I like running races, not only because you can try to run a PB or just see where you stand while trying to reach a certain goal, it also gives you the opportunity to go places you normally wouldn’t go to or aren’t allowed to go.
When I saw there would be a race organised by the British Heart Foundation at the Tower of London and it happened to be on a day that I happened to be in London, I knew I had to go! And since I have a lot of running friends in the UK that I don’t get to see very often, I asked around to see if anyone wanted to join me. It’s not every day you get to run around the moat of the Tower of London, right?
Unfortunately, it had been raining for most of the morning, but the prediction was that it would be dry in the afternoon during the race. When I arrived at the Tower of London the sun was indeed shining, but when I looked over my shoulder a dark cloud was coming in my direction. So I ran to hide underneath Tower Bridge until the worst of the downpour was over.
I picked up my bib and t-shirt, dropped off my bag and met up with Darren, Tori, Caroline and Andrew. The race is an out and back course on the moat of the Tower that’s 1k long and you can either do a 5k or a 10k by running the equivalent amount of laps. Since the weather wasn’t that great and the grass still pretty soggy, we decided to do a 5k.
We got there early so we were able to start in the first starting wave. Every 15 minutes a new wave started. In the first lap I ran with Andrew while he was still warming up. The nice thing about out and back is that you get to see the other runners in your group once in a while, even if you don’t run the same pace. I could see Tori and Caroline ahead of me and once in a while I could see Darren on his way back for another lap. During my 4th lap Darren lapped me and decided to run his last lap with me. He decided he liked my pace, meaning he found it a pretty comfortable pace with his normal heart rate (it’s a bit less comfortable for me with my over 200 heart rate mind you).
I’m more of a road runner, so I’m not really used to running on grass. But in the end I finished the 5k in 37:57. My second best 5k time! Not bad for running on soggy grass, I’d say. It did stay dry during our run, so the only thing that got a bit wet were our feet.
I did really enjoy this event. A unique location and it’s for charity, what more could you want? It’s well organised: there is a water station half way and all the volunteers were very nice! Most of the runners had gotten their bib in the post, but since I live outside of the UK I hadn’t. But the volunteers were very helpful when I needed to get my bib sorted and dropped off my bag. The marshals on the course were also very encouraging. To be fair, I wouldn’t want to run laps for a half or full marathon, but for a 5k I didn’t mind it at all, since it’s such a unique location, and if the weather would have been a bit better I probably would have gone for the 10k.