Green Start changes

Well done to the organisers for at last installing a urinal in the Green Start.  Oddly the queues for the sit-downs seemed longer than ever, so seems like there's still work to do there.

However, the new start with the 90 degree bend after 200 yards simply doesn't work.  I was one of the first people in pen 1 and I was still badly held up.  It is already a real pain because of the senseless way the "celebrities" start in front of the sub-3 runners, which in my 4 starts there has caused confrontations every single time.  Now it's a lot worse because there's also a tight bend to negotiate.

Not sure what the thinking was in moving it, but it needs to go back to where it was.


  • I thought they have had the urinal there before ? Certainly last year anyway.
    Yeah that corner was a pain but starting slower is usually a good idea. The first mile did seem dodgier than before ?
  • starting slower is usually a good idea

    Yeah, true, but when you're lined up with a load of people looking to go sub 2:45 to sub 3 and a crowd just in front on the celeb section are talking about whether they should go 8:30s or 8:45s from the off...carnage!

  • My thoughts on the green start echo the above. There was definitely no urinals there last year, hence loads of people using the back of the portaloos as an unofficial urinal. The proper urinals worked very well. I thought the queues for the toilets were less than last year but still a little on the long side.

    Apart from struggling to fit into pen 1 for the start (There were slightly more runners allocated than there was space) I think the start was slightly less arduous than last year's (Where if I recall it narrowed immediately after the start).

    It still baffles me why they insist on putting GFA runners right behind the celebrities. In my bid to just get into my running  'groove', I, and hundreds of other similar paced runners had to battle past the world's oldest person (sic) and his entourage of flag waving plumping groupies; a group of Coronation St esque hand holding walkers; the spear waving Masai warriors, and many others, whom, apart from the dubious tag of 'celebrity', would normally have no right to be anywhere near the front of a race pack, for safeties sake more than anything else.

    I was actually bemoaning this to a runner whilst racing yesterday, how it is the same every year etc., when we came up behind a female runner wearing nothing but a bra and thong (And her male partner wearing the same). That soon shut us up and made us reflect that maybe it wasn't such a bad thing not starting behind the Kenyans where they should put us... 

  • Well I can echo all of the above not to mention the monty python esque group of journo's - however. Where else could the celebs start ? Maybe they should run behind the womens elite by five minutes or so hence pleasing the crowds in the gap between the starts - There has to be something better than risking collisions and the rest-
    However James Cracknell has earnt his right to be there and perhaps the green start could still be the celeb area but just start them off earlier so they aren't in the way However the race was one of the most memorable especially thanks to the crowds around docklands when it was p***ing it down
  • Much slower getting away this year than last. 7:30 for the first mile rather than 6:40 last year, mainly because of several large groups. I didn't have a problem with the Masai guys. At least they kept compact and I enjoyed their singing. Very crowded in pen 1 and the heady scent of early morning fart mixed with  Ralgex had an interesting effect on my ability to keep my porridge down.
  • Apologies for duplicating Ironbloke's other thread on exactly this topic.

    The suggestion there is that we should write to the manager of the green start: Mark Griffiths, Start Manager, Marathon House, 115 Southwark Street, London SE1 OJF.

  • I've written my letter on this subject to Mark Griffiths and copied in David Bedford. If anyone else is concerned about the Green Start please make the effort to write to them and hopefully next year we won't be in the same position.
  • I don't see why they don't start the celebs on the Red start, now that that seems to be the main charity start.  Its much wider too.

    The whole point about the green start is that is allows older runners, who are nevertheless 'Good for their age' to get a decent race.  I'd even move the under 40 GFAa s off it, and put them behind the championship runners on the Blue start

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