no bags to carry anything. Needless to say, it was sad to see some runners walking off with entire boxes of stuff which meant that runners coming in late were probably going to be short-changed.
Overall, it was a good run, but I felt let down that the hype surrounding the music around the route failed to deliver and if I had taken my iPod I would have probably got more from that! Date of review: October 19, 2010
In short: Hopeless organisation In full: OK so there was nothing they could do about the delayed start as even TfL don't appear to be responsible for TfL so it seems unfair to blame the race organisers. However, that doesn't excuse not properly labelling or sign-posting the pens, not putting out the mile-markers or making spurious "eco" claims and leaving the contents of the goodie-bags as a free-for-all. At 2 hours I was hardly a 'tail-ender' but there was not one single bottle of water or cereal bar left, absolutely nothing. Although there were plenty of sub-2 hours folks happily wandering round with arms full of goodies - I even saw one bloke with a box of the cereal bars! Pure greed and meanness by the runners, but rubbish on behalf of the organisers not to at least supervise if they weren't going to be sensible enough to hand out individual bags. Having battled into the finish area to collect my bag (which fortunately I'd left my own bottle of water and snack in) it then took ages to battle back out of the single exit where the one miserable marshall was making no effort at all to move people on and keep the exit clear. Overall left feeling very defalted and let down. Date of review: October 7, 2010
In short: lots of problems - but if you were in charge what would you have done? In full: So let's clear a few things up. The Jubilee line is THE transport method for most people, and the line was clearly screwed due to faults meaning that at 9:45 start time, very few of the entrants were actually there - so they delayed the race start and yes it was cold but the O2 was open to shelter in. if they hadn't delayed then most people would have missed the start - meaning more complaints yet it's not the organisers fault.
There were plenty of toilets near the baggage drop and I waited near there the whole time from 9:15 to race start and didn't see queues of 50+ as one person has said.
the problem with the roads re-opening is clearly an issue but London marathon copes so perhaps the organisers could look at that.
the course is decent and the medal is good. I did this last year and it was good then. A few issues but there always are with mass races like this. If you don't like crowds, enter one of the many great running club races. I like both so will be back again next year.
In short: So easy to make right, yet it was all so wrong In full: I'll not repeat ad nauseum the previous reviews: SHOCKING organisation, poor travel (why not lay on shuttle buses?), no adjective for the aftermath. BUT.....truth be told, the runners weren't particularly uplifting (yes we were cold and fed up but come on, camarderie??) and who do the sub 2s think they are for taking all of the water, energy bars and gels. I saw many a peep walking off with boxes. I was a 2hour girl and crawled under a table to find water and couldn't be bothered to argue for anything else. I was 15 minutes from home and we had post run snacks in our bags. Crowds were great considering the cold, wind and rain and the ladies in greenwich park holding out jelly babies was a lovely thought. Enough of the balanced view, since RTTB I've had a real comedown that I've never known. This was my first HM, in my hometown of Greenwich, in an orange tutu for charity and this ought to have been as close to perfect as possible for a virgin HM. I even hit 2 hours which was a goal I didn't think i would achieve due to the injuries I'd had as well as the two epi fits I'd had in the previous 5 days. Yet the problems were so avoidable. There is no excuse for not putting goods in a bag instead of a scram, no excuse for the delayed start, no excuse for hurdling us in like cattle in lamentable conditions and no excuse for the crap communication on the day. Even the ''helpers'' and marshals left so much to be desired. I finished and I felt nothing but flat. No, not post race come down but the simple things that make your day were not there and could and should have been there. NEVER AGAIN. Date of review: October 5, 2010
In short: More like Run to the Bleat In full: Start of the race was delayed by 45 minutes due to Jubilee line suspension. There was a strong wind that made it feel quite cold and there were foil blankets galore on display as people wrapped during the delay. The weather held out well though with just some light drizzle for a few minutes which was actually quite refreshing. This course is undulating and whilst I thought it would ease off after the 7 mile marker, there were still enough gradients to prevent a quicker pace and in the end, despite pacing at 9 minute miles all the way, I just failed to beat the 2 hour mark by a mere 17 seconds! The crowd support was energetic in places, but the big disappointment was the music, which was supposed to be the whole point of the run. It seems the spectators benefitted from the bands and recorded music more than the runners. Not a race I would recommend due to its undulation and the lack of good scenery. Nice medal and a free for all with energy drinks, shower gel and energy bars at the end. Date of review: October 5, 2010
In short: Worst Half Marathon I've ever run! In full: The organisation was terrible. I only made one Gatorade station as they closed the second one down, no sports gels left left for slower runners, after crossing the finish line no goddies left as all been taken, just about managed to get a drink! Very poor value for money, not even a t-shirt! Date of review: October 5, 2010