Bupa London 10,000 2015 - race report

28 May 2015, 12:52

This was the 6th time I’ve run the Bupa London 10,000 race, and you’d be forgiven for thinking that there couldn’t possibly be anything left for me to say about it. But you’d be wrong (and I forgive you), because this year, not only did they add in more starting pens, but the route was entirely new! The route still starts and ends along the Mall, but this year, instead of going along the Embankment (which is being torn up for the new cycling superhighway), the Strand was used instead, taking us up into Holborn, out to Bank and around back to Trafalgar Square and Westminster, finishing along St James’s Park, right in front of Buckingham Palace (Course pdf here).

selfie with Liz's House

As you could infer from my running it six times, I love this race. The organisation is brilliant, it’s easy to get to, cheaper than most other central London races at only £28, and the support along the route is just great. I’ve also really enjoyed the standard route, so I wasn’t quite sure how the new one would feel – but honestly, I think I preferred it (as did all of my friends)! Somehow there seemed to be more downhill stretches without any additional uphills (they must’ve just been subtle), and while you still got to see the Elites passing by you on the Strand (like the Embankment in most years), the route was wiggly enough to make it feel more interesting than just an “out and back” course. And my personal favourite – no Leadenhall Market so no cobblestones this year!!

Now, as for my own race experience this year – the upside to running a local race like this is that I can roll out of bed 90min before the starting gun and still get there in plenty of time. In fact, I was still yawning in the starting pen, wondering what exactly my legs were capable of. If you’ve been keeping track, in the previous four weeks I’d raced London marathon (26mi/42km), Run Hackney (13mi/21km), and cycled the Medway sportive (31mi/50km). So my legs weren’t exactly fresh, and I wasn’t entirely convinced I was fully recovered from London marathon, either.

Bupa 10 starting pen view

So I figured I’d run the first 5km of the race all-out and use it as a benchmark for the World Transplant Games road race since the last time I’d raced 5km was my first-ever race in 2007, so having a new time to whittle down over the next few months is useful. So I belted out of the starting gate, pretty much hitting 4min/km along the way, and crossing the 5km timing mat in 21:26, which was wholly respectable, I think.

Then I had a bit of a mental wobble, with the usual “ugh my legs feel heavy”, “wait, what am I doing again?”, and “why do I care exactly?” going through my head for about 30 seconds before I shook it off and told myself the quickest way back was to just push it as hard as I could. I mostly maintain a 4:20min/km pace (or thereabouts) through to Trafalgar Square, and then when I hit Horse Guards Parade (the same final 2km of the London marathon), I cranked my legs up to sprint speed and blew past a ton of people in the last few hundred meters.

Finish photo at the Bupa 10k

In the end, I actually came in a full minute under my previous PB, and no one was more surprised than me! I honestly wasn’t expecting it, especially considering my lack of motivation for the second half, but it goes to show that my legs really can surprise me when I turn my brain off and let them do their thing!

RDC group after Bupa 10k

I met up with a few other Run dem Crew guys and my husband at the finish, and after some lunch, went up to the Viviobarefoot store in Covent Garden where I had a total geek-out session with one of the staff there about biomechanics, form, and flexibility. For like 2 hours! So all in all, a pretty great way to spend a Bank holiday Monday.

Oh, and registrations for 2016 are already open. I’ll definitely be signing up for my 7th time!

Bupa London 10,0000, 25 May 2015, 43:27 (PB)

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