While this post is about a specific event by a specific charity, please note it is not sponsored in any way. It’s simply my opinions/experiences about something that I have chosen to participate in.
On Wednesday 17th May 2017, the British Heart Foundation held their yearly Tower of London run where participants can run, jog or walk up to 5 or 10K. I took part and fully intended to complete the 10K!
I have to be honest, I didn’t do a great deal of training and started about 3 weeks before the event. My first run saw me complete 5K in roughly 40mins and I was in pain for the next 3 days and seriously wished I’d started training earlier! Determined, I persevered and made sure to go for a run or hit the treadmill at the gym at least 3 times each week as the date of the run approached. I didn’t complete 10K in any of my training but wasn’t too worried about that as I knew I could walk it if I struggled on the day. The charity aspect of the run meant more to me than beating a time anyway, but I did notice that hitting 5K was becoming easier and I wasn’t feeling the pain in the legs after it. My longest run before the event was about 7K, which I was pretty proud of.
The week of the run on the Monday I felt the first symptoms of a cold, which was hardly surprising as the weather had been so up and down and people in the office had a cold which of course spreads easily in the air-con open office. On the Tuesday I felt completely rubbish and even left the office early as I felt so unwell. Things weren’t looking good for the run but the competitor in me wanted to see this through. Come Wednesday it was a grey and miserable day. The weather forecast predicted rain, rain and more rain. A 10K run in the rain with a cold was the last thing I needed! The run started from 16.30 and you could start between 16.30 – 19.00, I arrived shortly after 16.30 and it took me a bit of time to figure out where I was meant to go for my t-shirt and start my race. I figured it out eventually and left my bag in the bag drop off point and following some guidance and useful information from one of the volunteers at the event I set off on my run.
It was raining fairly heavily and the Tower of London run is on grass which made things nice and muddy(!) but I made a good start and kept a decent pace slowing to a fast walk when I needed to catch my breath. By the end of the first K I was soaking (from the rain not sweat!), the rain continued to pelt my face and I continued towards my 10K. There was a mixture of runners at the event from your focused hardcore runners who kept a strong pace and ran like their lives depended on it, to small groups of friends and family who calmly walked the track. Older participants to younger kids with their parents/guardians – one of the younger girls, about 10 or 11, showed off her back flip skills and got cheers from fellow runners. All of us there for different reasons but ultimately raising money for a fantastic cause – the British Heart Foundation.
I got round to my last K and felt fantastic when I completed it in 1 hour and 1 minute and collected my medal at the end. I felt so energised, I probably could have done a few more K’s had it not have been for the rain and my cold!
The run was brilliant; the hard part came next…. I waited probably 20minutes in the queue to collect my bag from the bag drop off – again it wouldn’t have been an issue except it was raining! Luckily one of the volunteers had a bucket full of poncho’s that he handed to us while we queued to keep us dry. At that point we were all soaking anyway but the poncho provided some shelter from the continuous rain. I eventually got my bag and headed home. The train ride back wasn’t too bad, I had a seat but was wet and cold and my trainers were covered in mud and grass. At the end of my train journey I still had to walk home – brolly up, head down and a brisk walk later I made it home. My clothes were soaking from the rain and sticking to me! Not my most attractive moment but nothing a hot shower couldn’t fix!
All in all the event was brilliant, despite the British weather! It’s for a great cause and I would definitely recommend it for anyone who hasn’t taken part before. I feel 10K is a good distance to run for someone who is relatively fit but not a serial long distance runner (those who are more likely to take part in the marathon!)
Definitely will take part again next year and maybe even do another, longer run.