Putting Their Best Foot Forward


NSR’s Sporting Calendar

All types of sports disciplines feature in NSR’s calendar including running, cycling, rugby, athletics, football and swimming. Every year the NSR team works on some of the biggest events in the UK’s sporting calendar, which includes Swim Britain, Sport Relief, the London Youth Games and the main running event of the year; the London Marathon as well as other sporting events working with Limelight Sports for clients such as Nike.

NSR has been involved with the London Marathon every year since it began with the first race of just 2000 runners in 1980 where the team provided full PA systems for both the start and finish lines. Since that first race the event has grown considerably and now welcomes over 35,000 entrants.

As the entry levels have grown over the years so too has the event itself and now NSR install full PA systems for three start lines as well as a control unit and TV monitors for the celebrity areas and two screens for outputting the BBC broadcast plus two further PA systems for the two lead vehicles and the rear vehicle following the runners. In addition, the event now includes a mini marathon for 11 to 17 year olds who run a three mile course where NSR installs the start line PA system.

One of the challenges of the London Marathon is the PA system for the Blue start area where the majority of the competitors assemble. In this area 3 lines of speaker towers are required to ensure all runners hear any announcements. To avoid an echo the NSR team has to delay the sound to the second and third line of speakers so everyone hears the announcement at the same time.

Fun fact: Interestingly more runners entered in the first year of the mini marathon than entered for the first London marathon held in 1980.

As sports become more and more popular many sports events are being staged within inner city areas. This brings with it a specific set of challenges with regard to sound restrictions, particularly within residential areas. In advance of the event the NSR team has to work closely with local councils to establish any restrictions on DB levels so that these may be adhered to on the event day within the time slots specified.