In short: Whine, whine,whine, do people actually read the instructions? In full: I am really amazed at the amount of bad vibe this race gets.
Almost every single complaint I have read here is addressed in the booklet that one receives with the race pack:
- You are told where you will get your medal. It is fair enough to expect stewards should know this, but why participants don't know it?
- You are told how the baggage works, you get maps that show exactly where to leave your bag, and you are shown the route you are supposed to follow to the start. Central London presents some obvious logistics problems, so walking a relatively long distance to the start is part of the price to pay for running in Central London (and this is, again, mentioned in the booklet).
- All those uppity people whining about not making a PB frankly are pathetic. This is a mass participation sport, the objectives are to promote running and London, not to facilitate a few pedants with an easy course. And you are told that there is no start according to predicted times, which to any reasonable person would mean that this isn't a race where you will make a PB.
- People complaining about starting their race 10, 15 or 20 minutes later than the announced time: stick to village runs, this is one of the biggest races there is and obviously it isn't possible to ensure an immediate start as soon as the gun goes off.
And so on and so forth.
There is of course some justified criticism:
- The race should scrupulously start at the advertised time. No speeches, songs or nonsense after 9:35. It isn't fair to the runners, specially because we have to stand for a long while before getting going.
- There should be toilets in the start area, people just use the bushes in Green Park which is most unfortunate.
- Walkers and very slow runners should either be segregated or marshalled more firmly: people are told where to be in the road if they are slow but , again, people aren't reading the manual.
- I am sure water provisioning could be better. in such a hot day the lack of water could cause an incident.
In synthesis the race is an excellent celebration of London and running, the organizers certainly need to improve the logistics, but participants have a responsibility to read the instructions they are given.
In short: Save your money. In full: I had been warned. You have no chance of running at any speed because of the charity types clogging up the road. I dismissed this as I would be near the front and ready to run. To achieve this I got to the start really early and having already been to the toilet I sipped my water bottle slowly and waited for the start at 9.35. Except the race did not start then. I was also worried because I could hear other runners chatting about how it would take them about 90 minutes to finish the course. It was also getting hotter and so I was drinking a bit more. Eventually we started. I ran up to speed and then slowed down to bypass some walkers. By 3KM I needed to get rid off the water I had been drinking and I was well of any PB time. I ran as fast as I could but the constant stopping and apologising took its toll and I finished the race well of PB time and swore never to do it again.
I had no issue with the water stations or marshals and I think many of the complaints about medals etc could have been avoided by simply reading the information sent out. However the lack of a staggered start is something that should put off any semi serious runner. Date of review: August 26, 2013
In short: Charity runners will prevent you getting a PB In full: Waited for an hour to start. Stupid emcee tried to get us to do a Mexican Wave. People climbing the barriers to push in front. No access to toilets while waiting. During the race charity runners kept running through flat out and then stopping dead in front of you. Almost fell over a couple of them, one at the end of the race when I was going for a sprint finish. Impossible to get a nice running rhythm going because of them. Could spent up to £50 on photos afterwards, but only took the free one :) Date of review: August 1, 2013
In short: Poorly organised In full: I ran this race for charity, having previously done the Bupa 10k on two occasions. The Bupa 10k is so efficiently organised but this was terrible. Long waits at the start in glaring sun, and I wasn't even that sure when I crossed the start line! The support from crowds was good but there was no water at the start and only one Gatorade at the end. Good route but I won't be doing this race again. Date of review: July 30, 2013
In short: Avoid it, do the Bupa 10K instead In full: Very expensive. I had a charity place so had to raise money, however I believe it was £50 otherwise. There was no goodie bag, just a medal and a bottle of gatorade. The start was horrendous, stood in the blazing hot sun for 20 mins going nowhere and then saw people behind us running off in a different direction, so we followed them and ended up at the start line which had no queues or anything. Lots of people walking and stopping directly in front of you, so I tripped over quite a few people. The scenery was probably really good, however I was too busy concentrating on who was in front of me that I forgot to look around and enjoy it. Date of review: July 30, 2013
In short: Expensive city run but still worth doing scenic run + support from crowd In full: Yes, its kind of rip off 10k but race pack booklet gives all information you need from start point to finish areas, where to get drinks, medal and even tiger balm gave me a goody bags. Volunteering marshalls did their best and i found the baggage marshalls helpful even though i didnt have baggage. With the red and blue wave start, if people climb over fences and runners give room for late comers to do that then you make other runners who came early have to wait longer as we cant be bothered to stop them. How can 1 volunteering marshall stop runners climbing over and lifting fences. For example the National lottery olympic park run they couldnt stop people climbing into pens. How can 1 marshall stop 10 runners!! Its all the same we are human beings some of us are that selfish. I was near the front as I queued up early and squeezed forward like most smart runners because I wanted a PB and I did that. My first 2k was sub 4min/km and even bupa london and brighton marathon has slow runners who register to run in faster waves and pens, the norm is to weave past and besides waves was only introduced this year in British 10k it has gradually improved by a minor fraction as compared to 2011. I missed 2012 as it was Olympic year and it was sponsored by Nike so i guessed it was for an olympic show and advertising the Nike brand to tourists so didnt apply to run with sightseers and tourists. I would maybe do this again if I check the uppdates on whats new and what minor improvements there are as there is plenty of spaces even up to last month of the race. Its not as packed as the GNR but GNR invested more money into finish time choice and printing race numbers according to colours. GNR set the system from registration. British 10k didnt lay down the protocol from registration point.
In short: get Rock N Roll Series to run it In full: I paid £360 to enter my company team, including a couple of first timers. Still not received the promised running shirts despite several emails. Wave start useless. No toilets (that may not be the organiser's fault) but people were urinating in the park and on the course. Too many walkers getting in the way - good on them but there ought to be a separate start for walkers and some explanation of etiquette - no walking three abreast and corals organised according to predicted times essential. Shame - the crowds were good and this could be a really good event Date of review: July 26, 2013
In short: The race has the potential to be brilliant, but the organisers have their priorities all wrong. Runners' interests are barely considered and it becomes quite a depressing experience... Date of review: July 19, 2013