British London 10k questions

Hi, I've been looking up the British London 10k on 8 July and had a couple of questions. The first one is, is this a race you would recommend? I entered it and got a place but because I recently did a 10k near Dublin my husband questioned the sanity of travelling c. 200 miles in day to run 6.2 miles and when I hinted about the London one he said that he saw no sense in travelling that distance for a 10k (we're going to Scotland for a holiday at the end of August to take in the Scottish Open). So I was prepared to knock it on the head and stick to runs in my own area or at least in Munster. The thing is I forgot that I was going to do it for Special Olympics GB and got an email from one of their people on Thursday thanking me for choosing them! So now I feel like I have to go and do it or at least pay the £250 that they were hoping I'd raise from sponsorship. I could afford to travel to London and stay there but I'm not sure if it would be easier all round to just pay up and write it off to experience. I'm not going to let down the charity but I'm wondering would it be better to go and do it (and feel like I really did something for them) or just pay them the money and not do the run (and feel awful when I think that I might have enjoyed doing the run) - I'm easily guilt-tripped as you may have noticed. Any suggestions?


  • Frankly not the best organised compared with say the BUPA 10K - it is a mosh pit for the first Km or so and if you survive that you have empty bottles of water strewn all over to contend with (really why they bother with water stations in a 10K is beyond me). Kamikaze pedestrians are always a hazard but the British 10K seems to have coach parties of them brought in especially for the day. The course tends to have far too many unecessary 180 degree u-turns famously the daft little stretch half way over Westminster bridge then a U-turn like it got measured and was 200 metres short so it gets tagged on. Having said that I'll be doing it for the 3rd time this year as a company charity bash but only so I can have a good moan about it! Great atmosphere for charity runners but not a course for PBs.



  • All of the above!  I loved the course actually, but the organisation was atrocious last year, we found our medals in boxes in a side street [and only took one each!], after lining up [quite near the front once the mayhem became obvious], alongside people who weren't even wearing typical running gear or we headed off we saw the massive queue of frustrated runners waiting to cross the start.  


  • Thanks, Lewis and Reiki, it doesn't sound as well organised as the Flora Women's Mini Marathon in Dublin (40,000 entrants last year) and water was not given out until much later in the run. I know what you mean about trying not to fall on discarded empties, Lewis, and in the Dublin 10k I found them on the ground right alongside bins that were only a quarter or half full! Having said that it's nice to be able to get water during a race (especially on a hot day) because in some venues nearby shops seem to charge a premium for water.

  • Mr PuffyMr Puffy ✭✭✭

    Sounds like you have more money than sense if you are going to give £250 to a charity you had forgotten about to not run a race. 



  • I'd not travel for it. There's shed loads of complaints about this every year and STILL people who enter it.

    ??250 sounds a bargain to not do itimage
  • Thanks Cougie, and Mr Puffy too. I didn't realise that there were problems with this race though I did notice that it wasn't in mainstream race/run listings, which seemed a bit odd for a race in London. The amount I quoted was what SOGB want their runners to aim for.

  • I bet they do ....

    Run away in the opposite direction very quickly if I were you!!

    You are not beholden to the charity, if you wish to donate £250 then it is your choice and not a forfeit

  • Thanks M...eldy. I don't owe them the entry fee. My sister was saying that I wasn't held to that amount either.

  • The likelihood is that they will get someone else, which is how I did the pesky thing last year!!

  • Did you get your own place and then say you would run it for them -or did you get one of their 'bond' places? If the latter then someone else may have had it and raised £250 or more.  If it is one of their places I'd tell them you can't do it - lots of people have to pull out from injury- and they could offer it to someone else who is really keen to run.

    For some people it is an amazing experience - for seasoned 10K runners it is organised chaos and very frustrating dodging the non-runners - so many just walk it from the start and the start is madness.  I'd second the comment about barmy pedestrians - last year even saw two student types cycling across the road - oblivious to the problems they were causing.  If you are desperate to run around the sights of London then worth it but if not - it's just a few hours of chaos!

