Friday, 15 July 2011

British 10K

Having specifically asked the orthopaedic surgeon whether I could safely train/exercise and not been told it was a bad idea, I decided to run the British 10K last weekend.

Having not run at all for a month (the last run was 4 weeks earlier and only 5km) and done naff all running at all in the last 4 months, it was always a bit of a stretch to consider even finishing a 10km run in any reasonable time (or, if you're being sensible about it, to go that far one one go).  But I'm nothing if not bloody-minded and pretty fed up about not being able to compete in sports events properly/at all at the moment.

It was an earlyish start and the tubes were quiet.  A good bowl of porridge in our bellies, we made our way in to town for the run.  There were a few runners on the tube, but nothing that gave any idea of the scale of this event even slightly.  It was only really apparent when we were lined up, queueing up the road to cross the start line.  We weren't all that far from the front and turning around to look behind us, the number behind us was phenomenal.  Around 25,000 people ran the British 10K - I say "ran", there were an awful lot of walkers.  People who walked from start to finish and never had intended to run (it's called the "British 10K run", the clue is in the title!), people who were just doing it for charity and that's where I went wrong.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for people raising money for charity.  But I think it absolutely ruins a lot of sport events; the London marathon is two events now, the elite runners and then people who raise money for charity by titting about in a banana costume.  It's not a sport event for anyone who isn't an elite because it's so hard to get a place without raising money for charity.  And, to be honest, I think that really really sucks.  Yes, there are people who are trying really hard, for them.  And there are people who simply can't run 10km.  But it's just frustrating for people who actually just want to enter a 10km running race and not be made to feel guilty for not raising money for charity.  Seriously, if I had to raise money for every race I entered I'd only be able to enter one per year because, you know what, people get charity fatigue and you can't just keep asking for sponsorship all of the time.  It's a sad state of affairs that a large proportion of the population equates "normal" people doing sporting events with raising money for charity and that there's no other reason you'd be doing it.  Oh I'm not sure where I'm going with this, it's just frustrating.

Anyway.  Race started, we ran.  We ran around everyone who was walking, and by god there were a -lot- of those all through the race.  I needed a wee from about 20 minutes before the start (yes there were loos but we were "kettled" for over 40 minutes before the start and I needed to go again) so spent a lot of time considering exactly how endurance runners deal with this sort of thing until the 4.5km mark where there were loos - yay!  I stopped my watch while I queued and weed and started it up again when I was done.  And it was rather warm.  I don't deal with warm very well.  Felt a lot better after the comfort break, but not long after that (around 7km) my knee decided to say something.  And it got noisier and noisier, but there was no point in not finishing, so I did.  57:something on the watch.  And then we went to find food and instant ice-packs.  And accidentally had awful burger and chips and beer...

...followed by a total fail when we got home when we ended up having takeaway pizza.  *sigh*

OK, so I managed to finish a 10km run, but I'm not feeling enthusiasm or a sense of achievement.  Mostly because my knee is still in indeterminate state, but that aside, the time was cack and the official time awful due to the pee stop (01:04!  Yes, the loo queue was looooong!).  How can that be something to even be OK about, never mind proud?


  1. I share your views on 'events' like this and Larnden. I know this 'race' seems to get absolutely slated on Runners World every year for bad organisation, walkers walking several abreast even at the front and an absolute tool for a race director!

  2. Good to know it's not just me. I feel 'bad' making this sort of post, but honest to Betsy, I'm sick of the population thinking that sport is for two purposes; the elites/entertainment of the masses and raising money for charity(/entertainment of the masses).

  3. Hello, just come across your blog. Interesting post! I've just done a run for charity and I'm pretty sure I'm never going to do it again. I'm not going to slight people for their generosity in donating, and don't get me wrong I'm glad I've contributed to a good cause, but I only really did it because I felt guilty not ticking the 'I'm running for charity' box on the online registration.

    I do think people get far to many requests from their friends, family members and colleagues for cash to do something like running, sky diving etc and it really does add up. Plus I'd really like to do the Great North Run but I left it too late to enter and last time I checked the only entries remaining are those for charity runners.

    I really don't understand why you'd walk a race either. Why not just do a sponsored walk instead?