I’m going to review not one race but a whole series, the Adidas city runs london. This actually came to London in 2017 in the form of a one-off 10k in Shoreditch but has grown and expanded to take in 4 events in 2018. I first heard of the series in February when I was looking for a manageable first event for the year and came across the Fulham 10k. I was all geared up for giving a shot but unfortunately the beast from the east reared its ugly head and the organisers were faced with no choice but to postpone the event. Whilst it was a huge disappointment it was undoubtedly the right call, health and safety of the runners has to come first. This event was eventually rearranged for November and took place just last weekend, but more of that later.
The series kicked off for real with the 1 hour city run. This unique run mixed up the concept and was a 1 hour time trial around a 1 mile course that challenged runners to set a distance in the time. It took place in the heart of the City of London with the event village at St Paul’s Cathedral. For this event there were a series of waves and I’d signed up for the first of the day. The field wasn’t too large in each wave which meant that by the end of the first lap the course was comfortable to run around, not too much crowd dodging. I was super lucky that my family had come along to watch and this event was perfect for that as I came past them 7 times in the hour, this wouldn’t be possible at any other race. My Son really got into the hi-fiving and even made it on the event review video. I was thrilled with my own personal performance of 7.3 miles, setting new 5k and 10k fastest times along the way! The other thing that this event delivered on in a big way was event photos, I ended up with dozens, every runners dream!
After such a good event I couldn’t have been keener to enter the remaining races and waited on tenter hooks for the dates to be announced. In fact this turned out to be my only real criticism of the series, the dates were announced very late and I ended up being unable to run the Shoreditch event due to it clashing with the Royal Parks Half, such a shame. I really would have loved to have completed the whole series and get my hands on one of the Gold medals. Anyway, not to be put off I signed up eagerly for the Clapham 10k in September keen to follow-up on the successes of the 1 hour event.
Clapham was a more traditional 10k event starting near Stockwell with event village at Larkhall park. I hadn’t had the best preparation for this run with an attack of the worst blisters ever just 7 days before and a dose of the man flu; excuses excuses! That said I was as keen as ever and enjoyed bumping into a few familiar faces from instagram. The course was a good challenge with twists and turns up through Clapham village. I finished a little outside 50 minutes, which I was disappointed with but not every run can be a PB, a fact I am trying to get used to. The race village was buzzing after the race and I was had managed to squeeze in some more chin wagging with the insta crew, my favourite part of an event!
With the disappointment of missing the Shoreditch event in October (off set with a huge amount of joy at running the Royal Parks!) I focussed on the November rearrangement of Fulham. Somehow this run felt a bit different, bigger in many ways. It was the first of the series to sell out I believe and you could feel the presence of the 7000+ runners from the moment you stepped into Eel Brooke Common. The organisation of the event was better than ever with one of the best event villages I can remember. Tons of portaloos meant no queues, the bag drop was a dream and well planned out area for a pre run warm up. They had ramped up the celebrity starter status with 2 time Olympic Champ Allistair Brownlee, the anticipation at the start line was tangible. This had been billed as the flattest 10k event around and they certainly delivered, It felt like running track, give or take the congestion. The course was as interesting as any I’ve done, I do love a good closed run city course.
Again my prep for this event hadn’t been ideal, with a lay off for shin splints in the run
up but during the race I felt fairly strong, I think the enforced rest had done me some good. I hit the first 5k hard and was well on track for the 47min target I had in mind. After 6 k I started to get some discomfort in the leg and eased of a smidge but was thrilled to get of the finish line in a new PB of 47mins 44secs. Nearly a minute and half quicker than my previous PB. As I came over the finish line I got my hands on my third City Runs medal, which were all great btw. I did my usual chit chatting with loads of great insta running friends and was thrilled to see Rich, Andy, Damian and Mike all pick up their series Gold medals, well done guys!
It seems that the series is confirmed as happening next year and I for one am keen to take part again!