Mandy Bansal took part in Run To the Beat on 21 September this year. For the first time, this race switched from being a half marathon to a 10K and the location changed too. In previous years, it started in Greenwich by the O2 Arena and this year it started at Wembley. Here’s what Mandy Bansal thought of the new format and race distance…
I signed up for this event as my personal trainer was doing it and I wanted to support him. I decided to run with him. I love running with music so the idea of having DJ’s playing music on the route was ideal. There were issues with the race packs not being delivered on time. Two of my friends had to pick up the packs on the day, which was a hassle for them. The pack contained a running t-shirt, race number and timing chip too.
The race itself was well organised. On the day, I was able to get parking pretty close by to the start line and as it was a Sunday it meant I could park on a yellow line. The event had offered us parking but it didn’t appeal to me because it was quiet expensive at £15. We were held in the race pen at the start of the race for not very long at all, maybe 5-10 minutes. The race itself started bang on time.
Along the way, I remember seeing 4 water stations. There were no fuel stations; however, supporters on the roadside were giving out Haribos. I only had to queue for around 5 minutes for the toilet as the race definitely had enough toilets.
The course wasn’t very scenic as it involved running on the high street. The best view was coming into Wembley Park and seeing the Wembley Stadium Arch which signaled the last stage. I remember during the run itself having to avoid a few potholes. There were also 3 or 4 inclines one of which I felt was too steep.
My favourite part was at 7km where there was a DJ set playing and co-incidentally they were playing one of my favorite running songs so that really gave me a boost! My least favourite part was the last stretch before Wembley Park which was through the industrial estate. There were no supporters around and there was no atmosphere. Overall there was lots of local support on the road, which was a real motivator.
In terms of souvenirs, there were official photographs on offer by Marathon Photos but the packages there were offering were very expensive. There also was no goody bag per say but I did receive a nice finishers medal, isotonic drink and whey ice-cream. After the race it was very easy to collect my luggage. The bag collection set-up was very well organised and well staffed. I was able to leave the end of the race in about 10-15 minutes.
Overall, I would definitely recommend Run to the Beat if you like running to music and like the idea of having a party atmosphere whilst you’re running. The race didn’t have a magical atmosphere but the music got me going. The race was very crowded for the entire duration but I was expecting it to be seeing as there were over 8000 runners expected. The event was also well organised, I’d give it 8 out of 10 but I would give the overall quality of the race 6 out of 10. I’d run it again but only if it was closer to where I live.