The Kings Hill Sports Park 1K, 5K and 10K is a brand new concept for 2019.
Taking place in the same area as my place of work (West Malling), the event promised a bespoke medal for all finishers, chip-timing, on-site parking and the usual toilet and baggage facilities. I’d seen posters on my lunch-break around Kings Hill, and when I saw on Facebook that the medal featured my namesake (a Plane!), I didn’t hesitate to sign up to the 10K route. Affiliated entry was just £13.73, and the race instructions/information came though immediately via email.
So on Sunday 9th June, I drove the 30mins towards work and found the Sports Park with ease. The car park had plenty of spaces and I managed to grab a good spot! Up on the field was the registration desk, where I just had to say my name and was handed a running number with embedded chip, and a perforated bottom to attach to my bag. All toilets inside the Sports Centre were open (and clean!). The atmosphere was buzzing, with lots of families around.
The weather was warm and muggy. I wore a USA Pro sports bra, Adidas vest, Adidas headband, USA Pro lycra shorts under Nike Dry-Fit shorts, and 1000 Mile trainer socks with Brooks Launch 5 trainers. I’d consumed an Oat So Simple porridge pot and a banana with a cup of Beanies coffee, plus plenty of water. I was super comfortable and felt good and ready to go!
There was a short, enthusiastic warm-up session before all 10K participants were led to the Start Line, where we set off at 10:30am. The course used combinations of a 2.5K loop around the grounds of the Kings Hill Sports Park, which was hilly in places, and was a mixture of grass, gravel and tarmac underfoot. It was definitely a challenging course, made tougher by the muggy heat! I started to flag on the third lap so used a Torq energy gel in Banoffee, which gave me the boost I needed. There was a water station at the Start Line and I took advantage of this, grabbing a cup each time I completed a lap and ran past. The marshals and spectators were lovely and encouraging!
I crossed the finish line with a chip time of 51mins. I never worry about time, or aim for a specific time, or obsess over stats and targets. However, I also ran last months’ London 10000 in 51mins, whereas this time last year I was consistently completing in 56-57mins. I’m not sure what’s changed, but I’m feeling good and am definitely enjoying running a lot more this year. 😊
A bespoke medal was hung around my neck by the Mayor, and I was given a bottle of water and a banana. Sadly, they’d already run out of 10K medals so I was given a kids’ Fun Run 1K medal; however my lovely friend Katie (who finished 1min before me, and got a proper 10K medal!) insisted that we swap medals, which was really sweet and kind.
Picking up my bag was quick and easy, and so was leaving the car-park.
Overall I had a lovely morning and really enjoyed this event. I’d definitely take part again, and would recommend it to others, too.
NEXT UP: London Poppy Quest 10K, Sunday 23rd June 2019