Race Report: London Winter Run | Eclectic Cake: Race Report: London Winter Run

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Race Report: London Winter Run

WHAT: 10k winter-themed run
WHERE: Embankment, London
WHEN: 1st February 2015

London isn't treated to snow very often but when even a few flakes fall in the city, you'll be sure to see crowds of hatted and scarfed people attempting to make miniature snowballs. So when Human Race announced their winter-themed 10k event had three snow zones on the course, it was sure to make the masses flock!


The city played the perfect host for a winter street party, providing suitably icy weather for the London Winter Run day. With bag drop quite a walk away from the riverside start line, the temperature seemed to drop even lower, so I was glad to cosy up in the pen with almost 15,000 runners, who had snapped up the opportunity to run with the nicest woman in athletics, Jo Pavey, through falling snow and grab a celebratory hug from a polar bear.

Ready to run along one of London's most iconic routes

With a recovering (touch wood, cross fingers, rub lucky rabbit's foot) achilles, I joined the last wave of runners for a party paced trot. The event was in support of Cancer Research UK, so there were plenty of tribute t-shirted, onesie-uped first-timers running their furthest ever distance to raise funds for the charity. The flat London roads provided the perfect route for new runners, in fact it's ideal for any runner and it's pretty PB friendly, too.

Some post-race celebration with Jo Pavey!

My aim was to just avoid any injury-related twinges and take time to enjoy the views and atmosphere of the race, both of which were great. If you were too cool to get excited by snow or hugging a guy in an animal suit (terrifying!), the central location was something with plenty of bragging rights. Running in London often feels like agility training, with herds of tourists, stubborn pavement-owning commuters and hundreds of traffic lights to dodge, you find yourself constantly swerving, ducking, diving, sharp-stopping, sudden-starting to get...well, anywhere but on this particular Sunday morning, we owned one of the best running routes in the city.

10k later...

And the snow? Well, predicting the weather is a tricky business. If you promise snow, you'll have people dressed in their thermals, armed with carrots, ready to build snowmen, when we might only get a slight frosting. There were indeed three snow zones on the course but they consisted of small cannons that sprinkled suds into the moving crowd. I had swatted up on my snowball throwing technique, ready to roll around in inches of the white stuff. Sliding around, having to dodge snowball shots, wobbling on uneven ground...perhaps it would've been a little too much. Besides, those little puffs of white still brought a childlike grin to my face, even if it only lasted a few seconds. Be rest assured, the post-run endorphins and medal lust lasted a lot longer! Bring on next year...

Race bling good enough for your Christmas tree

You can pre-register for next year's London Winter Run, here.

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