So last night I set off with a couple of good friends for Wembley to go and experience the Electric Run. From what I could gather from social media its huge in the USA and its just coming to the UK. I had high hopes! Their pictures after all make it look lovely and with lots of funky lights etc. Check out their FB page to see what I mean.
One thing that had already irked a few people was being charged £5 to collect the race pack on race day. They’d had pick ups available in London on Friday but after all not everyone lives in London, for me to have gone there and collected my pack ‘free’ I’d have been paying £16 to get the train! We arrived at Wembley and followed all the other brightly coloured neon people to the start area where security were directing everyone to the same queue weather or not they had already got their pack. The queue stretched as far as the eye could see! Eventually we got inside the car park it was located on and the volunteers inside were pulling those with race packs out of the queue, turns out they werent supposed to queue but to walk straight through, slight lack of communication there! We continued to queue, in total just over an hour! For a collection that took less than a minute! So why the queue had been so long I don’t know! We headed back to the car to get dressed and put a few more layers on as by now it was FREEZING! We knew the first wave started at 8 so we had missed that but by the amount of people that had been in the starting area I had hoped it would mean the biggest crowd would be gone. How wrong was I?! We found the loos (which of course had queues) and then set off to join the starting queue. It bottlenecked from a wide queue into a narrow pathway which caused chaos and it was hard not to lose your friends, gripping each other was the easiest way not too! After over an hour we finally got to cross the start. As we were lining up past the start you could see them letting waves of only a hundred or so people through before stopping the line and then waiting another 5 minutes before letting the next people go. And yet the big screens showed images of the course which was looking rather empty! They then seemed to speed this up as when we did start it was then rammed!
From the word go there were ALOT of walkers and thats fair enough, I get that not everyone had signed up to run it but usually at races the walkers will stick to one side, that didnt happen here! Towards the end it was like 95% walkers and just 5% runners who were having to weave through the crowds to be able to run.
The race had 5 areas which obviously everyone wanted photos and pics at so they got very busy. I have to admit the areas disappointed me. They looked better on the pics! We did get some cool photos but they weren’t as ‘Wow’ as I had expected if that makes sense. The UV tunnel was defo the most popular and as we got there they were trying to block you from entering as part of it had deflated, adults who want uv photos dont tend to listen and round the corner was a gap in the wall that could be squeezed through so everyone was ducking in there! When you’ve covered yourself in UV paint and bright colours you NEED those photos 😉
The water station was pretty neat as it was under UV lights and the cups all glowed, however the cups were also made of a harder plastic so people took great delight chucking them on the floor and jumping on them! I feel sorry for the clean up crews!
The finish is a bit of a non event in terms of crossing the line as theres no medal or tshirt to collect, you just walk into what can only be described as a huge rave with people pretty much wall to wall in the area it was. We headed for the fish and chips bus which was just RAMMED and grabbed some chips as we hadn’t eaten all evening before trying to find the exit, which wasn’t as easy as you would expect! By this point we were all pretty cold but thankfully I had driven up so we stuck the heating on full blast and warmed up in the car!
Ultimately we had fun and we enjoyed the experience. Many people moaned about the price when it first came out and I knew I was paying for an experience not a race. I didn’t take my garmin as I knew time wasn’t going to be relevant, my slowest ever 5km in something around an hour lol. It was about taking in the atmosphere and spending time with friends. That being said, would I do it again? No. For me the queueing put me off. Had it been queuing during the day in the warm then maybe it would be different. But queueing on a cold April evening just wasn’t appealing and kinda zaps the atmosphere a bit! I’m british I don’t mind queueing but I did feel at this race it was excessive. It felt larger than the old hyde park womens challenge 5km which used to be very busy but that used to space out. This race didn’t seem to do that at any time! Maybe if they had less people or a better organised start it would be better!