Done it! I completed the Pride 10K in London in 59:58 – beating my dreaded over 1 hour 10K and beating my personal best.
Thankfully this course was much flatter than the Hatfield Forest 10K but boy was it faster!
I started the run far too quickly and had to pull back – it was a mix of the field and my determination to finish under and hour.
I did pay for the quick start though as I was uncomfortable most of the way around, I had a stitch and I needed to pee – I couldn’t stop in the park though as it’s very open and there were loads of people around (and I didn’t want to ruin my changes of getting a PB!).
My training did help and I was able to pace myself better but the need to pee did distract me somewhat. I had gone for a wee before the race but there was a 10 minute walk from the bag drop and the start line which didn’t help as it meant I couldn’t pee immediately before the race and I know I consumed at least another bottle of water in that time.
The weather the night before was terrible (I stayed in London with Paul and Mike – thanks again guys) and the forecast for Sunday was the tail end of a hurricane – thankfully Saturday was dry and sunny. It was warm but not humid and the breeze helped cut through any humidity. I would say the weather conditions were pretty much perfect.
The course was three laps of Victoria Park and was fairly flat. There were nearly 900 runners so it was busy but not too busy – the park was big enough to accommodate the race and the cyclists, dog walkers and others enjoying the lovely summers day.
As this was Pride run there were lots of fit young men in tight shorts and vest tops – there was one muscular guy running in a pair of rainbow underpants and another running tight green shorts and braces!
For once this was a race where I didn’t mind focussing on the butt ahead of me to pace myself 😉
The first guy over the finish line made it in an incredible 31 minutes – he lapped me twice!
The route laps were straightforward enough but I forgot about the been in the middle of the course and on the 2nd lap I thought I was heading up the final straight, I was disappointed to find another section of the course. physiological things like this didn’t help my planning or pacing.
The route markers were a little off too which was a bit of a pain but it all came out well in the end.
About 7K into the run I had a loo at my watch and could see I would be close to my PB as long as I didn’t over (or under) do it. I did stop to take a drink just before the final push of the race but had enough in the tank and enough time to make it back to the final on time.
My final time was 59:58 which is just under the hour and I am really really please with my achievement.
I ran with a couple friends of mine – all of home came in with good times. It seemed that we all benefited from the fast course and the field of runners.
I had some support from the crowd to as Richards eldest sister is visiting with her family, so they came down to London to cheer me on. It was nice to get a bit of personal support on such a personal race.
The goody bag was very nice at the end of the race – we were given a rucksack which had a number of vouchers (gay and sports themed), a nice medal, banana, bagel and some water. Funnily enough my bag was handed to me by a friend of mine who was volunteering for the day.
I also passed another friend mid run who was out walking with her girlfriend. I think we were both surprised to see one another during the race!
I’d like to say hi to Andy B who was visiting from Merseyside. We were chatting to one another before the bag drop opened and it seems that he came in around the same time as me.
This has to be one of the friendliest races I have attended and I am sure all the gay runners and spectators made the most of the post race barbecue! 🙂
I stretched, returned to the office to shower and then spent the rest of the day showing Richards sister and co the London sights. I think I completed 20K+ yesterday with all the walking thrown in.
Amazingly I am not feeling too bad today – a bit of a stretch twinge here or there but nothing major.
I really enjoyed this run and would love to race it again next year – maybe with more concentrated training to get an even better time.
I have no more runs booked in this diary this year – anyone have any suggestions?