Sunday, 12 July 2015
Berlin Marathon: British 10k London Run
The marathon training schedule had me down for an 11-miler today but when Turner offered me a free place in the British 10k London Run it was too good to turn down.
So at 9.30am I found myself queuing under the clouds at the start line in Piccadilly with 24,000 others, many of them wearing the official corporate t-shirt and many others sporting charity vests. The race set off in a series of waves, each wave full of widely varying running abilities with lots of straggling groups of matching fund-raisers.
And that was the problem with this event: the vast number of fun runners and fun walkers of all shapes and sizes made if very difficult to gain any running momentum. It was a case of weaving and dodging all the way round, sometimes putting the brakes on sharpish when the gap between a wobbly fund-raising bottom and a group of women in personalised cancer research shirts suddenly closed.
I was also surprised to see a few people gasping with their hands on their knees as early as the 3k mark, as though the distance had taken them by surprise already. I really don't mean to sound harsh - anyone who puts on their trainers and gets out there to raise cash for a cause is doing a Good Thing - but it made overtaking very difficult on the narrow, single-carriageway, central London roads.
It would have been much better to separate the waves into expected finish times, as they do for the half marathons I've run in, but I guess that would be an organisational nightmare for an event of this size.
Anyway, I trotted round in a reasonable time of 48'23 and rehydrated with a protein shake on the steps near the Duke of York statue on The Mall. The finisher's medal is handsome and I like the New Balance shirt - but I wouldn't rush to do that race again.