In short: Central London route but too congested In full: This was my first 10K race which I ran with my dad. The route was amazing (key reason we chose this race) and it was ok value for money considering the central location, tshirt, photos and certificate. The paperwork arrived on time (about a couple of weeks in advance) and they included VERY detailed information and instructions around race day details, toilets, baggage etc. So all good there.
Yes the race is VERY congested hence my high ranking as a beginner-friendly race. I was a beginner when I ran this and I welcomed the slower pace in the beginning as it allowed me to pace myself and not go out too fast. I stopped at the 5K area to use the facilities but my dad continued through and achieved a PB (I didnt!). We had agreed a spot to meet up close to baggage collection post race, which made meeting up very easy. We were able to collect our baggage in no time yet I was slighly disappointed when I got a generic Large tshirt when the organisers had specifically asked our sizes (I am a small-medium).
The leaflet mentioned that Green Park station would be closed for the morning of the race, yet enquiring around the station the day before, the tube employees said they knew nothing of this and that they would be open as normal. We didnt want to chance it so we avoided that station but would have been good to know as it was on a direct route from my house.
A very helpful addition would be the starting pens and also keeping to the scheduled times. In 2011, the race started 30' late.
The price goes up for 2012 (to £50) so I am not sure if I will do it, but overall I am happy I did it once. If my race season goes well this year and my knee doesnt give up, then I am tempted to sign up! Date of review: January 9, 2012
In short: No UKA licence for this fee and profile?! What is all the talk about 2012 really does down doing the race in 2011. Of course scenary great, I. Made quick time as was at front and ranto avoid the masses. Result v slow and bad layout Date of review: July 20, 2011
In short: Fast course with good support In full: From reading all the reviews on here I think I was very lucky not to start amongst the masses. The lack of toilets by the baggage area was an issue but there was a nice quiet public loo in St James Park that not many seemed to know about.
Me and my bro jogged up through Green Park to the start at about 8:45am where there was only 100 people waiting, we had plently of space to stretch out before queueing up at the start, right behind the elites. I had been pre-warned that there would be alot of slow runners and that being at the front is vital.
The delay at the start was too long but when we were underway I watched my bro zoom off into the distance as I started at a more conservative pace, this being my first ever race(he finished in 35mins).
There was plenty of space and the course was fast and flat with good support along nearly all the course to give you that extra boost, this has definite PB potential(i managed one at 40:19).
For a race that size though there should have timed pens, I really felt for the faster runners getting stuck behind the slower ones as I passed the crowds going the other way.
On the downside, enoughs been said about the 'goodie' bags and t-shirt so I won't bother.
I would race this again, not next year though £50 is a bit steep.
My advice to anyone who wants to run sub 45mins is to avoid the crowds of runners gathering on the road, go up through the park instead and you'll get to front without any hassle, it's a good race to be had from there> Date of review: July 17, 2011
In short: Less is more In full: It was ok ... nice atmosphere and copious Gatorade but outweighed by painful start delay, inability to run through crowds (20000+ take part), comedy t-shirt, shameless promotion of 2012 event (even printed on the back of this year's medal), cost. For a beginner's 10k it might be a good introduction ... but on balance I've enjoyed smaller events more. Date of review: July 13, 2011
In short: great atmosphere- but toooo big to return In full: organisation was good- but you were held waiting around at the start- with so many people running I guess is impossible to do estimated time groups- but I set off fairly near the front and there were people walking within the first 300 metres- nearly all the way round it was difficult to get into a steady pace with constant obstruction- in saying that the scenery is great and you see all the landmarks of central london- good water stations and sone nice shade on the embankment- was an experience to be involved in such a big event- the course itself is dead flat other than a couple of minor inclines and with fewer runners a definite PB route. Goody bag poor- couple of tea bags, chewing gum, and some granola- reasonable race t-shirt- glad I did it, but will stick to my local (and rural) races in future. Date of review: July 11, 2011
In short: Carlsberg don't do races... but if they did, it would be a darn sight better than this load of xxxx In full: I cannot stress how awful this race is - I have NEVER been so frustrated about running in my life. I'm an average runner and was hoping for 45-48 mins this year but got closer to 52 not for lack of prep or trying but purely due to congestion. I've managed 46 on this course other years but it seems to be getting a lot, lot worse depending on your starting position.
There's not many positives to say about it really other than it takes in some of the great sights of London. Otherwise, this is everything the fantastic BUPA 10,000 isn't; here's my list of gripes:
1) Poor organisation throughout - nobody is directing anybody to the start and there are not nearly enough loos. Nobody is even telling people that there are further loos towards the start although there aren't nearly enough anyway.
2) No phased start - why bother asking me what my predicted time is in the application?
3) Never starts on time. Can take up to an hour to cross the start line. If you're sipping water before the start, it's likely you'll need another loo stop. It's all well and good telling us to get there early to get nearer the start but I don't really fancy being first at the starting line and at the same time busting to go to the toilet an hour before the race starts.
4) It's not really a race - most people are walking from the start or after the first km. That's fair enough, so have a phased start or make an announcement for walkers to bear to the left or something. It just seems tremendously oversubscribed and with many congestion points. It even feels more congested than other years - I only managed to get into my stride about 7K since there was extra pavement space on the embankment. It's actually a hazard to pedestrians as I witnessed one of the runners ran out onto the pavement and knocked down a poor kid on his bike. Faster runners (or just runners) are trying to weave in and there were many close shaves that I witnessed or was part of. Absolutely dreadful.
5) "Baddie bag" as somebody put it - nothing of interest or anything decent. What an awful T-shirt - it just seems like an advert for next year - why? Check out the Trent Park Triffic Trail 10K T-shirt - excellent every year. I would rather have no T-shirt than this rubbish, thank you very much.
6) Worst medal ever. They don't even give it to you - you collect it from a box yourself and only when you get back to the baggage area - and it barely fits around your neck anyway. It really is poor and a joke. Compare this to every other race where you get the medal first as a sense of immediate achievement.
7) Cost. This is one expensive race - more than the Bupa 10,000 and even the London Marathon itself and there's even an additional cost if you want chip timing. Why offer chip timing and no phased start? And why tell me my chip is mine to keep like that's a big deal - what am I supposed to do with any of these chips anyway? They're not reusable year to year.
8) Race times. Not that I want to see my official race time, but for all the fuss about the chip timing, why is it over 24 hours after the race and there are still no official times yet for the general runners? Most races with this system publish them a few hours later.
9) Distance to baggage area. I don't mind a bit of a walk after a race but it's a long way to go to collect a rubbish goodie back and rubbish medal.
I'm sure there were other reasons for me to highly recommend that no runners take part in this race. I would not run this race again next year even if it was free.