The British 10k has always been one of the big events in the London race calendar. You get to run around the city on traffic-free streets, you’re cheered on by thousands of excited supporters and, as races go, you’re in one hell of a location to celebrate afterwards. Apart from the London Marathon, The London 10,000 (also now a Vitality event) and more recently the Winter Run, there aren’t many events that can boast anything even close.
The British 10k, much like the London Marathon, is a race designed to include as many people as possible. And not just in a money-making way. Like most of the Vitality events there’s a clear effort to tick all the boxes. On one side of the field there are hundreds are extremely fast runners, the kind of PB-hounds that are getting close to 30-minutes. On the other side are runners that are there for the experience. They want to turn up to an event, like the London Marathon, where there’s an atmosphere (yeah sure, some of the fast ones may want that as well). They want to be part of something big and special. The British 10k pretty much delivers on both counts. Providing you get in the right wave.
The course itself lends itself to both. The route is relatively flat and well-marked out. Assuming you’re one of the fast ones and you’re quite far ahead it’s a pretty good route for speed, bar the odd hairpin. For everyone else it has enough landmarks as well as well placed spectators areas to produce a pretty damn enjoyable 10k. The three water stations are well positioned (although if it was a hotter they could probably have done with a couple more) and there are a few water sprinklers on the way round.
The organisation, as always with Vitality, was spot on. Which is exactly you’d expect from a race that’s been going this long and an events company who spend the majority of the year setting them up. The baggage drop-off was well-managed and not too far from the start, and there were a fair few toilets, although the last ones at Green Park got pretty popular before the race. But that’s toilets hey, we’ll probably never stop moaning about them.
The only thing we did have an issue with, especially with a race this size, actually has nothing to do with the event planning itself. We see it every year at the British 10k and it’s an absolute killer for the faster runners: people starting in far too early waves. We started off at the 45-minute pacer mark and by 1k we were already hitting groups of people either walking or running very slowly. Some were happily chatting as we banked left and right trying to get past. Sure, we know it’s meant to be fun, but some people have trained hard. If you don’t know what time you’re likely to get then opt for a later wave. Cheers people.
Aside from our slight moaning it was a great event. Well planned, perfect weather (we like a tiny bit of rain), a t-shirt, a hell of a nice medal, and some great support from the crowds.
For more information on the Vitality British 10k, to find the results or to pre-register for next year’s event, the website is just here.
Picture Credits: Vitality, Suzanne Plunkett 2016©, Anthony Upton 2016©,