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Chessington 10k – Nigel Evans reports back from his run on the wild side

As my alarm went off at 6am due to an 8.30am race start and I awoke to the sound of rain hitting my window I was still exited to be running the inaugural Chessington
Running Wild 10k.

The last time I visited a Zoo/Adventure Park was years ago when my children were a lot younger and to get out of the door required the logistical skill of the military and a Chinook helicopter to air lift all the “young child stuff” you may need “just in case” and when we got there they spent most of the day hanging onto the pushchair crying because a Meerkat looked at them funny, so it was refreshing to just get up, get ready and drive off at 6.45am.

From the description this looked like it was gong to be a nice event offering 10km and 5km options plus a kids challenge run so all the family could join in (note the lack of my family, they were still in bed when I got home!) Also, any money raised would go to the Merlin Magic Wand which organises magical days out for seriously ill, disabled and disadvantaged children, wonderful!

The drive there was painless and the parking was easy so I entered the Park to get my race number which was also straight forward.

The 10 km race was basically 2 laps of the 5km route and we all set off bang on 8.30am with the weather downgraded to light drizzle.

Chessington 10k finish

The nice thing about this race was that it was set entirely within the parks grounds so you had a good opportunity to see what the park offered and also glimpse a few bemused animals on the way.

The start was busy but soon spread out and I settled into a comfortable pace enjoying the atmosphere.

The course was good with some undulation and also a few zig zags as you can see from my Garmin with the surface either tarmac or gravel with a few puddles thrown in.

On the second lap as I ran past the Gorillas one was sitting by the glass and gave me a curious look and I remember thinking that’s a first for me in an event and before I knew it the finish was in sight. I crossed the line in 49:50 which I was happy with despite my watch only showing 9.1km.

Chessington strava

All in all the event was well organised and the location made a change to running through the streets. Would I do it again ? “Yes definitely.”

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