Race Recap // Great Newham London Run 2016


Original Photo before edit: Great Newham London Run
I had my second race in two weeks this past weekend. The Great Newham London Run - I've done it the last couple of years - apart from the year I had surgery. It's always been a good race, the course has been decent and it's nice to run around the Olympic Park and into the Stadium - plus, the entry price wasn't too bad either(£32), so we signed up as usual.

Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy the race as much this time round, for the most part it was the heat that put a downer on the race for me, which obviously isn't GNLR's fault. I'll explain more below.

The Morning Of..
Thankfully, Phillip and I didn't have to be up as early for this race! There was no travelling on the tube which saved us some money and instead we just had to travel a bit further by car and parked in the Westfields car park for the day. We also decided to try having out breakfast in the car on the way, as typically we would eat breakfast several hours before the race before we had even left the house.

We had some porridge pots that we made just before we left and at on the way - mine was cold by the time I'd actually got round to eating it.

There was only a short walk from the car park to the Olympic Park which was majorly convenient. We left out belongings in the car so we didn't use the baggage drop this time, but it looked fairly simple, so our first port of call was the loos - the queues weren't too bad when we went, I noticed there weren't as many toilets this year though(considering there were 15k runners).

Afterwards, we made our way to the starting pens as it was almost time for Phillip to start his race. There was a decent warm up included and after Phillip started(15 mins late at 9:45), I went back for another toilet stop. Queues again weren't bad until I came out to see massive queues across the field - not sure how long it took others in the queue. 

There was a fair amount of waiting in the sun/heat before I was able to enter the pens, and more waiting inside the pens to actually start. I suppose if you were running on your own you could adjust the time to suit your race start.

The Race
My wave was supposed to start at 10:30 and started at 10:40. I was dying from the very beginning as I'd already been out in the heat for a long time. They had changed the waves this year and there was about 15 mins between the first two waves and an HOUR before the start of my wave. Phillip had already finished his race before I'd even began. There is no shade out on the field next to the race start, so the heat was exhausting and didn't set me up for a good start or run.

The race starts just outside the ArcelorMittal Orbit, making it's way past the London Aquatics Center before looping back behind the Stadium and towards the Copper Box Arena.
At around the 7 km mark, we crossed over the River Lea towards Lea Valley Velopark and then it's back towards the stadium.

The course slightly changed from last year, we went through the tunnels on the outskirts of the stadium(they probably have an official name), before exiting, running around a track and then entering into the stadium again, this time on a running track.

There were 2 water stations out on the course, one at 2.5 km and one at 5 km. There were also 2 mist showers out on the course too.

The atmosphere, as always was fabulous in the stadium. There are tonnes of families and supporters of runners allowed into the stadium to spectate for the finish line and the crowds are roaring. It definitely gives you a boost to get to the finish line, something I definitely needed!
After you cross the finish line, you travel back out of the stadium to collect goody bags which contain your medal, tshirt, Lucozade, water and a snack or two.

Overall Thoughts
The time between the Orange/White and Green/Pink was far too long, especially given the heat. There was no need for an hours wait between the two.

There also needed to be an extra water station out on the course. There were stacks of water at entry to the starting pens which was great to keep hydrated before hand, however, given the heat on the day, there really needed to be a water station at around 7 km. 3 extra miles with no water after the 5 km point was not good!

As I mentioned above, your goody bag contains your t-shirt and medal - unfortunately, when things are done this way, there's a chance that the goody bag may not contain one of these items by mistake, like I found out.
Having got back to the car to travel home, I realised that there was no t-shirt in my goody bag and I've had to chase Great Run to get one sent out - had this been the medal missing(something I actually do the races for), I'd have been so upset - other races give you your medal as you finish, almost like a congratulations for finishing, though I understand that it cuts on queues at the end.

In terms of the overall race, it was still good. There isn't as much support out on the course itself, but there were bands and charity spectators cheering out on the course and the amount of runners out on the course made it interesting - the majority of the support is at the end inside the stadium, which as I mentioned is a fantastic experience.

Obviously, the things I've mentioned above will not stop me from doing the race again as it's a race I generally enjoy - hopefully they can sort out a couple of the niggles experienced this year and be ready again for next year!

According to the website, you can actually enter already for next year! So if you're interested in running the Olympic Park & Into the stadium, then you can already enter - HERE

Race Vlog
If you didn't see with last weeks race recap, I've started vlogging the races. It's taking me some getting used to and I keep forgetting to film he ending for the video but practice makes perfect. Find my running vlog below!

If you have any tips, comments for improvement or things you'd like to see in the vlogs then do let me know! and Subscribe to stay updated with new videos!

Question: Did you run the Great Newham London Run? Have you ever had a race you had high expectations of and then didn't quite enjoy?

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  1. Divya @ Eat. Teach. Blog.20 July 2016 at 23:54

    I've only run two races in my whole life! Both met expectations! (It's easy when I have little to compare to, haha)


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