BUPA London 10000 – race report

So today – the eve of Juneathon – was the BUPA London 10000 which this year I ran “with” my Mum. As per yesterday’s post, I was rather concerned that she was going to thrash me, and so it proved. I clocked a disappointing 01:01:25 after picking up the mother of all stitches round the 6K mark, whilst she romped home somewhere between 55 and 58 minutes. (Yes, I do realise that’s pretty vague, but until the results are posted online that’s the best we can do, as it turns out she never bothered to work out how to use the stopwatch I bought her for Christmas! She wears it, but apparently doesn’t really look at it. Sigh.)

The day started well when we woke to perfect running conditions – a dry but overcast 15 degrees. The race organisation was as flawless as in previous years, and very soon after getting out of the cab for the short hop from my flat down to the holding area in Green Park we had our bags dropped and had already visited the conveniences (no queues!). We abandoned my dad on the steps of Buckingham Palace and joined our start wave, where we happily bounced along to Abba and Lady Gaga until 6 minutes before the race began, when Mum decided she needed the loo. We joined a queue as the elites set off and were luckily back in our pen by the time Blue B were called forward.

I had warned Mum about the number of people at the start and that she should be prepared to go slowly in traffic for the first couple of kilometres, but clearly she didn’t listen to me as within just a few seconds of starting she was already getting frustrated and was busy trying to cut everyone up. I stuck with her all along the Embankment, apologising to all and sundry as I went, and cheering Mo Farah on the other side of the road on his way to a new British record. But by 3K her pace was starting to take its toll on the rather less fit me, and so when at the first drinks station she very nearly took out a blind runner, oblivious to the effing and blinding of his fairly pissed-off guide, I took the opportunity to pretend I wasn’t with her and let her go. I don’t think she noticed.

After that things felt much better as I ran my own race. I plodded along happily enough until we reached Leadenhall Market, where the cobbles didn’t do any favours for my slight achilles niggle, but it was at St Paul’s that I developed a stitch which just got worse. As we went under Blackfriars Bridge it became a blinding pain that caused me to have to pull over to the kerb and double over for about a minute until the discomfort passed. After that I was fine but was restricted to a fairly slow pace as speeding up just seemed to bring it back.

I ran back along the Embankment side by side with another very impressive blind runner, this one not attached by the wrist to his guide but running strongly by just following the instructions of an equally impressive guide, who appeared to be running the entire race backwards to allow him to keep an eye on his charge. They were going at a very decent pace considering that neither of them could really see what was ahead and I take my hat off to them both  – they were inspirational in the final tough kilometre.  I left them behind as we turned onto the Mall to try to speed up for the end, but I knew by that stage that I wouldn’t get in under the hour, so I had little incentive to really pull out all the stops for my sprint finish.

My Mum was waiting for me a short way after the finish line feeling frustrated that she didn’t know her time, but fairly confident of having achieved a PB. And then it was back to the staging area to pick up our goodie bags, our kit and some very welcome free jelly babies!

I’m pretty disappointed with my time, but all things considered it was a good day out – my brother joined my Dad at the finish line and we had more fun admiring the Green Park elephants before wandering back through Hyde Park in the direction of home. I’ve had a tough few months lately so haven’t been training for this really and though it is a bit rubbish to be beaten so soundly by my mother, 10K in just over an hour isn’t so bad.

So now its home to sit quietly with a DVD and prepare for the next challenge, which starts in just a few hours. In retrospect beginning Juneathon immediately after a tough 10K wasn’t the brightest of moves, but June waits for no man, and so I will just have to suck it up and haul myself out of bed tomorrow for an early morning spinning class to kick things off. The early morning will be a slightly brutal introduction but I have a full work schedule tomorrow and have to go to a client event in the evening, so if the exercise isn’t done by 9am then I’ll have failed Juneathon before it’s even begun. And that would never do.

Bring it on!


Pre-race day nerves

I’m running the London BUPA 10000 tomorrow. Now, I have done loads of 10Ks and really shouldn’t be nervous of another one, but this time I am expecting to be humiliated as my 54-year old mother leaves me for dust. ¬†After much pestering I finally got her into running about 18 months ago, and she is loving it. Which is great most of the time, but now we are doing this 10K together I realise I have created a monster.

Tired and very wet, but happy

The last race we did together was the Kenilworth Two Castles 10K (fab race by the way), this time last year when she had been running for 6 months. She is naturally faster than me – she was undisputed champion of the Mothers’ 60m sprint on our primary school sports days – but in those early months of running was lacking endurance. So although we ran the race together I was far more comfortable and paced her all the way to a respectable 59 minute finish. Here we are looking happy but soaked at the end.

This year, however, she has been training hard around undulating Warwickshire, whilst I have been rather neglecting the running. (In fairness, I have just had a load of exams and also recently split up with my partner of 8 years, so I have had a bit on my mind, but still.) The result is that she is whizzing round hilly 10K training runs in 56 minutes whilst I can barely complete a totally flat 10K to Putney along the river. All of which means that tomorrow I am either going to give myself a hernia trying to compete with her or will have to suffer the taunts of my father and brothers for the rest of the bank holiday after she soundly thrashes me. My only hope is to stick with her all the way – the only sure weapon I have in my arsenal is a mean kick at the end of any run, no matter how tired I am, so I’d hope to be able to win a sprint finish if I am still with her at the Mall. But more likely she’ll have left me far behind at 5K. Watch this space for a race report tomorrow. Wish me luck!