A brief round-up of all events I took part in last year. Photos of the medals will be coming soon in a separate post as I’m having my whole collection photographed professionally:
British Heart Foundation Tower of London 10K
Wednesday 8 May 2013
This event took place during a weekday, so I took holiday from work. Registration on the day was quick and simple: I paid £20 (it’s cheaper if you sign up in advance) and was given a t-shirt to wear.
This was my first ever 10K running event and I quickly realised that it didn’t follow a traditional format. One loop around the grounds was about 1K and you could complete as many laps as you liked before swerving off the course to the finish line. Some people ran 1 lap, some 2 laps, some 5 laps… children and adults of all ages and abilities were taking part and it seemed to be a very relaxed event: there was no specific start time and participants could start running any time they wanted within the 3 hour event time-slot. The same medal was given out to everyone regardless of how far they had run.
Personally I think that runs are challenging enough without having to remember how many times you’ve run around a course, and it’s lucky that my ex-fiancé was watching and able to remind me which lap I was on when I lost track. I’m also not accustomed to running on grass. The race was chip timed and the results were available online shortly afterwards, confirming that I had indeed completed 10K (I went with the intention of running 10K, so would have been frustrated if we’d miscounted the laps!).
It’s a beginner-friendly event with a flat course, and had a good crowd of supporters. Overall I’m glad I did this race, it had a nice atmosphere, was scenic (which sadly got a bit repetitive) and I liked the chip timing and the complementary water and t-shirt, but I wouldn’t take part in this event again.
Bupa London 10,000
Monday 27 May 2013
I thoroughly enjoyed this event. It was so well organised with supporters lining the relatively flat course, chip timing, a fantastic medal, complementary t-shirt and goody bags, all for a reasonable entry price of £28. I even saw Mo Farah running past which was an experience! The organisers clearly know what they’re doing and the whole event seemed to run like clockwork, from the starting pens to the baggage collection and meeting points. I hope to be a regular participant in the Bupa 10K; I can’t fault it.
5K Cancer Research UK Race For Life, Tunbridge Wells
Sunday 9 June 2013
I do this race most years because it’s local, my friends and colleagues join in, and because it has a guaranteed great atmosphere with hoards of supporters. The event caters for runners, joggers and walkers and encourages everyone of every age and ability to join in. I paid £15, completed this in about 22mins (no chip timing available) and received a medal with a bottle of water.
8 Mile Hospice In The Weald Tunbridge Wells Moonlight Catwalk
Friday 14 June 2013
I turned up alone yet met some lovely people and made friends on this walk, which took place in the late evening. Entry cost about £15 and included a t-shirt and the odd little treat on the way round. The finish point was a little of an anti-climax; I picked up a finish certificate and there was the option to purchase a cupcake for the charity. I imagine this event is good for families.
5K London Wembley Dulux Color Run
Sunday 14 July 2013
There were colour stations at approximately every 1K, so I focused on getting as much colour on me as possible and didn’t put much effort into the running aspect! Having this much fun meant that it didn’t feel like a 5K race, it was so easy. The £30 entry fee was excessive for a 5K and included just a t-shit and headband, no chip timing or medal. The race start was delayed (no reason for this was announced) and all runners were crammed into the start when it was about 30 degrees – surely quite dangerous and not very enjoyable. I’m glad I took part in this, it was a fun experience and I can say that I’ve done it, however I wouldn’t do it again.
Hospice In The Weald Tunbridge Wells 10K
Sunday 15 September 2013
I admit, I was hung-over, and this route is very hilly and goes via a sewage plant, so I struggled, A LOT. The £18 entry fee included a t-shirt, medal and chip timing. There was a baggage area, adequate portaloos and a good atmosphere with a fun warm-up. I wouldn’t do it again, purely because this was the second time I’d taken part in this event and I’m not a fan of the extreme hills.
Cancer Research UK Shine London Marathon
Saturday 28 September 2013
Loved it! This was my first marathon, albeit a walking one. The atmosphere was incredible, the £35 entry fee was reasonable and included a t-shirt, medal and goodies throughout the evening (water, juice, chocolates, bananas, etc). It took around 8/9 hours and the route had plenty of toilet stops and marshals who were friendly and encouraging. It was lovely to see so much of London, and to witness the sun set and then rise again! A great experience.
Bournemouth Supersonic 10K
Saturday 5 October 2013
Incredible – I absolutely loved this race. The route was flat along the scenic beach and the weather was hot and sunny, even in October. There were crowds of supporters, the event was really well organised, and the entry fee of just £25 included a t-shirt, chip timing, goody bag and the most impressive medal to date. This race was part of the Bournemouth Marathon Festival, where a 1.5K, 2K, 5K, 10K, half marathon and a marathon all take place over two days, so the atmosphere was buzzing and so exciting!
Brighton Brooks 10K
Sunday 17 November 2013
An enjoyable and standard 10K – the route was pretty much flat and it was quite well organised. The £16 entry fee included chip timing and a medal. I won’t be doing this run again, not because there was anything bad about the race at all, but because there wasn’t anything outstanding about it either. Nevertheless, I wear Brooks running trainers so I felt sort of relevant and proud to be there, and it was a good way to end a great year – and my first year – of running.