24 October 2019
| THE HEARTBEAT OF WOMEN'S SPORT

Event review: Run To The Beat powered by Nike+

November 15, 2012
Event review: Run To The Beat powered by Nike+

Last month 18,500 runners took to the streets of Greenwich for London’s music half marathon, Run To The Beat powered by Nike+. Being a fan of good (ok, sometimes bad) tunes and intrigued by the promise of a music festival feel, Sportsister’s Jessica Whittington joined them.

Event review: Run To The Beat powered by Nike+I’m not one of those runners that HAS to listen to music when out pounding the pavements, but I do prefer having a good beat to run to. A number of events I’ve done in the past haven’t allowed music due to various safety reasons, so when the chance came up to run a race that not only allows you to bring your iPod along, but encourages you to ‘run to the beat’, I couldn’t let it pass.

Pre race

Run To The Beat powered by Nike+ returned to The O2 Arena for its fifth instalment on a rather chilly and dreary October 28 this year. But, with Nike being lovers of a good matching t-shirt, the day didn’t stay dreary for long, with a sea of yellow-tee clad runners brightening the streets of Greenwich.

Organisation is key with an event as large as Run To The Beat and I can’t fault this in the run up to race day. I received my race pack a month before the event, giving me plenty of time to get used to the ‘yellower than I’d normally wear’ race tee and read the guide which contained helpful hints for both participants and spectators.

When I arrived at The O2 Arena it was clear where I needed to go, and baggage was stored for you inside in the Soccer Dome. The last event powered by Nike+ I attended, The British 10K, had runner’s gear stored outside on a day that decided to persist with rain, so I was relieved to see Nike had worked on that.

After dumping bags there was a cold walk to the start line where I joined my wave and waited for the race to begin…

The route

DJ Reggie Yates kick-started the event, getting runners jumping to keep warm with motivational music tracks and shout outs. I’d geared myself up for a fair wait at the start line. Again, basing this event on the only other similarly-sized race I’d done, The British 10K, I was expecting a it to take a while for me to cross the line. However, Nike have obviously worked hard to ensure there wasn’t a repeat of those delays and I was across the line just five minutes after the elite’s had first crossed.

Event review: Run To The Beat powered by Nike+There was a great atmosphere as we set off on the 13.1 mile course, the music was blaring and the crowds were cheering. As we departed The O2 the sound of Yates’ voice slowly faded away as I looked forward to the party atmosphere greeting me at the multiple stages scattered across the docklands course.

As we ran out to Woolwich, through scenic Greenwich Park and back to The O2 Arena we were greeted with sounds from the best in Urban, R’n’B, House, Hip Hop and Dancehall music. DJ’s who kept the beat going for the runners included Nihal, Bobby Friction, Panjabi Hit Squad, Hutch, DJ Scar, Drumline, Rhythms of the City, Boy Cloud Kid and The Other Tribe, all provided in conjunction with the event’s musical partner, City Showcase.

I found the course itself well planned, with clear mile markers and plenty of opportunities to hydrate (five water stations and two Powerade stations to be exact). My only disappointment here was seeing how much wastage there was from the Powerade stations. I don’t feel the need to give out full-sized bottles to runners. I saw no one take more than a few gulps before casting it aside, which as well as wasteful, could have become quite dangerous as many runners failed to use the bins on offer – turns out an almost-full bottle of drink isn’t as easy to crunch underfoot as an empty cup!

Although a fair bit of the course was nice and flat, there were a few mega hills which took some determination to overcome. But having the tunes definitely helped, as did running with a pace runner in sight. As we neared the finish line, the sound of headline act DJ Fresh helped runners home and I sprinted over the line with a new PB in the bag and a slightly sick feeling in my stomach to collect my medal and another bottle of Powerade.

Event review: Run To The Beat powered by Nike+

Would I do it again?

Yes, definitely. I loved the festival feel and the well-organised nature of the event meant all I had to stress about was actually running.

Good points

– The music!
– The pre-race interaction from Nike, with hints and tips via email and social networks
– The organisation. Plenty of toilets on offer and somewhere dry to store your bags

Bad points

– Too much Powerade! A smaller ‘race’ sized bottle would have been more than enough
– It would have been nice for organisers to have noted the exceptionally cold weather and provided runners with a foil blanket to help them keep warm post-race as it was a fair walk back to where bags were stored
– Maybe not one for those who don’t like hills!

More info: www.runtothebeat.co.uk

Jessica Whittington, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine

#TrainRTTB
To see highlights from last year’s event visit youtube.com/TheRuntotheBeat
To find out more or register for next year, visit www.runtothebeat.co.uk
Follow updates on facebook and twitter @runtothebeat / @NikeUK

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