I was not planning to write a race report for the ELVIS (East London Five Inter Series) 5k race. But as it was my first time doing one of these local club races, I thought I would briefly share my views and experiences. This particular event was hosted by East End Road Runners, and took place in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
I arrived at the event quite early, as we had to pick-up our race numbers/chip. These were all available in a large box, placed in the middle of the East London Runners camp, which was nice to see for the first time with big ELR flags. There were over 100 ELR runners here, and I only knew a handful (maybe 20 or so). Fortunately, everyone was very welcoming. It was great to finally meet Jamie Xavier, who was super friendly! I picked up my race number and attached it to my running vest, before warming-up. I did a 1km jog with Aaron, before doing some strides. Once ready to race, I made my way to the start-line, for the 19:30 hrs start time.
The start was fairly congested, and I was unsure where to place myself, so just stayed with a few runners who I know run similar times to myself (John Booth!). As soon as the gun went off, I was away. I was just talking to John about mistakes I’ve often made at previous runs, how great I feel at the start of a race, and go off to hard. I made the same error in judgement again, and raced to the front, just behind the lead runners, doing the first kilometre in 3:26. Reality quickly caught up to me, and the second kilometre was done in 3:34. By this point, I began to feel a little out of breath, but continued to power through.
It was good to see other ELRs on the course as I was running around, and I tried to give them some encouragement. I knew a few other speedy ELR runners were right on my tail, but I only compete against myself, and really wanted to run under 18:30 today. I think that was a good aim for me, considering my recent low running mileage, and was the personal target I set myself. The final 800m of the race felt very hard for me, and was probably the most difficult final lap I had done in a race. I kept pushing through, thinking to myself that pain is temporary, but my finish time is permanent! I crossed the finish line in 18:31, so pretty much bang on what I wanted to do!
I chatted with a few ELR runners after the event, and was great to catch-up with Robert Rayworth, who also ran today and got a well earned PB. Overall, I enjoyed my first ELVIS race, and look forward to more. It was great to run with so many top runners, and in a very scenic location. The chip timing was a very welcome addition, and I was throughly impressed with the organization at this event. Finally, it was really interesting to note that the overall winners of this event were over the finish mat in 17 minutes. I’d really like to try and work toward this level. Being realistic, I think it is possible with some proper training. Maybe one day. Until then…