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Vitality London 10k – Royston Crandley reports from the queue for the toilets (and his best 10k run in 2 years!)

Bank holiday weekends are usually accompanied by dark threatening clouds and rain by the bucket loads, unless of course you have a 10k around the streets of London planned.  The weather gods are great at fixing the weather to make things a little tougher for everyone who is either running or watching.  I arrived slightly later than planned, leaving around 40 minutes to prepare myself for the 10k that was imminently awaiting me.  The intention was to meet to work colleagues for a pre race photo and catch up, that didn’t happen sadly.  Leaving the family at a pre-set location I have jogged towards the loo’s for a quick #1 I quickly saw that the queues in themselves were verging on 10k long, have you ever tried running with your legs crossed, this could be interesting.  There was no way I’d make the start if I waited in the queue so I opted to keep my fingers crossed instead of my legs and hope that I would not have to make a pit stop.
I pass the point of no return, LAST TOILETS !!!! everywhere I look reminds me that I’m carrying too much water,  Hallelujah, the magic word, URINALS! Relief, literally.
Royston & friends Vitality 10k
I make my way to the blue start feeling a lot happier and lighter.  Spotting my fellow club members; I’m ready to run.
At the start of the race Hugh Brasher gave a short speech to remember those who lost their lives the week before in Manchester, then followed a minutes silence which was very well observed.
We are off, the gun goes and my plan was to run a negative split, some thing I’ve never managed due to my inability to control my pace over those crucial first miles.
The legs are feeling good, the breathing is fine, the temperature is a tad humid, now humidity and Asthma don’t really enjoy each others company, so a quick puff and this eases my mind and I settle into the first mile.  I had set my watch to control my pace and this would alert me if I was moving a little too quick or slow so I could adapt.
Which ever distance you run, whether 5k, 10k or half you know its going to hurt at some point.  I cross the 5k point without a clue on my time due to the watch settings, not sure if this was a good idea, the alerts are going crazy which is playing games with my mind-set and now its hang on to the person in front time and lets get this done.  The air is dense and the breathing heavy, steam train coming through folks. At around 7k Sarah Alexander comes floating by, ok, I’ll stick with Sarah, not a chance in hell, Jo Pavey would struggle to keep up with Sarah, amazing run and a PB in the making.
Having run this race before,  I know what’s left or what’s to come depending on the course, last 2k ok lets give it some welly, the wellies fell off and the nausea makes an appearance, so I back off a little and disappointingly coast the last km towards the finish.
The finish beckons and with a final push I cross the line, and like all of us I check the watch and I’m actually more than happy with 48:21 (official time) that’s my quickest 10k in 2 years so I’m going in the right direction.
This race is proving to be a real delight and one that I know will feature in my race diary for next year, lets just hope the queues for the loos are a little less than 10k  🙂
Happy running see you all soon.
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