I had chosen a 10k event for part of the club GP series over in Gunnersbury Park for the last event before the summer break. There were a few races to choose from but Gunnersbury appealed as I had heard good things about the park and the organisers seemed all above board running a number of events around London. Gunnersbury appealed as it was also fairly easy to get to by public transport so those without access to a car could still take part and weather permitting it could be a nice day to take the family.
Late the day before I decided I would not go along to support, I was behind slightly on my training and I needed to get a long run in on the Sunday which I would not be able to do had I go along to the event.
I may have regretted this decision the next day.
So the Sunday dawned, weather was good for all doing their thing, whether racing, training or doing another sport. Hubby and the rest of the club set off to Gunnersbury and I set off for my long run.
Everyone taking part int he GP arrived safely, always a good thing but the confusion started from there as reported back to me after.
Firstly the web site stated it was just two laps around the park, laps are not great and can be boring but two laps in a new area would be ok as a one off. The organisers explained that due to recent hot weather there would be five laps not the two as it would be easier to deal with any issues. The day was a lot cooler than recent times but I guess they didnt want to take chances.
Secondly, there was a heck of a lot of confusion over the start time. The web site said 10am but one of the marshals said it started at 10:30am. This meant many felt they could not warm up and was hanging about then suddenly being told that actually the start time was in fact 10am causing last minute panic and rushing about.
Thirdly, I understand that they had started to pack up the course whilst the last runners were still out there. This is one of my biggest pet peeves I hate that with a passion. Being a slow runner myself I would have felt very unhappy seeing the packing away, what on earth is that all about? If you are organising a race you wait until the last person is through the finish. Had I been there I would have certainly had said something and kicked up a fuss. Disgraceful behaviour.
Lastly, the communication with the organisers had been appalling. I had contacted them leading up to the event and after to clarify some things and the responses were incredibly slow at best. Others said non existent communication was what they got.
The bling wasn’t special the souvenir t-shirt cotton so can’t be worn for exercise but we did win the team prize, I guess we can share the trophy around everyones homes.
Organising a race is not hard, I have done it myself and I did it part time on top of my day job, this organisers job is organising events – no excuse.
I won’t name and shame the organisers here, they have been called out on the club Facebook page and I certainly will not be picking another of their races.