Distance – 10k over 2 laps
Course – Various (concrete, trail & gravel)
Another week, another race. Since my valiant running the week before at Stratford, my training hadn’t necessarily gone very well – in fact, I hadn’t done any at all, despite my best intentions. This will be the key for me in our upcoming programme and the driver for how much pain I’m going to be in. To start getting fitter, you need to be training at least a few times a week (running, cross-training, stretching, etc) rather than just a single outing at the weekend.
Today’s race was the Crystal Palace 10k, which incorporated two laps of Crystal Palace’s picturesque park. So not only would I get a look at some pleasant scenery while flitting between fellow park goers, I could also test myself against the substantial hill the park precariously balances on.
I took a different tack relative to the race at Stratford. Rather than start at my 10k pace and try and hold it, I thought I’d take it easy over the first few kilometres before pushing it. This strategy ended up working quite well as, ignoring an initial climb, it was pretty much downhill for a few kilometres. I managed to run my quickest kilometre (mildly proud) according to my new watch, assisted by my substantial bulk & gravity. Running downhill is definitely an acquired taste and something I took a while to get used to. I don’t think my knees necessarily agree. Either way, it was funny to uncontrollably rush past better runners and then see them run past me again on the hills.
My tactical (read lazy) approach allowed me to conserve my energy for the second lap, which I ran quicker by about 30 seconds per kilometre. I just had enough gas to have a cheeky sprint at the end as well.
After such a strenuous run, it was only fair to treat myself. There is a fabulous café at Crystal Palace station called Brown And Green that I heartily recommend.
Just like the Queen Elizabeth 10k, this was a nice, local run, but a bit of a step-up because of the hill. But hills are good!
Organisation – 10/10
RunThrough staff were nice and the race was well stewarded. Free photos published on facebook as well.
Race goodies – 4/10
Some low pH water. Not quite sure what’s going on there.
Race route – 6/10
I enjoyed the route and the hill was challenging…both times.
Adventure status – 3/10
Crystal Palace is slightly more adventurous than Stratford.