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Run to the Beat leaves Greenwich for Wembley - will you miss it?
Greenwich's Run to the Beat half-marathon is relocating to Wembley after a six-year long love-hate relationship with the borough.
The race will be back as a 10k in Wembley Park this September, ending a long association with Greenwich that was strongly backed by the council and saw 96,000 runners pound the streets to the accompaniment of bands and DJs.
Race organisers IMG said they had hoped, after last year, Greenwich Park could become a "long-term home" for the race but that this summer's intended date clashed with the Tall Ships Regatta coming to the area.
The race attracted crowds and thousands of runners, but did have critics in the borough, who complained its circular route penned residents in for the whole event and caused big problems with the roads.
Last year's event, which changed its route to start and finish in the park after pressure from politicians and community groups, also came under fire from some runners for a lack of music, organisation and even water. Organisers pledged to give £10 back to affected participants.
More recently, a proposal by Councillor John Fahy to postpone a decision on the race until after the election led to leader Councillor Chris Roberts leaving a foul-mouthed message on his voicemail, sparking investigations into his behaviour.
An IMG spokeswoman said: "We loved hosting the 2013 event at Greenwich Park and thank everyone who was involved with last year’s event, we hope to work with Greenwich Council again in the future.
"When we moved to Greenwich in 2013 we were hoping that Greenwich Park would be a long term home for Run to the Beat but unfortunately the date for the event clash with the International Tall Ships Festival so Greenwich Council was unable to support the event.
"We are equally looking forward to moving to the iconic venue of Wembley which will provide a new interesting course and exciting challenge for our 10k participants."
A spokesman for Greenwich Council said: "IMG had requested a five year commitment from us for the event. We could not give that commitment.
"We could not accommodate the event date that they suggested this year as we have already planned our Festivals programme and would be unable to support another major event.
"We explained this to IMG who accepted the position and we understand they are talking to another venue/council regarding the 2014 race."
For more information visit runtothebeat.co.uk
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