London 10k 2009

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I managed to do a lap of Richmond Park (11.5k) on my wedding day, in just over an hour, which was great! That was the last training I did until I got back from honeymoon (except for a reasonable swim from boat to check out a cave while in Greece). Consequently I was a little underprepared for the 10k a week later! I did a short run on the Monday, and then a longer run to Chiswick Bridge and back (that turned out to be 10k exactly, coincidentally). So I knew I could do it, I just wasn't sure of the time.

One of the other side effects of the wedding was having lots of people to stay. It would be rude and unsociable not to stay and drink with them on their last night in England before heading back to Australia, and so my pre-race preparation seemed to involve more champagne and scotch than might be typical.

I didn't feel too hungover on the day, but drank a fair bit of liquid before I left home, and then a bit more waiting for the start. I got to Green Park tube at around 9am for a 9.30 start, so was able to get pretty close to the start. I didn't realise how much that would help me until I later heard that there were multiple starts. It was a pretty warm day, even at that time, so I was a little worried about my hydration strategy.

In the end the race started at around 9.40am, and I was just seconds behind getting through the start. I hadn't found the chip timers (I hadn't looked to be fair) so I was self-timing this race. I started off making sure I was feeling comfortable in my pace, running hard but hopefully not too hard, and just set off hoping to enjoy the race. With the heat and the hangover, I saw less of London than I hoped to with the course, because I was just concentrating on running well, not bumping into other people. My water stop strategy was to drink a little and then just pour the rest over my head to keep cool. Early on my splits were sub 5min/k, but apart from a couple of absolutely unrealistic splits that my watch gave me when going through a tunnel, later on they were all pretty much 5:15/k. There was a lot of great support on the race, and some of the music was excellent to run to. Finishing the race to Chariots of Fire was very cool!

My pre-race goal was for sub-55min, but during the race I started to hope I might do sub-50. In the end I finished on 51:06, which was pretty good considering, but I know I have the potential to achieve so much more, so looking to go sub 50 next time, and maybe sub 45 in the future!

After the race I had the long walk to collect medal and goodie bag (pretty uninteresting, although I've made use of all the free teas), and a fruitless search to try and find my mobile-less wife, so went home, happy enough but still thoughtful about what might have been.

There are some cool photos of me in front of the Houses of Parliament which at least show I was there, even if so little of the sights in particular were memorable!