I finally did it. Yes, Sunday 14th July heralded the British 10K London Run – my first ever road race.
I’d be lying if I said I was on top form. After months of training and excitement, the weekend came. I went out on the Friday and got smashed and puked up my fillet steak and champagne. This vomming continued till Saturday morning and by that point, there was nothing I wanted to do less than get up at 7am the next morning and run 10,000 metres in the middle of a heat wave. But with a little moral support, I did it.
I’d never done a race before so wasn’t too sure what to expect. There was lots of confusion and hanging around and the performance by Katrina and the Waves was a bit irrelevant. There weren’t any marshals or signage and no staggered starts. I didn’t even realise I’d crossed the starting line, some people were running, some were walking. Pretty sure I could have shaved a few minutes off my time if the start was clearly marked and the walkers were separated from the runners.
I’ve since checked the British 10K’s Facebook page and it appears that the whole thing was a bit of a shambles. I think the fact the results were late pushed people over the edge. Some of the comments left were hilarious though, one of my favourites being from a Mr Domencio Lombardo: “The baggage area was really bad. Also – “Do you wanna medal with that?” while collecting my bag was amusing. Wasn’t expecting Boris to hand it to me but the baggage handlers were offering them out like French fries at a burger restaurant”. Comedy gold!
Backlash aside, I’m glad I did it in such hideous conditions. I did have to walk for about 30 seconds, while I insisted “I can’t bloody do it!” at kilometre 8 (evidently, it turns out the course was actually over 11K – it certainly felt like more than 10). My time was 1 hour 10 minutes 24 seconds which was slower than I was aiming for but if it wasn’t for the hangover and sweltering conditions I know it would have been under an hour. Average ladies’ time was 1 hour 5 minutes.
My words as we crossed the finish line were “I’m never doing that again” but I may have been a bit hasty. I don’t think I’ll do this particular 10K again but the Bupa 10,000 sounds promising. Has anyone ever done that one? Apparently it’s much better organised and May sounds more reasonable than mid-July!