In short: Poor organisation let down this 5th anniversary In full: I've enjoyed running the Newham 10K (2011, 2012) so was really looking forward to the inaugural 1/2 marathon. Arrived to see the same diverse mix of runners. That was a good start. My raceday went downhill from there.
Long baggage queues which impacted the race start. Race start was confusing - hard to find the pens, no announcement regarding the delayed start.
I was not a fan of the course - switchbacks, multi-laps, very narrow in places. Was I being lapped? Was I lapping others? Personally, I prefer mile markers for this race distance but given the wind on the day, you couldn't see the km markers anyways as they had fallen over! Luckily I run with a garmin so knew where I was in the race but doubt everyone did. And I think the how the course split between the 10k and 1/2 race could have been managed better. I wasn't entirely sure what was being shouted at me by the marshalls at this split so just hoped for the best, luckily I went the correct way but did everyone?
Having to pull out the water bottles from the packets yourself is never good at water stations. These stations did not seem to be adequately manned and some seemed to run out of water (not good on such a warm day).
Baggage queue at the end was even longer than that at the start. Lots of confusion in locating bags. Luckily mine was found.
I would have preferred to get changed out of my running gear into fresh clothes. The lack of a changing area made this impossible. Very disappointing especially as I suspect most of us commuted by public transport - never nice being next to a sweaty person on the tube!
Pros - the tshirt was good quality, bananas given out at the end, very flat course, name on our race numbers, support from local running club Run Dem Crew.
Final point - shame the organisation was so bad. Such a contrast to other good 1/2's I've done this year (Tunbridge Wells, Hastings, Croydon). I hope they improve if they want to make this 1/2 an annual event. If they do not, I doubt many runners will comeback as there are plenty of good other 1/2's out there. Date of review: April 16, 2013