In short: Absolute shambles In full: I don’t like to be negative about smaller races, as I appreciate the effort involved in organising. However, I’m afraid it’s impossible to find any positives on this occasion. The East London half was, hands down, the most poorly organised race I’ve ever taken part in. Where do I start? Well, here goes- we arrived at 7.30am, to discover that out of 30 portaloos only ONE was unlocked, resulting in an enormous queue. After 15 minutes someone managed to locate a marshall and ask for the rest to be unlocked. Next up, the baggage ‘queue’. I say queue, but there was no organisation to the system whatsoever. Subsequently the line snaked all over the field, resulting in many people pushing in. The queue moved at a snail’s pace due to the total lack of enthusiasm/organisation/speed of the marshalls taking the bags. This meant that many people were still queuing when the race began. I’m sorry, but this is just unacceptable. Something as basic as this is easily avoided with a bit of common sense. Once bags were handed in there were no instructions of where to wait in the ‘zones’, the start line was barely visible and the marshalls gave little instructions. Once the race eventually began, I can only say the course was awful. Uninspiring, dull and quite confusing given the twists/turns and repetition. After a few miles it was almost impossible to tell whether people you were passing in the opposite direction were ahead or behind. The distance markers were a joke. To not have mile markers in a half-marathon was ridiculous and the KM ones made no sense. They were often on the wrong side of the course and again, it was impossible to tell which lap they referred to given that the wind blew the flags making the numbers barely visible. Was I at 6km on the first lap, or was it marking 16km for the second lap? Who knows. I mean, flags for distance markers? Really? I gave up on them in the end. My boyfriend was doing the 10KM. He is a fast runner and at the front of the field he said there was no one to tell them where to go in the first couple of miles and a group of them actually went off in the wrong direction. Whilst the water stations were frequent, the first one I came to after a couple of miles had no marshalls on it, and the water was still in boxes behind the table! Absolutely shocking, especially given the temperature on the day. After completing the race, the queue for baggage again was awful. Frankly, the marshalls looked like they couldn’t be bothered. The bags had not been arranged in number order (seriously). In the end most people went into the baggage area to collect their own bags. No marshalls stopped them, to be honest they looked relieved at having less work to do. To top off this shambles of an event, the race results are listed in gun time rather than net, meaning it’s impossible to tell your finish position! Come on guys, that’s basic. Lastly, (and I’m sorry but was just too much) they have listed my age as 30 when I’m in fact 29. How hard is it read a form? The only positive is that I achieved a PB by 3 minutes, but frankly that is down to my efforts and not the organisers. I absolutely will not be returning next year.
In short: Great race, despite the elements! In full: I entered this race online the night before,after a prompt reply from the organisers on their facebook page to say entries were still open. Very organised on arrival, although if you are not familiar with Bushy Park a couple of signs directing you to the start line might have been helpful. Excellent course, not usually keen on lap races but given I only missed my PB by 6 seconds I can't complain (despite the cold wind being almost painful). Wasn't expecting a medal due to the price but maybe a banana or a cup of water at the end would have been appreciated. Would definitely run this again. Date of review: March 11, 2013
In short: Very well organised race, fast course, nice medal. In full: The organisation was excellent, although one minor gripe would be the lack of water immediately after the finish line. Also the route could have been more exciting (even though it is the London 2012 marathon route) and there were large sections with no spectators. Bit of a bottle neck at the beginning slowed things down but still managed to hit PB. I will be back next year. Date of review: May 31, 2010