Pete Davison: The Bupa 10K

Posted on May 30, 2011 by

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So! I’m not dead. More to the point, I finished the whole Bupa 10K race today without even coming close to death, so I count that as a victory. I somehow even managed to cover 10K in less time than I have done in the past despite not running the whole thing. I attribute this mostly to the fact that London is quite flat, whereas the 10K distance I practiced on has a fucking great hill at roughly the 5K mark, exactly where you don’t want it.

But anyway. You’re doubtless wondering exactly how it all went, so let me talk you through my thought processes, starting from when the “Green wave” (the slow people) moved into position to start. These are the things I probably would have tweeted during the race were it possible to do so. (It probably was possible to do so, but I was concentrating on not dying.)

  • Hmm. That announcer is a bit annoying. I don’t really want to take part in any “oggy oggy oggy, oy oy oy”.
  • Still, at least he’s getting the crowd excited.
  • I wonder if all us slowpokes leave at the same time, or if we go a letter at a time. (I was a C-green, the slowest of the slow.)
  • We go a letter at a time. 11am prompt start my arse.
  • Still, I guess at least the people who can actually run with something resembling a “pace” left at 11am.
  • And there go the Bs. We’re next. I wonder where my friend Gracie is.
  • Shit, I’m not sure I can do this.
  • Bugger, too late to back out now, we’re going.
  • Hey, people are cheering. It’s like we’re famous.
  • Wow, I’m running faster than other people and I don’t feel like I’m overdoing it.
  • Double wow, I’m overtaking people.
  • What a glorious sunny day it is. Going to rain all over us, my arse.
  • The river Thames looks almost pleasant when it’s sunny. So long as you don’t look too closely at the water.
  • The Embankment is a good place to start. It’s nice and flat and straight.
  • 1km already? This is easy.
  • Some sort of drumming group under this bridge. I like it. Inspirational.
  • Could kind of do with a drink though. I drank a bottle of water before I started but my gob has gone all dry and horrible.
  • 1km-1.5km seems to be taking an awfully long time.
  • Really quite thirsty now.
  • Glad I went to the toilet before I started, because there’s a big queue for the ones at the “pit stop”. Still, just like Formula One, gives me the chance to get ahead of people. (Except in Formula One they don’t stop for the drivers to have a piss.)
  • Hm, the red runners are coming back the other way. Perhaps we turn around just up here.
  • The road is wet and there’s tons of bottles on the floor. Maybe there’s a water station ahead.
  • There is!
  • Glug.
  • More drummers!
  • A hill? They said it was flat. Time to slow down and drink this water.
  • It’s actually quite hot. So much for bad weather.
  • Top of the hill. Time to start running again.
  • I have started identifying people by the charities they’re representing, or, more specifically, the diseases or conditions their charities support. Just in front of me are the Cancer Sisters, just ahead of them is Heart Attack Girl and keeping pace with me is World Peace Girl.
  • That girl’s not seriously thinking about sneaking into that Tesco, is she?
  • No, she saw people looking at her and decided against it.
  • Steel band? Hmm. Not bad, but drummers are better. Steel bands bring back memories of schools.
  • Hmm, we really don’t turn around just yet. I wonder where we do.
  • These streets are quite twisty and have deceptive hills.
  • I’m keeping pace quite nicely with the Cancer Sisters.
  • More accurately, we keep “leapfrogging” each other. (Not literally.)
  • That dude in the lion outfit must be fucking boiling.
  • Getting a bit thirsty again.
  • And I wonder if I need the toilet.
  • I wonder where the next toilets are.
  • Hmm, what’s that ahead? The road’s all wet.
  • It’s a squirty-water machine! I should walk through it and cool off and be all refreshed.
  • Jesus Christ, that water is freezing. Maybe I’ll run through it instead.
  • Hmm, being squirted with freezing cold water has invigorated me somewhat.
  • Could still do with a drink though.
  • Reggae band! Awesome.
  • Oh hey, the nice people from the pub ahead have trays of plastic water glasses.
  • Glug.
  • I think we might have finally doubled back on ourselves.
  • Yes, there’s the Embankment. No-one still coming the other way. That really would be slow.
  • The Embankment is a lot longer than I remember.
  • There’s my charity people! There’s a lot less of them than for other charities, but they’re still clapping and cheering. Good on them.
  • The Embankment is still a lot longer than I remember.
  • Everyone around me is flagging a bit. Running a little while, then walking, then running, then walking.
  • I’m still not in last place.
  • 1 km to go. The park where we started is right there. Where does the extra kilometre come from?
  • Oh right, up a hill to Trafalgar Square. Cool.
  • I can see signs. “400m to go”. Yay! Time to run a bit faster.
  • Gasp. Maybe not time to run too much faster.
  • “200m to go”. Run faster? Hmm… maybe…
  • Fuck it. Let’s go. These people walking over the finish line are pansies.
  • “MAXIMUM SPEED.” Vrooom.
  • Over the finish line. People are taking photographs. I wish this running vest wasn’t quite so unflattering. Still, it’s kept me cool, and when you’re running something like this, appearances really aren’t important.
  • Wow, that last sprint knocked the wind out of me a bit, but I don’t want to collapse. Endorphin rush?
  • They’ve taken my magic timing tag off my shoelaces. Guess that really is it.
  • The baggage reclaim area is bloody miles away! Couldn’t they have put it a bit closer to the finish line?
  • You are redeemed, Bupa organisers, by giving me a goody bag halfway between the finish line and the baggage reclaim area.
  • Wow, I can barely feel my legs. I could have probably kept running for a while, but walking is proving somewhat difficult.
  • Creak.
  • Crick.
  • Those girls are giving out jelly babies! Hells yeah.
  • Omnomnomnom.

So that was it. I made it, I didn’t die, and in a time that I’m actually quite happy with: just under 90 minutes. I know that’s super-slow for actual runners, but I am super-slow. By contrast, one of the pros at the front finished in 27 minutes. 27 minutes! Christ.

But anyway, the experience was a good one. I’m glad I did it, and hopefully I’ll do some more in the not-too-distant future. In the meantime, I raised £210.01 for Mind, and the sponsorship page is still open. If you’re impressed with my achievements and would like to reward said achievement with a donation to Mind, then you can do so right here. Huge thanks to everyone who’s already donated, and to people who’ve offered support in the run-up (no pun intended) to today.

Now I think it’s time for sleep.

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Posted in: Pete Davison