Race Recap // London Winter Run 2015


For full disclosure purposes, I received an entry to the London Winter Run  for free in return for a blog post to promote the race and a post recap. I was not paid to write this post and all opinions are my own.
Original Image Source: London Winter Run
You'll probably already know by now if you follow me on social media, but I did the London Winter Run this weekend in London. It's a 10km race for Cancer Research and this is the first one that has been run this year.

I've known and been booked in for the race for 2 months, so it's been a long time waiting. When I heard about the Winter Run, I knew it sounded like fun, Snow Zones and Polar Bear hugs, what more could you want? It sounded like great fun and something that I didn't want to miss out on.

So, where do I even start?

The Night Before..

The night before the race, I placed out all my running kit to make sure that everything was ready in the morning and that I didn't forget anything.

I had running crops, a long sleeved running t-shirt, breathable thin Brooks Jacket, my Asics trainers(that I think have had it now and I need a new pair), running socks, Yurbuds Headphones, a Hat, some Jelly Beans for during the run for energy(that I didn't bother actually eating) and my Garmin 620. I was going to take a running belt and fingerless gloves but didn't bother.

After everything was out and ready to go, I got an early night for the first time in a long time! Usually I don't go to bed before 11pm, this time I was in bed for about 10pm.

The Morning Of..
My alarms got me up for 5:30, I had an hour’s drive to the train station and an hour on the train to get there before Phillips start time so we had to be up early.

I had Blueberry Bagels topped with some PPB and Jam for breakfast and a cup of tea. I was supposed to have a banana on the way to the run too, but I completely forgot to buy some when out shopping so had to do without. I had a bottle of water whilst on the way to the race too. 

We parked up at Epping Station and got the underground to Mile End, Changing there for Westminster, the tube wasn’t bad at all, I expected it to be a lot busier. Me and Phillip were literally busting for the toilet by the time we got to Westminster so we had to do a quick dash to find the race toilets. I thought there were ample toilets and since we arrived so early, there were no queues!

It was also freezing and I really regret not bringing a bag with warmer clothes in, I heard that the baggage area might have been really busy on the day so we just took what we needed and nothing else so we could avoid it. From what I heard, the baggage area was really good and efficient so I’ll bare that in mind for next time!

At the course location..
There was a huge area on one of the main roads where people gathered together for a warm-up, this lead down a street towards the Thames where the start line was.

A little pre-race selfie with Big Ben! ;)
Everyone had allocated starting waves, there were 8 in total. Phillip was in the first wave so he was to be in the warm-up/start line area for 8:30-8:45 for a 09:30 start and mine was 09:30-09:45 for a 9:54 start. I was in Wave 4, I arrived at the start area at 09:30 and something was messed up as Wave 3 got called forward so I held back, however, when the next wave was called, it skipped to 5 so I missed my start completely and ended up going with Wave 5.

I think that maybe colour coded start bibs would have been good so you could get a better idea of who was in the starting area if you missed the announcements.

Whilst at the start line, there was a fantastic warm-up from Fitness First however, it was quite hard to have room to do the warm-up as it was so crowded so I stood off to the side.

The Race..
The race started on time for each wave which was good (although I missed my wave). The first kilometer was a little congested as everyone found their pace and started to spread out. Now, as most will know, I haven’t run 6 miles for quite a while, I think my longest training run was 3 miles due to illness and stubbing my toe and I only did 1 run of 1mile the week leading up to the race. So I really started to feel it straight away.

The route went up Victoria Embankment, just before 2km we entered an ‘Ice Cave’, Past the Tower of London just before 4km, through the streets of London for a couple of km before getting the fantastic views of St Paul’s Cathedral before heading back the way we  came to the Embankment.

In all honesty, I didn’t have chance to see any of the sights, except for St Paul’s Cathedral, which was beautiful! I missed the others as I was too busy concentrating on just getting round. It probably would have been different if I’d actually trained and was feeling comfortable running enough to look around.

There were 2 water stations on the run, I grabbed a bottle from the fist station and kept it with me the entire run so I didn’t have to slow again. I figured if I stopped to walk, I’d never start again! ;) The ‘snow zones’ were fun to run through; there were 3 of them out on the course. It wasn’t real snow, more foamy but it definitely looked like snow as you ran through it!
Photo from SportsCam.net Official Race Photos, except, I'm too poor to buy a print! ;)
The last km or two of the race was a killer for me, my pace had dropped quite significantly and my legs were starting to hurt. I had to just push through the pain, I was determined not to stop! The last km felt like it went on forever! The spectators definitely got me through the last bit. I'm glad they came out in the freezing cold to cheer people on!

I finally turned the corner and could see the finish line in sight. I was pretty much running on empty at this point so there was no sprint finish for me! At the finish line there were plenty of polar bears for a polar bear hug or a selfie! Apparently, there were St Bernard Dogs at the race but I never saw them, I didn’t even know they were going to be there! I was gutted!

Race Finish..
The finish was pretty congested, there didn’t seem to be much organization there and there was no funnel to lead people out of the way.. I managed to grab my medal(which is gorgeous and by far the best one I have so far!) and a Vita Coco, then went to find Phillip, who had been waiting in the cold for me for an hour(oh dear! xD).
My official chip time was 1:05:15 which I’m pretty happy about considering the lack of training. It’s also my first official 10k times as I’ve never done a 10k race before.
Overall, It was a great race, it was well organized for the most part, a few niggles here and there but it was great for the first ever winter run and I’m sure comments and suggestions will be taken on board to make it an even better experience next year! Hopefully, next time I’ll be fit enough and trained enough to enjoy the surroundings a bit more!

I'd say if you're looking for a novelty race, a first 10k race or just something to keep you running during the winter, this is perfect. I think it's probably a good race for a PB but I'd just advise to get more towards the front of the waves so you get a good start.

Entries are currently open for next year, January 31st. For this week only, you can register at a discounted price! Take a look at London Winter Run website HERE.

Question: Did you do the London Winter Run? What did you think? Have you ever done any themed races before?

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  1. Congratulations on your first 10k. Sounds like you did great x

  2. @Helen Monger Thanks Sweet! It was definitely hard work but I surprised myself.. I can only get better from here! Hoping I can get under an hour on my next one! :)


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