Originally published on pickupthepacepaul
The name and the key sponsors may have changed time and time again, but the British 10k is an event I keep going back to. This is the 5th time I have taken part in this event. A couple of highlights with this event are last year, where I paced it for the first time. Not only was this the first time I had paced this event, but also my first published BLOG. Lots of improvements were made to the start last year, and I’m pleased to say that these changes remained in place, so it was far less crowded and much more organised than previous years.
Another highlight at this event was 5 years ago in 2012. The sponsors and organisation has changed significantly, and far improved, but the route remains the same, as far as I can remember. I achieved 37:27 for a PB, and not even tried to get close since. Not only is this my 10k PB, but my 5k PB will be within it somewhere around 18:30 minutes I assume.
Over the years I have slowed, and concentrated on pacing rather than achieving PBs. 45 minutes is a comfortable pace for me, but on the faster side. I ran this pace last year and achieved 44:51, the day after taking part in my first triathlon. This year I did the same again, and arrived a day after taking place in Bananaman.
I arrived nice and early to get ready and relax. It’s a little easier here for me as we met somewhere with a private toilet. This makes the world of difference, and there were some long queues for toilets outside. I met with Carl who was making his pacing debut.
You get to take in some good sights on the way to the start line. Unlike most races around London, this does not start or finish in a park, so it can get congested. There is a fairly long walk from bag drop to get to the start, but I took a leisurely stroll.
On my way I bumped into Sarah from Breatheunity, and it was nice to say hi. I want to make a point about the set up of waves in this event. If you have done this event over the years, like me, you will have bad memories of a disorganised mass start. I used to have to fight to get to the front and it was a nightmare. Now there is none of that, and one thing I thought was great was the piles of bottled water at the start. It was a particularly hot day, and this is something that is usually overlooked, but today there was plenty of water for those waiting to start.
It was finally time to start, and I had a large group around me. I explained my strategy to those around me. It is a hot day, and it can get congested in places, with a few gradual inclines. I explained that I would be aiming for 7:10 (a few seconds faster than the 7:14 pace required). I also explained that I would try to keep it even, but would vary it with the inclines so we can slow slightly going up and enjoy the downward part, which would create a degree of variation. I also explained that I would try to get ahead of pace at the start to allow for the heat and get everyone a 20 second cushion. Everyone around me was happy with the plan, and we were off.
It was a slow start, with many people clearly in the wrong pen. This soon dispursed and we were on track. It was a hot, hard day to run, but we had a solid group. I enjoy this course every time I do it, taking in the sights the city has to offer. It is relatively flat, but a few climbs that feel hard when you are hitting it hard, but these are compensated by the down sections. There are also a few twists and turns that do slow you down.
Each mile and km I gave encouragement to those around me, and we maintained a good 20 seconds cushion throughout. As we approached 9k we had just under 5 minutes to the end, so I was tempted to slow slightly to pick people up and come in time. Instead I held the pace, we were going too quick to take a risk, and if the finish was further out I didn’t want people to have to speed up, so I kept the pace strong and carried everyone over the line in 44:40.
Many ran ahead, and plenty came in just behind me, all achieving their sub 45 as planned.
Nice medal at the finish, very different to normal, but keeping the same theme as the Hackney Half.
On the way back I bumped into Micheal and walked part way back with him. He had a cracking run in this heat. I then numbed into Karen, who also had a fantastic race but looked as hot as I felt.
Another successful race, and another successful event paced. This was the 34th event I have paced, and I loved it. If you want to read more reviews about the British 10k check out racecheck. I’m off to the cinema now, if you want to know more about why I get free cinema check out fitnessrewards.