Run to the BeatDavid Jury takes on Run to the Beat half marathon
Monday 29 October 2012
Event: Run to the Beat half marathon
This weeks race preparation didn’t quite go according to plan. Before I was about to set out for my Monday evening run, I flushed my mobile phone down the loo. The less asked on that one, all the better. I was in such a foul mood after, by the time I had finished on the line to the insurers, I was in no mood to run! I managed to squeeze in a up tempo run run on Tuesday evening and a leisurely paced 10K on Wednesday, the latter proving good for kicking in the memory of my glutes and quadriceps. As the temperature had dropped substantially on the weekend, I decided to have a trial jog around the block in my race day kit. 4km proved enough for me to know that all I needed on Sunday was my running tights and the race T-shirt, which has everyones bib number printed directly on. With my kit out, I was ok to go. Roll forward to 6am, when I surfaced, knowing I had an extra hour to sleep. The alarm on iPad was due to go off at GMT 6am, so I had an additional hour to go. Except it didn’t go off. I surfaced again at what I thought was 07:45 and rushed around like a mad man, only to realise that I had plenty of time to get to The O2. I left shortly after 8am, with little to no travel problems, other than the sheer number of people descending on The O2 for the half marathon. There was plenty of time to make my way to the baggage drop and have a last minute wee before heading to the start pen. Bad signage at this point had me heading off to the main starting area, when I needed to be entering a pen at a completely separate start area, being a sub 1:40 runner. The race started. No it didn’t. We only moved forward to the start line itself. We stood there for a further 15 minutes until Reggie Yates did a count down at 09:55. With an odd start time and no klaxon to send us off after the countdown, we slowly made our way over the timing mats and started our run through the Greenwich Millennium Village. We passed our first DJ shortly after 2km, a point which I didn’t know how far I had run, as I hadn’t spotted a mile or kilometre marker. The first point where I noticed a mile marker was at 3mi. No kilometre markers to be seen. Yet another race which I don’t understand why there’s no metric markers. It was around this point we passed our first water point. I opted to skip it, as they were handing out cups of water and not small bottles. After the first climb there was a second water station, which included Powerade . I grabbed a cup, knocked it back and continued on my way. I was frustrated to see countless bottles of Powerade being dumped in the bin after one or two sips. A total waste, in my opinion. Shortly after 14km, we made our way into Greenwich Park. The route was changed slightly this year, as they are still disassembling the grandstands from the London 2012 Olympics. After an easy run up and down Bower Avenue, it was time for the final descent into Greenwich, past the National Maritime Museum Gardens and back to The O2. At this point it was an easy paced run and there was time for a last minute dash for the finish line, in the knowledge that I would be able to manage a time under 1:33, which I got at the Royal Parks Half Marathon. I’m not sure that I am totally convinced that I got value for money from an increased entry fee out of this year’s race. The event itself didn’t get off to a smooth start and the odd hiccup along the way (not seeing mile markers and cups over bottles) left me feeling that I had been cheated. Also, there was a lack of technology which was introduced last year, whereby you could see words of encouragement posted to Facebook. It was a nice feature and would have been good to see tweets of this nature added this year, not the whole feature completely withdrawn. Hopefully IMG can rectify the issues experienced on the day next time around. I’m going to give this race a miss next year and see if there have been any improvements from the race organisers before I run it again. Overall I had a good race, excluding other factors, and enjoyed the DJing along the route. I was very happy with my race time of 1:32:57 and even more impressed that I finished 409 out of 12,205 runners.
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