The BUPA London 10K 2013 – My First Anniversary Race…

Okay, so here we are, one year on from my first ever race, the race that started it all, the BUPA London 10K.

A calendar year ago I had no idea what to expect. I had never raced before, I didn’t know what a bib was, a race pack, timing chip, I didn’t know there was gun time and chip time. I had never experienced thousands clapping as you ran by, but I had become infuriated by people just stopping in front of me – such is the hazard of living in large metropolitan cities only.

When I ran the race last year, I got the bug. I loved it, and have run many a time since, in 5 countries and counting, on the way to the full Mary in Berlin in September. I loved everything about it and, when I met my god daughter, then had to prise my bling from her little hand, I was proud for the first time in a long time.

This year I had no support team as everyone was away for the Bank Holiday.  I was also going through a bit of a dip in my health and had injured my right thigh before the Shakespeare Half at Stratford Upon Avon a month ago. Also, stupidly, I had run a hard 6K on Saturday and a recovery light 3 on Sunday. So my quads and I was not on speaking terms, they just screamed at me. I also walked there, and back from my new apartment, also shown on the map. So how did I fare?

The Route

The route was pretty much the same as last year, although I seem to remember there was a lap across Westminster Bridge and back again, although that could have been at the British 10K in July. We started outside Buckingham Palace (that adorned last years bling), under Admiralty Arch (that adorned this years bling) down to Embankment and along as far as Blackfriars Bridge. Past the loonies in the Scientology complex (mother ship in there and brainwashing asunder), all the way to Leadenhall Market (cobblestones and my first post graduate employer), down onto Fenchurch Street to… well, 4 blocks from my house (I could have stopped in for a half time cup of tea), and then back again.

My Outfit

This race actually means something to me. It is my favourite. It is in my hometown, and I couldn’t imagine what I would feel if something happened in it. So, to show solidarity to my running brothers and sisters the world over, I wore this.

So to my Race

I actually felt okay. And this is probably either testament to my fitness levels a year later, or the fact that I now race more Half Marathons than 10s, but a 10 seemed ok. I did walk a couple of times, but it was hot and under that non-breathable, non-cooling non-tech Run Boston tee, and under that was a black underarmour tee. So I was sweating on the way, let alone the during the race.

I walked at 4KM, after the water and leading to Leadenhall Market from Lombard Street (by the wonderful Paul A Young chocolatier, and Ladauree macarons). I also walked a little before returning to the Embankment for the way back, but I was ok with that.

I had started spritely. In fact the first 1KM was just over 4 minutes, and I kept going for the next 3 until I overheated.

Of course, my nemesis had already gone by.

Domo arigato, Mr Motoboto

Last year Mo Farah won the BUPA London 10K with a quite good 29:21 while I strolled in at 1:07:46. A bit of a gap, you may think, but this year my predatory instincts were there, my target on Mo. This year he won in 29:13, 8 seconds faster! and me…. Well, Mr Farah, have one eye over your shoulder, I finished in 57:33, over 10 minutes faster. Hoorah! A Personal Best if you forget the SHAT! that was the TeachFirst 10K (or 9.6K as I like to think of it).

But back to reality

This is actually the best race I have run. I raced in New Orleans, in Charlotte around a NASCAR track, through the streets of Paris, along the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, and over the canals of Amsterdam. I do love the Royal Parks Half, but there is something special about the effort BUPA put into their races. This is my third and will not be my last. The organisation, the thought, the race packs, the booklet, the goodie bag, the bling, and the crowds, and the venue, all brilliant. It has everything you could want in a race. There was even a guy running a full suit of armour. I couldn’t recommend it more highly – the race that is, not running in a full suit of armour in Spring heat.

Be Part of it in 2014

The Bling

And of course there is the bling. Now, before we talk about the bling, I want to talk to you about my race calendar, or my race year. My race year is not from January to December. It is from BUPA London 10K to BUPA London 10K. It is the start of my year as it was the start of it all. And hence, the start of a new medal rack.

After all, last year’s is full.

15 Gongs – 7 halves and 8 tens

So to this year’s rack (and thanks Jules for this. All it needed to be was Barbie Pink).

And the bling itself was (thankfully!) not the same as last time out. Thanks, BUPA.


So to the obvious question I always try to answer after every race

Would I run the BUPA London 10K again? Of course I would. Try and Stop me!

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