Regent’s Park Summer 10K Series Martin Richardson runs the Regent's Park 10k
Name: Martin Richardson
Event: Regent’s Park Summer 10K Series – Race 5
The summer series in Regent’s Park has been gaining popularity month on month. The race saw a huge turn out of what was predicted to be nearly 700 runners (with a usual capacity of 600, evenly split between male and female runners), and there’s no better way to start your Sunday off than racing a nice, fast, flat course, and potentially getting yourself a PB. Unless, of course, a thunderstorm and torrential rain hold you back. (Well that’s my excuse)
After last night’s excitement at the Olympic Stadium, and with the inspiration of Jessica Ennis, Greg Rutherford and long distance runner Mo Farah spurring us on, hundreds of early risers stood anxiously on the start line, in one of London’s finest Royal Parks, awaiting the all too familiar crack of the starting pistol.
The race itself is made up of three laps of internal park paths, with only slight inclines here and there, starting and finishing at The Hub. There is absolutely no traffic to contend with, which is a luxury, as the race never crosses any roads or bridges. The paths do remain open to the public so the odd morning jogger going in the opposite direction or the occasional dog on it’s morning stroll are the only real obstacles, but most members of the public are obliging and make space. Faster club runners may find themselves lapping some of the slightly slower runners towards the end of the second lap, but being a well organised race, an announcement is made before the start to ensure that people are aware of where to run in order to let the faster runners past.
Some people dislike the idea of running laps, but this series of races is one of the best to use to set running goals and targets. You can choose to enter all six races in the series, or enter one at a time if that suits your schedule better. The great thing is you can enter on the day if you are unsure of your availability. As the course is measured under UK Athletics Rules, as well as being chip timed, for just £11.00 (Attached) or £14.00 (Unattached) you can set up a fast series of summer 10K races without burning a hole in your pocket, and maybe set a few PB’s along the way.
The race started fairly pacey with a consistent group of club runners taking the lead and setting a quick pace. The most challenging part of the race is keeping a consistent pace for the three laps, this is helped along however by the organizer, who have cleverly placed a lap time at the start/finish line. However, as the weather remains largely unpredictable in London, a summer race in near perfect racing conditions can soon become one of the wettest races I have ever run in. All 700 or so runners found themselves in the midst of a thunderstorm, for me this happened midway through the race, just before my third lap. I usually welcome a light drizzle to cool me down in a 10K, but after several minutes of heavy rainfall my trainers were squelchy and slippy, and my Serpentine club vest felt heavier than rucksack full of sand, causing a slightly slower pace for the final lap. My final time of 37mins 30secs was not a PB, but this being a very friendly race I would definitely run it next year, so there’s always a chance to better my time.
It would score high on the leader board for being well organised overall, having co-operative and obliging race organisers and a fantastic atmosphere of supporters cheering you on along the way. On tip I’d give to those wanting to try this race for the first time would be to apply early, to avoid disappointment, oh, and try the muffins in the Hub Café afterwards, they’re good!