Run to the Beat…

…is to move to Wembley. I hope that it will do really well – and stay there.

I never really worked out why I enjoy the London Marathon running through our streets and hated Run to the Beat with such a passion.

I suspect it was just that it always felt so ‘imposed’ – that a bunch of people who had nothing to do with Greenwich, no interest in it and no care for the disruption (streets closed off for hours, buses re-routed, locals effectively locked-in) and noise pollution came and took over our streets with officious officals and no actual gain for the local community.

I know it was for charity, good causes, and helped people get fit yada, yada, but it always felt – and acted like – a commercial enterprise that had somehow hijacked Greenwich to the point where people couldn’t even get anywhere on a bloomin’ bus.

I am glad to be rid of it and I don’t mind who knows it.


16 Comments to “Run to the Beat…”

  1. Richard says:

    Great news. Never understood how our Council kept on encouraging them when nobody in Greenwich wanted them making money out of us.
    Long live the London (Greenwich) Marathon!

  2. Nathan says:

    not all Greenwich residents will be glad it see it go! I have participated in many and so have a lot of my friends. Is one Sunday morning a year really too much to ask. If moaning was an Olympic sport, Britain would win a gold every time ;)

  3. Neil Rhind says:

    On your side on this one Phantom – but we may have to suffer two big pop music events on Blackheath this year. This is because Lewisham / Glendale are too feeble to respond positively to the very large and serious objections, notwithstanding one is for charitable purposes. The Joint Working Party for Blackheath said firmly one event not two. Lewisham didn’t care.

  4. Richard says:

    A private members’ club, the Joint Working Party for Blackheath said firmly one event not two. Democratically accountable Lewisham council listened to the concerns of a wider group, ie the electorate.

    There you go Neil I have corrected your statement.

  5. Richard Baglin says:

    Just to avoid confusion I am the Richard who posted the first comment, not my namesake who incorrectly “corrected” Neil Rhind. The Joint Working Party is not a private members club; it is a formally constituted body set up by both boroughs, Greenwich and Lewisham, who share responsibility for the Heath, to provide a coordinated approach to conserving and managing the Heath.
    Members include Councillors from both Boroughs and representatives of the local amenity societies.
    In Greenwich there certainly is democratic accountability because councillors take decisions about licensing events like this. I am not so sure about Lewisham where the decisions are delegated to an officer, hardly democratically accountable because Lewisham electors can’t vote him out.

  6. Steve says:

    Fantastic news about RTTB. Let the good people of Wembley enjoy all the prosperity that it brings and may the disappointed runners of Greenwich jump onto a Jubilee Line train (only a 40 minute journey from North Greenwich to Wembley). Bon voyage!

  7. Darren says:

    Got to say I was another of the fans of the event, music stages in the street was fun and there’s something about seeing the streets full of runners that inspires me.

    Given the loss of this I formally demand the return of Greenwich Car-Free day as compensation!

  8. Jon Cole says:

    I ran it 4 times and enjoyed running on local roads and past friends and family. However, it was badly organised and very expensive. I’d like to see a replacement event though which offers more for runners and residents alike

  9. John – I think you hit that proverbial nail on its proverbial head – ‘badly organised.’

    I’m not against the idea in principle – I love the marathon and have no real problems with events in general.

    But this was so appallingly run – with locals made virtual prisoners for hours (the marathon opens within a few minutes of the last runner going round) and known issues left to fester for YEARS – that I am more than glad to see the back of it. I felt imposed upon, locked in and helpless – as did many East Greenwich residents. And yes – expensive – the runners may have been doing it for charity, but I got the impression that the last thing the organisers were was a charitable institution and for something so blatently profit-making to be allowed to effectively shut off Greenwich – what really got me was the way the bus system was cut in half – the mythical old lady trying to get to hospital would have been stuffed – it was pretty disgraceful.

  10. Mary says:

    Phantom – the old lady wasn’t ‘mythical’. Given that hospital appointments are unlikely on a Sunday there are still old ladies around with poor mobility but with church services, lunch invitations, concerts, and so on to go to – and many of them complained to me and other councillors about their inability to get to them.

  11. Maeve OKane says:

    I am also sorry to see the back of it. It brought a lot of my friends who don’t normally venture south, to greenwich to cheer on mates. I hate to lose events on my doorstep.

    Plus the concerts on blackheath will be awesome! I hope they have a good line up, love a festival, especially when no tents are involved!

  12. John Norman says:

    I am glad its gone
    Also I was wondering why I don’t mind the Marathon but I did very much mind RTB.
    Even last year where they actually opened the roads in a reasonable time.
    I think it was
    - The marathon gets enough attention globally to make its benefit worth a little local disruption.
    - RTB was clearly profit making at my expense.
    - I often work Saturdays, to lose Sunday makes me want to cry !
    - For local events that cause disruption like RTB there should be a poll to gauge local support. For RTB I was not aware of any. And after the phone message episode with the council leader, sadly we cant be 100% sure there are no conflicting interests.

  13. Michael says:

    Good riddance. Let another part of London “benefit” from hosting it. Personally I think the Marathon should also start from a different London location every year – only fair after all.

  14. runner500 says:

    No great disappointment to see it go, I always planned to give it a try once they managed to learn how to organise an effective race, they never seemed to manage iit, but they charged £45 for the privilege – about 50% more than the London Marathon. How anyone can charge that and then manage to create a bottle neck at the Woolwich Barracks and fail to provide enough water almost beggars belief.

  15. John says:

    I’m a runner but have never been energised by the RTB race – probably because I can run on SE London roads whenever I want to. I’ve heard more negative than positive things about it (from other runners) & for any race to succeed it needs good worth of mouth so that previous participants encourage others to take part.

    I can’t see the London mara moving though – it’s successful, brings out crowds more or less all along the route & probably brings a fair bit of cash to local businesses.

  16. Max says:

    Sad to see something go that through sport, music and charity was galvanising the community in a way no local Olympic legacies have done so far. Ran it twice (first time was to raise money for local sports facilities) and cheered on runners the years I didn’t. Always overwhelmed by the support from the crowds.

    It did need some tweaking and collaboration with local schools perhaps – but it was an event. And events are good, right? That’s why we live in Greenwich.