Worst runs in Britain - please!

RW publishes the lists of the best runs in Britain, but we want to know the worst ones too... too many runners are gulled into entering them year after year...

Britain's worst race?

So, please, RW, publish the list of the worst-rated races in Britain alongside the best (in both your magazine and online) - you will be doing us all a big favour.

Racers should also be able to rate a race at 0% (the lowest possible rating at the moment is 20%, which does not seem to be low enough to do some races justice).

Anyone got any candidates for worst race in Britain?



  • WilkieWilkie ✭✭✭

    Read this thread about the British 10k and you will find your answer!

  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭

    Ah, the good old British 10K.


    Still run by Union Jack Sports by any chance?  I remember all the hoo-ha in 2003 I think, when it all started.

    I suspect it's still "better value than the London Marathon".

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    It's all relative... but it should always be based upon the same values as the best ones. There are races that i've hated (Royal Parks Half) that others have raved about and loved - but it just wasn't my cup of tea.

  • A huge number of entrants and a short race is a recipe for disaster. Why do some people need tens of thousands of people there to validate what they do? I can only imagine the are run by first timers who are a bit naive.

  • WilkieWilkie ✭✭✭

    I think you're right, SR.  

    I would guess that a large proportion of entrants to the British 10k are first-timers.

  • XX1XX1 ✭✭✭

    The Events section could be way better...  It would be very easy to prodive a list of all events ordered by Overall Score, with the option to display it in descending order.

  • It doesn't matter how many times you say it is poor - the British 10k will outlive the post apocalyptic cockroaches.

    Amazingly some people come back to run it more than once.
  • I'm sure we could happily forget it ever existed Cougie, if it wasn't for people posting every year how bad it is. If you check out reviews for a holiday or a restaurant then check out the reviews for a race too. 

  • Sussex Runner NLR wrote (see)

    If you check out reviews for a holiday or a restaurant then check out the reviews for a race too. 


    It's not a difficult concept is it? Yet seemingly beyond many. As a relatively new runner, I read the reviews and the previous year's threads and don't just look at the percentages when looking for events to enter

    To be honest anyone that enters the London 10km and feels hard done by only has themselves to blame. It's not difficult to find negative feedback.

  • I remember hearing about a race organised by some students in London for beer money that ended up with runners appproaching the finish line from both directions. Hilarious chaos ensued.

    I thought that it would be nearly impossible do organise for that to happen, until one of my marshals sent the first 100 runners the wrong way at one of my races - they did a loop and found themselves back on the course - which meant that I had runners approaching a water station from two different directions. Oh dear.

  • Manchester Marathon, absolute rubbish, year 1 luggage fiasco, year 2 everyone's time wrong.

  • DustinDustin ✭✭✭

    "Great" north run. Awful, just awful.

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    Anything which is part of the "great" run series.

    Trade descriptions need to get involved.
  • BookyBooky ✭✭✭

    I did the British 10K as my first 'proper' event. It honestly never occurred to me to look at reviews, but I was young and naive image

    I had nothing to compare it to, but it was pretty obvious that the organisers didn't have a clue what they were doing. Plus there was an incident with Gatorade that's best left unsaid...

    Now I'm old and cranky I always check race reviews image

    Manchester marathon last year was diabolical. The weather certainly didn't help matters, but doesn't began to excuse the number of thefts from the bag drop.

  • Dr Rob - I've only ever run your races so I haven't got any bad examples! (And I don't recall ever being sent in the wrong direction).

  • Dustin wrote (see)

    "Great" north run. Awful, just awful.

    Interesting view, barring the crowds of runners making it tough for PBs, I think it is a great race/day out, never had any issues on organisation/water stops/medical support/crowd support etc. and the atmosphere is brilliant, imo  Can't wait for it this year and  starting near the front hoping for a new course PB.  Love to know why you think it is so bad?  I prefer smaller races for getting good times of course, but still I find it hard to conceive of it being awful.

  • Thanks Peter - it was the first running of the Bath Hilly Half...

