Race Recap // Great Newham London Run 2015 - 10k


I'm sure that if you read my blog on a regular basis, you'll know that I had a race this weekend. This past weekend was the Great Newham London Run. It's part of the Great Run series and I only good things things about them!

This is the first year that it's been run, but a similar run has been done for a few years that used to be with the National Lottery, this year, the sponsor has changed to Morrisons.

The last time I did this route/run was back in 2013 and it was the year that everyone got to run in the stadium after the spectacular olympics(see my race recap HERE). I didn't run last year as I was still recovering from surgery, so I was excited to be able to return to the stadium this year!

The morning of..
So, the morning of.. I was up at 5AM! KILLER! Phillip and I obviously had to have breakfast first and then we had to drive an hour to the tube station and then 30 minutes on the tube to the park. For breakfast, I had some Porridge Oats with a glob of PB and a cup of tea.

The drive was simple and straight forward, the tube wasn't busy and we had chance to put on our race bibs. I must mention Event Clips here! They're awesome! Rather than having safety pins that might come off or put holes in your shirts, these are simple little clips that fasten your bib to your shirt really easily!
We had a 10 or so minute walk from the tube station to the park and start area. We made a mad dash for the toilets before it got busy, which it did, VERY quickly! We then dropped of the bag we had with us, which was straight forward. There were pens for each of the starting waves, you just walked into the baggage pens and put your bag wherever you wanted. Marshalls were guarding the area the whole time so all the bags were in safe hands!

Ofc, after baggage was dropped off, we both took a selfie and some pics with the Stadium and Orbit in the background!
Afterwards, I went to find some of the #UKRunChat gang, which is REALLY difficult when there are so many people around! I met up with Natasha and Gill, we talked for a while before I went to see Phillip off into his starting pen. Afterwards, I met up with the rest of the lovely ladies, Michelle, Jenni, Natalie & Hanna for a lovely chat before we all wished each other luck and headed to our starting pens - where I ended up meeting Frankie!
The warm-up started not long after I arrived in the starting pens, it's always great fun to get involved in the warm-up and really important to make sure you get prepared for the race ahead. The sun came out too and it started to get warm! I wished there was some sort of water station at the start for people to top up on water before starting, it would have helped a bunch!

The Race
The race (at least for me in the green starting area) started 10 minutes later than expected, which wasn't too much of a problem.

When we first started, it was a little congested but soon thinned out. There were a few out and back loops on the routes and quite a few hills(compared to when I last ran in 2013).  Coming from an area that has hardly any hills and can't really train for them, this was quite taxing on me but I managed to push myself and power up them rather than stop to walk which I was pretty happy about!

We passed the London Aquatics Center near the 2 km mark,  looping back around behind the Stadium towards the Copper Box Arena. There were bands and speakers all along the route with power songs to keep people motivated(I found it really helped!). There was a mist shower around the 5 km mark, which was SO refreshing, especially with the heat, I almost wanted to stop in there for a while ;).

At the 5.5 km mark, there was the only water station - I don't know about anyone else, but I needed a drink way before then with the heat - I think there should have been at least two water stations on the route - the one we did have was really organised though and I was able to just grab a bottle whilst running past, previously on water stations, I've had to stop or almost collided with people so this was great.

I took a couple of little sips from the water and ended up tipping the rest over my head to cool me down a little.. afterwards I just ditched the bottle.

At around the 7 km mark, we crossed over the River Lea towards Lee Valley VeloPark.. then we made our way back towards the stadium. As with the run in 2013, the route took us under and into the Stadium tunnels which lead out onto the track. I must say, the atmosphere when I came out onto the track was almost overwhelming, all the spectators were cheering everyone on, it was fantastic!

I crossed the finish line in 1:06 dead on. I must say, I was a little disappointed and upset not to have gotten a PB as I felt like I tried SO hard and I didn't walk a single bit of the route! but then I had to remember that I haven't been back into running long since my injury, so I was quite happy with my time in the end.. and I've got plenty of time to get a PB.

After finishing, I followed the crowds to get out finishers packs - which weren't bad! There was the Medal of course, a water, Lucozade, some nuts, fruit and some type of nut/yoghurt bar - there was also a t-shirt in there, which I was alittle disappointed in as it was cotton - I would have much preferred a technical t-shirt which would have allowed me to run in afterwards - me, cotton t-shirts and running don't bode too well - so I don't have that much use for it.

I met up with Phillip after the race and took photos with our medals and then headed back towards Westfields for a little long walk round. Phillip said that baggage collection was very straight forward, you just went back to where you placed your bag at the beginning - very straight forward!
Overall Thoughts
The day itself was fab, the race was very well organised and I thoroughly enjoyed myself, the route was great too. As I mentioned, there are a few tweaks that I think would be more than welcomed next year like an extra water station and technical t-shirts instead of cotton - but other than that, I couldn't fault it.

I'd definitely recommend this race to anyone if you haven't run it before - running into and around the stadium is a spectacular experience. Entries are actually open for next year already on 17th July 2016(See HERE) and I will most likely be running it again!

Question: Tell me, whats your favourite race? What about it is so special?

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