A soggy Hyde Park 15k

I’d been looking forward to the Stroke Association’s Resolution Run, a 15k, three looped run round Hyde Park on Sunday. Training was going well, I’d run a few 12 milers, so wasn’t worried about the distance, and my pace was decent, I was aiming for somewhere between 75 and 80 minutes.

Then I started watching the weather forecast earlier in the week and sank inside as it changed from cool, to a bit damp to drizzle to unrelenting torrential rain. Ah well, I don’t mind running in the rain really, but it was a little disappointing to think that I’d be running somewhere new and it would just be a big grey blur.

That said, I was buoyed to be travelling to the race with a group of women, two of whom I didn’t know, but it was a great way to prepare for the race, all chatting and joking in the car.

We arrived at the start with about 15 minutes to spare, and then spent most of that time queuing to use the ladies, just made it to bag drop and then it was time to go. I was glad there was no hanging about and on a day like that, with stair rod rain I just wanted to get on with it.

There were three races going on at the same time, a 5k, 10k and my 15k. We were grouped in that order, which was fine. There didn’t seem to be that many people there and according the Stroke Association website, there were 495 finishers over the three races.

Since we all started together, it was quite a big group, but by the end of the 15k, everyone left were fairly spread out, so it felt like a training run.

The laps were pretty much round the Serpentine with a bit tagged on the end. There were a few stewards along the route indicating when to turn and they were really encouraging, which was especially lifting as, unsurprisingly, there were no other people around to offer up any support. In fact, they can’t be thanked enough, smiling and encouraging us whilst stood in the pouring, cold rain.

My timings had gone ok for the first two laps, but I really struggled for the last mile and a half, it had been more than three hours since breakfast and I was in need of an energy lift – the banana in my bag was calling – my feet were soaked and the cold was getting to me a bit.

Such relief when I turned that final corner and saw the finish line and then heard one of my fellow runners cheering as I hit the end. I clocked up a time of 1:20:49, which apparently put me 40th in a field of 114. I’ll take that, considering I felt so rubbish towards the end.

All in all, it was a decent course, the runners were comfortably spread out and water provided every 5k, which was more than enough given the weather. My only criticism was the lack of distance markers. Doing my first every 5k – with no sports watch – the markers had been a really big psychological boost. Still, that’s a minor thing really.

I gave myself yesterday off and ran a slow 10k today, I feel like I’ve had my confidence knocked a bit and need to build it up again. Still, it’s ok to have a bad race every now and then, I guess, makes you appreciate the good ones.

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