Last week I ran the BUPA 10000 race, my 2nd 10k in just a week. It was a Bank Holiday Monday, and it couldn’t have been a more perfect day to run around some of London’s most beautiful landmarks.
After the relaxed, fun and girly atmosphere of Nike’s We Own The Night the week before, this one was a little more nerve-wracking. There were a lot more people (11.000 participants) and it was a lot more “official”, with some of the world’s best athletes also competing in this race. The start was on The Mall and we started in different waves, depending on your expected time. I learned my lesson the week before not to start too fast, because it’s so easy to get caught up in the moment and follow those faster runners ahead of you and burn out completely by the time you reach 2k. This time I started in an appropriate group and ran the first couple of kilometers with my friend at a comfortable pace which allowed us to talk.
By the time we reached 2k, the one and only Mo Farah ran past us on his final stretch to the finish, which was equally amazing and frustrating, knowing I had so far left to go. Running along the river and seeing London in its full glory was a really incredible experience and a great distraction. All along the track there were people cheering which really does wonders when you’re struggling. I was really proud of myself that I didn’t walk at all (except to tie my shoelaces – really need to start double-knotting!) and finished with a decent 1hr16min time (although once again my RunKeeper app said I’d ran further, 10.8k), which either way is an improvement from my previous time.
Afterwards we headed to the pub and enjoyed a well-deserved cider and burger in the sun. As Bank Holidays go, this was a great day – to run along the river, Big Ben, The City, Leadenhall Market and then to finish on The Mall running towards Buckingham Palace was very special experience. Will I run it again next year? Hell yeah! I’ve already signed up! Hopefully by then I’ve improved drastically, but I’m still pretty happy with my second ‘official’ performance. It definitely got me hooked to do more races in the near future – it’s so addictive!
The final 200m…
Me and my friends Henry and Catherine – all newbies, all finishers!
Also… there was this guy. Respect