If I could only pick one word to sum up this year’s London Winter Run, I would choose ‘wet’. From the moment I woke up the rain was relentless, which isn’t really what you would want for your first race of the year. Nor for your best friend’s first race, ever. I had dreams of glorious sunshine on a crisp winter’s morning, much like last year. The inclement weather unfortunately meant that there were very few people out cheering the runners on which is always a bit of a shame – luckily we kept ourselves amused by talking throughout the entire run, and we took it nice and easy and focussed on enjoying ourselves. I think it’s safe to say that we both had a brilliant time, and certainly appreciated a post-race biskie from Cutter & Squidge.
Human Race events are always superbly organised and I have no complaints with their planning for this race. I experienced the bag drop for the first time, and sailed through within 20 seconds (although this may have been because we were late getting to the race and so the majority of runners had already done their queuing in the rain) before making our way to the start line, pausing briefly for a quick photo to prove that we were in fact still going to run. The starting pen is always a bit annoying, there’s just a little too much waiting around for my liking, although it was much quicker than last year – I suspect this again may be because we were starting later (it seems like it pays to be late to a Human Race event!). Once we crossed the start line we settled into an easy rhythm and soon found a nice gentle pace. It felt like the rain was getting harder by this point and we were both complaining of soggy running shoes. About half way we passed the drinks station and collected a bottle – I drank half of mine and then threw it away as I didn’t want to be carrying it for the rest of the race. Unfortunately when I threw it to the side of the road I lost concentration momentarily and stepped in a giant puddle – not so great for my neon Ultra Boosts, and unfortunately left me with a very heavy running shoe and rather cold toes post-race. The route had changed from last year too and whilst I missed running along the Thames, I certainly appreciated not having to run through the tunnel this time round.
The only negative experience during the race was from a spectator – a boy of about 12 years old with his family was stood on the side of the road and kicked a bottle at a fellow runner who was just in front of us. We were absolutely outraged by this behaviour and wanted to tell the boy off as his parents really didn’t seem concerned at all. We really did feel for the poor lady the bottle hit as she was a lone runner and something like that could so easily break your spirits. She seemed to recover well though and continued at speed without letting it bother her too much.
The KMs seemed to fly past and before we knew it we were approaching the finish line, the finish was again a seamless process. In true race style we held hands and ran the last 100m side by side with our arms in the air. And just as we collected our medals, Sahdya said she couldn’t wait to run this race again next year – much to my delight!