Phew, this write up has been a long time coming! I had a busy weekend a couple of weeks back, taking part in The Gladiator Games on Saturday 13th September, followed by Run to the Beat 10k the day after. I’d had a great time at the press day the month before, so I was really looking forward to the race. Unfortunately, the adventures of the day before had taken their toll a little bit and I woke up feeling rather bruised and battered, with some aches thrown in for good measure.
However, hardcore individual that I am, I gathered my stuff together and went to wait for the bus at silly o’clock.
Anyone sense a recurring theme with me and public transport on race days?
Finally, the bus turned up and I suddenly realised that despite having the choice of a Garmin and a TomTom, I’d forgotten both. Cue much panic on Twitter where I was advised to run naked or download RunKeeper. A download and a tube trip later, I made it to Wembley.
I made my way to the civic centre where I proceeded to eat the pastries and drop my bag. I’m getting a bit spoilt with these races; I’m never going to want to run without “special” (read, decent loos and somewhere to leave bag!) treatment now. An adorable Cockapoo puppy was running around, who turned out to belong to Ashley James from Made in Chelsea. Seriously, pastries and a puppy, could you get better race prep? After some mingling, we were taken down to the start line where we were led through a work out (which I didn’t do) and waited for the race to begin.
The race started on time and I must apologise to Genevieve for filling her with stories about fast runners running into small runners and pushing and shoving. RTTB was well organised with various start waves and everyone seemed a lot more considerate than the runners at the British 10k.
I wasn’t expecting the race to be as hilly as it was. I was suffering with tired legs from the day before and the first hill between 2 and 3k was an unpleasant surprise. Legs yelling at me that I was cruel for making them run a 10k the day after an obstacle course, I opted to walk up it to save some energy. This turned out to be a good call. The first half of the race passed by pleasantly enough, despite the hill and I quite enjoyed running through some of the residential areas as local residents were stood outside their houses, cheering the crowds on. As we approached 5k, I reached for my phone to check Runkeeper to see how I was doing. Oh the horrors! It seemed to have switched itself off after 4k and I was indeed “running naked”. Bah.
By this point, I was starting to overheat as typically, the sun was shining. The hill between 5 and 6k seemed endless as I walked up it, my ankle was starting to hurt from the fall the day before and I was feeling miserable. However, for every up (hill), there must be a down (hill) and soon I was feeling better. I loved the Fitness First Cheerleaders on the hill encouraging people on – great idea!
Finally, the end was in sight and as soon as I saw that 200m sign, I kicked for a sprint finish, imagining myself effortlessly reaching for the line in the style of Usain Bolt, but actually probably resembling an overweight Tom Cat trying to chase a mouse. A glance at the clock and I realised I’d finished in 1.15. Not a great time and certainly a long way of my personal best, but with a 7 minute improvement over the British 10k with tired legs and hills, I was pretty pleased. I have a long way to go to get back to fitness, but this confirmed to me that I’m taking a step in the right direction.
I enjoyed my experience of Run to the Beat and thought it was well organised. Results were available quickly and I loved the finishing line treats – plenty of water and a delicious protein ice-cream made by WheyHey which was the perfect snack on a hot day after a hard 10k! It wasn’t the easiest 10k I’ve done due to those hills, but there was plenty of support considering we were running largely through residential areas. I would highlight though that there wasn’t a great deal of music around the course. This personally didn’t bother me as I run without music anyway as I like to soak up the atmosphere of a race and be aware of my surroundings. However I know a lot of people left their headphones at home expecting there to be more music around the course and were left feeling a little disappointed, especially as periodically we ran past signs saying that there were beats around the corner. I expect that this was due to the residential areas, but why put the signs up if there are no beats round the corner? There was a brilliant festival atmosphere at the finish though where people settled in to listen to the music.
Thank you Halpern PR for providing me with a place in the event and I look forward to seeing what’s next for Run to the Beat!