Wednesday, July 23, 2014

LONDON Part 1: Cambridge and the British 10k

Surprise!!  I just got back from a wonderful vacation visiting my parents in London, with a quick jaunt to Paris.  Here is Part 1 of the trip, including a recap of the British 10k!

Ready to go...


I was flying all of Thursday night, and arrived in London at the crack o' dawn on Friday morning.  It was literally planes, trains, and automobiles to get to my parents' house.  Good thing my mom met me at the train station, then led my exhausted self to her house, where she had fresh berries, toast, coffee, and yogurt waiting!  Oh my gosh...it was the best :)))  Oh and it didn't hurt that I was greeted by this - just down the street!


The rest of Friday I napped a little, and mom showed me around her neighborhood (or "neighbourhood" as the Brits would spell it).  My dad was working all afternoon then we all went to dinner.  I crashed EARLY though.  We had a long day ahead of us in Cambridge!


Cambridge

On Saturday my dad and I went on a run, see the little blurb here.  Then it was off to Cambridge for the day.  Sitting in the front seat of the car on the left side was mildly terrifying.  I don't know how my dad drives on the left side of the road...he doesn't know either...


Cambridge is beautiful.  I had no idea that Cambridge University is actually made up of a number of unique colleges...together called the University.  Did you know that?


Mommy and me:


The square.  It was crooooowdeddd that day.  I guess a beautiful Saturday in the summer is a good day to visit Cambridge.


You just don't get this in the US!




It was a great first day.


The British 10k London Run

The British 10k is a huge race that is run almost entirely for charity.  I was lucky enough to join my dad's corporate team, running for London's Air Ambulance.  I didn't know until the day before the race that it was so tough to get into the race...so I'm so thankful to my dad for hooking me up with their charity team!

Before - walking to the start.


After!


I had SUCH a good time!  My official time was  51:57 - about an 8:23 min/mile pace.  I am happy with that because 1) I really wasn't running for time - just to have fun and 2) there was LOTS of dodging people... That's one of the first things I noticed about the race experience - the whole corral system in this race was pretty much non-existent.  I was weaving between walkers from the first 100 yards.  It didn't matter too much though...see point 1 :)

Here's the course.  They call it Britain's Most Iconic Race Route.  We ran past a number of landmarks, as you can see.  My favorite part was  crossing Westminster Bridge towards the London Eye and turning around to see Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.  Right after that we ran by Westminster Abbey.  It was beautiful!


You'll notice I ran a 9:33 mile and then picked it up to bust out a 6:43 mile in the middle.  THAT IS NOT TRUE!  I wish the 6:43 was... But anyway, we ran through some tunnels around that part and my satellite went wacky.  The total time on my watch worked out to be pretty accurate, but those middle mile times are DEFINITELY wrong.  Who knows...



So you can imagine that the race was marked in kilometers, not miles.  That was interesting!  It was mentally pretty nice to see the kilometers keep ticking by more frequently than a mile would.  But that last 2k was brutal...I think by that time I was expecting a kilometer to be shorter than it really was.  That was also the most scenic part so I don't know why it felt so long.  Oh yeah, it was because I was tired.

Here is me being awkward on the walk back to the tube (that's the subway, for us yankees).  Behind me is the London Eye and Big Ben, with the bridge connecting the two that I mentioned above.  It was quite cloudy that morning, which was great for running.  It even rained a little in the beginning.  It was sunny for the last mile or 2, but clearly it went back to being cloudy.


 My loving spectators!  I saw them twice during the race, which was AMAZING considering there were 14,000 people!



The British 10k was definitely one of my favorite recent races.  I had a great time.  I'm still figuring out how much I really like the 10k distance...but I'm leaning toward liking it.  

1. Have you ever run a race in a new city?

2. Favorite place you've raced?

3. Have you ever been to Cambridge? 

4. What's you're favorite race distance?

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