April 11, 2013
It is quite apparent that in terms of setting myself a new goal for 2013, and increase in distance is out of the question, as I can barely finish a 5K at present and I just simply don’t have the time to commit to long weekend runs.
So I am going to go back to my first love – competing in 10K’s. not only that I am going to try and concentrate on my speed and try to get a sub 1 hour 10K under my belt by the end of the year.
I already have one race in the diary, in less than 5 weeks I might add, but I am looking for some suggestions from other runners of good races to enter, now remember I am based in London, so it needs to be less than 2 hours away and preferably a flat course (if I am going to get that illusive PB), also I must add I hate laps, but a there and back course I can just about cope with.
I have compiled a list of my favorite 10K races, linking to previous race debrief posts where possible (I thought I might be able to have 10 races to offer, but quality rather than quantity comes to mind, and maybe I will update this post at a later date when I have a few more under my belt. So in no particular order here are 5 races that I can whole heartedly recommend.
1. British10K – I did this race twice it was so good, I would love to do it again but can’t bring myself to pay the entry fee, and haven’t got the time (or energy) to fundraise this time. The atmosphere is amazing, and I love the fact it is a big race passing loads of great London landmarks along the way (plus a few tube stations in case you feel like dropping out half way round) My times if I can remember were 1hour40 and 1hour13 or something along those lines. http://www.thebritish10klondon.co.uk/
2. Lee Valley 10K – I loved the countryside feel to this run, even though 90% of it is on paths. Its a relatively small field of runners though, so if you are slow your likely to finish a while after everyone else. Marshals were very friendly and it was very well organised, yet remarkably laid back. My race time was around 1hour27 but this was my first 10K where I ran the whole way (I was hungover, with less than 4 hours sleep and had reggae playing on my ipod – don’t ask) http://www.leevalley10k.com/
3. Rooprai 10K – The smallest race on my list in terms of runners (less than 150), but the best in terms of a visible good cause, and always with an enthusiastic crowd of supporters to cheer you round. Its held at Redbridge Cycle Track, a London 2012 Training Venue, the course is 5 laps of the cycle track which has some almighty hills (so great hill training) and amazing views across London. Run by a very small but amazing charity which focusses on research into spinal injurys, and always attended by Marianne Rooprai, the inspiration behind the trust. I have done this race twice too times were 1hour24 and 1hour8. http://www.rstrust.com/
4. Tessa Sanderson Newham 10K – Held annually for the last 5 or 6 years, in the run up to London 2012, this was the first 10K to go into the Olympic Park. Starting and finishing in West Ham Park and with a number of sporting celebrities in attendance this is definately one to try. Nice flat course with good support from the locals. I’ve done this one twice or was it 3 times? Can’t remember my times but I know one year I ran my fastest 10K, at a rip roaring 1hour6, four minutes faster than 100 year old runner Fahuja Singh. Great for new runners or those wanting a race that doesn’t take itself too seriously. http://www.tsfa.co.uk/newham-classic-10k-run.php
5. Nike Run the World 10K – I did this a few years back from Wembley Stadium, my first evening race. I suppose because of the resources Nike have behind them, the scale, the celebrities, the venue, the organisation, the atmosphere were all amazing…but even Nike couldn’t stop the torrential rain that evening. I managed a 1hour18minute race. So with this one I suppose I’m not recommending a specific race more the brand of Nike (oooohhh controversial) We run the night is the next offering from Nike, which in fact is the next 10K I will be doing. http://www.nike.com/gb/en_gb/c/running/we-own-the-night
So there you have it, here are my favorites…I am happy to try out some more (especially if race organisers want to give me a free space for reviewing theirs)
If you want to hear about some of my more disastrous 10K runs check out, The Wasp That Saved the Day, When will I learn and my most disastrous 10K run at Leeds Castle where I got knocked over by an ambulance (believe me these things really do happen to me)
Some races I am considering this year
Tower of London 10K (8th May) – Run by the British Heart Foundation in the historic grounds of the tower, off with your head and all that. Looks like its 10 laps of a 1K course thought…hmmm???
Hadleigh Castle 10K (10th August) – On the site of the London 2012 Mountain biking course, I expect this course to be a bit hilly but with superb sea views
Run Through Brixton 10K (9th June) – Despite the dubious title, this run looks like good fun using the paths around Brockwell Park, rather than straight through the centre of town on a Saturday night!! Cheap entry costs too
Get your suggestions for summer/autumn races in and I will seriously consider them, or why not share your 10K run disasters with me.