Date/Time: Saturday 10th May / 20:00
Location: Victoria Park
Distance: 10 km chip-timed race
So leaving my house on Saturday I battled horizontal sheet rain and thought to myself WHY on earth was I heading outside, and not only heading outside but heading outside to run and had paid for the pleasure of it!!!!
However, once my overground train finally reached Hackney Wick station things changed! I found Harry & Lissy pretty easily and as we made our way over to the race village it was awesome to bump into so many familiar faces, girls from fitness classes, other Nike events, Run Dem & then of course other TNR ladies!
I ran WOTN last year and when we entered the park I could not get over the size, it was so much bigger!!! We quickly found Leah, Charlie, Laureen & Jen and then it was all about keeping warm. The rain had thankfully stopped but the wind was going nowhere!! IT WAS BREEZY! Holding off going to the bag drop as long possible we explored a few of the tents, there was a stretching area, one showing all the latest Nike gear (my want list grows by the day) and a bar … so much determination not to just go to the bar and stay there! Whilst we wandered it was great bumping into yet more friends & of course picking up some free Coconut Water all to the sounds of some epic music coming from the main stage!
After shedding our layers at a super efficient bag drop station and with a little stop off to chat to Gil an awesome NTC trainer (how a lot of us TNR ladies met!) we made our way to the start line. Now Harriet was the first to pick up her race kit in the lead up to the race and was obviously feeling a little brave as she chose the purple pen – 50min 10km, one down from the seriously speedy! Lissy & I weren’t as confident but stuck with her so whilst walking what felt like 10km to the starting pen we chatted away about our game plan … start at around 9min miles and then get faster! ;D
Once in the pen, as much as it kinda felt like we were in the wrong place, it was pretty awesome to be so close to the starting line – something I have never experienced before! We got settled in, finding yet more familiar faces and got ourselves hyped up courtesy of Charlie Dark who was on the mic above us!
A quick photo with Charlie – before she sped off to get an AWESOME sub 50PB – and we were off! Straight away Lissy, Harry & I were running under 9minute miles and as much as we tried to slow a little we couldn’t help but get carried away with everyone’s excitement. Initially the route was awesome, nice and spacious allowing the three of us to run side by side and we just enjoyed a little catch up, it was just another TNR bRUNch! The first couple of KMs flew by and we were running well!
The course included some great little extras such as, what I would like to call, “disco tunnels” pumping out tunes from Beyonce,
As well as a DJ station and a steel band along the way ….
All in all Harry, Lissy & I were seriously enjoying ourselves and not only that, we were running fast (fast for us!) so fast in fact that all my running selfies are blurred!
Now at 4km the epic #cheerdem came!! We could hear the noise in the distance and seriously you cannot help but get pumped by the energy that these guys give out! Hand in hand Lissy, Harry & I screamed, jumped and holla’ed at the crew and loved every minute of hearing their encouraging shouts! Safe to say 4km was one of our fastest splits!
The race took us on two laps of Victoria Park (there was a hilarious moment when Harry realised we had lapped one group) and well we kept our pace up and tried to keep digging.
Sadly on the second lap with more people now on the route it did become pretty congested. The atmosphere increased and it was great to see so many supporters (a lot of boyfriends ha) but the constant weaving became a little stressful. The three of us had kept such a good pace up and I really wanted us to keep pushing harder but weaving is pretty tiring and slightly dangerous!! However, a second lap did mean we got to see to Cheer Dem again! AND IT WAS EPIC!
My Mr. Tickle running arms were out in full force and came in very handy when going through a hi five tunnel! EPIC!
The final 2km also saw the return of my chat – Harry can tell you all about this! Lissy was already on her way to an incredible PB so why not just keep going! Giving the girls distance updates (this confused a lot of other girls who definitely thought I was talking to them!) we pushed, weaved and raced all the way to the finish line and YES we crossed that line hand in hand once again!
This race has come on leaps and bounds since last year, the race village was bigger & better, there were plenty of toilets, bag drop was seriously efficient & the girls handing out the “medals”, very pretty Alex Monroe necklaces, were full of energy, smiles and cheers making you feel pretty darn good! My only criticism of the race itself is how busy it got but that cannot be helped and well it was so awesome to see so many recogniseable faces along the route!
Once layered up feeling slightly warmer (the wind never stopped!) we of course headed straight to the free prosecco tent and met up with the other girls to celebrate lots of new PBs!!!
And then … of course … it was food time!
Yet again this race proved there is absolutely nothing like running with friends!!!!
(Even if it is chucking it down and blowing a gale ;D) !
NEXT …. Lissy and I will be taking on Amsterdam!