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.
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.
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.
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.
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.