Event Review: Vitality London 10km

Nowadays, marathons and ultra races get all the glory but a 10km race is just as challenging – and can be just as fun as the recent Vitality London 10km proved…

Imagine running through the closed streets of London, past steel bands and cheering supporters, past the Houses of Parliament and right along the Mall before ending right in front of Buckingham Palace. Sound familiar? Yes, the Vitality London 10km takes in all the very best parts of the London Marathon route but without the months and months of training or the agony of having to run 26.2 miles. What’s not to like?

The Vitality 10km takes place over the May Bank Holiday and is part of a weekend of activities, with kids’ races and the Vitality Westminster Mile taking place the day before. The 10km race is actually doubles as the British 10km Championships, which means that as I lined up, I found myself about 100 metres from the elite pen (where one of our GRTW coaches, Tara was – lucky her!) where Mo Farah was getting set to race.

 

This is a BIG event with over 8,000 taking part but it is brilliantly organised with six different pens and a clever filtering system that sees you having to file through some barriers before you actually hit the start line, helping to avoid a mass pile up when the klaxon – and Jessica Ennis Hill – started us off.

A 10km race when running hard is, well, hard. But having the kind of support that you’d usually only ever get at a marathon helps you to pick up your feet and keep pushing, past the two water stations, through the shower to cool everyone down on the run and finally, heading straight for Buckingham Palace and the finish line.

If you’re starting near the back of the pens, it’s a long wait to the start line as I saw people on their first kilometre as I was finishing but it’s such a great atmosphere and a rare opportunity to race through the streets of London in the summer when it’s not freezing cold (except for this year’s London Marathon of course which broke all the records!), I don’t think many people minded.

Mo Farah won this one in 29 minutes and 44 seconds, but just as impressive in our eyes was one of the Girls Run the World coaches’ , Tara Shannahan, who PBed with a time of 37.44 minutes – she’s getting faster with age!

After the race, you can hang around in the park where they even have a yoga space where you can unwind and chill out from the run. I nearly didn’t go to this event but I’m so glad I did; whether you run it seriously in a bid to PB or to just enjoy it for the London scenery, this is a destination race (even if you’re a Londoner) that’s worth doing.

 

For details of next year’s Vitality London 10km visit https://www.vitalitylondon10000.co.uk

 

The Good

Great location, brilliantly organised – with added yoga too!

The Bad

Long wait to start if you’re not in the front pen, but that’s standard with London races

The Ugly

Nothing truly bad to say about this event. It’s fab.

If you are training for a 10km and want to get a PB, check out virtual training mentoring which provides customised training, direct to our training app so it’s right at your fingertips. 

Event Review: London Landmarks Half Marathon

Last weekend Sabiene North, 39, took part in the inaugural London Landmarks Half Marathon, an opportunity to experience the atmosphere and sights of running in London without having to do a full marathon and with added entertainment en-route

 

Picture credit: Joel Ford

 

We travelled from Oxford on the morning of the race just when the clocks went forward so it was an early start but as soon as we got off the bus and started walking towards the race village around the corner from Trafalgar Square, we were so excited.

The atmosphere was fantastic with thousands of runners, most wearing charity running tops or the yellow LLHM event t-shirts that had been sent to us in our race pack.It was a wave start, meaning that runners went off at different times according to their predicted times, and so we jogged in line to warm up as the waves of runners moved forward.

 

I’m a relatively new runner, having lost over six stone since I first started running 18 months ago, and the London Landmarks Half Marathon was only my fourth race. But I was impressed that the start pens didn’t make me feel hemmed in and we didn’t have to queue for ages to start running, although there was entertainment all along the start funnel from cheerleaders to Pearly Kings and Queens to keep you entertained, which turned out to be only a taste of what was to come.

There was entertainment at every turn, from dance acts to brass bands, Samba to choirs although the best support came from the charity volunteer stations. I’ve never experienced such support at a race before, with everyone clapping and cheering. And if that wasn’t enough, there were nine London themed areas to run through, from Harry Potter Party to a Suffragist Pageant and at each mile marker, a snippet of history.

The landmarks the route covered where amazing, which is one of the reasons I signed up to this race; when else would I get the opportunity to run on closed roads past St. Pauls Cathedral, the Bank of England, Monument and the Great Tower of London?  The downside, was this meant the route was quite winding, and double backed on itself. As I turned the corner to run the final stretch, I could see the finish line in sight just outside Downing Street and I gave it a final push to race across the line where I was handed my medal by one of the volunteers who were all dressed in fancy dress as historical figures including Kings and Queens of England. As for the medal itself, it’s now my favourite as it opens like a locket.

Despite stopping for selfies, I managed to get a new PB by 3 seconds – I loved the event, which was well organised, had lots of entertainment and a fantastic atmosphere!

The Event in Brief: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

The Good

  • Fantastic entertainment, landmarks and a great race medal which opens like a locket.

 

The Bad

  • Not enough toilets, as usual with ridiculously long queues

The Ugly

  • The clocks went forward on the day, which meant for a very early start!

Race Bag Haul: Haul or Hoard?

Verdict: Hoard

  • Clear yellow LLHM tie string bag for baggage drop
  • LLHM race T-shirt
  • Fab medal
  • Bottle of water & Lucozade
  • High Protein bar
  • LLMH sweat band with zip

Pre register for next years race 24th March 2019 https://www.llhm.co.uk/pre-register

Words & pictures: Sabiene North