Race Recap: Clapham Common 10k

AKA The race where I would have sold both my sisters to pull out at 4km…

When I wrote my last post this race still felt like a good safe distance away, two weeks is ages right? It crept up quickly though. I spent all week happily going about my usual business and then suddenly it was Saturday and I was staring at the weather app on my phone telling me it was going to be 26 degrees the next day. This had to be a cruel joke, when is it ever 26 degrees in London?

Denial was the order of the day and I decided that I wouldn’t let potential heat induced spontaneous combustion phase me. I woke up bright and early on Sunday, ate a bagel, shoved a nuun tablet in a bottle of water (recommended by the lovely Mrs B at Mind Over Matter) and hoped for the best. Having persuaded my mum to come along with me for moral support we made our way from Clapham Junction to the common for 9.20ish (number collection was 8.30 to 9.30) and joined the queue to pick up numbers. The race was due to kick off at 10 and I spent the rest of the time sitting in the shade and then queuing for one of the three portaloo’s, there was actually a point where about 1/3 of the field was in the queue 10 minutes before the start. bandstand

Finally everyone had done their business and we were lined up at the start, I set off and felt AWESOME like I was flying, 6:40 m/m pace, no problem. The lasted roughly to the 2km mark, where my legs realised I was not running an 800m interval and things started to slow down dramatically.

The course was twice round a 5k loop and there were long stretches with no shade and nothing particularly interesting to look at. At 3km I was feeling bad and at 4km I just wanted it all to end. Between 4km and 5km all I could think about was dropping out, I spent a good 10 minutes gauging the best way of doing this, all the while slowing to an almost crawl along the path.  

 I was throwing all sorts of wild promises about, just get through the next 2 km and see how you feel, wait till 2km to go and you can kick, 1km to go just need to hold on for 5 more minutes!

My mum was at 9km and she shouted to me that if I overtook the two girls in front of me I would be in the top 20 ladies, by some divine miracle I managed to pick up the pace and sprint past those girls, throwing myself over the line in just over 49 minutes. Official time 49.16 (my first ever 10k race, so a new PB by default!)


This race firmly cemented the fact that I DO NOT LIKE running in the hot. BUT, it also showed me that I can keep going even when every fiber of my being is screaming at me to stop, and that is awesome.

You know who else is awesome, other running bloggers, I was lucky enough to meet Cat and Hannah after the race and they were just as down to earth and lovely as their twitter feeds/blog posts would suggest.

(Don’t tell anyone but I have secretly booked in to do the Transcendence (Run and Become) 10k in two weeks, and best of all it starts at 8am! Crump you sun!)


4 thoughts on “Race Recap: Clapham Common 10k

  1. I hate running on Clapham Common – the races there have so many twists and turns. As for heat – I ran 10 on that day but not in race mode and I loved it. It made me feel like I was back in Australia 🙂 Racing in hot weather would suck though so I’m hoping this cool weather sticks around for Saturday’s Richmond Park 10k.

    What flavour nuun did you try?

    1. It was so twisty! and because they hadn’t closed off the path there were lots of unsuspecting families risking a trampling. Richmond Park should be really nice though.

      I got a multi-pack with tropical, strawberry lemonade, grape and one other. Big fan so far!

  2. I’ve lived that experience! I did a10k in Hyde Park in the heat a few years ago and someone turned the energy switch off at 5k so I know how gutsy you were to keep it together for the second 5k. And a sub 50 10k is not to be sniffed at. Nice job!! But it makes you wonder how Mo does it in 27 mins!!

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