My first British 10k run in London
It’s been a while since I’ve done a proper run so I was really excited for the British 10k run (powered by Nike) which took place on Sunday. Two years ago, I had signed up for the run but it was a couple of days after I had arrived in London for a holiday and I hadn’t gotten over my jet lag yet so I didn’t show up.
This year, though, I wasn’t going to miss it for the world – the chance to run on a route which went past some of the city’s most iconic structures and locations was too appealing.
The starting point was at Wellington Arch near Green Park, a couple of kilometres away from where we had to drop our baggage off. I look pretty cheery (with my friend Rob who was running his first ever 10k) compared to when I usually run back home, mainly because runs here don’t start till late in the morning!
It wasn’t a really long walk to the starting line but it took forever to get there because of the sheer number of people participating. We took off from the starting point over 20 minutes after the gun was shot, and even that (confession time!) was because we had cut the queue. I don’t think we’d have left for another 10-15 minutes if we didn’t, and I was just getting eager to start running.
The picture above was the crowd behind me, from before we
tried to cut the queue!
I really enjoyed the run in general (the baggage and claiming our T-shirt procedures were a nightmare but those were really the only negative thing I experienced), and the route was really nice. There were slight inclines at various locations, but nothing that felt like it was going to kill me. This was good because I hadn’t done much running in about three weeks as I’d been on holiday and been unwell.
The sights were really nice – London Eye, Parliament, the Thames and more – although I didn’t spend much time soaking it all in. For one, there was rain in my eyes but also I think I was just trying to deal with not collapsing! My old knee injury flared up again like it always does when I hit the 6.5-7k mark, and this time was no different.
Over all though, I had a great time despite the fact that the weather wasn’t too kind. It was scheduled to rain but it didn’t start drizzling till about 10-15 minutes into my run. By the time I hit the 5-6km mark, it really started to piss down. Still, it was really nice to see so many supporters along the way braving the rain just to cheer on their family and friends (and all the other runners as well).
This was one of the couple of shots I took while running. I try not to take photos while I run (actually, I don’t think I ever have) but this time, I had my phone in my hand because I forgot the arm-strap-case thing so it was easy to snap a shot or two. I think I was just so taken aback by the crowd of spectators standing in the rain that I wanted to capture the moment.
As I got towards the 9k mark near Victoria Station, I was starting to flag and my knees were really killing me. But I checked my phone and I seemed to be running a good time so I just sustained myself and headed for the finish line. I manage a bit of a sprint (doubt I was going that fast though!) at the last 200m and was pretty sure I did my personal best.
Well, the official results came in via SMS an hour or so after the run and confirmed it, at 54m 39s, I hit my personal best and my first sub 55m run ever. I was really happy because it had been more than three years after my last best time, and four years after my first ever run in Singapore.
I am also really happy for Rob, who’s probably sleeping with his medal every night, who ran his first 10k. So we had to get this shot together of course.
11.25pm Greenwich Meridian Time