4th February 2018 is World Cancer day and to mark this day London held the Cancer Research UK London Winter Run which is 10k. Over 16,500 runners entered. The start is staggered every 8 minutes which helps with congestion. The start or the Snow Blast-Off was in Trafalgar Square where the runners were led to the start area by Snowmen accompanied by Survivor’s ‘Eye of the Tiger’ (a bit of Rocky to pump you up). I felt like a Gladiator going into the coliseum (without the crowd). The start wasn’t for 20 minutes but pre-entertainment was provided including a DJ, a Penny farthing cyclist, an aerobic workout which no one participated in and Pride the Olympic Lion had also turned up.
It was the expected freezing cold February morning, as wrapped up as you could be with another school shirt (Jim L – I’ve now run out!) the huddle helped keep warm. The one disappointing aspect was the bag drop which was pretty small for those not living in London, certainly not big enough for coat, jeans and a jumper!
A prompt start, I could feel the cold! One of the reasons I entered this race is I’m obsessed with trying to break 40 minutes and I thought with a Freezing February morning and a flat London course this was my chance. I was wrong on the flat. The course does have quite a few climbs, in fact the elevation is greater than in the Yateley 10k’s (according to both Garmin & Strava). However the route is great going past iconic locations including St Pauls Cathedral and the Bank of England.
It wasn’t the easiest run and my 40 minute target looked out of reach by 8k but the final kilometre was downhill which helped and I finished in 40:05 which was a personal best. At the finish I was greeted by Polar Bears handing out medals. The event was really well organised with great signposting to the start and around the course and a fantastic atmosphere. Strangest part of the event was after the finish walking past people who had yet to start!