    I wonder how many people discover their fear of crowds at big races? At the London Marathon, a perfectly organised race, I became sick of seeing so many people. The crowds make it better for some people, but for others it's a real pain. It seems that for some of the bigger races, the race experience would be twice as good with half the runners. But money talks...

    I come back to my plea to Runner's World to publish the list of worst-rated races. They released the voting data on all of the country's 2500 (RW-registered) races just once, about 5 years ago - it was a gold mine (of races to avoid).

  • DustinDustin ✭✭✭

    To answer Daeve:
    admittedly I did it around a decade ago, but start was on a dual carriageway, with 'ever presents/locals' allowed up the front with the personalities/elite and no time pens. It was a free for all having dropped baggage off. Having a surname beginning with a 'W' meant I had to walk around 1/4 mile up the start to drop my bag off, and although I tried to push forward I started about 400m from the front alongside a smurf and two mister men.
    Then the Tyne Bridge and approach road were closed in one direction, which admittedly is not the race organisers fault, but should have been advised beforehand, so there was a huge bottle neck.
    Then follows 12 miles of uninspiring course, with spots of decent crowd support but great swathes of empty carriageway. Only redeeming feature is the last mile on the seafront.
    Then the trek to the baggage buses parked down a street way beyond the finish / meeting area before an hour plus wait for a bus back to the city centre. Not the 'regular service' advised in the literature.
    I've done London and the Great South so no stranger to big events, but this was in a class of its own.

  • http://ogeerunner.wordpress.com/ puts it all into perspective, with his write-up of the Thames Gateway 100 (+)

  • At a race I won't name in a league I won't name down in a woody, hilly area, the organisers forgot to put marshal at the first turn, so nobody turned. And everyone suddenly found themselves 'running' down a near-vertical seven or eight-foot drop. People were hanging off trees at the side of the course in their attempts to lever themselves down - and once we did that, and we were finally informed we'd gone the wrong way, we ran about a mile more than we should have done. I can laugh about it now...

  • Sounds like my kind of race! Give us clue... which county?

  • Run to the Beat usually gets a beasting from its participants.

  • Yes looks like that one was a disaster.

    Must be something with all of the ones with vastly over priced entry fees.

    People still seem desperate to do these awful races though.
  • Bottlenecks of up to 7 minutes. Disastrous organisation. Think I'd just listen to music in the car on the way home from a better race if I was them.

  • I think that if it's a crap race and it's cheap, you can nearly forgive it.

    I ran a half marathon yesterday (the Bacchus Half Marathon at Denbies Vineyard, Dorking, Surrey), which was possibly the best race I've ever run. It cost less than the RttB, and is within easy reach of London. It was hilly and a bit muddy in places, so it might not be what the runners of big city events are after. 

    Runner's World should absolutely publish IN BIG LETTERS the worst races in Britain - then the organisers might be shamed into improving them and unsuspecting runners wouldn't get shucked into entering them and possibly put off running for life!

  • I wonder if all those people who were on the forum "desperate" for a place are happy now?

  • Unfortunately you can pretty much guarantee that the worst races are the one's that pay the most to Runners' World for advertisments.

    These events are commercial events that have seem to have no desire to provide competitors with what's needed as that's money out of their own pockets.

    Editorial independence is lost when your magazine depends on advertising. You may get some cryptic, "could do with improvement" comment, but I'll eat my hat if they name and shame.

    It's also annoying that most of these events, and their organisers have form, i.e it's not a one off cock-up.


  • Another race that gets a kicking this weekend and suprise, suprise, all the previous races have issues and it's a commercial organisation.

    City of Salford 10k

  • I imagine that RW would be skating on some very thin ice if it did publish an article of the worst races. I doubt they have the legal resources to handle any fallout.

    While such an article would be interesting, it wouldn't really help any more than looking at the online race reviews prior to entering. At least the online reviews tend to represent a wide range of views, and not just a filtered perspective of an individual journalist with their own agenda.

    I'm now off to sign up for next year's Salford 10k image

  • I always think the best thing to do is to contact the local council.

    There's usually quite a bit of civic pride in hosting a race. No one-wants their town to look bad so it's in their interests (or should be) to refuse to issue licenses to organisers that provide a poor race experience.

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