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Vitality London 10,000 - run report

SHAEF Shifters Running Club
After many months of generally doing very little (to no) running for one reason or another my run interest was suddenly sparked by an email from parkrun offering out £10 places for the Vitality 10000. I reasoned that at the super-cheap price it really didn’t matter too much if I turned up or not! And even without any consistency in running and limited fitness I was hopeful I could always just rock up and run 10K without too much strain.
When the race numbers arrived I forgot that I’d clearly been quite optimistic about my finishing time when I entered. It wasn’t that I didn’t think I could run that time, it was more did I actually want to, given what had been a very difficult previous few months.
The day before the race I got a message from Eirwen (who was also running) to say that she was going to drop down a wave or two (or three) and run with Louise who had made a late entry into the charity Ukrainian wave - and did I want to join them? For about five minutes part of me was torn – did I actually want to see what I could do in the 10k or did I just want to go along and have a fun time with no pressure. The fun won the day (without much convincing!) and I opted to go along and just have a good time.
The beauty of doing a run with other people is that often they just tell you where to be and what time on the morning of the race. I was given the very civilised time of meeting on the train at 8am. So this meant plenty of time for breakfast and coffee beforehand.
I’d originally considered getting the train to Vauxhall and then running to the race village in Green Park. In the end we got the tube to Green Park from Vauxhall but the run would’ve been totally doable and a very realistic warm up.
The train gave us time to get embellished with the Ukrainian flags that Eirwen had brought along in support of our wave.
As with many of these large races the organisers like to get participants to the race village VERY early. This was no different and we were there way before we needed to be. However given the size of the toilet queues this was no bad thing. As always not enough loos and by the time we used them they were definitely worse for wear. Shudder. Fortunately, ever prepared with essential race provisions, I took my own hand sanitiser as any in the loos had become a distant memory.
Bag drop was straight forward - especially for me because I should’ve been in a much earlier wave so absolutely no queue by the time I got there! For others there seemed to be a longer wait but nothing too horrific.
From there it was straight towards the start line. It was crowded and even some push chairs! I didn’t see any dogs but wouldn’t have been surprised if there were some! The atmosphere was very jolly and everyone was there to have a good time.
To be honest I’d only really had a cursory glance at the route beforehand. I’m not really an over-planner. I knew it headed east towards the city and was more or less an out and back route (with a couple of small loops) but that was kind of it.
So here’s the map for those that would like more detail…
Eirwen and I had decided to run together and just go out and enjoy it. We chatted the entire way around so I’m fairly sure I missed most of the sights! It was very busy and there was lots of weaving around people – especially by that time as many had stopped to walk. But that didn’t deter from the enjoyment and as our race photos can testify we looked in conversation at each stage! Negative split too by the looks of the Strava stats.
Post race bag collection was organised, quick and easy. 
While the rest of the crew went off to get some lunch in town I headed back with a very peaceful walk back to Vauxhall station. It was an entirely positive experience and I’d definitely go back.
Post race I wrote a little Instagram post here…
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SHAEF Shifters Running Club
SHAEF Shifters Running Club @shaef_shifters

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