My first race of 2018 is done! And what an excellent one it was to start 2018 with. The Cancer Research London Winter Run is one I run every year – here is my race recap of the 2017 version. That was the day I hugged polar bears, ate a lot of Lindt, and went home crying because I got into a fight with a man who decided my legs were perfect to ram his pushchair against. I didn’t cry when telling him off but after – I was riding so high that day and he caused it all to crash down.
Well that took a down turn pretty quickly didn’t it? This year’s race thankfully didn’t end with tears of anger and frustration. It also didn’t end with tears of joy but a massive grin of happiness.
It started with a very early wake-up yesterday morning. I am not naturally a Sunday morning person and I am not ashamed to admit that when I got out of the warm train at Westminster and was hit with an icy blast of wind, I wanted to go back home. One of the volunteers noticed my face and we had a good joke about regretting being awake. That actually made me feel better – I wasn’t the only one SUFFERING at the hardship of being awake.
Once I had dropped my bag and taken a picture with some snowmen at Trafalgar Square, I made my way to the start line. I had missed my coral (snowmen pictures are more important) so started later than I thought. This didn’t really matter to me – initially I had wanted this to be a PB race but I was so cold and so tired from Barry’s Bootcamp Hell Week (which I will be writing about later) that in the end I just wanted to finish and finish strong.
I am glad I made this mental shift – starting in a coral slower than I expected meant I spent a lot of the race dodging and overtaking people, having to slow down when roads narrowed, and trying very hard not to accidentally bump into someone in front of me. This was a fun race and I treated it as such. I high-fived all the huskies and polar bears I saw, sang along with the bands playing, and generally had a brilliant time.
The course was spectacular. From Trafalgar Square, all along the Strand to St Paul’s and back. London is a magnificent city and when the roads are closed and the pavements full of runners it takes on a far more magical feel. I found myself really enjoying my city and loving that I had the chance to run through it.
Once I crossed the finish line the sun was shining, I was nice and warm, and my grim was massive. The only think that made things all the more epic was getting a medal around my neck and then a Vita Coco in my hand.
By that time I also didn’t mind that I’d had my Sunday lie-in swapped for a race: it was so worth it.
Disclaimer: I was given a place at the London Winter Run for free in exchange for an honest review of the day.