  • what a shame about this event. This was going to be my first 10k and now I'm in doubt. Are there any positives to say? It all sounds gloomy image
  • Yep it's a big day out around the sights of London, ideal for a first 10K
  • For your first 10k it is great because you usually don't care about getting a quick start and weaving in and out of walkers and dodging pedestrians and water bottles might seem part of the fun - plus you can't beat the route.  It is only when you have several under your belt and finish time becomes important - down to the last second - that it is frustrating.  For a first one it therefore is good because it is more of a fun run and you won't look out of place if you stop to walk or are struggling -not saying that is you - but it is more forgiving than a proper club run.  I think my advice to the orginal poster was more based on the fact it was a long journey for her and costly.

    You will love it I am sure - my husband did it for his first 10K and was buzzing but a year and 20 races down the line he wouldn't do it again.  Did give him the bug though!

  • Thanks Torquayrunner, I got my own place then said I'd run it for them. I let the charity know that I wouldn't be able to make it so I'll wait for their reply. As Reiki said, they may be able to get another runner to do it. The bit about people cycling across the route sounds downright dangerous to all concerned. The Dublin race I mentioned was well marshalled (?) and cyclists were not allowed onto the route at any stage and the Gardai (police) made sure that motorists who had to travel streets or roads crossing the race route did so only when there was a gap between groups of participants.

  • Yes and I thought you were talking about a bonded place.
  • have signed up for this as my first 10k since returning to running after a 5 year hiatus. im looking forward to the chaos because thats what gives u the atmosphere image im view running as something i love when i feel like it. i could never be someone who ran for PBs and religiously ran a race every other Sunday. But thats just meimage x

  • Anyone had their race pack yet?
  • FayaFaya ✭✭✭

    Nope, no race pack yet image

  • Deirdre, if you got your own place and then offered to run for them, I really wouldn't worry about deciding not to do it.

    The income from own-place runners is surely a bonus for the charities on top of what they get from runners with a bond; the charity doesn't have the same expenses for own-place runners as they do for 'golden bond' places as they haven't had to pay anything for the place (or advertising). It's not as though you took a place away from someone else who wanted to run for them, I highly doubt that charities have a limit on the number of own place runners they'll accept. Can you imagine them turning down donations if people are willing to give them something for nothing (or something for the price of a charity training vest)

    The only time I'd make an exception would be when own-place runner attends training days or joins regular training runs laid on by the charity, goes to the free pasta party, the night before, has the free post-race massage and doesn't ever have the intention of raising any money for them (I know someone who has done this at London Marathon, really awful and even more shocking that they admitted doing it!)

    I understand that a charity would have SOME administration costs in dealing with the own place runners, but I think dictating the minimum amount they should raise is really cheeky. Answering an email to say "Yes, please do run for us - here are details of how to send us your sponsorship money"  and sending out a free running vest surely doesn't cost that much? I ran Brighton for a very small, very new charity, they couldn't afford to give out free running vests but offered us the option of 'buying' a running vest by making a donation, which I did, and they were really appreciative of any amount of money raised.

  • Race pack arrived today. Lovely top image
  • I entered the London 10k for the fifth time this year with family members, son and brother. Organisation seems to have got steadily worse over the years and this one was a catastrophe from the administration and organisational perspective. I signed up for the Gold expensive Guaranteed entry quite early and was one of the "few" who did not receive the race pack (few thousand more like it!) but no matter I was advised to make an extra journey to London the day before to present myself either at the Trafalgar where my pack would be waiting for me (very unlikely) or to present myself at my numbered bag drop (22539) on the day from 7.00am. I did the latter at 8.00 and  was met with pleasant but blank stares - no pack there then ! - Help desk issued a new green label number, 8552, Nike shirt and timing device so at least I feel almost the part. Fast forward to the end of the race and problem now is that (not very impressive) medal collection for green numbers is close to the finish and a good way from the bag drop but worse still the chaos back at the bag drop was crazy. When I did finally push to the front to request my London 10k 2012 shirt the lad would not let me have one because I did not have a receipt !!! What receipt !!!  OK you win, I've paid the money, put up with all the excuses, run the race and now its my fault !

    On the positive side, the runners and supporters were all great, they filled the trains pulling into London from very early in the morning and braved the wet weather and the poor organisation fantastically well.

    Will I be back next year ? not sure I want to trust these guys with my hard earned any more so maybe I'll try the Bupa 10K in May.

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