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Thames Valley 10K at Dorney Lake Race Recap

Apr 19, 2021 | Race Recaps, Running | 0 comments

Thames Valley 10K at Dorney Lake Race Recap

Thames Valley 10K at Dorney Lake Race Recap

I don’t even know if I remember how to write a race report. It has been that long since I last lined up at the start of one. On Saturday I ran the F3 Thames Valley 10K at Dorney Lake with my friend Tam, after 14 months without a finish line.

We met up with our friend Ellie (who is 10 week postpartum) for a pre-race walk around Dorney with a coffee

As well as a 10k, there were duathlons, a 5K, half marathon and 15K going on with rolling starts throughout the day. We watched the cyclists finish their last few laps before heading out on the run.

Our run had a start time between 11.30 and 11.45, so after collecting our bibs in the car park, using the loo – I have not missed the portaloo situations at these races – lets just say…my disposable mask came in handy 😉 – we got into the queue to start.

Covid Safety Protocols

  • Individual rolling starts
  • Health waivers signed day before race day
  • help-yourself water and medals
  • lots of hand sanitiser
  • no spectators (Dorney lake was closed to everyone but participants)
  • no bag drop (we stashed our coats in the car park!)
The race was two laps of Dorney lake with a water stop at the halfway, so almost pancake flat!

I had no plans to actually race, only to do my long run in a fun environment, and luckily Tam was on the same page. We started out with no pace plans although both agreed that finishing in under 1 hour would be nice. Main goal for the day though – having fun and chatting while we ran. Our first mile was around 9.15 and actually we got progressively quicker, with our final 3 miles clocking in a sub 9 min miles. Not anywhere near where I was 14 months ago and with a long way to go but it feels reassuring to know I’m not in this alone.

Whilst there were many people running FAST on Saturday (and overtaking us!) I know I am not the only one who has lost a lot of fitness and speed during the pandemic. Whilst instagram might be showing those who are smashing it and earning PBs there are just as many of us that have a long way to go. I also can’t help but look at the race photos and see that I’m not in the shape I was in last time I was racing but I’m really trying to focus on the progress I have made already in 2021!

Dorney Lake Race Recap
We finished in 56.41

And that was probably a bit more effort than it should be for a long run right now. But I’m pleased with the overall results for the day. I’m excited to be back and part of the in-person running community again – I loved chatting with the volunteers, race organisers and other runners post-race.

Dorney 10K race

We finished off our morning with a 2 mile cool down run back to our cars that we’d left at the garden centre. I was glad to have that reason to round out my 8 miles for the day otherwise I think I would have been tempted to bail on the extra miles!

To see what other races I’ve got on my calendar here. 

racing experience during covid-19
Thames Valley 10K at Dorney Lake Race Recap

Race Day FAQ:

Packet pickup – in the carpark pre race with a socially distanced queue. No bibs were posted out ahead of time.

Bag drop – no bag drop due to Covid regulations (we stashed our coats in the carpark!)

Aid Stations – there were water stations every 3ish miles with cups of water and Gatorade, plus Clif gels around mile 10.

Loos/Bathrooms – porta loos in the car park at the start. The loos in the Rowing Centre were sadly closed.

Cut off time – I don’t think there was a cut off time!

How much is entry? The 10K was £25 entry, photos were about £5 each (personally I think this is great value for the pics!)

Post-Race – the venue café will be open for takeaways for those that wanted a snack or drink. The Crocus Garden Centre just down the road has a lovely coffee shop for food and drinks.


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