I first ran the British 10k back in 2009 with a group of colleagues from work. At the time I was a regular rugby player and this was a great off season challenge. A couple of weeks of run training and I felt in good shape, I got around that day in 51:12 a PB that has stood for quite sometime.
Since that first run in 2009 I have been back to the British 10k on 3 occasions, before yesterday. On each of these occasions there were a long list of excuses about performance that culminated in my slowest run to date last year of 1hr 6mins. This year I vowed to put that right! I was heavily focus on setting a new PB and in recent weeks the idea of going sub 50 really gained momentum, particularly after my performance at the Adidas 1 hour event.
Pre-race I’d arranged with the Fordy Runs group to catch up at the meet point, it was good to meet other runners from the group and put a real face to the social media accounts. Fordy actually had offered to help with some pacing for my PB attempt which was very kind. We set out aiming for 48mins with the bottom line of sub 50. Fordy was an ace pacer, I don’t know how he does it and films all the way, superhero! The heat was bad but I got over the finish line in 49:12 a new PB! I was so chuffed to get through the 50 barrier! #thisdadcanrun
As for the event itself, Virgin Sport have done a great job with this event, similar to the Hackney Half. A closed route run through zone 1 is no mean feat but the operation is very slick. I used Embankment station and wandered through Trafalgar square and the massage tent was doing a rip roaring trade in free pre-run massages! It was easy to get to the bag drop area and all the pre-race communications had been superb. With such a large volume of runners it is a fair old walk to the starting pens but well sign posted and clear. This year they had plenty of water available pre-run and were using CanO water, a great company that are reducing the amount of plastic consumed by using easier to recycle cans for their water.
Dame Kelly Homes was the celebrity starter for the event and we were very luckily to be positioned close to her at the start-line in wave C. She was running with group that were celebrating the 100 years of the women’s vote. After sounding hooter she dived into the run just ahead of us and I didn’t have anywhere near the pace needed to catch the double Olympic gold medalist!
The route itself is great taking in loads of central London landmarks, from Green Park, Regent Street, Piccadilly, Trafalgar Square, The Strand and Westminster. With so many runners there are always people around to help keep the tempo and the wave system, seems to work very well. The water stations were well organised and big enough to get in and out without too much chaos. Nuun drinks were given out at 7k which I actually quite like and the science seems to work it’s magic. The route was well marked out with kilometer markers all the way around. The crowds are a real highlight of the day with people cheering you on all the way around the route, I picked up at least half a dozen high fives en route. It really does spur you on when you’re having to dig deep.
The finish is well organised with plenty on staff on hand to get the runners through. You pick up your medal, which is really nice this year and a great goody bag full of cool stuff including a great Asics t-shirt and a Banana! I am keeping my fingers crossed for a decent photo or 2, that would really cap off this ace event.
I will most certainly be back to run this event again as it’s a diamond of a run.