The British 10k London was my first 10k and I had been warned that it is a busy and rather chaotic event. With over 25,000 participants it was the largest race I have taken part in so far, my previous 5k races had less than 200 people taking part.
I was running with a team raising money for Perennial and was taken care of by the charity so I didn’t have to worry about bag drop off before the event. We just went to our charity base in St James’ Park and joined the mass of people walking down Pall Mall towards the start.
There is only one starting time for everyone, no matter how long you expect to take around the course, which meant it was first come first off the start! We were about two thirds back in the queue and it took us 30 minutes before we were over the starting line. This did mean we got to see the first wave off and hear the huge cheer from everyone waiting in the queue. Seeing thousands of runners racing towards you is quite a sight!
Once over the start line the crowd of people thinned out quite quickly and we soon settled into our pace, with the faster runners whizzing by. The first water station was at the 3k point and at every 2k intervals thereafter. There was some congestion at certain points, most notably after the 8k point when a lot of people had started to slow down or walk, but in general with a bit of weaving you could get through the crowds.
This event is not one for those of you wanting to get a PB, the weaving and the mix of speeds of other runners will put pay to that. But I really enjoyed running through the London roads past all the notable sights and there was great support from the spectators.
The highlight, however, was crossing the finish line as Big Ben was chiming the hour, I’m not sure if that will ever happen again.
As I had been warned, the chaos began after the finish. You had to collect your medal where the bag drop was, even if you didn’t have a bag to collect. We went to our designated area and there was one man trying to hand out medals and bags to 1000 people. We had to wait for about 15 minutes and I didn’t get the t-shirt I thought I would.
I would run this race again, despite the crowd and the chaos at the end it was fun and enjoyable.