From Hyde Park to the Herts 10k

Royal Parks 1/2M

by Jo Sharples

After trying for a few years to gain a ballot place at the Royal Parks half marathon, 2015 was the year. Excited was an understatement. I even sacrificed the first Chiltern League XC to race (Sorry Andy). Having had a less than an optimal week leading to the race I wasn’t really feeling confident, were my fatigued legs and wheezy lungs going to hold up the 13.1 miles?

So here went nothing. The route was nothing less than spectacular, and the race organisation flawless. The run itself was probably my most challenging, with highs of running down the Mall, pretending I was Paula Radcliffe, and lows such as running mile 7 alongside spongebob square pants, (I wasn’t going to let a sponge beat me!), and the painful calf cramping from mile 10 onward.

I was a solitary LBAC runner there, and did finish with a PB of 1.32min. I’d thoroughly recommend this race, and Royal Parks all I can say is thanks and I will be back!

Herts 10k

by Laura Brine

Today was my 4th consecutive year at the Herts 10k, I quite like it. It’s a well organised run and different as it’s mostly off road, it’s cheap to enter and easy to get to.

I knew I wasn’t going to get a PB. I still don’t feel back to full fitness since injury and haven’t really done much speed work. I figured I would just sit as near to 7 min miles as I could and aim for a sub 45, which to be honest I was doubtful I’d get. Besides, I wanted to use it as a building base for today’s long run as it’s only 3 weeks until the New York Marathon. Also, I stupidly ate my breakfast at 9am thinking it started at 10:30. I was wrong, it started at 10am and I still had to do my warm up run! Yay, indigestion!

There is only a sub 45 pen nearest to the start line so I didn’t feel too much of a fraud starting in it. I started out a little too fast as I got carried with the crowd, with the first two miles being around 6:40min and I was conscious of burning out or seeing my bran flakes again!

It’s a nice course that takes you through fields and along dirt tracks before hitting the road by the golf club. Right about here is the hill from hell – seriously, it lasts about an hour*. It’s THAT bad I was telling myself “its only Shenley Hill” to try and make it feel easier! I can’t believe I didn’t remember it was that bad after the last 3 years. At the top of the hill (after what feels like forever) is the 5k mark, then it’s on the road for a bit through residential streets before hitting the Nicky line and then back through fields to the finish. My legs felt rough from the hill, I just didn’t have anything in me. When I got to the last 200m I had nothing for a sprint finish. Can’t wait to see those photos 🙂

I didn’t do too badly as I came in as 5th female with 43:48. I Did feel a little disappointed as I was over 2minutes slower than last year but I’ll try it again next year when I’m (hopefully) back to peak fitness. I said I didn’t think I’d get sub 45 so I have to be happy with sub 44. (Ed – LBAC’s own Pete Mackrell also ran and actually won the race in a time of 34:36!)

Still, I enjoyed the race and recommend it. There’s always such nice support, the locals come out to cheer you on, good Marshall support and always friendly.

* may be a “slight” exaggeration.