Updated: Jun 13, 2021
During the summer when I was searching for London-area races, I stumbled across RunThrough, a series of races across the UK. I followed the organization on instagram and was impressed by their events and the prices seemed decent. I saved basically all of their races in my calendar, and once we secured our apartment for the last three months of our stay in London, I narrowed down the races I wanted to attend. As we live close to Battersea Park, I figured that I would run two of their 10K races there. After running in Battersea Park twice and absolutely falling in love (it’s beautiful, not as crowded as Hyde Park, and there are still a decent number of cute dogs), I pulled the trigger and registered for this race.
Again, I’ve been running a lot lately, and although I saw that it is a looped course (running a few loops can get boring/mentally draining), I was excited to see what I can do. Plus, my mom is visiting!
Price: 24 GBP/$30.84. I haven’t found anything cheaper here… Price: B+
Website: All the info I need! A
Publicity: The instagram page is pretty active, but since they have a lot of races and none seem to be a “title” event, none of them are publicized specially.
Transportation to race: jog!
Weather: 48F and very overcast. Periodically there was a very light sprinkling of rain. It meant that I got a bit cold before the race, but during it was actually kind of nice because it helped keep me cool. Luckily there was no rain by the time I ended.
Time: 9:35am…Obviously I’d prefer a later start, but since my mom is here and the weekend is the only time when Lior doesn’t work like a dog, I don’t want to kill the day with a race.
I woke up at 7:00am, regretting my decision to forgo sleeping in. Sleep is life! Hell, I could have woken up at 8:00am and still made it to the race. But after cursing Past Sarah’s neuroticism>>sleep mentality, I appreciated having a leisurely morning with enough time to: 1. Leisurely drink my coffee 2. Reap the coffee’s digestive benefits! Nothing beats using the bathroom in the comfort of your home 3. Slowly go through the contacts + getting dressed + hair management process 4. Going to the bathroom a second time–just in case! 5. Debate eating something, and opt to bring an energy bar to the start line. One of the many benefits of having leggings with pockets! 6. Brush my teeth and see a tiny piece of coffee stuck in the top of one of my molars. Freak out, because what if it gets stuck forever and I get a cavity? I’ve never had a cavity, and I especially don’t want one when I’m abroad and using travel insurance. 7. Go to the bathroom again, because why not.
I left my apartment around 8:35am and had more than enough time to get to the start.
Start/finish area: The start/finish area was very easy to find. There was music and plenty of space, but the benches were wet, so I had to stand around while waiting to start. Someone led a warm-up and I couldn’t help but wonder if it was just a social experiment to get runners to do weird things with their body, as a form of pre-race superstition. After the race, there was a table with lots of goodies–I got some Tenzing energy drink, a water bottle, two different kinds of energy bars, and some peanut butter. They also had bananas and tea, which I skipped. I was very impressed. Start/finish area: A
Packet pick-up: The website noted that information about where to collect the race number would be emailed prior to the race. A follow-up email informed me that packet pick-up would be from 8:30am-9:10am the morning of the race. Although I prefer to pick up my bib prior to the race, this worked out just fine.
Race shirt: The race site gives the option of adding a shirt to the purchase, which I declined to do. This means no shirt. I’ve donated so many lackluster, ill-fitting, and unisex race shirts that I’m okay with this. Heck, most of the NYRR race shirts aren’t that great, and they are the port o potty-filled gold standard of races. Even the Tokyo Marathon shirt was totally lame, and it’s a World Major Marathon. The Givatayim 10K shirt remains one of my all-time favorites, and it appears it will continue to be for the foreseeable future…
What I wore: I broke the cardinal rule and wore new clothes on race day. My mom brought some running clothes for me from Old Navy—Hanukkah came early! I wore a new pair of leggings and running sweatshirt, with a tried and true shirt underneath. And a new pair of shoes. Wow, I am such a rebel. To be fair, the shoes are the same brand/model as my previous ones (Mizuno Wave Inspire 15). These ones are a snazzy purple and black, because this was the only size available for my 9.5US/7UK/40.5EU feet. With all of the neon Nike Next% shoes out there, these are positively conservative, and I’m a little disappointed.
Bag drop: Available but I didn’t use it.
Course: Going into this race I was very excited because for once I know the race course! It feels very nice to know what to expect during the race.
credit: RunThrough UK
Although I was excited for the flat course, I wasn’t necessarily looking forward to running the above loop four times. However, it did help me break the race into chunks. Whereas for the Fulham 10K I ended up running a progression run, with the first mile the slowest and slowly getting faster, this was more of a tempo run, meaning that each mile was more or less the same pace. My first mile was still the slowest and my last mile was the fastest, but there was only a 24 second difference. The race was crowded at the beginning, but it quickly thinned out–even more so once the 5K runners started to finish. Apparently my mom and Lior saw me during my last loop and called out to me, but a combination of my music and being in the zone meant that I didn’t hear them.
Strava measured the course at 6.18mi. A few other people’s watches listed the course as short, but most people’s Strava listed the course as 6.3 or 6.4mi. I ran 52.45 according to my Garmin but 52.48 according to the race site, so I’m going with that.
Water stations: There was one water station on the course, so water was available every 1.5 miles. Given the weather, this was more than enough…I actually didn’t drink any water during the race.
Bathrooms: None on the course, but the race website said this, so it’s acceptable. The website noted the toilet location (near the start/finish area), which I appreciated.
Pictures: There was a photographer taking pictures, but you couldn’t search a gallery for yours, you had to check the Facebook page. I’m fine with this if it keeps the race entry fee low. I checked the Facebook page just a few hours later and the pictures were already uploaded, and were amazing! Here is my favorite:
Medal: The website showed a picture of the medal, which I appreciated…it gives me motivation during the run! The medal is unique, featuring the Peace Pagoda in Battersea Park, as well as autumn leaves.
The race was extremely well-organized, and very fun! I am pleased with my time–about 2:45 faster than my 10K just last week. The course is very flat and fast, and as long as you’re fine with a looped course, I highly recommend this race. I am very impressed with RunThrough UK, and plan to run some of their other events…and may return for the Battersea Park 10K in January…