Run report: Wimbledon Common trail series and Run Through Brixton

Being back in London has been full of ups and downs but one of the ups has been getting back in my running stride and trying a couple of local races.

The first was a 10k in Brockwell park with Run Through. I had a free morning and wanted to up my distance before the half marathon I’m signed up for in September so signing up was a no brainer. I discovered its a very pleasant 4k run from my house to the park and decided to jog down. Arriving half an hour before the start it was easy to find the sign in desks and back drop and it was reasonably organised. The only negative was a bit of a nightmare finding toilets: the ones we were directed to were locked, and the ones after that, until eventually we ended up back at the first ones about 15 minutes later. Oh well, it was a nice way to meet a couple of other runners and see the park which is lovely. I can’t believe I’ve never been before!

I wasn’t optimistic about my time for the race. In general I hate racing 10ks as I can’t stand being out of breath and races with laps  (this one had 3) are usually even worse. However, once we got going my competitive spirit came out and I just couldn’t stop the urge to pass people, especially while running up hills. I don’t know why but I seem to excel at running up moderately steep hills! In the end I finished in about 52 minutes which wasn’t too shabby considering I’ve cut my training to 3 days a week and have been avoiding speed and tempo sessions like the plague.

The goodies at the end included a banana, flapjack and a medal. Not bad for a cheapish (£12) race. They run a few around London and I’d sign up again.

On Wednesday evening I’d signed up to the third run in the Wimbledon Common trail series. I was meant to be doing it with my friend who is a Wimbledon Windmiler but she was really ill. It was 30 degrees on the day and a mission from work and my flat so I was pretty sure I was going to drop out but with a lot of encouragement from my friend I decided to go for it.

The start was a bit intimidating-there were 50 or so, mainly club runners who all looked a bit serious! Happily though it turned out to be a really friendly race with marshals who clearly new a lot if the runners and cheered us on enthusiastically.

The course was a small (1k) lap followed by two larger ones. Up to the end of the first large lap I wasn’t feeling great. The course was lovely and it was reasonably shaded but somehow it just dragged. I promised myself the whole way that I’d just drop out at the 4 mile point. Once I got there though I decided to keep going and walk up hills as and when needed. I made it round in about 1 hour 11 and while I felt very hot by the end (prickly face, ick) I recovered quickly and was glad I did it.

The course, all within Wimbledon Common on trails, was lovely. Its been absolutely ages since I did a trail run and I’d forgotten just how much I loved it.

The good experience was sealed off with chocolate, fruit, a mug and a chat with another runner originally from Cardiff. Its so rare that I speak to anyone new in London so this was nice!
The series is finished for the summer now but definitely one I’d do next year.

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