In short: Great scenery and fabulous organisation! In full: I loved this race. It was only my fifth ever race, but by far the most enjoyable. It is quite hilly, so you moreorless have to write off any chance of a PB, but the organisation and atmosphere more than made up for this. I'll be back next year. Thank you Alchester Running Club! Date of review: October 30, 2005
In short: Great race, only a few niggles! In full: I ran this feeling below par and nearly dropped out at the last minute due to illness, but I'm so pleased I didn't. It's a fast, flat course with the marshalls doing a great job. The waved start worked reasonably well, and it was a brilliant atmosphere.
My only niggles were there were people starting near the front of the orange group who were walking within 300 metres! People should be more realistic with their expected times. I couldn't run freely until 1.5 miles because of congestion. Also, please, please, please - more loos next year. Us ladies can't just slip behind a bush and keep their dignity intact. I abandoned waiting eventually and just went to the start. Also, I only saw the mile markers at miles 1, 2, 3, 8 and 9.
Anyway - only minor niggles. A really great day! Date of review: October 9, 2005
In short: Excellent race this year, and much better organised that previous years by all accounts In full: To have 22,000 runners on a narrow course and allow those who want to run fast do so requires excellent organisation, and the organisers certainly pushed the boat out to let this happen this year. The three wave starts worked well (although I was very near the front of the first wave, so can't comment on the others), although I can imagine it would take you a long time to cross the start if you were in the last wave (some people I spoke to took 30 minutes just to get over the start line!). The marshalls did a fab job (full marks to the guy who had to shout "mind the ramp" 22,000 times!!). I would have given this full marks for organisation, but the shortage of toilets let it down slightly. Date of review: September 4, 2005
In short: Fabulous scenery, but organisation was a complete joke In full: I was tempted to give the scenery a lower score than 100% here just to get the average aggregate score down. Fabulous scenery - you really couldn't beat running around those traffic free London roads.
HOWEVER - the organisation has been terrible from start to finish:
1. T-shirt was worse quality than one I've seen on offer for three for £1 in Millets. 2. The race number was covered in cat hairs and looked second hand. 3. The start was a free for all, and I spent the first 2km trying to weave through slower runners who had started early. 4. Lack of toilets meant ridiculous queues - and meant that people had to resort to urinating in the street. 5. Goody bag - there wasn't one. Just the medal. And the promises of discounts on running gear did not materialise. Just a paultry 25p off Radian B muscle rub. 6. There should have been more water mid race and we should have been handed it - I didn't appreciate having to wrestle with a box of water myself to get a bottle out. 7. Lack of chip timing meant times couldn't be recorded accurately. 8. Hideously overpriced.
I would do this race again, but only because it's such a great opportunity to run around London. I just hope the organisers wake up to the fact that so many runners were sorely disappointed. Date of review: July 3, 2005
In short: Slightly expensive for a 5k, although a fantastic atmosphere as always with the Race for Life events In full: This was my first ever race, and I was surprised to come in 5th in a time of 22 minutes. Although the online entry system was exceptional with a pack being sent out within days, organisation on the day left something to be desired. Very slow start unless you're at the front. Headington Road Runners did a fabulous job as marshalls.
Although I got a PB as it was my first race, it would have been difficult otherwise - part of the course involved running over molehill ridden grass, and the second lap was awfully crowded with those walking the route.
Fantastic atmosphere though, and all in a good cause. Date of review: June 7, 2005