Sunday, 1 February 2015

London Winter Run 10km - Haters Gotta Hate

We'd signed up back some months ago to run the Cancer Research Winter 10km in my head thinking this would be sufficient time to get my weakened back into shape and ready to take the challenge. The added incentive of being an early sign-up as a team of 5 meant not only did we get discounted rates but also a free beanie hat each #allaboutthestash

The first race in a long time, I was nervous but my body knew what was coming... there are certain bodily functions that kick in for me on race day, something that prepares my body for the race ahead, and clears my system of all poisons. The train was filled with runners heading into Victoria carrying their official blue bag drop bags. The first meet was with Jess T at Victoria station, we then hopped on the tube to meet point two, Piccadilly Circus and Lisa. A very cold trio we headed down the road to the start point, not sporting the beanies as they made us look like we had black condoms on our heads, not a good look.

We were joined by our final two of the team, Debbie and Jess H-H. We grudgingly de-layered and attached our numbers. Shivering as we went. My Petts Wood Runners (PWR) shirt was spotted first at the bag drop (opting for letter ‘D’ a homage to DMU where we all met) where I was told we have a team helping out at the race and then again mid run by a waving smiling woman about half way into the race. Walking to the start we made a detour to the portaloos and got a few of the promised polar bear hugs. Good hugs, poor costumes!

At least the polar bears were very enthusiastic, I particularly enjoyed the dancing bears although I think that is frowned upon in some circles, teaching animals to dance and perform for human enjoyment?!

The race was started in waves with a pre-start warm up and some huge cow bells which were to become quite a feature and reminded me of the Thunder Run and the solo bell ringer freaking me out in the night.

The team spit into two groups, I struck with Debbie and Jess H-H for who, this was their first 10km race after starting running last year to tackle a 5km. we have a run walk strategy in place, my role mostly to jibber jabber on and keep them distracted from the running part of things! This once again reinforced how much I miss running with others, so nice to be out running with pals.

The race had some wintery features that included snow zones and a Swiss Winter Wonderland… before you get your hopes up these were disappointing in equal measure. I’d suggest next year more dancing polar bears or try not to over sell the wonderland which was a tunnel with about 5 lights projected slides of a Swiss flag, a skier and a couple of other weak tenuously linked wintery images. As for the snow zones…  how does that go wrong? Just get a few magical fake snow machines…. Well no, it was like a poor attempt at a foam party and without the dancing and drinking it just wasn’t worth it!

Around the half way point was saw the others pass us on the return leg of the run and we all gave a big old wave and cheer. Giving us a bit of a buzz as we headed up the incline towards the Tower of London. The ladies were doing well but getting a lot of attention thanks to their t-shirts!

Now let’s consider the scale of this particular race, around 15,000 runners signed up to run 10km along the banks of the Thames, in freezing conditions and two of these runners have the following words printed on the reverse of their tops  “I hate running”. Well who’s have thought that so many runners would agree with that statement!! Pretty much everyone that saw them called out what a great shirt it was, they hated it too, why are we doing this etc.  I sort of wished I had one, although it would have to say ‘but I bloody love it!’ or at the very least ‘I made them do it!’.

We crossed the line at 1:20:01 pretty much bang on our predicted target time. Very proud of everyone, not just for the race but for getting out early on a Sunday morning that had a weather forecast of sub-zero wind chill factor!

We regrouped, got our bags, layered up and headed to a pub for lunch and to meet a few more of the netball girls. Good times!

1 comment:

  1. What a brilliant day, I can officially say I Bo longer hate running, I just wish it wasn't so hard! Thanks for being my inspiration to at least give it a go. Here's to the Hen do in march and our next outing together, running and eating/drinking!!