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!
A quick summary of the Victoria Park Easter 10k. This was my first ‘race’ of 2017. Not being anywhere near PB shape, I was hesitant to sign-up for any events. However, after some contemplation, I thought that this shouldn’t keep me from doing what I enjoy. I alighted from Mile End tube station and walked to Victoria Park with Sania (around 1.5 miles). Here I met-up with Jamie Xavier.
I’ve been meaning to write a race report on the MoRun Greenwich Park 10k for a while, but never got around to it (procrastination rules!). So here it is! I ran this wonderfully organised event back in November 2016. It took place on the 27th, two days after my birthday, and I thought it would be a nice treat to myself. The 10k is one of my favourite distances; short enough to be over quickly, yet long enough to feel accomplished. Having not raced 10k since the summer, I had no real expectations and just wanted to go out and enjoy then run. I have only done one other run/race in Greenwich Park (BHF 10k back in August 2014), so forgot about the ‘undulating’ nature of the terrain. I was about to be reminded!
The Royal Parks Half Marathon is a yearly road race that takes place through closed roads in central London. Being the only half marathon to have this privilege, places are fiercely sought after through a ballot-only entry system, akin to the London Marathon. There are no ‘good for age’ or ‘championship’ places, so faster runners are not going to be guaranteed a place. If one fails to get in through the lottery-ballot, they can choose to run for any of the numerous charities, where they pledge to raise a minimum sponsorship amount. This usually ranges from £200-250 for most charities.
I was a 1:45 XEMPO pacer for this event. Having missed out on pacing the 1:40 group last year due to injury (gutted!), I was very excited to have been offered a pacer place this year. It was an early start, and I was in Hyde Park just before 7:30am. I collected my race pack from the XEMPO tent where some of the other pacers were already getting kitted out. The event T-shirt in there was incredibly large, so that was a disappointment. We each picked up a lightweight backpack, Tom Tom “pacer” T-shirt and a flag pole that contained the pace we were pacing. We received from brief instructions before bing ushered by a Royal Parks representative into the start pens at around 8:25am.
The L’Etape London 2016 was my first cycling sportive. Originally a runner, I ventured into the world of road cycling when I entered my first Duathlon last year in 2015. Shortly after, a gluteal niggle necessitated the need to spend more time on the saddle, instead of pounding the pavement. This has resulted in me cycling ~4,300 km in 2016 so far. Not high mileage from any serious cyclist’s standpoint, but I am fairly happy with it, as I am also back running now! The L’Etape London is a sportive that starts in East London at the Velopark, Stratford (home of the 2012 Olympics), and moves out into the Essex countryside, going through Epping Forest and beyond. Living in Essex, I was quite familiar with most of the early parts of the Essex route. This particular event has three routes; short (~42 miles), medium (~92 miles) and long (~117 miles). I Initially, signed up for the medium route with my friends Mark and Dan. However, I wasn’t feeling too great and Dan also had to drop out at the last minute, so Mark and I decided to do the shorter route together.
I first did the London Duathlon last year (in 2015). At the time I was very much struggling with a gluteal injury. Being my first Duathlon, not having much cycling experience and the injury made this a somewhat disappointing event. I paced it wrong, cramped-up and fell below my expectations. I wanted to return this year, with the intention of besting my time from 2015. With my injury pretty much quiescent and having more cycling experience, I felt more mentally prepared this year. Things have been unsteady with my colitis currently flared-up, so I felt glad that I still had the mental drive, and physically made it down to the event.
The Pride 10k, now it its 13th year, takes place in Victoria Park (Tower Hamlets) and is organised by London Frontrunners. This is an inclusive running club for members of the LGBT community, although they welcome all runners into their club. The race has a reputation for being ‘fast and flat’, which encouraged me to sign-up. It was my aim to complete the course in under 40 minutes and use this as a training race to help prepare for the ELVIS Barking Road Runner 5k on 29th August, where I hope to best my 5k time from ELVIS 3 (18:31).
I really enjoyed the Great Newham London Run last year. It was the first time I ran it, and the epic finish in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Stadium was absolutely fantastic. I knew I would return in 2016. As I had been struggling with a gluteal injury, I waited until May to sign-up for the event. From experience, I was well aware that this was not a PB course, but still wanted to best my time from last year of 39:54.
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.
There are far and few one mile races in the UK. The two major one mile events in London are the Westminster Mile, and City of London Mile. I would love to do the former, which unfortunately takes place a day before the Vitality 10,000, so I never do it to keep my legs fresh for the 10k. The City of London mile is free to enter, and a superb event. Very well organised, with a great atmosphere.