Finally home after a thoroughly enjoyable day. Having just run my 6th London 10,000 (the first in 2012), I can still say that this is one of the best 10km road races I have ever done. So how did things unfold today? Well, it all started with meeting Stuart ‘Stupot’ Barton (and family) at Woodford station. The plan was to take the 8:07 train, and pick-up ELR runners at stations en-route to Green Park. Quite a few familiar faces made an appearance on the carriage, and we arrived well in-time for our infamous ELR group picture. Wonder if this will make the paper!? Let’s hope our Maya Goodwin approves!
I then hurried away to the blue wave starting pen and engaged in a short warm-up; a 1km jog followed by some muscle loosening. I bumped into my good pal Jamie Xavier and we entered the start pen together (which was filling up fast!). Here we met fellow ELRs Paul Quinton, Will Pearce and Russell Price. I also saw Mark and Pete, as well as Matt Jiggins and Ilia. A lot of familiar faces! After a chat with everyone at some point, we observed a minutes silence for recent tragic events our great nation has been coming to terms with. It was an emotional pre-race moment, but my appreciation for how strong we are as a nation was only strengthen.
We set-off promptly at 10:00 hrs (gun-time) as I was over the start line around 10 seconds later. It was a fast start, and typically, I felt 100% rearing to go with fresh legs.
My aim was to run a sub-40, and ‘maybe’ a sub-39. Here is a breakdown of how the ‘race’ unfolded.
KM 1-2: Felt absolutely amazing and legs were as fresh as a daisy. Could I possibly get a sub-39?
KM 2-5: Started to feel progressively more tired and a fair amount of effort was needed to sustain the pace.
KM 5: Over the half-way point in 19:23 (GPS). Was glad that I was 50% done!
KM 6-7: I noticed that my GPS was no longer matching up with the KM markers. At this point I knew a sub-39 wasn’t going to happen, but was still confident for a comfortable sub-40.
KM 8-9: I kept my pace steady, although was starting to feel pretty tired by now.
KM 10: Was elated to approach Birdcage Walk! I kept the pace steady, with the intention to really kick at the final 100m. Once I saw that finish line I went all out and did a ‘sprint’ finish. Not my strongest finish, but still a 2:32/km pace.
DONE! Phew! 10km in 39:22 (chip). Was a pretty tough run being my first big race of 2017. I won’t go on about health issues or lack of running; it is what it is and all things considered, I am pleased with a sub-40 today. It was throughly enjoyable and refreshing to be ‘pushing myself’ again. The weather conditions were almost perfect. Not too warm with no headwind, although it was a tad muggy.
Post-race I collected my goody bag before meeting fellow runners again en-route and getting a post-race massage. I also briefly chatted with Dan Slipper after this who managed 39:07 today. Awesome! I then met-up with Mark and Pete again and we all (with Sania) went for a coffee at Kahve Dünyasi. Disappointed that Matthew Taylor couldn’t join us, though. After this Sania and I had a long walk around London (>7km) before having some lunch and heading home. All-in-all, a fantastic day with lots of friendly faces. Truly knackered after a long Bank Holiday weekend. Eagerly awaiting next years run. Until then…