As usual I wake up on race day, filled with absolute dread. Looking back it seems quite an appropriate apprehension. The British London 10k had already been billed to me as being just about the worst race in the UK calendar and with just moments to go before the start I found myself enveloped in a Hitchcock movie wondering just how bad this day was going to get.
OGB finally came and rescued me from the tramps and the birds and dragged me off to the baggage drop. More angst followed, as he joined the longest toilet queue in the world and I decided that using a portaloo after 20,000 nervous runners wasn’t high on my pre-race agenda.
By the time OGB made it out of the potty zone, the holding area was deserted and we had to hot foot it to the start – 1.5 km away. By the time we arrived I was absolutely desperate for the loo but we’d missed the starting gun by 30 mins so I had no option but to clench and start running. I spent the next 10k looking around for toilets and wondering how the heck I was going to get to the end without an incident.
It was a fantastic route through central London, taking in Picadilly, the Embankment, Westminster Bridge and Millbank. It was my first road race and I did find it quite peculiar, it was hard not to stop everytime one of the traffic lights turned red. Stacks of supporters lined the streets and helped to generate quite a festival atmosphere, encouraged by the strange dad’s army style orchestras – very last night of the proms.
Apart from needing to wet myself from the very start, I had a great run, not a pb but not far off either. I felt comfortable throughout and I was able to walk at the end, which is just as well as the nearest toilet was another 2k away.
Garmin records 10.3 km in 74 mins. No official times will be reported as the organisers could only manage times for the first 400 and I would guess that I fell just outside this ranking.
Early morning runs aren’t the best, obviously you have to get up ridiculously early but more importantly you end up finishing before the pubs open. We did find somewhere open but they were only serving soft drinks til midday – what hapened to 24 hr licensing hours? My mum rang while we were waiting for the clock to strike 12 and we had a strange conversation:
Mum: Where are you?
Me: London, I’ve just run in the British 10k
Mum: Oh thats nice, were you walking?
Me: Did you just ask me if I was walking?!
Mum: Well yes because you couldn’t drive it could you.
Me: I ran – it was a running race.
Mum: You ran? How many metres did you say it was?
Me: That would be 10000 metres.
Mum: Did you finish it?
I was thinking to join in Lardathon for July but after an afternoon in the pub I had a slight hiccup in an otherwise exemplary day (beer being classed as legitimate carb replacement therapy) and polished off a twin pack of cream doughnuts. In my defence, I went shopping for the weeks groceries on Saturday and actually put back my multipack of hula hoops as I couldn’t face confessing my sins every day on the blog. I therefore claim that the two net each other off and I’m in the clear.