Mo, Paula, Jo & Me

Yes, all four of us, along with some 12,000 others are running the Bupa London 10,000 this Bank Holiday Monday (30th May at 11:00 a.m.) which starts, and finishes, in St. James’s Park and uses Green Park as its assembly area. The course covers part of the 2012 Olympic marathon route and for the first time this year’s race features the UKA 10K Championships for Men and Women. British Athletes who ran 10km faster than 32mins (Men) and 38mins (Women) in the last two years have been eligible for a complimentary entry whilst the rest of us have paid to take part!!!

Last year Mo (Farah) set a new British 10K road race record of 27 min 44sec when he outsprinted Kenya’s world record holder Micah Kogo to clinch victory by 5 seconds. I like to think that they felt under pressure with my 5km split time of 26 min 29 sec! Both Paula (Ratcliffe) and Jo (Pavey) are confirmed entries so if you want to see some top class running, for free, this Bank Holiday Monday then get up to London because it’s not being televised as far as I am aware. Being my third year of running this event I would suggest that the Embankment is a great spot for spectators as we run it in both directions.

The actual start point is on Birdcage Walk and follows an anti-clockwise route around the City of Westminster and the City of London via Parliament Square, Embankment, Blackfriars Bridge, Queen Victoria Street, Cannon Street, Great Tower Street, Crutched Friars, Fenchurch Street, Leadenhall Market, Cornhill, Queen Victoria Street, Puddle Dock, Embankment, Horseguards Avenue, Whitehall and via Trafalgar Square to the finish in The Mall. Buckingham Palace acts as the backdrop to the start and finish with runners passing many of London’s famous sights, including Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, The London Eye, Cleopatra’s Needle, Tate Gallery, Millennium Bridge, The Monument, Lloyds of London, Leadenhall Market, Bank of England, Mansion House, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Horseguards, Nelson’s Column and Admiralty Arch.

In 2010 I came 20th in my age group, was placed 2475th overall, and although the entry fee is some £24 it is a very well organised, and supported, event which I would recommend to other club members. Based upon my finish time last year (52 min 17sec) they have put me in the second of nine starting pens so my master plan is to let Mo, Paula and Jo race off and when I get to the 5km point start applying the pressure because as everyone knows it takes me that long to warm-up, and yes I will be wearing my club vest. Have a great weekend folks!