I did the BUPA London 10,000 this year - just so I could make a valid comparision with the ' British ' 10k which I have done five times for a charity.
I can confirm exactly what many others have said - the BUPA race which is run over very much the same course wins hands down. Slicker organisation, less of a cattle stampede, a much better vibe. At £26 a go it is still a bit steep " just for a 10K" - but then not many local races start and finish in front of Buckingham Palace and have four bands performing around the course !
I have also done the Great South Run over several years. Another balloted race. But in my view, the organisation is good, well supported locally and a good way to experience the big race atmosphere - without truckin' my ass up to Newcastle to run with 50,000 other folk. Its also only a 10 miler rather than the full Half.That said, at £41 a pop its definitely not particularly good value for money!
Local Diamond races:
Gosport Half Marathon - CAKE!
Chalke Valley 10K - free T-shirt and a lovely rural course.
I ran the race this week, to compare and contrast with the 'British 10K' in July which I have run 5 times previously. Some thoughts for what they may be worth:
I clattered round in a less than gob smacking 57 minutes along with 17,000 others. Nice to run past Mo Farah at the Start line. Sunny day ,no rain but the occasional cooling breeze.
Couple of points of comparison with the British 10k ( which has been widely rated and slated here on RW)
The BUPA race starts and finishes on the Mall rather than Piccadilly.
Because the marshalling,baggage,loos,charity gangs etc are all in Green Park it's actually less of a trek to the Start line from the baggage drop.
A key difference from the July version was that runners are penned by race number according to their approx finish time ( I was in Blue C). The Start was phased by about a minute between waves and this seemed to me to work much better.
Key difference on the BUPA course is that rather than just looping around St Paul's and back down onto the Embankment, this course goes further East passing through Leadenhall Market ( excellent Kodo drummers!) and back down that Blackfriars underpass so beloved of VLM runners to head back to Westminster.
No criss-crossing Westminster Bridge, just round Parliament Square onto Birdcage Walk with a run in past the Guards Chapel to the Finish line just in front of Buck House. Very nice too.
Well marshalled and the waterstops ( I counted 3?) were manned by people who knew what they were doing rather than Rent-A-Pulse.
Small point but worth noting: the water was provided in small sports cap bottles - lift to face, SQUEEZE, throw away. I found this much better than either stupid cellophane cup or the more usual screwtop bottles. Good stuff
Excellent support as ever in Central London. Two samba bands, one live band and some mad British Kodo/Taiko drummers in the covered market . (Taiko Meantime from Greenwich?).For some reason even a rain sodden samba band (qv Great South Run) always lift me for a few hundred yards.
Post Finish routine was slick, no huge queues for baggage reclaim, nice Tee shirt in the right size (non-technical valueweight cotton) and a crammed goody bag.
The only slightly downbeat moment was the unnecessary scrimmage at the start when two guys were trying to filter 17,000 people through a five foot gap by their race number colour.
So all in all
A better event than the British 10K ? - Yes Would I run it again ? - Yes. Value for money? Compared to the average local 10K for £14-£20 this is quite pricey - but if you want to experience the fun of the VLM without the exhaustion and 3 months of training - go for it.