A couple of months ago in the last fading rays of summer light, I made a resolution to maintain my summer cardio fitness levels year-round. No more excuses of evenings getting dark too soon, or Christmas festivities getting in the way, this year I was going to make sure I stayed at peak, all-round fitness 365 days a year. And in that spirit, I signed up for the Osteoporosis Society 10km Run in Hyde Park, London.
Arriving fairly early on Saturday, I suddenly realised that this was a race for runners. Serious runners. Part of the reason for choosing this race was the modest entry price (GBP 25) and optional fundraising. On one hand, it meant they didn’t have the budget for music, multiple water stations, etc like the large-scale running events, but for serious athletes looking to improve their PB, it attracted like-minded runners with similar motivation. As someone who fell somewhat in the middle, I tried not to look too out of place as we went through the warm-up.
It seemed Mother Nature took notice of my self-consciousness, because at that moment a bird flew overhead and took a giant, diarrhoea-induced shit down the front of my coat. A white coat. Literally covering my front and arms, five minutes before the race.
Refusing to let it get me down, I took my place around the 60 minute-mark with gritted teeth and focused on what lay ahead.
The trail skirted along the lake, before veering off towards the right and into the fields. Kilometres three and four had some small hilly sections, and the last kilometre was almost all downhill on a shaded avenue. The 10k runners had to go round the route twice, but with a host of friendly marshals cheering, handing out water, evening singing and playing guitar, not to mention the beautiful scenery, the run was a breeze.
Until the finishing line. Having caught up with the 55-minute marker, I was determined to beat it and made the unwise decision to sprint the last two kilometres. As I crept up the finishing line, so did the water/jelly babies in my stomach towards the surface. Should I slow down and stave the projectile chundering? Given my stomach wasn’t slowing down with my legs, I decided to take the chance and continue at top speed. And so I flew, and as I crossed the finishing line, so did the contents of my stomach. Of course, all this was captured by the photographer, because bodily fluids seemed to be the running theme for that morning.
Of course, I managed to get a time of 54:53 and spend a beautiful morning around Hyde Park, so that’s all that matters, right?
Overall, if you’re looking for an inexpensive run to beat your PB, the Osteoporosis Society’s 10K Hyde Park Run is an excellent choice. With a relatively flat/downhill course, friendly marshals, and fellow runners that will motivate you to work harder, this running event is a winner for intermediate runners or those looking for running events to train for longer races.