|J.J. and Me|
It's finally here! One of my favourite races of the year (ok so I've only done this once before!). It's through London, along places I used to work, where I used to roam as a kid and where I go now for the occasional night out with the Old Boy. You gotta love London, I wouldn't like to live there anymore, but living just half an hour train journey away is still pretty awesome!
Which brings me nicely to the start of my blog! NaggyNeighbour was coming along to and at 7:30 I went over to her house to see if she was ready. She was just finishing her porridge, and then that was it, we were in her car making our way to the train station. At the station we were to meet J.J. and Janet and the rest of the PWR's that are travelling from Petts Wood. This is some of us on the platform (yes it's going to be one of those type of blogs!)
|Some of the runners today!|
Two trains are heading up to London Victoria, the 08:01 and the 08:08. The group 1 girls (thats my group) will be getting the earlier train, we will be meeting Wendimoo on route at Bromley South, and the others will be going via another route to meet up with some more PWR's. Our plan was to all meet up at Victoria and then walk the walk to the start. We all had these bags to be able to store our stuff at the baggage drop, here's mine!
|big bum! (it's me!)|
This is all of us, once we got to Buckingham Palace.
|Petts Wood Runners, Vitality 10,000m, 30 May 2016|
This race is just so well organised, so well signposted. We could see where we were to drop off out bags, where the toilets are and the starts, blue start, black start, green start and then yellow start. We were in yellow start.
We met rested a while before going to put our bags away, this is the group one girls
|J.J., Janet, Wendimoo and me!|
|And Karin of course!|
|Sonia, Kat, Kate, Michelle, Wendimoo, me, J.J. and Janet|
It took at good 20 minutes or so to get over those mats from when the first wave went off! But it was still so thrilling! The noise from the crowds and the live dj chap was just amazing! It really is such a buzz, a little mini London marathon.......if you know what I mean! But once we were over it NaggyNeighbour stated to pull away, she has her mission, her time in her head that she wants to do, the other PWR's all started to pull away leaving the group 1 girls to do our thing! It was just as well it wasn't too sunny, the weather was just perfect really. Not that I am expecting any PB's, perhaps I should start to think that way, but for now, I am just enjoying running again, really enjoying running!
Going through Marble Arch is just so amazing! One of the iconic London landmarks in a great City! And it's all closed for us runners! We head off up the Strand and it's not to long before we are running along here with the faster runners coming down the other side! Truly amazing, how fast must they be running!? We part company again, only for a bit, while we run around the Aldwych. The girls were doing so well, I was lagging behind!
Here this is them,
|can you see them!|
and this is me playing catchup!
We then bump into the front runners again when we get to Fleet Street. We constantly keep an eye out for fellow Petts Wood Runners and give them a big cheer when we see them. We had already seen Stephen Pond going down the strand and after that there was a steady stream of them among the hundreds of runners. It's great they all wore their club colours so it was easier to spot them. We part company again by going up Chancery lane. I am beginning to feel a little tired, and the silly blister/corn on my toe starts to complain a little! I am going to have to get it sorted, I know! But the thought of having anyone look at my feet let alone touch them is just not something I am looking forward to! Anyway, I digress! I choose to ignore the niggle, I am hoping that it isn't going to get any worse, I don't see how or why it should.
The next iconic land mark just has to be St Pauls. After running all the way up to Holborn and back down we ran towards St. Pauls Catherdral. A lovely place to have a fun picture stop, this is us here, doing the mara! Something that Paula and I started running the marathon last year!
|Janet is more 'I'm free' rather than 'do the mara'|
After that we just carried on running, Wendimoo was so in the zone, she could so easily smash her PB but she was sticking by us through thick and thin, chatting, dancing and singing! Oh I so love Wendimoo! She just does what she does and it puts everyone else in such a good place! Mind you, there was one spot I was really hurting at, my toe was rubbing, my hip had a little niggle and my knee thought it would chip in, just to make it the three things! There Wendimoo was, as we all reached a corner "Come on girls, aeroplane arms" she said as she made like a plane and 'flew around the corner! "Is she always cheerful", another runner said I just giggled, little do they know about our Wendimoo, I couldn't say much as I was running along.
It was good to see the half way mark, Wendimoo and J.J. got there first followed by Janet and me limped in after to join in the high five.
The next 'parkrun' to do and I was struggling a little bit. What with the trees affecting my nose and chest (what is it with the trees in London?) all thoughts of a PB were now no long an issue, I just want to finish looking and feeling strong! I can't remember where it was but there were 'showers' somewhere along the route in just the right place when you needed it! I didn't go right in them but stayed on the edge to receive just some spray from them, it was enough to cool me down.
Going back down the Strand again was just so good, knowing that I have not got long to go and nearing some other famous London iconic land marks was another opportunity to grab my phone.
This is the girls running up Whitehall
|Whitehall, Wendimoo somewhere up ahead!|
after running past this place!
|Looking glamorous Old Girl!|
I decided as we already had a picture of St Stephens Tower (commonly known as Big Ben I thought a picture of us at the Cenotaph would be a different picture. Also a great reminder to be thankful to all the soldiers, sailors and airmen that have and continue to put the life on the line for us to be able to have the freedom that we have now! We salute you brave men and ladies!
Big Ben came up and we turned right to run along Great George street and then into Birdcage Walk. Once you are here this is just less than a mile to do, the 'papparatzi are there making sure that each and everyone of managed to get on the official photographs! Also down this bit DiscoRich and Illustrious Leader will be waiting! We will keep an eye out for them along here! No doubt their voices will be wearing out by now with the amount of PWR's that were running today!
When you see the 800m and then 400m boards you just know that's it, it's all done! You just got to keep on running now, no stopping at all. Then the 200m board with the 100m board just a little further up, visible! It's not that far now to go! Wendimoo and Sonia (she had joined us from somewhere up the Strand I think, toilet stop!) had gone ahead, leaving me J.J. and Janet feeling good that she had gone as we felt that we were keeping her at our pace. Wendimoo can keep going now, chasing and getting that coveted PB. They started to pull away from us up Whitehall! No doubt Wendimoo and Sonia will be waiting for us at the end.
It was just the yellow wave runners left on the course now, we were all running towards that last 100m. Turning the corner at Buck House and there were the finish lines. I was going to get my phone out and take a picture but I just wanted to finish now, hopefully in a good way. I knew I hadn't manage to get my PB, but it doesn't really matter. It's no about the time, it's about the friendships and fun, and food and wine and laughter and mates and food and beer and he bling and the tee shirt and the food and the beer......we may all enjoy more by going down the pub after!
We did it! Here is a picture of our shoes and our the medal, and we were all totally thrilled that we did it again! Apart from Janet......this was here first Vitality 10,000!
A great time, a great route, fantastic marshaling and supports from everyone! Can't wait to do it next year! Cheers!