Thursday, 9 July 2015

Race For Life 10k - Blackheath, London 5.07.2015

On Sunday, I headed to Blackheath for the Cancer Research Race For Life - armed with my High 5 Wave glove (Scottish Power aim is to record 60,000 high fives which will raise an incredible £35,000 for Cancer Research UK - you can add to the wave by giving their Facebook page a like here). After a scorching hot Saturday I was expecting the same conditions on Sunday but the ever-unpredictable British weather instead gave us a torrential downpour for the twenty minutes before the race started and on and off rain during the race. I'm a fair-weather runner but I think that the rain actually helped cool things down a bit and while waiting for the race to start wasn't too fun I barely even noticed the downpour while I was running.

Race For Life Blackheath
Ready to race! 
I met up with Lizzy and Hannah for some posing (and sheltering in the rain!) in the Scottish Power tent and then to do the rather challenging (from a co-ordination point of view) warm-up. The race itself started at 9.30 and the route was two laps of Blackheath park. I'm not usually a fan of lap races but I actually enjoyed this one - the second lap was somehow easier as I already knew the route.

Race For Life Blackheath
Posing with our High 5 hands!

Race For Life Blackheath
The start area - slightly wet! 
Being a Race for Life, this was more geared around having fun, getting through the distance and raising funds and awareness for the work of Cancer Research UK (some of the "I'm racing for..." sings on other runners tops were truly heartbreaking). There was no bag storage at the start line which I've come to expect from other races and no chip-timing. We were led to the start line in rather vague groups of "runners" (sub-1-hour), "joggers" and "walkers" but this actually worked quite well - the start didn't feel too crowded and I just made a mental note of the clock time as I crossed the line. The atmosphere was really great - there were a few cheerers along the route despite the weather and it was nice to do an all-female race (the first few races I did were all female, back when I was new to running and absolutely terrified but I've since only done mixed events). As it was a Race For Life there was such a mix of people running - it's not a competitive event and a good third of the participants were walking it, if you're new to group races I'd definitely recommend a Race For Life to ease you in. Running an organised race is so different to just going for a run on your own and it's good to get as much experience of races as possible - having planned races in the diary definitely keeps me motivated to train!

Race For Life Blackheath
Mid-run photography - not the easiest but I wanted to capture all of the pink!
My race experience was so much better than I was expecting - having not done a proper run since the Bupa 10k over a month ago due to recovering from having my wisdom tooth out and suffering from a stomach bug which left me only able to eat beige food earlier this week I was expecting to end up walking / crawling! Instead I got a PB for this distance of 1:03:20 - I couldn't quite believe it when I crossed the line! The route was really flat which I think helped and despite never wearing my Nike Frees for longer than a 20 minute run in the past they were actually super comfortable, thank goodness! The finishers medal is pretty cool, too - another one for the collection and after four years of running I finally believe that a sub-1-hour 10k is a possibility when I've actually doing some proper training!

Race For Life Blackheath
My medal! 
Have you taken part in a Race for Life?


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8 comments

  1. So relieved I'm not the only one who thought the warm up was a major challenge to coordination.

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  2. The medal is very unusual, I like it! Sometimes it's nice to do a run that isn't full of serious runners chasing PBs, and is more relaxed. My first ever race was actually a race for life, in Hampstead in 2008. It was the hottest day of the year and hilly so it was a bit of a baptism of fire into the running world!

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  3. Looks like fun for a great cause!

    - Audrey Allure
    http://audreyallure.blogspot.com

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  4. Congratulations on completing the race. I have mine RFL this Sunday and can't wait. :-)

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  5. Well done on this, I love the medal!

    Maria xxx

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  6. Yay well done!! :-) And what a cool idea about Scottish Power, love it.
    Nice medal too!

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