I was so excited about this race but made sure I went to bed early the night before the race quite unlike me. Didnt want to take any chances. Woke up about 5 am and lay in bed drifting in and out of bed until 6am when my alarm went off. We were finally ready to go and left home about 7.30 am. On the train ride, we (me, my official paparazzi - hubby and my running partner) met another lady who was wearing the race T-shirt and by the time the train got to the city, runners with their race numbers pinned to their Tshirts and tops were more common place. It was a race against time to get to the starting point as we got out of the underground about 8.25. If we could find it on time that is. We had no idea where it was and I had forgotten the race map at home.
We came out of Embankment Station and started heading towards Charing Cross Station. At Charring Cross, almost everyone we asked seemed to have entered only for the 10km race and knew only where the starting point for the 10km race which was a more popular race was. At long last, some police men pointed the way to Northumberland Avenue by Embankment to us and told us to hurry that the race had started about 3 minutes previously. Gracious!! According to my watch, it was just 8.33am! Well, me and the lady started racing down Northumberland Avenue, diet kick in hand trying to gulp it down for the extra bit of energy before the race. Alas when we got to the starting point, true, the race had already begun and the runners had left but we started our own race all the same at 8.37am.
I had to try to get into the tune of things due to the excitement of racing to the starting point but I soon found my own pace. The lady I met on the train was running with me but I soon asked her to leave me behind since it seemed her pace was a bit faster than mine. She was a more experience runner and had run a couple of 5km races and 10 km races as well and had just given birth and so this race was one she was running to get back into shape. I soon got to the first turning point and my mischievious mind was telling me to slip into the opposite lane and run with the other runners who were going past me on the other lane at that point but my sensible mind asked me to keep on going since there were still more runners behind me who had joined the race later than I did. LOL!!
Pretty soon, with a mixture of walking and running, I got past Waterloo and Hungeford Bridges and began heading towards Westminster Bridge. There was this lady ahead of me at that point who was walking and I asked her to run with me since I was also a slow runner and we ran together for sometime until she started walking again and I had no choice but to leave her behind. Then two ladies ran past me at a very slow pace and I used them to pace myself and just made sure I kept behind them. (smile) Pretty soon, I was back to walking and they left me behind. (smile)
I started running again, got to Westminster bridge, then walked a little bit more. Halfway through the bridge, I started running again and that was when I saw the official race photographers at the end of the bridge by London Eye taking pictures of each race participant as they go past. In my mind I was like Yeah!! I hope they didnt take my official race pictures while I was walking down the bridge and wishing that I had looked up earlier and noticed them on time to put a little sprint in my step. LOL!!
We turned round at the end of the bridge and started heading back to the city and that was when Big Ben struck 9am. This meant I had been running for about 23 minutes. Finally, with a mixture of walking and running, I made it back to the finish line and did a little sprint at the end - from the 400m mark right down to the finish. I think I crossed the finish line at 9.12am (I still have to crosscheck this and confirm it with my official time which isnt up on the website yet) so that means I finished my race in 35 minutes. Although since I didnt start at the same time as other runners when the gun went off, there might be some more minutes added to my official time I think.
Hubby said he was so proud of me and my running partner was so excited!! She's now entering for the Race for Life so we can run together. She really enjoyed the race and was wishing that she had entered for it as it was so much fun watching others race. She was so impressed by other bigger ladies than her who were in the race and finished with a mixture of walking and running with some walking all the way!!
Rearing to go - just before the race
Go Calabar Gal!!
Heading back to the finish line
Last sprint to the finish line
Finished at last!
Proudly displaying my medal
So Goody Bag collected, medal round my neck, pictures taken, we hung around to cheer the 10km runners as they ran past and then left the city. Back to training for my next race now. Training begins tomorrow. LOL!!