Date/Time: Sunday 13th July / 09:35
Location: Central London
Distance: 10 km chip-timed race
Now the British 10km is a pretty amazing route if you want to see some of the iconic landmarks of London but if like me you have spent many a weekend taking full advantage of being able to run throughout the city paying £50 for the pleasure does seem a little steep.
HOWEVER, me and a few of my buddies were lucky enough to win a place in the Tiger Balm #BorntoRun team. Only finding out a few days before I wasn’t sure what to expect but there were rumours of full tiger suits…I was a little excited! Ha!
Arriving at Whitehall we were greeted by the awesome Tiger Balm Team. I cannot say thanks enough to these guys they were brilliant! Super friendly, helpful and all appeared to be genuinely pleased to have us there! We quickly got given our race number and of course our FLUFFY tiger suits!
So, these suits were definitely were not made of the technical racing fabric we were all used to ;). Almost instantly you could feel the heat rising but we decided to play along, with our Run Dem tops underneath, we would wear the suits for at least the first 3 miles. So, after a few photos with Born Free Ambassador Michaela Strachan, who was lovely by the way, we wandered to the start line!
It had to be said that walking to the start line felt like doing a 10km distance, it just seemed to go on forever?! The only thing that distracted us was the amount of attention our suits were giving us, it appeared that everyone loves a tiger. Everyone was in high spirits but all looked a little baffled about how far we were walking!
Once at the start (35 mins before we needed to be there) we got a few more quality photos in!
And worked out de- tiger suit strategy … seriously these suits had no ventilation … whatsoever!
Once the race finally kicked off we soon realised we actually needed to loop round … we were still quite a good distance away from the start!?! But when we finally got running (starting off past The Ritz) the amount of tiger calls and shouts of support we received was AWESOME! Now I have freely admitted before that as a runner I thrive off crowd support and this was brilliant, 6 tigers running together definitely got people’s attention. By mile 1 however the hoods came off and the temperature was rising, quickly!!!
Coming down along Victoria Embankment it was great to see so many people out to support the race. The crowds were seriously noisy spurring us all on with various banners and instruments which definitely kept us all going and the tiger love never seemed to stop.
However, going into the tunnel just before mile 4 things started to get a little tougher. Firstly it’s always disheartening when a race route loops back on itself as you see what’s waiting for you, an incline, and then secondly this was a tunnel. Imagine 1000s of hot runners, no air and oh and you are wearing a fluffy all in one tiger suit…
Even though there was just a tiny breeze when we came out the otherside it was ridiculously appreciated!!!
By mile 4 the boys had sped off and Harry and I pushed on still in the suits to try and finish in a reasonable time enjoying a different type of race. The crowds were still going strong and by this point I had committed to finishing in my suit … sprint finish with my hood up!
Coming up to the finish we passed Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey. Our sprint finish took us past Downing Street and the Cenotaph and yes I zipped my suit up hood and powered all the way to the end! Now no PB for me but a solid race and once again a fun one with friends. Once past the line cheery volunteers handed out water and we headed over to the special Tiger Balm tent to collect our bags & “race goodies”.
Now this is where things got interesting. Your medals were at the bag drop and if I’m going to be honest the bag drop was a shambles! Supposedly the bags had been placed in some sort of order however, the girls behind the barriers looked completely overwhelmed and well, it was painful to say the least! After playing what seemed like a crystal maze game, to the left, back a bit, no a little right, down, down there, back, back back … etc we finally found our bags and then your medal was handed to you with some GB coloured laces…mmmm.
Now it was an absolute pleasure to run for Tiger Balm and support the BorntoRun campaign! I cannot say thank you enough to the team for looking after us but the British 10km itself. The support along the route was fantastic, the runners were a good bunch and the sights along the route pretty wonderful. BUT for someone who loves running around London and is lucky enough to do this for free most weekends I think £50 is an awful lot for a 10km race … an awful lot!
BUT the post race celebrations after were pretty awesome ;D