The British 10k

You thought London marathon was a hot one this year?! Think again, the British 10k was absolutely baking on Sunday, making out for another sweatfest on the streets of London.

Originally I never even thought about signing up for this event. It is extortionate for a 10k and I still don’t understand who actually pays the £45+ for these races. However, as I paced Hackney half in May I was offered a free place for this and really wanted to experience the event and another race through the touristy parts of London.

My training has been lackluster at best recently. With the hot weather, the world cup and a crazy busy schedule at work I have not been training as much as I’d like to, although the rest was welcomed after a very busy April and May. This, alongside the forecast exceeding 30° I decided not to “race” the 10k but to use it as part of a training run and try enjoy the atmosphere. I would run 10k to the start and then try match the pace for the 10k race.

Last race – in Holland

One reason I wanted to run this is to comapre it against the London10000 – a race I have completed each of the last 3 years. They have a similar route, but this one is more expensive and I always wanted to find out why. Post race I’m now even more confused why this one is more expensive – will save that for later.

Pre race

As I ran to the start I didn’t use the bag drop but I have heard this was very well organised and easy to find, although it was a fair walk to the front start pens (A & B).

Unfortunately they don’t appear to have learnt from Hackney about the toilet situation. It was chaotic with one long queue and then people sneaking in where they could. I didn’t really see any marshals around this area and it became disorganised quickly. The pre race information suggested getting to your pens for 8.30 – an hour before the race even started and people just seemed to be waiting round too long.

If comparing to the London 10000 then this race should take note. They could easily use more of the park as a waiting or warm up area – where people know where to congregate before being called to the pens one by one. The pens were well manned however and I did see several people being taken out of incorrect pens – this part did seem really organised (from someone in pen B). It was also great that each pen had a large supply of water before the race as it felt very hot already!

The race

hairpin.PNG

I shared this picture and had so many comments on just how horrible it looks – 6 hairpin turns in a 10k race is ridiculous, I’m guessing road closures must be that expensive in central London!

When you’re paying that much for a race surely you expect more than running up one side of a road to then turn around and run back down the other side…? It feels like a cop-out, or a way to save on marshals and entertainment.

Despite this, I do feel anyone not from London would enjoy the sites. It is more touristy than the London10000 and running over Westminster bridge is unique. However, the hairpin turns really do slow you down and although it is flat for the most part it is certainly not ideal for a PB attempt.

As mentioned, I wasn’t racing for a time so I won’t go into my poor performance – I was struggling with hip pain from 3km too. For the amount of people taking part I never felt too crowded or in anyone’s way and I do think Virgin start the pens well here; although I can imagine the last few pens must have started a longgg time after pen A.

En route, we had 3 water stations and also 3 showers which is very impressive fo a 10k. Nuun was also a welcomed sight as the sun beamed down onto the thousands of runners. All stations were very well organised, props to all the volunteers helping out on the day!

I do really like the last 2km along the embankment, Westminster bridge, Big Ben and finishing across from Downing street and think this is great for people to experience. Plenty of people lined the streets especially in these areas giving it a real London race feel.

Post race

After finishing you collect your medal, water and slightly disappointing goody bag… For such a big bag you only receive a few items – nuun tabs, kind bar, corn and veg crisps (no one likes these anyway right?)

The race tee although Asics actually feels quite cheap? Not sure why but I really don’t like it!

Comparison to London10000

The main complaint for this race is the price and understandably so. I really wanted to be blown away by the day to understand why it is so expensive and not just the excuse of “it’s because you get free photos and it’s on closed roads in central London”.

Unfortunately I think that is exactly why it costs so much. Ridiculous really considering London marathon is £35?

table

I can see why people take part, especially those that don’t run in London or even visit London much. You can get discounts booking in groups or other methods and it would be a great experience for many.

Personally, I feel there are better races out there and the London10000 surpasses this race on most accounts. On social media, most people tend to agree, stating the route of the British 10k as a big NO! I don’t think you’ll catch me doing this race again next year…

What was your opinion on the race?

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