I took part in the Great Ormond Street Hospital Race for the Kids 5K for the first time last year with mum, and we absolutely loved it.
My sister was an unfortunate victim of medical negligence when she had cancer, and was transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital who saved her life. They were also a tremendous support to my parents, so my family has been supporters of the hospital and charity ever since.
Signing up for the 2018 event didn’t require any thought; and at a mere £18, the registration fee is very generous. Mum and I received our race packs through the post two weeks prior, and they contained a personalised bib number, branded event t-shirt and race-day information.
So, on Saturday 13th October we caught a 7am train and two tubes to Hyde Park Corner. We arrived at the event village in Hyde Park for 9:30am – just in time for the warm-up, with 30minutes to spare before the run started. There was a collection of portaloos, main stage area, information desk, race pack collection, baggage area, merchandise stand, face-painting, selfie area; and a few event sponsors. There was also a corporate tent for main sponsor Royal Bank of Canada.
Mum and I wore bumbags which contained the essentials – debit card, cash, train ticket, keys, lipbalm, tissues! I’d had a latte and Café Nero coconut raspberry bar; and wore USA Pro running leggings with Nike Roshe trainers, black 1000 Mile socks, Brooks sports bra and the event t-shirt, resulting a super comfortable outfit which got a bit warm towards the finish line! The weather was perfect for running: dry and sunny.
The event village was buzzing and everything was clearly signposted. Mascots in big animal costumes (bears and a lion) offered photos, and entertainers wandered the crowds. A fun warm-up took place on the main stage and then participants made their way to the appropriate starting pens – there were runners, joggers, walkers; people with dogs, buggies, in wheelchairs… It’s an event for anyone and everyone, and the atmosphere was lovely.
The route was a picturesque 5K loop around Hyde Park, with a water station and portaloos on the way around, and drummers to provide entertainment. The marshals were friendly and enthusiastic. I stayed at mum’s speed so we walked and jogged at a leisurely pace without any pressure to achieve a good time. There were around 8,000 participants yet no bottlenecks or any frustrations. The event was very well managed and organised.
Once again, someone called out mum’s name on a megaphone as we crossed the finish line – which was lined with supporters – and that made her day. A row of volunteers handed out bespoke medals and branded goody-bags containing a lion teddy bear, crisps and cereal bars. Giant Instagram-style frame props were available for photo opportunities with staff on hand to take the photo.
The event is really inclusive and has a lovely, friendly atmosphere. We’ll no doubt take part again next year and I’d recommend it to anyone. 🙂