It has been a long time since I’ve taken part in a RunThrough race, the combination of a global pandemic and changing roles at work mean it was too challenging to carve the time out. With normality returning and work settling down, it was time to get some events on the calendar, I was incredibly grateful that the team at Lucky Saint reached out and offered me a race entry for the RunThrough Battersea Park 10km.
Why did I choose Battersea Park? Two reasons really, the first being it is a very flat course so there is the opportunity to hit it with some consistent pace, and the second being it is four laps for the 10km which tests the resilience and mental strength. Which is something I am focusing on this year, pushing those resilience runs to make my mind robust for the times I need it.
It was a late start time of 7 pm, being one of the ‘Chase The Moon’ series there was absolutely zero natural light, we would be reliant on the streetlights around the park. As we walked into the park, the nerves kicked in, I have run into a lamppost before and funny enough it was at a RunThrough ‘Chase The Moon’ event, and it was both painful and embarrassing. Thankfully I had George there to keep me in check, she was doing the 5km and I had opted for the 10km in the hope the keep my urge to race at bay.
We picked up our numbers, got race ready and in our kit and the cold well and truly hit. It was brutally cold, the wind chill wasn’t fun in the slightest. I’d brought a jacket and gloves, but decided to leave them off as I could feel the urge to get pacey kicking in, not that I told George at that point. We said our goodbyes as George headed off for a warm-up, and I headed to my start…she is far more sensible than me and a much better runner. I still have that mental block with warming up, I need to get through it this year and be sensible too.
They call people to the start funnel in time order, and I was genuinely surprised by the number of runners that went chasing sub 36 minutes, absolutely amazing running. I decided to head with the sub 48 runners, I cope a lot better mentally when I have people to run with, or chase after. There was still a 50/50 split on if I would race or run, and that stuck with me for the first lap. I went out at 7:05/mi pace at it felts great, the course has some great corners where you can push out of them, it is a wide course so you don’t have any trouble getting around people.
It was running past the bandstand on that first lap when it clicked, the mental calculations started and I decided that I could hold that pace for another four laps, it was time to settle in and get it done. The calculations then changed to what my finish time would be if I did that, I love working out calculations when running it takes my mind off the struggle and is a nice distraction. As lap two came to a close and I looked at my pace, I’d got quicker and it didn’t feel harder…could I negative split? Something I’m not very good at. Lap three finished at 6:50/mi pace and I knew I could bring it home, time to push for the finish. I felt so strong, capable and determined to stay focused! I approached the finishing straight and pushed a little harder for the line, to be greeted with the sight of a dog walker crossing the course in front of me with her greyhound, who proceeded to hunker down for a poo in the middle of the course. Which caused my finish photo to look like this…
I crossed the line at 43:11 and despite the dog walker, I was incredibly happy with the time, the way I ran the race and my mindset throughout. Especially considering this was in the middle of a run streak! You can check out my Strava stats here. I adore RunThrough and the events they have and continue to put on, the support they offer the community and the friends I have gained over the years from attending such events. One who has become a great family friend is Mike who did brilliantly on his race running the whole course. Bloody brilliant work.
RunThrough Battersea Park 10km you were marvellous, now to look forward and get some more races in the calendar, what races do you have booked? Let me know in the comments…