Race report: British 10k 2014

There are few races I’ve enjoyed less than the British 10k 2013. I was lucky to have my place paid for by my employer at the time, and I ran for my industry charity, GroceryAid. However, the race itself was pretty terrible – it started off badly by taking over 45 minutes to get across the start line on one of the hottest days of last summer, and didn’t get much better from there.

I then went onto run the Color Run in the same afternoon, which is probably the only race I’ve ever enjoyed less than the British 10k. Now that really was AWFUL. So hot, so much waiting around, so boring, so crappy to run around Wembley. I haven’t been back to North West London since. Just eurgh.

So after all of that, you’d probably wonder why on earth I would even bother showing up to this year’s British 10k? Well firstly, I was lucky (again) to win a place with Tiger Balm to run as part of their #BorntoRun team. I’ll get the race fee thing out of the way straight away. No 10k should cost £50. It’s just ludicrous. I would not have run this race either last year or this if I had to pay for it.

And despite getting the race place for free, I still found myself no more impressed with the race this year than I did in 2013.

Tiger Balm were excellent. I got the place only a few days prior to race day, their communication was spot on and the pre race meet up – despite being early – was friendly, organised and really good fun. They asked us to wear onesies for the photocall, with the option of wearing them for the race. We were given a tshirt too, but I thought it would be fun to go with the onesie.

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This obviously made me really, really hot. But this wasn’t what I disliked about this race – I still wasn’t as hot as I was running it last year. I disliked the long walk to the start from the bag drop, the long wait before we got started (although admittedly not anywhere near as long as last year) and the fact that there wasn’t start pens by finishing time – which meant a painful mixture of weaving around walkers and being elbowed by faster runners. That was the worst. I’ve never felt so jostled, nudged and just generally harassed as I have in this race. It really started to stress me out by the second half and I ran the final 3k with panic rising in my chest.

The long walk to the start…

After the horrible bit right near the end where you reach Parliament Square, but then get shot off towards Victoria for an out and back loop along Victoria Street (my least favourite part of the whole route – and you run through the Blackfriars underpass – twice), I was really glad to have finished.

The we all got held from entering Whitehall Place, the location of the bag drop. The crowds mounted up quickly as more and more people crossed the finish line. It all got a bit ridiculous.

It then transpired that everyone was queing for the Help for Heroes tent, regardless of whether they had run for them or not and it was blocking the whole road. It took almost half an hour for someone to come and sort this out. By the time I made it to my bag and to Charlie, Harry, Jonny and Seb, I was so on the edge of panic from being hot, tired and packed in a crowd for the past hour and a half, that I did a little cry. I thought I was past the point of crying at 10k’s… so thanks for that British 10k. Oh, and one more thing – I still have no idea what my time was because when I put my race number into the website, someone else’s result comes up. Not that it matters, but you’re supposed to be able to find it out.

Thankfully, my day drastically improved post race thanks to my awesome ambush of tigers, as the five of us headed to Le Pain at the Southbank Centre for fizz, granola, coffee and a whole load of bread. Love Le Pain.

Then me and Charlie shared a peanut buttery cake of amazingness from Outsider Tart‘s stall at the food market, accompanied by a coffee whilst soaking up the sun.

I gave the British 10k a second chance, but I don’t think I’ll be giving it a third…

 

13 Comments

  1. July 14, 2014 / 7:53 am

    I think pain showed on my face when I read that there were no start pens by time…

    • July 14, 2014 / 6:28 pm

      It was a proper free for all! So much barging :'(

  2. July 14, 2014 / 9:29 am

    £50 for a 10k?! I thought £47 was a lot for the Great North Run and that’s twice as far! The half marathon I’m running this September cost me £6!
    I do love your outfits though. 😀

    • July 14, 2014 / 6:27 pm

      It’s so much isn’t it! I think I’m going to save fancy dress for winter next time!

  3. July 14, 2014 / 10:09 am

    This sounds hideous. £50 for a 10k is a joke, I wouldn’t pay that for a half. I ran the Badger half yesterday which was £25 on the day entry and an altogether more serene experience! Love the tiger onesies!

    • July 14, 2014 / 6:27 pm

      The marathon I’ve entered for next year was only a couple of quid more too! The onesie (and the food!) made up for the shit race, thankfully!

  4. July 14, 2014 / 12:59 pm

    Oh that sounds awful! An hour and a half wait at the end?! I’m not surprised you cried. On the plus side, you all looked awesome in your tiger suits 😀 X

    • July 14, 2014 / 6:26 pm

      The tiger suits at the beginning were super fun! And it’s going to be perfect for hangover days! 😉

  5. July 14, 2014 / 3:31 pm

    If you’re still looking for your time, you can get it from http://www.tdl.ltd.uk/scan-results.php?event=B10K14&competitor=xxxxx

    [Replace xxxxx with your 4 or 5 digit race number]

    In the picture of the three of you walking towards St James’s, I’m pretty sure I’m the guy to the left of the picture in the distance in the white cap 🙂

    Agree with all you’ve said about race organisation. All I can say is that other races aren’t like this. Please, people, go for the better-organised races such as the Bupa London 10,000. Reading through comments made about the British 10k in previous years, it doesn’t look like the organisers are that motivated to improve things. When people are continuing to pay £50 a ticket, why should they?

    • July 14, 2014 / 6:25 pm

      I had high hopes now that the ‘Vitality’ branding is slapped all over the race, they’re involved with Brighton half too which is one of my favourite races. Seems like nothing is going to change with the British 10k though!

      Thanks a lot for the link… managed a few seconds shy of 65 mins, not my strongest performance! But I was covered in fleece!

  6. Benjamin Goddard (@bpg91)
    July 14, 2014 / 3:46 pm

    I agree 100%

    The organisation of this event was aweful without even thinking about the congestion! This was only my second 10k but if it was my first I think it would have put me off for life! Luckily a ran the bupa 10000 last month which was really fun!

    I did set a pb but only through pure determination and a fair few mini sprints to get around the traffic.

    The only other plus from the event was discovering your blog via Instagram 😉 it’s a great read!

    • July 14, 2014 / 6:23 pm

      Oh THANK YOU – that last bit made my day!

      I’ve heard really good things about the Bupa 10,000 but I’ve never been able to it. I’ve bought a place for next year already.

      I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who thought the race was ropey yesterday 🙂

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