2017, here we are, another year of running, cycling and adventures.
I’ve heard of RunThrough lots and was signed up for their VeloPark 10miler back in August but had to pull out due to injury. Let me say first, they’re fab races. If you’re in London you’ve pretty much got one every weekend to choose from, North, South, East and, well South-West. They’re favourably priced races ranging from 5k to half marathon and you get a super bespoke medal themed on the location of your run – plus flapjack, banana, water (en route and at finish) and a few other goodies what they have available.
This wasn’t in the calendar for long, quite spontaneous entry as it was purely that the race was fairly close by and I knew a few people that were doing it so why not kick off the year with a good test to see where I am after Christmas indulgences.
As always pre-race porridge, only I forgot to buy banana’s and blueberries so had to go plain. Half an hour drive an I arrived at Brockwell Park and headed straight for the portaloo queue. Then it was pick up number, struggle for 15mins putting number on with pins (hence why I normally use Event Clips) and had a chat and a few photos with the UkRunChat crew of Lee, Ciara, Melissa, Darren and Jen.
Then it was into the warm up – not a crazy jumping, sprinting, jumping jacks and mountain climbers warm up like you get at some races which tires you even before you’ve started running – this was very calm and sensible stretching and a bit of jogging on the spot.
The field seemed quite big, much bigger than the apparent 800-odd and they did say they’d were full. We were soon underway and it was a bit crowded but once we got 10mins in everyone had found their spot and moving quite nicely, with Darren and Jen kindly offering to pace me.
However, I soon realised I was moving too nicely, probably carried with the field I expect as I was getting shin splints before the first hill. It took about a lap (2miles) before it finally resided.
Darren and Jen decided that the best approach would be the ‘Beachy Head Marathon plan’, run the downs and flats, walk the ups, something I’ve rarely had to consider before but it genuinely was hilly enough and any chances of a new year PB wasn’t going to be likely. Once my shin splints had gone it worked really well and they were both pushing me along at a rate I probably wouldn’t have done if I was on my own, which included marching up the hills in time with Darren’s squeaky shoes and calling either “march, march, march” or “squeak, squeak, squeak” as we went up the hills.
Not far from the second lap the faster runners past us which wasn’t a problem as the paths were wide enough for 4-5 of us including a couple of pedestrians, cyclists and mums with pushchairs looking rather bemused as to why we were doing endless (well, 3) laps of a park in Brixton on wet yet mild day – in fact one near the end did say to her child “they’re doing a race, but they don’t look like they’re enjoying it”, we were having a great time, we laughed, poked jokes at each other all the way around.
So much fun in fact that as a runner as a runner swerved across to give his lady friend a kiss and hug i did ask if we all got one – i didn’t get either….*sad face* Must remember not to do that as i did it before at Richmond and i got a hug – costed me at least 10 seconds!!
Just as we started the third an final lap, i was pushed on to over take the woman in front with the incredibly impressive swagger, don’t know how to describe it but it was the best run/shuffle we’d all ever seen – still, no mercy in moments like this, no matter how good your swagger, next was the woman in pink who said it was a nice easy run in the park (Darren was pretty determined we must catch her). Alas, even though we got close on the downhill it wasn’t to be.
We crossed the finish line together and posed for our finish line photo which we couldn’t wait to see. We grabbed our artistic Brixton-themed medal, water, banana, flapjack, clif bar (soooo happy to see Clif bars) and some Whey bars – great haul!
My time, well, our time – i think i should consistently be getting sub 1.30’s nowadays but the fact that it was really hilly and 3 laps of the same hill made it tough – i know for a fact i would’ve been way off and might have even bailed on the first lap had it not have been for Darren and Jen.
But to be honest, i couldn’t care less about my time on Sunday, even though the guys were pushing me to get a time, it was an awesome day out with my mates basically, we just stuck a 10k run in the middle of it.
We met up with Melissa and had a chat to some of the other finishers and commended the lady with the swagger and the three of us went off to the pub for hot chocolate and brunch and chatted about films, the race, upcoming races, races we would/wouldn’t do, guessing how old i am, tomato juice, you name it
^It was all worth it for that!!!
*Soppy paragraph warning* Sunday goes to show how supportive the running community is and what fantastic people you get to meet along the way and that i can call people who’ve done parkrun to 100km my friends. I’m quite honoured to be apart of the UkRunChat community and my running experience would be so much poorer without the support and people i’ve met along the way!
I have to thank the Runthrough guys again for putting on an awesome event and i can’t wait for my next one -I am considering the Annual Pass if my finances and time allow and I’m certainly an advocate of their race series. Link to their website here -> http://www.runthrough.co.uk/
Let me know if you’re doing any of their races as if I’m free I will probably come along!
Next Race: Cancer Research London Winter Run – 5th February.