In short: Average In full: Leicester is my birth town (long since a Londoner) and having done London a few times, and numerous half marathons, decided to give this one a go (half due to training timetable issues).
Course okay. Well, a little dull I suspect but for me it was a trip down memory lane so quite interesting. Marshals good and friendly, and nothing on the organisational side to pick too much fault with – apart from the finishers' tent thing which was dreadful. You have all of Victoria Park, why funnel people through claustrophobic hell?
My one big negative. Why oh why ban MP3s? There is absolutely NO EVIDENCE at all that they in any way endanger safety and most of us train with them. Most events allow them and they would surely be universally banned if they were a liability. I can only assume this is a personal choice of the race director. I will not be back next year because of this. For an event trying to maximise entires for charity this is a shame (and by the way, the online entry form doesn't mention this, it's only the post entry stuff that makes you aware of this; bad planning or do they realise it will put you off and therefore try to take your money before they tell you?) Date of review: November 3, 2012
In short: A Few Tweaks to Make this Exceptional In full: Same comments as most others. This is a great race, my second time. Don't know about PB potential for two reasons. First, both times I've run the headwind on the last 2 miles has been a time killer. Second, and as others have said, there needs to be better segregation of the runners at the start. I did actually notice some pace-makers with boards in the white wave's pen, but they weren't holding them up and the pen was a seething mass of mixed abilities. First two to three miles (which also have narrow stretches) were more a question of avoiding a fall rather than focussing on the race.
Having said that, this IS a mass participation event and to complain there are too many people (as some have done) is rather missing the point. Didn't you know that when you entered? But I think they could even it out better in the pens making it more enjoyable and safer for all.
And yes, I will be back because I actually like these big events, and the crowd, organisation (minus the pens) and atmosphere of this is wonderful. Date of review: October 31, 2011
In short: Delusional In full: This is not a 10K race, this is a 10K day out. With no starting pens it's a lottery regarding where you start. I was probably half way back and was s atggered how many walkers I passed, even on Piccadilly. Come on, that's barely 500m in. Why enter a 10K if you can't run? Not enough loos. Okay we'd been warned, but then LU had closed the loos at Piccadilly Circus so no option other than to queue for event loos. Goody bag was worst I've ever had; doesn't really bother me, that's not why I do this but given the entry cost I can imagine many would be disappointed. And FWIW my Garmin came in at more like 10.5K. I would imagine this was weaving around people rather than bad route measurement. Date of review: July 11, 2011
In short: Not my type of route In full: Okay, I knew in advance that it was an out and back-in route which I am never fond of, but it was actually kind of dull. Most of it is towpath, and pretty narrow too - there was lots of bustling and jostling at the start – and the lap around the park was a nothing really. The towpath is especially stony at this part of the river (I usually run between Kew and Putney (i.e. the other side) where the towpath is flatter and less likely to turn an ankle. Having said that, the organisation was good, people friendly and the atmosphere okay. Not for me next year, but others may like it. Date of review: September 13, 2009
In short: Fantastic But Now What I Thought In full: A Marathon (and running) virgin. Have been trying to run for five years, with this race (and raising money for NSPCC in mind). After all those years and podiatrists, physios, personal trainers and God knows how many gait analyses I finally got there.
It wasn't what I expected.
The organisation was phenomenal. SO many people and (as far as I could see) not a thing wrong.
Slow start, but I expected that.
First half was just unbelievable – the crowds take in every walk of society and they all have an overriding passion to assist and cheer the runners. Young, old, black, white, rich, poor. They deserve the medals too.
Water and sports drink stations perfect.
Not so good:
Why do people have to use bloody mobile phones when they are running? If you want to, get to the side and out of peoples' way. So selfish. I was also truly surprised by the narrowness of the streets in miles 13 - 18 (or thereabouts); if you are a good runner this must have driven you mad. You are reduced to walking regardless of whether you need to or not.
I was shot by 23 miles but the crowd and one particularly inspirational met bobby got me to the line.
Totally gobsmacking. But a little more congested than I thought and too many selfish runners. Date of review: April 27, 2009