It’s been a busy weekend checking off 30 by 30 challenges. One of those challenges was to run 30 races by my 30th birthday. Yesterday, the count was 29.
Step forward, Run Through Greenwich Park! I’d been tempted to do a Run Through event before as I’d seen some really cute medals, they’re reasonably priced and sounded like they know how to look after their runners. When I saw the event in Greenwich Park was taking place today, I quickly signed up.
Runners had the choice of taking part in either 5k or 10k. Unlike most events where you have to decide in advance which distance you want to do and the price differs, Run Through allowed runners to decide on the day. You had to decide before you started the race, but it meant if you woke up feeling strong, you could go for the 10k option, or if you only wanted a shorter run, the 5k was perfect. Knowing how hilly Greenwich Park is and because I had planned to do a long run tomorrow, I decided in advance to opt for 5k and to try to get round quickly.
After waking up this morning, 5k was definitely the right call. I went rock climbing yesterday (more on that later) and my body hurt, after being bruised and battered.
It was a beautiful morning for a run, cool and the sun came out as we started – my favourite kind of day. I arived at 9.30am to collect my race pack for a 10.00am start. The race area was very organised – this was plenty of time, even allowing for being unable to work out my timing chip attachment. How many runners does it take to attach a timing chip to a shoe? Answer – several. I eventually went and asked the nice race official to do it for me.
Just before 10.00, runners were called to the start. Most people were doing the 10k and they were taken to a slightly different start, before us 5k runners lined up.
There weren’t many 5k runners and I placed myself in the middle. The race started on time and we were off – it wasn’t long before I’d overtaken a few people.
The route is run completely on tarmac, which is great for the mud hating runner like me. It’s a beautiful course, mostly flat for the first couple of k with some gentle slopes. Runners are then treated to a fantastic view over Greenwich before heading down the hill and this was awesome! The first couple of kilometres flew by and then I really let myself go down the hill, picking off a few runners. Unfortunately, I hadn’t thought about the fact that we would need to go back up again and hadn’t really saved anything – doh! The course then flattened out before we started the horrendous climb back up again. I tried to run it all, I did try, but I opted for a run/walk approach up it. I wasn’t the only runner doing this and actually managed to pick off one or two people with this method. Once the course had flattened out again, I tried to pick up the pace again, ignoring the dull ache in my legs from the hill – ouch! The last mile or so of the course was a repeat of some of the previous lap, so I knew what to expect. My legs were pretty trashed at the last little bump before the end and I limped over this, before striding out for a strong finish.
My time? 30:15, a pace of 9:43 m/m. I’m pleased with that considering the nasty hill and all those bumps on my knees. Good enough for 25th overall and 11th woman.
At the end, runners were treated to flapjack, fruit, water and this cool medal. Isn’t it cute?
All in all, a great morning out. Entry was £16 affliated, £18 non-affliated, £20 on the day, the route was enjoyable and well marked out, organisation good, marshals friendly and the flapjack delicious. Results were online by 4.00pm – I’d definitely recommend this little gem to anyone looking for a relaxed but challenging 5 or 10k event.
30 races, 30 by 30….done!