On Summer Solstice day 10,000 women got up, got dressed in day-glo salmony orange, and came together to celebrate running, sisterhood and living in the glorious city of London.
The Nike Women’s 10k was a slick operation- Victoria Park in Hackney was taken over by an entire festival village dedicated to running, fuelling, and all things sporty.
The bag drop was seamless- huge and fast. There was loads of yummy stuff to try and I was impressed at the array of goodies!
Pip and Nut were there making the most DELICIOUS looking toast smothered in their peanut butter, Metcalfe popcorn was ready to refuel us, Cold Press Juice were on hand with some delicious post run drinks. I also saw people munching on Vita Coco protein balls before the race.
The ONLY moot point was the loos- the queues were huge (we are girls- we wee a lot- and no, I don’t know why either) and this was exacerbated by the fact that the race started late, meaning there there were a lot of us needing to pee about 2 minutes after we set off!
That aside- and it really wasn’t a massive thing in my opinion- the race was very very VERY well run. The run started at 10.30am, and I was in the 1hr-1hr 10 min wave. The route was clearly marked, to the point stewards were on hand to keep a system in place to allow the faster runners merge into the slower crowd when they lapped us.
I can’t speak for the fast runners as to whether this worked or not- but at least the race planners had thought about it and made proivisions for it.The décor around the course- banners, colour, and an avenue of #crew signs for every crew who had entered the race- really cute touch I thought. It’s Nike I guess- you wouldn’t expect anything less.
The sea of salmony-pinky-orangey women jogging round one of London’s most lovely parks was just truly inspiring.The atmosphere was pretty spectacular- I felt so happy and relaxed, and it seemed like people were looking forward to running with their friends as much as (or more than) getting a PB or competing with each other. I have heard a lot of people (friends and on social media) saying that this was a slow race for them, or that they were nowhere near a PB. This might have happened because it was a packed circular course, where you can’t really break away from the crowd.
Another bit of me wonders whether It was because girls had signed up together, and hopefully decided to enjoy the race at the same pace as their friends. My race pal Sophie and I had a natter, put the world to rights, stopped with we had a crampy knee or a stitch, and finished in 1hr 13min.
Not fast. But relaxed and one of the most enjoyable races I’ve ever run. It was so freeing not giving a crap about the time and just experiencing the race!
It’s the girls what made it! Desreen on her first 10k (how did you do?!) Alex from Sweat and Swagger attempting her first too, Jen on her first 10k of the year, Harri up in the fast group, Natalie in her awesome leggings, Sophie ready to take it easy and enjoy it, Erin and her wine club racing for the prosecco, Elle running the #CrewSimpelle, Alison hiding out in the crowd in Orange, Nadia doing a further million miles after the race, Obe giving me the most enthusiastic hug of all time, Sadari screaming encouragement at the beginning, RunDem cheering so loud you could hear them from the other side of the park…. Everyone is just fabulous.
We came, we saw, we got the Alex Monroe bling. YEAH GALS!!