Greenwich half marathon runners slam 'shambolic' race with delays and 'no music' (From News Shopper)
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Greenwich half marathon runners slam 'shambolic' race with delays and 'no music'
RUNNERS of a Greenwich ‘musical’ half-marathon have vented frustration at a "shambolic" race with criticisms including delays on the course, a lack of water - and no beat.
Organisers of Run to the Beat powered by Nike+ – which saw 19,000 competitors pound the 13.1 mile course – apologised for a "blockage" at Royal Artillery Barracks where joggers were held in gridlock for up to 10 minutes.
The controversial charity run’s new course started and finished in Greenwich Park this year and annually splits opinion with residents since it started five years ago.
First-time runner Sarah Kettridge told News Shopper: "This is coined as London's music marathon - only problem is, there was no music!
"We passed the odd burger van every few miles where we were lucky if an ipod had been plugged in and also whether the 'DJ' could be bothered to stand and press play rather than sit and munch through his McDonalds.
"Add to that an absolute farce of a route, which not only prevented anyone getting any sort of decent time but also was quite simply put - dangerous in places.
"Whilst I am immensely proud of myself for completing my first half marathon without stopping, I have been left disappointed by the complete shambles and feel completely ripped off by the amount I paid and how RTTB treated us."
Ms Kettridge, along with Twitter users, also complained about a lack of water and a coconut drink given out instead which she says made participants feel unwell.
Organisers IMG Challenger World are offering £10 back to dissatisfied runners and tweeted: "IMG Challenger World apologise for the congestion at the Royal Artillery Barracks and appreciate your patience.
"A detailed review of the affected area of the route will be a priority for us."
A Charlton mum-of-two who previously ran a petition to change the route’s course, says she found this year’s road closures "slightly better" but believes organisers need to communicate more with residents in the run-up.
Annie Keys, 37, who is running to be Labour's candidate for the Greenwich and Woolwich parliamentary seat, said: "This is a divided residential community. Many people enjoy the running, some like the fact there are no roads open.
"I know some runners had problems. A lot of problems with the course could be solved just by talking to the community.
"This is a call for the company to get out and do things and look at the route and look at a straight route.
"It isn’t about cost, it is about making it a successful event."
An IMG spokesman said: "We, race organisers IMG Challenger World, are aware of logistical and organisational issues at this year’s Run to the Beat powered by Nike+ event.
"We appreciate how the issues may have affected their race experience and have given a £10 refund to all runners as a good will gesture.
"We continue to respond to participant emails and welcome feedback via our customer services email address firstname.lastname@example.org
"Our main priority now is to ensure the issues are looked at in detail, within an internal review of the event, using customer service emails and social media comments as an important reference.
"However, there was no problem with water being readily available throughout the course.”
What was your experience of Run to the Beat powered by Nike+? Post your comments below.
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