I absolutely love running events. Getting up early before the dusk of dawn, fuelling your self with optimal nutrition and making your way to the event. The Bupa London 10,000 is one of my all-time favourite events. It is organised by the same team as the London Marathon, staged in London with a fantastic spectator turn-out. Think of this event as the London Marathon, just over 10k!
I arrived in Green Park at ~8:30, well in advance of the 10:00 start. This is my 3rd year running this event, which normally attracts just over 10,000 runners. However this year, there were close to 12,000, perhaps due to it’s surge in popularity, as well as 10k being the most popular road race distance in recent times. This was well reflected in the park, which was busier than previous years.
Due to the longer than usual queues for the toilets, I only ‘just’ made it to the start line in time! (any later and I would have missed my wave). I ran onto the road and toward the start line, where my wave was getting ready to depart from, with the kind steward lifting the cordon to let me through.
Setting off, I was filled with excitement! My heart was pounding, the crowds were cheering and I was feeling great. After a few 100 yards I checked my Nike+ GPS watch, and saw my speed averaging to be just over 17km/h. Now aiming for a sub-45, I was going way faster than I normally do. Realising I need to pace myself, I reduced my speed, bringing myself down to a more comfortable 13.5km/h.
Pacing myself well, I reached the 5k mark with plenty of energy. I did get a little carried away near the finish when I saw the “800 metres to go” mark and accelerated into just short of a sprint! Bad move, as I had worn myself out after 400 metres. Fortunately, as soon as I turned the corner from Birdcage Walk and saw the finish line in sight, I mustered some energy and went for a sprint finish for the last 100 metres!
The clock above the finish line was displaying around 47:20 when I passed. The announcer stated over the loudspeaker “and these guys here are coming in at well under sub-50…”. Technically correct, but my “official time” was actually 43:34, well under my sub-45 target! In actuality, my Nike+ GPS watch displayed my running distance to be 10.29km, rather than 10km, which would make sense as I probably did not run the best line for a 10km run, coupled with dodging past other runners, etc. So now my Nike+ account shows my 10km PB to be 42:34!
Provided Bupa 10k chips and tracking are accurate, in the second half, I passed 241 runners, with only 4 passing me. Not bad going.
Oh, and one of the best kit bags ever, with a lovely medal, T-shirt and other snacks. Will I be back next year once again? Sure! (with a sub-40 target!) A fantastic event, very well organised and fully enjoyable.