Race Recap // London Winter Run 2017


For full disclosure purposes, I received a free entry to the London Winter Run. I was not paid to write this post and all opinions are my own.

This past Sunday I ran London Winter Run for the third year in a row. I took to the streets of London with 16500 other runners and lots of penguins, huskies and polar bears volunteers!

Along with the Winter Run being an event that keeps people active and running(training) during the winter months, it also raises vital funds for Cancer Research UK, which is great!

If you've been keeping up with my Training Diaries.. or you're following me on Social media, you'll have know that I was training for this and Cambridge Half Marathon(ongoing!). I mentioned a couple of times about my intentions for the race. Whilst I hadn't done any speed work leading up to the race, I wanted to have a shot at finally getting sub 1hour 10K.

Some may already know if I did it, otherwise keep reading and find out how I did!

The Morning Of..
Unfortunately, due to Phillips Race Pack not arriving in the post, we had a very early morning start to get to the start and pick up a new pack. We woke at 5:30AM, had breakfast(usual porridge for me), hydrated and got ready to leave the house at 6:45AM.

I had a 1:30hr drive to Westfield's CarPark in London and then another 30 minutes on the tube to reach the start line. Thankfully, neither the car park nor the tubes were very busy, so we got there with plenty of time!

I anticipated we'd be waiting in a queue for at least 30-45 minutes or more for a race pack but instead it took us a couple of minutes(Bravo, Human Race, it was seamless!).

We had a quick scout around the area before putting race bibs on and getting rid of our coats to put in baggage(again, so quick!). We headed over to the start area, which was already very packed full of people waiting to start. We were alotted start times, but there were no markers or starting pens, so it was pretty much free for all, so we just joined the back of the line.
Yes, I ran the whole thing with a Go Pro on my head! I'll have a race vlog up very soon!
The Race
I started with Phillip(who then obviously sped off straight away ;)) at 9:47AM. The course started in Trafalgar Square with a big blast of snow! Typically at every race, I go off far too fast at the beginning, however my pace felt comfortable, I didn't feel out of breathe and I tried not to stay too fixated on my watch, so I went with the flow.

The route was the same as last year, there were various wintery characters out on the course which is always delightful! Along with the regular polar bears at the end of the race for celebratory hugs, there was also a group of Huskies(new this year) and Penguin Party out on the course!

There were also some drummers, a choir and some gospel singers too and with lots of Marshalls out to cheer and encourage people on(thank you!).
The first half of the run went by very quickly, I hardly looked at my watch and wanted to base it off how I was feeling, which was pretty great. I'd reached the half way point with ease, my watch beeped 3 miles with a time of 27:40! It took me a little off guard that I was ahead of schedule for sub 1hr but I figured my watch might be off slightly, so tried not to think about it too much. There was a water station not far from the half way mark either, I decided not to take any and plowed on!

I tried not to focus on my watch too much after that point, I didn't want to get myself psyched out. Instead, I focused on the atmosphere and surroundings, taking in the beautiful sights of St Pauls Catheral, along with getting a little choked up at some of the runners signs on their backs saying who they were running for.

At the 6 mile mark, I looked at my watch to see I had minutes SIX MINUTES to get to the finish line and get sub 1 hr.. I knew it was in the bag and wanted to finish strong so I picked up the pace.. only, I got to 6.2 and the finish line was nowhere in sight.  My heart dropped, I thought I was going to miss sub 1 hour after that.

I turned the corner and I could finally see the finish line but it was still pretty far away. I started feeling fatigued, I couldn't push like I wanted but wanted to just keep moving.

I finally crossed the finish line after what felt like forever and stopped my watch.
6.6 miles - 59:23(59:10 chip time)


I started sobbing, I felt silly but totally overwhelmed. I'd finally done it after so long of trying! I was still a little confused how I'd managed it too, I'd never run that fast before, even in training and the whole run felt comfortable bar the finish.

My final splits are below:
I'd managed 3 miles under 9 min/mi pace, with 1 mile at 8:09?! I haven't run a mile under 9 mins in probably the best part of a year and a half, let alone close to 8! I've still no idea how I did it!

If you'd have asked me before the start of the race whether I thought my training had been enough to get sub 1hr, I'd have said hell no but something must be working!

With some proper training(by proper I mean getting some speed runs in), I'll hopefully keep working on getting a bit faster and who knows, maybe a PB could be on the cards for Cambridge? Never say never!

I collected my medal after the race, which is another awesome one added to the collection and my first of the year! there were also cartons of Vita CoCo to re-hydrate and Lindor Chocolate Bars(hell to the yes!).

I headed back to find Phillip, we had some photos with a Massive Saint Bernard Character and I got to meet the gorgeous Isabelle, a real Saint Bernard(we've missed the dogs every year but not this year!). I headed to the SKINS pop up store on Trafalgar Square and treated myself to a pair of funky compression socks as I reward for my PB.. and then we headed home as it would bloody freezing! ;)

Overall Thoughts
As I've said that last 2 years that I've done the London Winter Run, the race was a blast, I enjoyed myself the whole time, the volunteers/marshalls were amazing and so full of energy! I can't fault the organisers either, sorting out the missing race pack and baggage drop off and collection was great and went without a hitch!

I also LOVED the medal this year, bigger, with a bigger ribbon. Just how I like it. Their medals are stunning!
My only nark was the course distance, I've seen a lot of people complaining about the course being far too long. .4 miles is a long way to be out by and people were understandably upset by missing out on PBs.

It didn't take away from the overall event though, I'm already looking forward to running it again next year, you can already pre-register HERE!

I also vlogged the race which you can watch below! Subscribe if you like race vlogs as there will be more throughout the year!
Question: Have you taken part in the Winter Run before or any themed run?

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  1. Oh well done you! I need to do it next year!
    Love the medals.

  2. nice! that's a GREAT time for 10K! congrats on getting your PB and course PR!!!! I do love the medal too - I'm hoping to run at some point in London, just looking for the right race at the right time.

  3. @Sabine Noebel Thank you! You definitely should, the race is a blast and the medals are epic! :D

  4. @runlaugheatpie Thank you! It came as a massive surprise! Good luck on finding the right race, there are lots of great races around London, im sure you'll find one! :D

  5. Well done on your PB! I had the same thoughts re the course distance, turning round the corner at 6.2 expecting to see the finish and was so puzzled - Strava ended up 6.5!

  6. @Sean Delaney Thank you! Yes, it had a moment of panic thinking I wouldnt get under an hour when I couldnt see the finish.. but after getting 59 minutes.. i kinda wonder what I would have really gotten without the extra bit at the end, it would have been an even better time!

  7. Woohoo well done on your PB! I wish I could see the medal but I don't think your pictures are working.

  8. thegaboronerunner.com28 February 2017 at 08:50

    What a brilliant run and the fact that you did it in under an hour (and it was a longer course than it was supposed to be!) makes it even more awesome! What a great way to start the year! Well done!

  9. @thegaboronerunner.com Thank you! Yes, I would have had an even better time had the course not been longer so I was pretty stoked! :)


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