With only seven days left until the London Marathon we decided to ignore any advice we’d been given and signed up to take part in a 10k at Hyde park. Probably not the best idea we’ve ever had but it was only 10k, it’s pretty much a taper run right? RIGHT?
It’s the third race organised by Energized Sports that we’ve ran this year and we’re quickly becoming their biggest fans. The first couple were half marathons in Kingston and Putney. Both were well organised races that took runners past the Thames and through some of South West London’s picturesque areas. This was a two lap course running through the centre of Hyde park, one of our favourite training spots.
The Energized Sports races are popular, they get some pretty impressive runners taking part clocking up some fast times. They’re not too popular though, which is good as it means, unlike some of the larger scale races in the capital, they’re not massively over subscribed. Normally a few hundred runners take part in the races with people ranging from first-timers to all out athletes.
If you’ve never been to Hyde Park, it’s really nice – which is probably what you’d expect from a park just down the road from Buckingham Palace. There are trees, flowers, a massive man-made lake and various restaurants and coffee shops dotted about. It’s a very enjoyable place for a run, trust us. It’s also pretty easy to get to from anywhere in London.
But enough about the location, you want to hear about the race.
Beginning at the Hyde Park tube station, the 5k route weaved across the park via various paths before looping back towards The Serpentine and onwards to the finish. On any normal day it would be a fairly flat easy route, however based on the fact we may have been overdoing it a bit recently it was actually a fair old struggle – which is upsetting as we were aiming for a sub 40 on this one after a few good weeks of running.
For the first couple of kilometres we kept a pretty good pace, however by the time we hit the 4k mark we were in a fair bit of pain. Presumably as a result of one too many squat sessions in the previous week our calves began to ache more than normal. Our enjoyable Sunday “taper race” wasn’t looking too positive.
By the time we hit the second lap things started to look up, the aches started to disappear slightly and we managed to pick up the pace to the point where we managed, what in our head was, the kind of sprint finish reserved for sporting films from the 1980s. Based on photographic evidence this may not have been the case.
With a 42.45 finish we were happy enough. Not the sub 40 we wanted but not the end of the world. With the London Marathon looming over us we probably have bigger things to worry about.
Like the other Energized Sports races we’d done, this was an excellent example just how good they are at pulling together these mid-sized events. The registration and baggage drop were ran efficiently, the after race goody bag meant we didn’t need lunch and the events team and marshals were always happy, smiley and cheerful. The races aren’t too expensive in comparison to many of the others around these days with unaffiliated places costing between £18 and £24.
For future Energized Sports events click here.
Picture credits: Emma Lax, Lunges & Lycra