Your chance to object to Run to the Beat 2013

Old Dover Road, 28 July 2013
What do you mean, you missed the licence application for this year’s Run To The Beat? The notices are up in such prominent places! If you think the half-marathon, due to take place on 8 September, will be a pain in the backside, then at least you can object to its various plans to host sound stages at points on the route. If you feel strongly enough, don’t think someone else will do it for you. Here’s a guide on how to do it.

Here’s the full Greenwich Time ad with the list of locations. How on earth Run to the Beat reckons it’ll fit in a sound stage on the narrow Thames Path, heaven alone knows…

Run To The Beat ad, Greenwich Time, 29 July 2013

Note that the deadline for submissions to is 26 August, less than a fortnight before the event, and presumably ahead of a licensing meeting scheduled for 4 September, just three days beforehand. Once again, it’s been left incredibly late – something which could put the event in peril if an appeal is launched, although it’s likely licensing officers will work to find compromises. Those unhappy about the route should contact Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin, whose permission the council needs to shut roads which have already been closed by the London Marathon.

Run to the Beat final route, July 2013

Here’s Greenwich cabinet member Maureen O’Mara, speaking last year:

“If this race is to return to the borough, it needs to be with residents fully understanding what’s going to happen in their streets, and what’s going to happen with licensing.

“And we need to think – well, what does this bring into the borough? I certainly don’t want go through again, the anguish of the past four weeks. We have to be absolutely clear about why Run To The Beat is here in the first place.

“If residents say they don’t want it, then we’ll have to talk to IMG about that.”

It’s also worth remembering that the Greenwich & Woolwich branch of the Labour party passed a resolution that Run to the Beat should only happen after “a full public consultation“.

If you don’t think Greenwich Council and IMG have lived up to either of these declarations, now’s your chance to do something.


  1. There are Greenwich residents that are in favour of having sporting events such as this held on the borough. That should be a consideration also.

  2. I think people disenfranchised by a council which won’t listen, and which has failed to properly consult with those who’ll be affected, should be able to have their say, whether or not we agree with them.

    If we’re talking about “the borough”, then let’s have a route which takes in the whole area and doesn’t lock a small corner in without its permission – as discussed here: http://8

  3. Sporting event or marketing event? Seems a bit tough for the neighbourhood to be drafted into this, with no obvious benefit other than for the organisers.

  4. Definitely the local community needs to be listened. As someone who lives in East Greenwich and does the run all I want to point out is that there is huge support all along the route from local people who cheer the runners on. So there is an amount support of the community in Greenwich and Charlton and Woolwich.

  5. There’s also opposition, though. This is about making sure it gets listened to.

    Granted, many people like it, and there’s real potential for a proper half-marathon in this area, but it’ll never be a real success while it sticks with an awful circular route and council and organisers ignore local views.

    This post is about providing that information so people can have their say, should they wish.

  6. I think the point here is that the “full public consultation” never materialised and there are better ways to plan a non-circular route around the borough which would keep everybody happy, residents and runners alike.

    Is this another example of paying lip-service to dealing with a problem when people complain and then backtrack and brush it under the carpet, hoping nobody notices, when the time comes around to actually doing what you said you would?

    Good luck to all of those running in this.

  7. I am fortunate enough this year to not be “penned in” for the day when Run to the Beat returns. Though the same was not true in previous years. That said, I was happy to suffer the minor inconvenience of not being able to drive my car, for any event that promotes exercise and health, and (arguably) does its bit for charity.

    I do agree that the road-closure aspect of the event should be open for comment; and provisions should be made for access/egress for those who do wish/need that on the day. And this hasn’t happened. The licensing application/consultation give residents an opportunity to comment on the music aspect only. So the best result residents will see is a quiet stretch of the route. “Run to the Beat (except in areas where residents don’t like you where you’ll run in silence – Bring a walkman!)” the event will be called in future years.

    So a bit pointless to object if your goal is to stop the event, but not if you want to send a message, I suppose. I do fear though that a silent majority, like myself, will go unheard who support the event; or are at least indifferent!

  8. Being someone who is ‘kettled’ in, I don’t like the event.
    It seems pretty poor organizing to the roads blocked for the duration of the event. Why not open once the runners have passed? Spend a bit more money on stewards who can manage this.
    I would also like to know the cost to Greenwich of hosting the event (policing/cleanup lost trade) as well as the revenue it brings.
    I do hope there is a “full public consultation” before the next event.
    Maybe there is massive public support for this event, or maybe no one can go anywhere, so to stop the kids going crazy, they get out the house and watch the event.

  9. Thanks Darryl
    I have written to the Secretary of State to find out whether, in making this decision, he had been made aware of the effect of the closures on the thousands of households “cordonned off” by the road closures. I’ll keep you all posted on any response.

  10. It’s fantastic that we have so many events like this happening on our door steps. I’ve just finished watching season 3 of The Walking Dead and when the Zombie apocalypse does happen – as it surely will – then fit people who can run bloody fast will be humanity’s best, possibly only, hope.

    My only comment on the race itself is that it surely can’t be beyond the wit of man to design a route that gives residents a road exit from it in at least one point.

  11. In my view the primary problem with RTTB is that it is a commercial venture which makes a profit for its organisers on the back of Greenwich residents, who see no upside for the inconvenience that we’ll have to put up with.

    If RTTB were a charitable undertaking, I would certainly be supportive. If the organisers shared their profits with the Council to fund local services, I’d also be supportive.

    Instead, this is yet another example of the Council selling out residents’ interests to the benefit of big business – without giving local residents a voice in that process.

  12. The meeting has been brought forward to August 28th NOT September as advertised. Wonder why? Hoping people will be on holiday and not able to go along?

  13. Did you know that RTTB is supposed to be giving 10 thousand this year for sports projects in the borough, and 20 thousand in years following? Divide that up between all the wards affected and its peanuts. And as they are talking of the future it rather sounds as if the event promoters have a fair idea they will get the nod forever and ever and that consultation people were promised will never happen. Doesn’t it make you sick?

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