I don’t know what it is about London, but I bloody love running around those streets …. it was the playground of my childhood and always makes me catch my breath looking at the amazing mixture of architecture, shrouded in the winter sunshine. It’s just one of those places that has an eclectic mix of culture, open spaces, history, a great night life, amazing atmosphere and acceptance of all kinds of crazy people from all walks of life … speaking of crazy.. here we all were …. 20,000 crazies gathered together in one place under the watchful eye of Nelson perched high up on his column and those damn scary looking Lions.
The London Winter 10k is my one and only London run this year so the main goal was to suck it all up and enjoy it, savor it because there’s going to be nothing else like it this year and my god what a difference a change in location and a bit of winter sunshine can make!! But 1st we had to get there!! Sunday runs in London means making sure you grab the 1st available train from Milky Beans, praying you can drop your bag off super quick and sneak into a later wave … or…. 🤔 ….. ROAD TRIP!!! 😃
Needless to say, I chose the road trip option and made my chief cheerleader / pit stop director / fellow hero drive while I DJ’d!! Let’s just say “down with the kids” I ain’t! So on with the Radio and off we went bobbing down the M1 and winding our way through the streets of London.
We parked up around the Euston area and hot footed it onto the tubes and before we knew it, there we were, swallowed up by fellow runners all looking stupidly happy to be there. Always top of the agenda is the portaloo challenge but as we had some time to spare we ducked into a nearby coffee shop where we stood for around half an hour in a queue that didn’t budge before deciding that actually “letting it out before letting it in” was probably the way to go. My chief cheerleader / pit stop director / fellow hero took a nosy at the loo queue in the coffee shop but came back shaking his head …. not only was the queue around the coffee shop and out the door but, gasp, that one toilet was being used by both men AND women …..gross!! 😂 so we headed back out and geared ourselves up for the portaloo challenge.
And here we received the shock of our lives!! 20,000 people were running this race, yet the queues were TINY …. how exciting was that!! To add to this excitement each portaloo was awash with toilet roll!! Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine starting a race having, not only been to the loo … but also being able to wipe my wobbly ass on a proper piece of loo roll and not having to drip dry…. absolute heaven!! The anticipation of actually getting in and using this gold plated portaloo was immense and upon stepping into the throne room, the portaloo suddenly lurched off to the left with me holding onto the door squealing in fear that I was about to play dominos with the rest of the portaloos. Needless to say I wee’d really quickly and got the hell out of there …… but it’s still a big tick in the box to the organisers. Toilet roll! Damn! That’ll stay with me forever!
Anyway!! We came here to plod but to plod we must 1st relieve ourselves of our baggage, so off we went to queue up at the bag drop area which, considering we had to collect a wrist band while they attached the component part to our bags, it wasn’t too bad… may be a 20 minute wait all in, before then heading off to find the start line…
The start line was a bit chaotic – I’ve no idea what wave we were eventually in but it mattered not as we inched our way forward and eventually started our little plod around the streets of London. I didn’t have a race strategy today …. plod …. see the sights … soak up the atmosphere …. and I achieved all of that. Even the predicted arrival of my pins and needles at the 5k mark and telling my chief cheerleader / pit stop director / fellow hero to “stick a thumb in it” (my calf that is people!!) didn’t detract from my enjoyment.
The support from the spectators was, as always, amazing …. with the occassional idiot who couldn’t wait for the runners to pass before crossing the road, thrown in for good measure. The penguins, the huskies and the choirs on route were also just brilliant … it was minus 3 when we started the run so I have to take my hat off to all the helpers, all the supporters, the people at the finish line handing out bucket loads of goodies, even the people who manned the water station …. they were all just simply awesome.
When I booked this run, I wanted to use it to get a sub hour 10k PB … it’s a flat course and easily achievable, but the overriding feeling for me on the day was to use it to bring back my running smile….. something else I achieved on the day thanks to my awesomely amazing chief cheerleader / pit stop director / fellow hero who matched me step for step throughout the entire run.
And so as we finished our little plod, collected our bags and headed towards the merchandise tent we decided on a rare “finishers photo” …. the conversation went a bit like this ….
Me: shall we grab a shot?
Him: yeah … go on then ..
Photographer: aww go on … give her a kiss …..
Him: That was my sister ..
Photographer: 😳 …..
Cue copious amounts of laughter as we headed towards the underground station. I’ll be honest with you though … it was a bloody good job we got those photos because the official photos looked a little like this … almost bought them too 🤔😂
What a day … what a fantastic event. If you haven’t done it yet, I would highly recommend it!!
Until next time …