Friday, 5 February 2016

London Winter Run - 31.01.2016

Ending January and getting my 2016 running started - Sunday saw me take part in the London Winter Run - part of Cancer Research UK's Winter Run Series (remember when I tried to persuade you to sign up?). I've never done a winter race before, I'm definitely a guilty-as-charged fair-weather runner but despite the rain, the wind and the general gloom it was a great day. Over 15,000 people took part in the 10km run, starting in Trafalgar Square and looping around the City of London before finishing near Big Ben. Many runners had signs attached to their backs, which, squinting through the rain, revealed who they were running for - whether it be someone fighting cancer or a loved one lost too soon. It sounded cliched but seeing those signs made me far less aggrieved about my increasingly soggy toes and slightly jealous niggle that most of my friends (ok, all of my friends because all 5 of them told me) were still lying in bed.

The race itself is a great one if, like me, you need some motivation to continue running throughout the winter. It's not a serious get-a-PB type race, there are no colour coded start waves and everyone is just allocated a start time via email. I did get a couple of shoves on the rather tight corners by faster runners who had started some way behind me but the atmosphere was really supportive - despite the awful weather there were some cheerers on the route and the volunteers were amazing! The snow cannons didn't have quite as big an impact in the wind and rain but they were there as promised! The route passed a fair few London landmarks, I actually live in the City and it was a bizarre experience to be running on closed roads past St Pauls, The Bank of England and The Guildhall.  There was one water station at 5km which was plenty for a winters' day and at the end, along with polar bear hugs, was the prettiest medal to add to my collection, bottled water and Vita Coco on offer.

I didn't get a PB, far from it, but I loved the atmosphere of the race - London can feel like an isolating place but doing an event like this and realising that you're getting drenched and pounding the pavements with thousands of other people gives you a feel-good buzz like nothing else. A big thank you to Nuffield Health for hosting us bloggers before and after the race in their Covent Garden gym. That post-race shower definitely ranks highly in my fictitious "best showers of my life" list.

A running style #wiwt - for winter runs, I avoid the temptation to pile on loads of layers as once you're out there you don't need them. 
The start line. Loved the snowmen marking out the starting waves.
The medal - the snowflake felt appropriate! Freezing cold, red fingers - model's own.
The polar bear volunteers - ready with hugs and selfie opportunities at the end of the race.

Had to sneak in this official picture! 
How's your running going so far this year?



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4 comments

  1. Woo! Sounds like an awesome race, I think I would like to run in the winter, would stay cool. I did have a brief running period last year but I'm just too into the gym now, it's hard to balance the two!

    Jasmin Charlotte

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  2. Hehe this sounds like so much fun. Not all races have to be about PBs - in fact, the best ones usually aren't! good job :)

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  3. Well done! I meant to enter this to motivate myself over Christmas, promptly forgot about that plan and now am very envious! Am getting ready to start training for the Hackney Half though and have had a couple of gloriously sunny runs recently to start off the year x

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