Owning the night

Hooray, I made it! Yesterday I ran my first 10k.

A small back story- yes yes, in 2007 I ran in the London marathon and did a half too in my training, but I didn’t know how to push myself properly and walked loads, so the race yesterday marked the longest I’d run in one go. So there you go!

I made a bit of a boo boo by going out on Friday for some beers at the bavarian beer house. And those steins are blooming huge, so two of them equaled 4 pints (plus I had an awesome shot that involved putting a sachet of sherbet in your mouth, adding vodka and shaking. I’m really not usually a shot drinker but this was delicious!).

So consequently I woke up on Saturday feeling a tiny bit jaded! Happily the 10k in question was an evening run, so after a pie in Debenhams restaurant and an afternoon snooze I felt pretty on top of things again.  The race was a nike-organised affair, ‘we own the night’. A women only race, which is held in a few different cities around Europe. The entrance fee wasnt cheap- just shy of £30 but for that, you got a technical tshirt and tote bag and a pretty cool post-race medal

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The start line was about 20 minutes from the nearest station, so we traipsed over, along with thousands of others, and actually timed it perfectly for the obligatory 15 minutes queue for the portaloos, leaving kit bag with Paul, the supportive boyfriend, in stark comparison to Mark who decided (somewhat sensibly) to stay at home, out of the drizzle, and to line up in the start pens. I put myself in the penultimate pen, for people running in about an hour and 10 minutes, which meant a fair bit of standing while the earlier pens got going.  It was a two lap course, so in a bad bit of timing, the first wave were starting the second lap as us slower souls were starting the first, which must have been a bit annoying for the fast people, as there were LOADS of us- I felt like the crowd didn’t thin out until the 4th km!

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Anyway, that was really the only negative, and didn’t really affect me-apart from that it was awesome! A fantastic atmosphere- it was held in Victoria Park, which has quites a few pubs around the outside, so in spite of the rubbish weather there were quite a few tiddly people standing outside cheering, plus music on the course- steel band, brass band, a dj, plus these really cool light tunnels which you ran through with flashy lights, music, smoke machines and the like. I had one bum kilometre, just after the brass band at k 3- they were playing the kinks and I got all excited, really sped up in glee and got a massive stitch, but apart from that had a lovely time enjoying the atmosphere, and felt like I flew round the second lap!

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After the finish line were GOODIE BAGS!  I am such a massive fan of free stuff that I generally don’t care if it’s utter rubbish.  This had popcorn- goood, coffee coconut water- grim, lemonade coconut water- not dared to try, several sachets of showers gel and moisturiser and stuff, a voucher for a glass of bubbly (a nice touch but the queue for the bar was massive and it was cold and we were knackered so reluctantly decided to skip it) and a finishers medal, except in this case, it wasn’t a medal, but a very cool necklace, with tiny rose, silver and gold disks with the race details on, in a liberty print gift box-easily the swankiest medal ever!

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Thanks to a good old timing chip, finishing times were available pretty much immediately, and although I had a rough idea how I’d done, thanks to endomondo on my phone and the fact that I’d overtaken the hour and 10 pacer, but was still extremely chuffed to get my official time of 1.08.19 – a shade better than what I’d gone for, and very pleasing for a first go!

Then it was train home, a late night cup of tea and bowl of coco pops (although by 11 o clock, I really didn’t want to eat anything) and was asleep almost  before I got in bed! Will definitely be signing up for this race again next year

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