10KVitality-8025

I love running in London. I always say how I kind of know London as if it’s one of those blacked out maps you get on computer games where you uncover it bit by bit – popping up in different parts of London from the underground I didn’t really know how it was all connected until I started to run it. But it’s hard to take it all in while you’re navigating busy tourist areas and the traffic of the streets of London, so when Vitality invited me to take part in the British 10k in London, with a route taking in iconic London landmarks on closed streets, I excitedly said yes!

At first I had intended to use the race to hit a new PB, looking at whether CrossFit can make you a better runner, but with a lack of discipline on my part meaning I didn’t run nearly enough to even entertain the idea, I decided to take it as a fun race with friends instead. I even recorded much of it on my Snapchat as I ran!

Snapchat Finish Line at the British 10k London

Snapchat Finish Line at the British 10k London ¦ Wearing Lululemon tank, Reebok sports bra, Bjorn Borg capris and Brooks Glycerin 14 trainers

Taking it all in

Starting on Piccadilly the route took us towards Piccadilly Circus, taking in Regent Street, Pall Mall and St James Palace. We then turned right towards Trafalgar Square, before heading down Charing Cross Road. We dropped down to the Embankment, before turning left towards the City. Following the Embankment, we then took a left into Temple Place, where we followed the length of Temple Place before making a wide turn back onto the Embankment in the other direction, soaking up the atmosphere (and the water sprinklers!) before turning left onto Westminster Bridge. A u-turn in front of the South Bank Lion Statue took us back towards the Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, before taking a loop of Parliament Square and then heading back towards the finishing straight on Whitehall.

The route involved lots of out-and-back sections, something I’m not usually a fan of, but I can see the benefit of them for race organisers because of the cost of road closures, and luckily the route was well designed so that none of these sections felt too long. And with a turn out of 11,000 runners, and plenty of support lining the route, the atmosphere was definitely one of fun. Several bands, choirs and DJs also provided entertainment en route, and there was a lot of charity support too, with runners racing for a variety of causes from Epilepsy Research UK to the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.

Big Ben running the British 10k London

Big Ben running the British 10k London

Running comfort

I ran most of the way with Charlotte from Lunges and Lycra, who had run 11 miles of trails the day before and agitated niggles and blisters from her ultra last month. Had it not been for this, I would barely have seen the back of her! It was nice to have the company and we complained and chatted in equal measure (I’m surely not the only one who goes through “why am I doing this?” moments in every. single. race?!). Unfortunately Charlotte’s feet and hips were suffering by 8.5k and she dropped back for just a short while. I could easily have suffer a similar fate as I was wearing new trainers – the Brooks Glycerin 14. Running a race in new trainers is something I always advise against, but I was excited to try them out so took the risk and thankfully they were super comfy and cushioned and I needn’t have worried.

One comfort issue I did struggle with though was the need for a pit stop just over halfway. We were at the blue bag drop, which was a 15-20 minute walk from the start line, where we waited for another 40 minutes or so before the actual start and by the time I got running I already felt like I needed to pee again! Luckily the route was well stocked with both water stations and portaloos so I stopped at around 6k.

 

{RUN LDN} Really fun morning running the @british10klondon. The route was a great opportunity to take in the sights (even if it was made up of lots of out-and-backs… not normally my fave!) and was lined with support from charities and spectators. It was so nice to see lots of friendly faces too @lungesandlycra @ellelinton @helsieboo @laura_fat2fit @adriennetmm @therunnerbeans @eclecticcake and @peachy_runs! Hope I haven’t missed anyone 🙈 For those of you who helped me decide on my kit… I went for team right 👉🏼 with @bjornborg capris, @lululemonuk tank and @reebokwomenuk sports bra, all to match my @brooksrunninguk #glycerin14 #british10klondonrun And look at the size of that medal 🏅🇬🇧👟❤️💙

A photo posted by 🏋🏼 CrossFit 🙏🏼 Yoga 👟 Running (@fitcetera) on

Race support and bling

If there’s one thing that I dread at races it’s bag drops, but fortunately the Vitality British 10k team were a well oiled machine and everything was organised down to a tee, including the directions at the arrival tube stations, the queues at the portaloos, the finishers’ funnel and, yes, even the bag drop lorries. When I came back for my bag after the race it was being fetched from the lorry before I even reached the barrier!

Speaking of the finishers’ funnel, the t-shirt and medal were so good – honestly one of the best I’ve gotten at a race. The t-shirt was unisex, so I went for a size small which is a great fit, but for some reason unisex tees have really tight necks! The colour and print are perfect for summer training though, and it’s a technical tee so you can run in it with confidence. The medal is huge and really iconic for the race – you don’t normally get medals that good until you start hitting half marathon and marathon distances!

Run it next year

If you want to take on the streets of London and earn yourself a whopping great medal next year, pre-registration for the 2017 British 10k London has already opened.

Did you run the British 10k this year? What did you think of the course and the race?

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This post is sponsored by Vitality British 10k.