On Sunday I ran the British 10k London Run.
I’m not new to 10k road races, but this was my first in London. I fancied something different after running the Lincoln 10k for a few years, I thought a change of scenery would do me good and make it interesting.
Training has been really hard. I’ve struggled with motivation, energy and time – three things which are needed in plentiful supplies if you’re going to be a successful runner. But I’ve done my best, been out running when I can, and taken part in other fitness activities like cycling and netball too. I was very nervous about the run, felt quite rough on the morning (with nerves), but had my sister and friend there to support me and so many messages on twitter, facebook and text – I could do nothing but look forward to it.
The atmosphere in London was amazing. Yes it was incredibly busy but being stood at the start with so many other people was really uplifting. People were running for various reasons. Some were raising money for one of the 500 charities represented at the event, others were trying to beat a time, and many were just seeing if they could do it. My reason for running started off as a time-beating exercise, but after my rubbish training I was there at the start concentrating on just doing the best I could do on the day, and enjoying the experience.
Watching the elite runners start was just incredible… I mean they shot over the start line and down the road, almost overtaking the car with the clock before he got up to speed. It then took me what felt like forever to get over the start line – but it was all very civilised, no pushing or complaining.
Running around London was hot hot hot – wow I’ve never done a run and felt as tired as quickly! I admit to walking for a stretch in the middle around the Blackfriars area, my body and mind needed to recover a bit! But I made sure I gave everything and coming around Parliament Square at the end I even managed to pick up the pace slightly to go down to the finish line.
There were so many people I found that at the beginning while I was overtaking people it was often hard to find space, and nearer the end when I was tired and 1000s of people were overtaking me I was getting elbowed left right and centre. The crowd of spectators (about 50k people apparently) was amazing – cheering and clapping as we ran by.
The clock read 1 hour 22 as I crossed the timing mat, and my chip time was later revealed as nearly 1 hour 16 minutes. Slow. But that was all I had. I tried my best and feel good that I did it. I couldn’t have gone any faster without really hurting myself. So I’m proud even though it was no where near my goal.
The experience of running around the streets of London was a good one – marathon runners get to see much more of the City I agree, but this was my chance to be inside the barriers and run around Westminster without worrying about cars or Boris bikes!
The event was very well organised. The baggage area where I entrusted my overnight bag before the race and collected my medal and tshirt from after the race was easy to find and not overcrowded. There were banks of portaloos for runners so we didn’t have to pay to use public toilets (and the queues weren’t long either). There were also places to meet family and friends so I didn’t feel like I was stuck in the middle of London by myself at any point.
I have to say, I think I’m done with 10k road races now. I’ve tried to meet my bucket list challenge of doing a 10k road race in an hour six times and I’m just getting slower – so I think it’s time to call it quits. It’s not like I haven’t tried! I think this is the first “failed” I’ve had to add to my list (I’ll upload a new list soon) which is sad really but at the same time I can’t really expect to complete everything can I? Ok so inside I’m completely disappointed in myself, but I need to realise this is just something I can’t do.
If you want to experience running through London with 25 thousand other people this time next year (just a week before the Olympics), then have a look for details on the British 10k website: http://www.thebritish10klondon.co.uk/