Ah, the British 10K. I have a chequered history with this event!
I participated during 2014 and labelled it the “worst 10K I’ve ever been to,” due to the terrible organisation and event management. However, in 2016 I won a Twitter competition of free entry to the British 10K – plus a Brooks running kit – thanks to new headline sponsors. I really enjoyed the event and named it the “much better British 10K”.
Then in 2017, Virgin Sport took over. I signed up out of curiosity but sadly had to pull out at the last minute due to stalking and harassment issues in my personal life. So, I thought I’d try again for 2018!
So, on Sunday 15th July I woke at 5:45am and caught a direct train into London Charing Cross. From there it was a fair walk to the starting pens, which were clearly labelled and well organised; and were manned by event staff who checked to confirm that runners were in the right waves.
The starting process was arranged so that pens A to D set off in waves, and then pens E to H followed. I was in pen D and crossed the start line 6 minutes after the event began; which went quickly as we were continuously walking towards the start line, and there was music playing from speakers with an MC keeping us all entertained. Also, the start was positioned so that runners u-turned immediately and ran back past all of the pens, which was a nice touch.
The course, as is typical for a London running event, was lined with supporters/general public and charities, with choirs and drummers providing music at various points – I personally really like this and find it motivating and atmospheric. The three water stations were well-staffed and cleaners were efficiently removing the empty bottles from the pavement without getting in anyone’s way. The sprinkler showers en-route were refreshing, especially considering the hot stuffy weather, and I found myself looking forward to running through them! The course itself contained a few minor inclines, but there were no bottlenecks and I enjoyed the route overall.
I wore a USA Pro sports bra with Adidas vest, USA Pro lycra shorts with Nike technical shorts, a Buff headband, and black 1000 Mile trainer socks with Brooks Ravenna 8 trainers. The humid weather meant that I was still very hot at points despite wearing minimal clothing, and I definitely struggled in the 25-28C.
I had eaten a banana and Graze Protein bite for breakfast, along with a cup of Truestart coffee and some water, and continued sipping water throughout the 6.2 miles, which all seemed to work effectively. I never normally use an energy gel for a 10K, but in hindsight wish that I’d taken one along, as it may have given me a boost when I started to struggle at 6K. The heat was intense!
The finish line contained photographers and event staff, who cheered and hung chunky bespoke medals around runners’ necks. The path out of the finish line was lined with volunteers handing out branded Virgin Sport cotton bags, which contained an event t-shirt, Emily vegetable crisps, Kind cereal bar, Pukka tea-bag, Jointace gel sachet and hydration tablet. From there, it was a short walk up the road back to Charing Cross train station, as I didn’t use the bag-drop facility.
I don’t run to get a good time and never aim for a PB, luckily, as this was the slowest 10K I’ve run for years due to the heat – but I don’t mind at all! I had a lovely morning and enjoyed the event, despite the temperature. The organisation of the British 10K was brilliant and I would recommend this event to others. I’d definitely take part again, although at almost £50 the registration fee is extortionate, considering the London Marathon entry is £35!