Victoria Park Santa Run

Since the British 10k in July my poor running shoes have been gathering dust in the corner – oops! I really do love running but despite signing up for a few races in 2014 I just couldn’t get back into it but then the lovely people at Teens Unite Fighting Cancer mentioned that they had places for the Do It For Charity Santa Run in London’s Victoria Park so I jumped at the chance to snap one up!

It was slightly surreal seeing thousands of Santa’s descend on Victoria Park but it was great fun nevertheless! At the 5k point there was a choice to either stop there or carry on for 10k which I was considering but of course I thought of my excuses!

I finished the race in 37 minutes which I was fine with but I would’ve liked to have done it in 30! I can count on both hands the amount of runs I’ve been on since July so I think I did well considering that!

I would’ve finished slightly quicker but running in a Santa suit isn’t as easy as it looks and at around half way through the course I decided to de-Santa!

The event has really motivated me to get back into running and I’m really looking forward to running the Bupa London 10,000 in May! I’m even considering doing the British 10k again – let’s just hope next year won’t be as hot as it was this year!

Most importantly – I managed to raise another £180 for a charity that’s really close to my heart! If anyone would like to make a small donation please visit my JustGiving page – every penny will be much appreciated!

My British 10k Experience

On Sunday, just five months after getting the ‘all clear’ from the blood disorder aplastic anaemia I defied the odds and finished my first event – the British 10k London Run. As I said in a previous post, me and one of my best friends Anna decided to run in this event just 12 weeks ago to raise money for the charity Teens Unite Fighting Cancer who have been a huge support to me through my treatment and beyond.

I stayed with Anna the night before the 10k and we filled up on carbs and attempted to have a good nights sleep although admittedly we were very nervous for the next day. It was 5:30am and I turned around to turn off my alarm – I couldn’t remember ever being awake that early for anything, with the exception of my short lived “I’m going to train every morning at 5:30″ phase! It was so early that the hot water hadn’t even turned on so after a quick cold shower which definitely woke me up, some porridge and a delirious pep talk we set off to the capital.

After a few short tube journeys we were there! If you look on the events Facebook page it’s flooded with complaints about the organisation of the event and I do agree with the majority of them but we had a really good time so I’m not going to complain too much but my first complaint has to be the lack of stewards pre-race. Our race packs explicitly said the only way to get to the start on Piccadilly would be with stewards, leaving from the baggage drops (despite us not having any bags to drop). It turns out that this was a false claim and people were just heading straight for the start! Never mind – only a minor issue, we did have to go slightly out of our way though!

When we eventually got to the start line we were left to wait for 45 minutes cooking in the heat while we waited for the washed up ‘pop star’ Katrina (no waves) to perform. We weren’t too worried about this but I can see why people were – delaying the start of the race by nearly an hour when we knew we wouldn’t cross the start line for up to half an hour after the race started was a bit of a pain, especially considering it was very hot and dehydration was already starting to kick in. The first water station wasn’t until 3k so by the time I got a bottle of water I drank it like a fish!

These were only minor gripes though and we enjoyed soaking up the atmosphere (and sun rays!) around the course.

I’d spoken to my dad before we started who said he was waiting for us outside Big Ben which was around the 7k mark. It was so lovely to see him and I immediately ran over to him, gave him a quick hug and burst into tears which I quickly snapped out of when I saw professional photographers! I’m always one for a photo opportunity! After we ran back past Big Ben we could see the finish line – ‘Great!’ I thought. Wrong! There was still another kilometer to run and I was having some serious chafing issues (lovely) – but that’s another post! I hobbled to the 400m point and one last boost from Anna’s family gave me enough energy for a sprint finish!

I finished my first 10k in 1 hour 20 minutes and 2 seconds – with no previous running experience, in 30 degree heat and just five months after getting the ‘all clear’.

Not too bad for a Sunday morning!

British 10K London Run

After a glass of Lambrini five weeks ago, I decided to challenge myself and signed up to run the British 10K in London in July to raise money for the fabulous charity Teens Unite. Anyone that knows me will know that I think of myself as the next Usain Bolt but back on planet Earth, the furthest I’ve ever ran is the Sport Relief Mile in 2010 and even then I had to sit down but I’ve really surprised myself and managed to stick to my training plan religiously including training before school at 5am – believe it or not!

Obligatory training Instagram selfie

Me and my best friend Anna decided to run for Teens Unite in celebration of me receiving the all clear from the rare blood disorder aplastic anaemia to thank the charity for their hard work and invaluable support they’ve given me through my illness.

We’re hoping to raise lots of money for this great charity and would appreciate any donations no matter how small! You can read about the charity, my story and donate on our JustGiving page.

Keep your eyes on my blog as I’ll be posting regular training updates in the run up to the event!

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!