Back when I entered I'd thought this race would be a good 'end of season' run to try and get a PB. But whilst I have been running over the Summer, I haven't been doing it with any great focus. I've been clocking up the miles sure, including a very slow and very fun marathon, but have been running for fun rather than to nail a PB. I've mostly been enjoying some off time after the marathon which extended all through Summer, knowing that marathon season will be once again looming on the horizon pretty soon.
So with all that in mind, I knew a PB wasn't in order and rather than killing myself to try and get a time I wouldn't achieve, nor deserved, I decided to just have fun and enjoy the race I've been wanting to be run for so long.
It's a pretty big race with around 16000 entrants and as we walked into Hyde Park towards the start, the day was looking great weather wise - sunny with a little chill. Perfect. The start was HEAVING and as always there were not enough portaloos. There was a great atmosphere though with lots of food stalls, charity tent and hundreds of thousands of runners milling about. After queuing for ages for a wee I made it to my start pen with just minutes to go - with a wave off from Jamie, I scaled the fence to get me into my correct pen and within minutes we were off!
|Buck Palace in the distance|
|Running down The Mall|
The route was brilliant! You start and finish in Hyde Park, with the beginning of the run leading you out to the sites of London. Through Green Park you run past Buckingham Palace, around St James' Park with Big Ben standing proudly in the distance, past Horse Guards Parade and through Admiralty Arch. Basically tick tick ticking off all the London sites - this route is a tourist's dream. From here you run out towards Downing Street (which you totally miss because lets be honest it's just a street which is difficult to see when you're not face up against the gates), then back on yourself and up the Strand. Here again you do a little out and back before running around Trafalgar Square and back through Admiralty Arch up The Mall. It was here I got a little over excited and noticed I was running at 6.50 minute mile pace! Ooops - it was because I was absolutely loving running around London on nice quiet streets and seeing all the sites, and also because I could see the Palace! Running down The Mall in a reverse of the London Marathon finish was giving me all kinds of feels and making me feel quite emotional. It was GREAT. Back past the Palace and waving to the runners on the other side of the road, we ran back through Green Park, round a very aptly named road called 'Achilles Way' and back into Hyde Park. By now we were just under the 6 mile mark and I was a little apprehensive that the sites had all been and gone, and the rest of the route would just be weaving around the park. But I needn't have worried. The support as we came back into the park was unreal with loads of charities out supporting and just unbelievable cheers. I was loving it. I also managed to see Jamie here which was unexpected (I don't know why, he's a total pro supporter so of course he would make sure we saw each other en route!)
|At about mile 6 - 'Hi, Hi Hi!'|
|Royal Parks Finisher!|