Great British weekend

The British 10k, London – race report
 
An early 5:30am start from wet Wiltshire as the M4 is shut again at Hammersmith due to a crack in the concrete. Even with the diversion I was parked up in Westminster next to my favourite Pret a Manger for coffee and loo well before 8am.
 
Walking to the bag drop I passed the finish line, final preparations in the rain being made, the sound systems pumping out tunes far to loud for that time on a Sunday morning !
 
Big screens were all around with Nike Cheer me on messages of support and great sporting moments videos. unfortunately I  didnt see my personal message from Mike, which simply said “Good luck, Love Mike”.
 
Bag dropped off, laying in a puddle amongst thousands of others, good job I put everything in a dry bag in side and had my recognisable white & blue rucksack as the bag tags were very soggy and some sliding off by our return.
 
30,000 runners waiting to start, miles of us
 
We were walked to the Ritz and along the start. Not sure how but I ended up at  the front and it took me less than a minute to cross the start line ( Gun & chip times showed this). Looking back there was a sea of faces, miles of headphone wires, wiffs of Tiger Balm and the rain came down. Luckily I remembered to take a disposable poncho which did keep me warm whilst Heather Small sang Proud & Royal Cavaliers on horse back & band did God Save The Queen – very patriotic & rousing.
 
Poncho off, runner 17054 ready for the off…..
 
30k runners packed in a central London start was a very crowded, not a course for PB’s but the iconic sights & amazing support along whole route more than made up for it. Best sights from  end of marathon route were all passed as well as Downing Street, St James palace, over Westminster bridge and into Trafalgar Square. New additions were Olympic lanes markings on the roads, plus the bicycle superhighway are freshly painted in blue. The Olympics should get Londoners and visitors fit as it seems the best way to get around is walk or ride a bike.
 
Nike’s involvement brought numbers printed on tech shirts, entertainment along way, picture & films in tunnels of Mo & Paula etc, music pumping from a dozen DJ’s, no need for iPod !, There was the option for live runner tracking and instant results. The timing chips were an orange loop through the laces, lightweight, easy to post out and attach. Although amazing how many runners got it wrong ! Gatorade & water in abundance which were welcome as although it was raining it was quite warm.
 
Timing chip – orange loop for KM splits, live tracking & chip finish time

 

 
Nice medals & second commemorative tech shirt at end, even had women’s sizes were the finishing touches to a great run.
 
Not my luck as I saw another girl collapse but still conscious & talking to paramedics. Held up for a couple of minutes for ambulance access. The last lady I saw collapse was Claire Squires in the London marathon.
 
I finished under grey skies and very wet, the noise and support in the last 200m was deafening. My Nike GPS app  spurred me on and congratulated me as I crossed the line. I gained a bit of distance, phone read 6.35 miles and I was happy to come in under the hour. The tracking app showed km splits as well as live tracking and finish time. “Ping Ping ” – results sent by text arrived as I walked to collect my bag.
 
10km later (actually 6.35 miles) the FINISH 🙂
 
Collected my bag & medal and a dry commemorative t-shirt. Inhibitions go as male & female finishers were stripping off wet kit and putting on fresh dry shirts and warm clothes. I was starting to feel chilly after I stopped running
.
Having parked in my secret central London usual marathon viewing place next to a Pret-a-Manger I went in for coffee and a hot chicken wrap plus quick loo stop.  Then it was time to head off  home for British F1 & Wimbledon tennis to cheer on the Brits.
 
London’s getting really busy now as athletes start coming in this week to practise at Olympic venues. Central London being fenced off – the Mall, Hyde Park, Horseguards etc. Underground stations being stickered in pink direction signs. Train timetables being adjusted and last-minute engineering works being hopefully completed for the Olympic Games.
 
I enjoyed the race, route, organisation, results service, goodies, supporters. Even the rain was refreshing as we were running. Still improvements could be made on organisation  such as give medals as you cross the line so only one medal per person and they don’t run out as I heard.
 
Would I do it again  ? Yes in a few year. I last did it 5 years ago as my first 10k race and was a good 10 to 15 minutes slower. Maybe every 5 years I should come back ! Like I go on skis every 5 years since switching to my snowboard.
 
 

2 comments

  1. Well done Zoe! And was great you managed to spot me on the Embankement 🙂
    One thing I would add, is that although you had put your dry clothes in a wet bag, it would have been nice for them to have the bagging area covered, and some toilets before starting, as we all leave the house earliesh after breakfast. I personally found a tree in Green Park, which is not very elegant, nor lawful…
    And the medal issue, I also ended up with two without knowing it.
    Atmosphere was great though.

    • The toilets were hidden around the corner from bag drop – not the way we walked to start. About 50 of them !

      A covered or tented bag drop would have been better rather than in the gutter. My bag was soaked but contents dry. Took phone, car keys and money with me on run.

      I got home and found I had 2 medals as given one which i wore home then found another in goodie bag at home. Have emailed to see if they want one back.

      I got so cold at the end I headed for coffee, changed into dry clothes in street then headed home. Sorry I didn’t see you at end but glad to spot you on route !

      What’s next for you ?

      I’ve got a tri in Bristol this weekend – another wet race.

      Zoe

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