Last year I had a tendency to get invited to run a race, accept then totally forget to actually sign up…
Luckily I’m a little more on the ball about race sign ups, infact perhaps a little overeager given my race schedule next Feb-April! However, at the moment it’s the right level of busy.
I had my first race in the lead up to the New York Marathon last night, the Teach First Run the River 5K (there’s also a 10K option). It was the perfect event for my Mum’s first proper race – she ran parkrun a few weeks ago as practise but this would be her first medal. A Teach First race seemed perfect considering she’s just retired from 20+ years of teaching.
We met next to The Scoop (you might remember this from my Project Awesome days), collected our race t-shirts and handed in our bags. Now, a word to the organisers, why do you still provide cotton race t-shirts that you insist on everyone wearing? It was so humid and cotton was not the right material to be sweating in to.
The 10K runners set off first in two waves, followed by us 5k-ers swiftly behind. I hadn’t gone in to this race wanting a good time, just to watch my Mum run her first race. A good thing too, as this is not a race to get a PB in – there’s no timing seeding for the 5K (completely fine) but the course is quite narrow in parts, it isn’t closed to pedestrians and there are a fair few bottlenecks.
However, what it lacked in pace, the course more than made up for in beauty.
We ran north over Tower Bridge, looped around the Tower of London, along the river and then back over the bridge to More London. The sun was setting over the river and London looked gorgeous. There were a few times that the 10K runners came speeding past us on their way to the finish, I was so impressed and it definitely helped me pick up my own pace. I finished with an 8.45 min mile pace.
The pubs were overflowing with people enjoying post-work drinks who cheered (or jeered) us on. I loved the awesome support at the end as both the 5K and 10K runners finished. After crossing the finish line I collected what can only be described as the best post-race goody bag ever… there were Percy Pigs in there!
I swapped my t-shirt, then headed back to watch my Mum finish and earn her first medal. She looked so happy to be finishing! So proud of her to persevering with running and completing her first race.