Run To The Beat

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27/09/2009 at 23:48


 Did anyone else run this half marathon today ? Just thought I'd say I thought it was all very well organised for a mass participation event with a challenging route that made you feel you had earned your medal when finishing. My only negative would be the lack of signs to confirm when each mile distance had been past. Other than that recommended

Anyone else have a view ?

29/09/2009 at 13:57


 Yes, I ran it too & I also ran last year. It is a nice run, lots of interesting bits on the course, the O2, The Arsenal at Woolwich, Woolwich Barracks, Greenwich Park. Two big hills but otherwise flat or down hill, the mile markers were a bit of a non event, noticed the ones on the floor more than the lamp posts.

Last year everyone complained that the route was longer than the 13.1 miles, lots of GPS's coming up at 13.4 miles & if anything this year's was longer. There was an extra bit at the barracks & at the Standard in Blackheath & only one bit that was slightly shorter at the bottom of Greenwich Park, last year we went further in to Greenwich & came back through the Dreadnought Seaman's Hospital grounds but I'm sure that didn't account for the extra bits, so it will be interesting to see how the GPS's measure out this year.

Getting to the start was a bit of a nightmare, I only live up the road so booked in to the parking but so many of the roads were closed that we had to drive around in circles & do several U turns to get in.

Race packs were also incredibly late, mine arrived last Thursday, my husbands didn't arrive until Saturday, I know it was down to the post strikes but maybe they should start sending them earlier next year just in case.

Despite the two small negatives, I did enjoy that actual race & will be signing up for next year. More music please, there was loads more than last year due to the better weather but not enough. Could also do with some more of the man stood at just after mile 9 encouraging everyone along, he was just the kick up the backside we needed at that point.

 Well worth running & improved from last year to this, so hopefully it will grow over time.

09/09/2013 at 13:53

Much better than when I last ran this from the O2. The start and finish area is a much better location for any friends and family patiently waiting for their loved ones to finish. Really enjoyed this (except last killer hill). I manage to get through Woolwich Barracks before the problems that caused problems for many others. I think with some tweaking the race will continue to improve. 

Agree that the guy at 9 miles was outstanding, not just cheering but motivating you to get that last bit of juice out of very weary legs.

09/09/2013 at 13:59
According to some of the reviews it seems like quite a few people had loads of problems this year.
09/09/2013 at 16:37

My wife (experienced club runner) was doing baggage and they have put together a load of wallpaper past tables, three tiers, which wobbled. They were told it'll be OK and it's just got to stay up for the event.

The rows of shelving toppled in the BIG tent toppled like dominos trapping a lady who'd said it was unsafe. Half an hour later it toppled over in the smaller tent. Luckily no one was seriously hurt, so I believe. There was a mix of volunteers: runners who knew what was needed and students and ladies doing it from a seat who were there for the free sarnies and t-shirt. I think they should involve the running clubs as done great baggage is a no brainer.

Our "crew" sorted out the little tent and were b0ll0cked for then not helping out in the BIG tent where all the students were on their mobiles not doing anything!! I hope Jessie J got a good wedge of everyone's £50 'cos it wasn't spent on facilities.


09/09/2013 at 16:58

I was in the crush that was turned away from the water station at mile 4 where we were told only that we couldn't come into the barracks, that the next water station was in 2 miles (!) and that "more distance would be added at the end" - helpfully without telling us how much.

There were significant bottle necks in the course where the only thing you could do was walk because of the sheer density of people, we had to wait nearly 30 minutes in the pens to start and the music was pretty much non-existent for the vast majority of the course!

I wouldn't recommend this one unless maybe you are out at the front. No fun in the middle for a lot of the race.

09/09/2013 at 18:28

I was stuck in the barracks crush. An unfortunate bottleneck to have in such a large race. Was rather bizarre queueing to get in, spending a minute running around the square and then queuing to get out. A few of the other drinks stations were also in some other rather narrow sections, and were a bit too chaotic. 

09/09/2013 at 20:43

I'm really surprised anyone is starting a thread to rave about this.

OK it's mass participation and very gimmicky, so maybe you have to go into it expecting it to be a bit rubbish. But the bottle neck at the barracks was predictable and not acceptable. People weren't actually at stand still when I went through, but based on twitter lots weren't so lucky.

Mile markers are often just indicative, but they seemed particularly laid back about where they put them.

As the only race that actively encourages people to wear headphones I found it unbelievable that they also had motorbikes weaving around the runners (including on a narrow footpath) to take photos.

