Last year I saw posts on FB about a mile race in central London which was free to enter and had a medal at the end! I wanted in! So this year when entries were announced I was straight in there. You could choose from a selection of waves and I decided on the womens wave. There were mixed waves and family waves too.
So this morning I rocked up in the city and alongside St Pauls an hour before my wave time. I popped to the toilet, had a mooch around and took in the atmosphere before dropping off my bag at the bag drop and waiting for my wave to be called. Eventually after the previous wave has gone it was time for the women to line up. You line up at the first point and are then taken by marshalls to the next holding area before being moved onto the start line once the previous wave has gone off. It was well organised.
We were on the start line in plenty of time and at 1120 on the dot the gun went off, literally, and we were off! I was quite near the front of our wave and I went out hard. ‘It’s only 1600m’ in my head. ‘Just a mile’ ‘It’s not far’ and so I kept pushing. The halfway sign appeared in no time at all! I looked down at my watch to see it had clocked under 4 minutes! I was gobsmacked but knew now that I was on track to get a pb so I just had to push through.
We rounded a bend and in the very far distance we could see the finish line. It felt like it never got any closer. A couple of times I had to take my foot off the gas a little to regain some breath. Before pushing as hard as possible to the finish line. There was a band playing in the last 400m which was lovely. I crossed the line and tried to find some form of breathing again with an uncomfortably dry throat. I glugged down a bottle of water and picked up my medal before finding a spot in the shade to regain my composure!
Whilst I was sat there two ladies I had been chatting to at the start walked past and they had both managed great times too. I was thrilled I’d got a PB taking my mile PB down to 7:58.61! Under 8minutes! I couldn’t believe it! I’ve not being run training that much recently so I really didn’t expect to do that well today! It made me wonder what I could achieve if I was in top running fitness!
The race village was really well organised. A cake stall and coffee stand, mizuno shop, an engraver and info stand as well as plenty of toilets. It was right next to St Pauls underground station on the central line so it wasn’t difficult to get to!
For a free event you really couldn’t ask for better! All I paid for it was the £14 for my ticket into London and that was it! And I have a really cute medal for it!
I shall definitely be back next year!