Last weekend bright and early we set off for East London. Parking at Westfield for the day we then had the fun of trying to find our way out and to the Olympic park! Easier said than done! Why can’t they have a big sign saying ‘THIS WAY!’
Eventually though we found it and sat in some of the lovely shady bits whilst I waited for Mark to arrive. The morning was already blisteringly hot and wasn’t giving me much faith for a PB, I’d already pretty much written it off. I know I don’t run well in the heat.
Once Mark called to say he was there and we had located each other we dropped bags at the bag drop which was pretty much an unsupervised one, but free so thats kind of ok! Dashed to the toilets and then squeezed our way into the white wave. Our wave was 2nd and then the 3rd and 4th were set off an hour after us!
We started late and already just stood in the heat I could feel the sweat dripping down my back! They kept announcing for people to take it easy and not chase PBs and stood there I knew I wouldn’t be. I’d run as much as was comfortable I decided.
Once across the line we set off for an out and back past the little fun fair they have constructed before taking in an outer loop of the park, passing the bag drop and toilets before making our way up some lovely bridges! In that heat they felt like hills!
The route headed around the Copper Box arena before taking in some of the lovely (#Sarcasm) east london buildings and decor before returning into the Olympic Park at 5km. We then had a few more out and backs before going around the velodrome. At this point I started to feel a bit queasy from pushing myself in the heat and munched a couple of dextrose tablets and soon I felt alright again. Eventually we made our way back to the stadium and on running through the tunnels, thinking at this point we would then be turning into the olympic track, but NO! Instead they were mean and they sent you off round a track on the outside of the stadium! I could have cried!!!!! But eventually we were running back into the stadium and suddenly around the olympic track! I found a bit of a sprint before realising actually 400m is a long way when you’ve already done 10k! So had to ease off a bit again before reaching the last 100m and going for it! Mark grabbed my hand and dragged me along as we sprinted the last stretch across the finish line. I pretty much collapsed at the side trying to regain my breath before we had a long saunter out of the stadium to find the water and medals! In that heat they really could have done with handing some water out inside the stadium!
The medal was really cool other than it not mentioning the 10k anywhere on it and so I quickly twigged that there was a chance we would get the same medal for the family run!
Later that afternoon I lined up with my boys, girlfriend and mum and we set off round the family run, totally unsure of the distance. The website had said 2k, the guy at the start said a mile and the actual distance ended up being 2 miles! It was super hot with next to no shade, alot of kids were struggling in teh heat but we made our way around with Mum and my eldest power walking and youngest alternating between running and being carried on mine of the girlfriends shoulders before they got their turn to run around the olympic track which they were super excited by!
When we finished there was an absolute MEGA queue for the medals and water, something that really could have been organised a lot better but they seemed to lack volunteers. Annoyingly it was the exact same medal I’d got that morning which I have to admit is frustrating and a minus point for me. I like different medals for different events, even if it had been the same medal design and just a different ribbon colour!
Overall it was a good day. Its a novelty to run around the olympic track thats for sure. I think the route could be better planned out though in my opinion. There has to be a way to avoid taking you out of the stadium once you are inside it!
Would I do it again? Probably. Would I do the family run again to get the same medal, less chance but possible. Worth the money? Probably not. Its on the pricey side for a 10k but I suspect they get away with that because of the ‘olympic stadium’ pull!