Last night I took part on my first post marathon event – the British Heart Foundation Tower of London jog. This is part of the London jog series which I found out about through the lovely Dashinista. I was already signed up for the Canary Wharf event on 23rd May but found out that Dash was taking part in the Tower of London one so decided to join her. Unfortunately on Monday night she suffered a calf injury which meant she couldn’t take part so I turned up at the Tower of London at about 5pm on my own and unsure of what to expect.
The jog took place in the grassed area outside the Tower – the course itself was a loop of just over half a a mile. You could choose to walk, jog or run as few or as many loops as you wanted to. I chose to complete 12 laps or 10K. After registering and picking up my race number, T-shirt and timing tag I dropped off my bags and got ready to run. I’d decided just to treat this as a bit of fun, not aiming for any specific time but just a chance to see how my legs were feeling and run in an unusual location.
I started off well and completed the first mile quickly but things rapidly started to go downhill. I haven’t really run on grass before and certainly not waterlogged grass that other people have been running on. The course was muddy and squishy and at times it felt like running on sand – not easy on the legs at all! I also started to feel a stitch coming on – this has happened to me many times before and I’m usually pretty good at getting rid of them by a combination of walking, breathing and stretching but for some reason this time I just couldn’t get rid of it at all. So I just decided to take things easy, enjoy the friendly and fun atmosphere.
There were people taking part of all shapes, sizes and ages. I saw some very young children walking with their mum, teams of people from a variety of different companies who were obviously being quite competitve with each other and a couple of very elderley gentlemen walking the route. It was a really inclusive event.
On my 10th lap I saw Dash who had turned up to say hello – I’d been struggling with the stitch the whole time so it was nice to see a friendly face to take my mind off it. I picked up the pace for the final two laps and finished my 10K in 1hr and 12 mins, a minute faster than the baseline time I’d set at the weekend so I was pretty pleased. Between the mud and the never ending stitch is really wasn’t the most comfortable of runs!
Overall I thought this was a really well organised and great value for money event. For £12 I got chip timing, a T-shirt and medal, there was a baggage and changing area and water on the course and at the end. I’m looking forward to the Canary Wharf event in a couple of weeks and would recommend this to anyone looking for a beginner friendly 5K or 10K race.
So I now have more race bling to add to my collection and have run in the grounds of the Tower of London. A fun way to spend a drizzly Wednesday night!