It's a bloody expensive race, and yet the drinks sponsor was selling drinks at the start, not giving them away.

I wasn't that bothered about the race pack arriving so late, but I understand that's because they only got their license from Greenwich council about a week before. I'm not sure why they were so disorganised.

And I've not raced for a while, but surely it's not normal for people to take selfies mid-race?

Oh well, it confirmed for me that I don't like this kind of event.

09/09/2013 at 22:42

A  Skoda race at a Rolls Royce price. Probably the worst race in Britain with the main aim is to make as much money as possible, dreadful music on a awful overcrowded course.The only answer for this shambles is for people to boycott it but as long as 19,000 mugs continue to part with 50 quid for this shambles nothing will change, i have run over 100 half marathons but this is the worst by a mile.

cougie    pirate
09/09/2013 at 22:45
This thread was started back in 2009 so some posts are about different incarnations.

And skodas are a good make now - they're VWs under another badge.
Cake    pirate
09/09/2013 at 23:13

Did it sunday and while enjoyed it afraid would have to say it's the worst organised race I've ever been to in 20 years off running and one of the worse event's I've been to. Not because of any lack of support or any problems with the marshall's they where all brilliant. But who ever had organised the race and planned the route had no clear understanding of how to manage several thousand people even without thinking off running and at several places along the route there wasn't the space to run safely. The end of the race was a farse will people trying to leave having to walk over the course cousing a risk to both themsevles and the runner's. All in all a good race very poorly planned out.

Many of the problems where very easierly solved with some thinking and guessing they planned it all out without thinking about actually having people there as well. I'm surplised the police hadn't raised some questions on public safety.

10/09/2013 at 07:37

At fifty quid there is no excuse for it to go so badly wrong, everything about this race stinks about profits first.When i entered this race i honestly thought it would be something different with bands playing throughout the course but what you get is nothing of the sort, no live music just some awful crap from a CD. They're making huge profits under false pretences.

10/09/2013 at 09:54

I've not done this race in any of its forms but I'm local, and did end up running along part of the route on Sunday - mainly because I didn't realise the route had changed, so I had no idea it would be going along some rather narrow sections of the Thames path.

...So allow me to speculate as to what's happened here.    The organisers hit upon a successful concept for a beginner-friendly mass-participation event and it caught on, even though there were hiccups in the first year - wasn't the start delayed by some huge amount because of carnage caused by engineering works on the Jubilee Line, being just about the only way to get to the start beyond local buses?  For one reason or another they've had to change the route (developments around the O2/Greenwich Peninsula maybe?) and decided that it would be a wise idea to throw in some narrow paths and bottlenecks, maybe because they had no other option.  "Hmmm... this route looks a little dodgy.  We may have some snagging along this bit.  Not much choice though since Greenwich Council won't let us close the A2... And we'll still have 13,000 punters shelling out £50 a pop..."

By the way, if anyone's doing that other crazy-price London-based event, the Royal Parks half marathon, and wants pacing round for sub-1:30, look out for me.  I'll have a massive pacer's flag with 1:30 on it, sticking out of my arse! 

10/09/2013 at 11:30
Marion Browne wrote (see)

Could also do with some more of the man stood at just after mile 9 encouraging everyone along, he was just the kick up the backside we needed at that point.

David Bacon wrote (see)

Agree that the guy at 9 miles was outstanding, not just cheering but motivating you to get that last bit of juice out of very weary legs.

Wonder if the guy at mile 9 that Marion saw in 2009 is the same guy David saw on Sunday. Got to admire his consistency. 

10/09/2013 at 11:37

For those that have run the race - rate it on the events feature. Don't just start a thread - but provide feedback that the RDs see and that RW can use.

Link is here:

Phil - good luck with pacing the Royal Parks Half. I ran it last year

10/09/2013 at 11:39

Phil - sounds tempting. Will you be wearing the red shorts?

cougie    pirate
10/09/2013 at 12:01
I do love that people have run the event three times now and are swearing off doing it again. Soo thats about ??150 they've paid for three crap races ? Some people are slow learners.
10/09/2013 at 12:12
literatin wrote (see)

Phil - sounds tempting. Will you be wearing the red shorts?

I imagine so, especially if that's a request.

Cheers Emmy!

Edited: 10/09/2013 at 12:13
10/09/2013 at 12:47

Phil - if only I'd known! Was offered a free place in royal parks but turned it down.

10/09/2013 at 14:08

D'oh!  You should do the Great Eastern Run the week after, although I'm planning to run that a bit quicker.

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