This is not the first time I have run the Vitality/ Bupa 10K but it is the first time I have blogged about it! Similarly, I have run the Ealing Eagles 10K before but only as a Pacer!
My 10K PB had stood for nearly 2 years at 45:34: a time achieved the day after my Grandma died (which broke my heart) and being paced by a friend at my running club. At the time it was the quickest m/m pace I had ever run and I hadn’t come close to it since, though admittedly I hadn’t run many 10Ks since as I find 10K a really tough race distance that I do not particularly enjoy!
As I mentioned in my previous post, I did not race the Three Forts HM as I wanted my legs to be fresh for my A race- the Ealing Eagles 10K. One of my super speedy friends had agreed to pace me to a 10K PB and ideally sub 45 minutes. As you may be aware, I am an Ealing Eagle so my race report should probably be read in that light…
Conditions on the day were not brilliant. The race happened to be held on one of the sunniest/warmest days of the year! The Ealing Eagles 10K is held at Gunnersbury Park – also my local Parkrun and is known for being somewhat “undulating” so it wasn’t the best course and conditions to try and run a PB! That said, since my friend had agreed to pace me there was no way I was planning to slack and fail to attain my goal of a PB either! The race is a multiple lap course and there was water on each lap handed out by enthusiastic marshalls! The race marshalls were second to none- super enthusiastic and so encouraging- shouting out my name (even at one point on the loudspeaker).
I didn’t look at my watch throughout the race and relied on my friend to pace me to a PB. I regularly start off too fast in races so it felt that we were jogging from the start and I was slightly anxious to see people I would usually run with racing far ahead! I put my trust in my friend though, focused on my form and went with the flow! My trust in him was well-founded as we ended up overtaking almost every one of those who had run off fast at the start- I have to confess that it was pretty satisfying to be overtaking people later on in the race!
(Both feet off the ground 🙂 )
Everything was going great but at 9k in to the race I had really hoped to have a final strong push and I felt like I had nothing more to give – I think it was the heat.
I really did not have a sprint finish in me (see above but I tried and gave it all I could on the day!) and I finished in 45:08 absolutely delighted to have run a PB in those conditions but slightly annoyed about the 8 seconds! We got a great goody bag, bananas and water at the end and the medal was also great. Race entry was super cheap and superb value for money. I’m biased but I’d definitely do it again -unbeatable value for money 9.5/10!
No matter- I had the Vitality 10k coming up in a couple of weeks and I was determined to go sub 45 and ideally sub 44! After many loo breaks, I started the race. The race start was not ideal- we were in start waves but my wave had people in it who were sub 40 minutes up to people who were sub 50 minutes. Therefore, the start wasn’t very fast.
My plan was to try and maintain 7 minute miles as long as I could. However, I just didn’t feel great at the start- I was dreading running 6 miles (I am super lazy at heart) and I felt like it was slow and congested. I hit the first mile in 7:21- way behind schedule but despite that kept going and tried to focus on my form first and foremost. The race route for the Vitality 10K is amazing- you start in Green Park and run through Central London and finish in front of Buckingham Palace. It also has closed roads and really enthusiastic support on the route-singers, steel pan groups etc! Amazing.
The support must have made me speed up as I did mile 2 in 6:59, mile 3 in 7:09, mile 4 in 7:08, Mile 5 in 6:59 and drumroll…. mile 6 in 6:39 and the 0.2 in 6:08!!! That is my first negative split in a race and I think a 6:39 still counts as my fastest last mile in a race – faster than my 5K PB last mile!! My chip time was 43:38 so I got that sub 44 I was hoping for! We got a technical t-shirt at the end of the race (which had a weird fit) and a fantastic big medal and filled to the brim goody bag. I also got a free massage which was pretty great- particularly given it was free. The Bupa 10K is not a cheap race but in my opinion it is value for money given the closed roads in Central London and the race atmosphere which makes you feel special 🙂 I’ll definitely be doing it next year if I am not injured! 8.5/10 – PB potential and fantastic atmosphere albeit slightly expensive for a 10k!
Me with one of my running club friends who had also run a PB looking very pleased with our PBs!