After the recent successful 10K races I’ve been running (Victoria Park, Reigate Priory and best of all the Great Capital Run) I was looking forward to this 5K race, on a closed course through the streets of the City of London.
Unfortunately this was not a great race at all – there was something missing in the atmosphere. The worst thing though was the crowds. No waves, and a narrow start, followed by a narrow course (why did they block off half the street for the first 1km?) meant I spent much of the race weaving around and overtaking people. I started about 3000 people back and overtook 2500 them to finish 577th of 4400 runners. The course seemed to bizarrely miss most of the famous streets and sights of the city – e.g. I never saw the Royal Exchange as we approached it from the back! I also didn’t see any of the kilometre markers except the 3km one, and was greeted at the finish by people yelling at us to keep moving on. There wasn’t much to do after the finish either – the bar was for the sponsor – who had completely plastered their logo over everything – way too in-your-face – and their guests only. So people soon left.
I could continue moaning about the lack of a bag drop, no lucozade in the finishing bag (although the nuts and beef jerky were – if unusual – appreciated), no photos available on the website, no single list of results. Fair enough if the event was Â£5 to enter but Â£25!? After the Great Capital Run the weekend before, I know these mass participation races can work.