Mum and I took part in Great Ormond Street Hospital’s Race for the Kids 5K in 2017 and 2018, 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.
Sadly mum had plans for the day of the 2019 event, but I decided to take part alone. Up from £18 last year, the £21.50 registration fee was still very generous. I received my ‘race pack’ through the post two weeks prior, which contained just a personalised bib number, no branded event t-shirt or race-day information like previous years. Event emails advised that this would be the ‘greenest’ year yet, with no plastic water bottles or printed race-day information – this would be hosted online. I assumed the t-shirts would be for collection on race-day, but couldn’t find any emails about it so contacted the race organisers to check, who advised that this was an error and that I could pick up a t-shirt on the day.
So on Saturday 12th October I caught a 7am train and two tubes to Hyde Park Corner. I arrived at the Hyde Park event village in plenty of time, and headed to the information desk to pick up my t-shirt, which was quick and easy. There was a collection of portaloos, main stage area, the information desk, race pack collection, baggage area, food and beverage stalls, merchandise stand, selfie area; and a few event sponsor stands such as Magic FM and iCandy. There was also a corporate tent for main sponsor Royal Bank of Canada. I enjoyed a fried egg bap from a food stall and had my photo taken at the selfie wall by a friendly GOSH volunteer, before taking part in the fun warm-up session 30minutes before the run started.
The event village was buzzing and everything was clearly signposted. Mascots in big animal costumes offered photos, and entertainers wandered the crowds. Just before 10am, 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.
Like previous years, I wore a bumbag which contained the essentials – debit card, cash, train ticket, keys, lip-balm, phone, tissues! I’d consumed breakfast cereal and a Beanies coffee; and wore Adidas leggings with a Primark sports bra, London Marathon ‘rejection’ jacket, black trainer socks and Brooks Ravenna 8 trainers, with the event t-shirt over the top. It was a super comfortable outfit at first, which got a bit warm towards the finish line! The weather was perfect for running – dry and mild – although it had been raining for much of the morning, meaning that the event village was a muddy swamp, with lots of slippery patches!
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 jogged the entire way without any pressure to achieve a good time. There were over 10,000 participants yet no bottlenecks or frustrations. The event was very well managed and organised.
The finish line was lined with supporters, and a row of volunteers handed out bespoke wooden medals. Branded goody-bags containing a lion teddy bear and crisps were handed out to children only.
The event is really inclusive and has a lovely, friendly atmosphere. I’ll no doubt take part again next year and I’d recommend it to anyone. 🙂
NEXT UP: Crowborough 5K, Sunday 24th November 2019