I caught a passing post on the Runners World Forum for a fast approaching local 10K to be held at Gunnersbury Park so entered online to continue my recent run of races. The event had taken place before but this was the first outing to be supported and promoted by my local running club Ealing Eagles. I had checked out their web site previously while looking for local running clubs and I was impressed by the information presented on their web site but unfortunately family and work commitments stop me from going along to join them. I quickly signed up for the race and then headed down to Gunnersbury Park on a very sunny Sunday morning to collect my race number.
There was a reasonably large group hanging around the start area but with plenty of time until the start I went for a gentle jog around the park. I was soon back waiting at the start area and listening to the instructions for the course. The sub 40 minute runners were asked to move to the front, prompting a step back from most of the field, and then we were soon off under starters orders. With the wide open spaces of the park ahead I parked myself reasonably far back and there was no need to weave in and out of crowds as I hit my target pace from the off and found myself passing groups of runners. I have a weekend long route that includes Gunnersbury Park so I was familiar with the route although there were plenty of friendly marshals from Ealing Eagles lining the key points to ensure everyone knew the correct directions.
With the sun beating down I found a small group of runners who were set at my target pace so I latched onto them and enjoyed the run around the park, particularly enjoying the shaded areas as a respite from the hot weather. We were soon hitting a second loop, following a fast pit stop to grab a drink at the water station, of the park and I decided to up my pace a little and selected a runner slightly further ahead to gradually catch and eventually pass. Unfortunately I had misjudged the location of the finish line (I expected it to be where the start had been… must remember to check) so missed an opportunity to sprint the final 100 metres and suddenly found myself rounding a hedge to see the finish just a few metres in front of me.
The race was very well organised so thanks for all those involved, especially the marshals from Ealing Eagles whose cheers for the final 1k helped me tackle the final part of the race, and congratulations to all those who took part. Ealing Eagles posted the race results on their web site.
- Gun position: 65th out of 179
- Gun time: 48 minutes 53 seconds
- Class: male
- Class position: 58th out of 113
- Garmin time: 48 minutes 45 seconds