A heatwave in London : and another similarly improbable event


I can’t really explain it.

I didn’t plan for it, I didn’t train for it, I certainly didn’t expect it, but today I ran a PB in the British 10k London run.

I’ve been saying all week long that I wasn’t going to shoot for a PB and instead would just enjoy the race and the scenery instead. Maybe it was this mindset that helped me go faster. I had some nerves before the race, but less than normal.

Instead of worrying about things – the hot and humid day, the delay in the start, if I had fuelled enough, had I been standing in the sun too long – I just ’let go’ and went with the day.

When the countdown finished I shuffled forward with everyone else, crossed the start line, started my Garmin, and just ran.

At first, I was really worried I had gone out too hard, my first 2km were way too fast (like, faster than my 5k threshold pace) and I really thought I had guaranteed a blowout later in the race. I dialled it back to where I felt comfortable. I thought this pace was still fast, but I felt comfortable, so I went with it.

The scenery passed by – Trafalgar square, Nelson’s Column, the Thames, the London Eye, with a glimpse of St Paul’s Cathedral at the turn-around point located just before the 5k mark. All was going well and I felt strong as I headed back onto the Embankment for the return leg.

british-10k-the thames

It was at the 6k mark that ‘the plan’ went out the window. Maybe it was ‘race fever’? After passing the 6k mark I checked my splits, did some maths and realised that if I kept up the same pace I was a possibility for a PB. I came into the 7k mark on the same pace, and it was ‘so long’ to ‘relax and enjoy the scenery’ and instead it was ‘race on’…

2.5 hard kilometres later – over the Westminster bridge, past Westminster and Big Ben – and I was looking at my watch, focussing on the finish and striding hard for the line, managing to sneak in 26 seconds faster than my previous PB.

Running is funny like that sometimes. Sometimes a run can surprise you and give back to you things that are unexpected. It is one if the things I love about running.

A happy finisher

A happy finisher

In other news, I ran with some colleagues raising money for our work charity, Body & Soul. One of my colleagues ran her first 10k race today, and managed a great time for a first time racer, and another got a PB as well. I also had some friends from my football club running, and 3 were also able to achieve a PB as well! Seems it was the day for it after all!

Team LDS

Team LDS after a successful run for all!

Did anyone else race today? How were your races? Any more PBs out there?

Strong running everyone.


Get Going, Get Running!

About getgoing-getrunning

Hi, I’m Bernie and I’m a just guy who writes about the things which get me going and get me running, even though my running is never going to result in me standing on a podium!

Posted on July 14, 2013, in British 10k, Positive Running, Races and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Well done…a 26 second PB is damn good. Congrats.

  2. Yes, I did the British 10k today!! Nothing like your experience though. I felt pollaxed by the heat and but I sensibly went in the last wave in the final 3rd. I managed to keep running, after a fashion, and my victory was not breaking into a walk. 1hr 21m with a pitstop. This was my first big race and my first stab at a 10k. Congrats on your PB. It is strange how some good runs come out of nowhere sometimes 🙂

    • The heat was oppressive. It would have been much worse for the third wave as well, due to the long delay between the starting gun and actually starting the run. Well done on completing your first big race, and a first 10k, and all without walking! Super effort!
      How did you find running along the Thames with 25,000 people keeping you company?

  3. You did so well to get a PB in the heat! I was super hot and all I did was spectate!

    • Thanks a lot for the congrats. I think it was because I’d been out running on the hot days for the last few weeks, and a scorcher in Italy. It may have allowed me to get conditioned to the heat. Still, I’d rather have a had a cooler day. Maybe I could have run faster 😉

  4. Great race! Jealous of your scenery.

  5. Congrats on that PB, Bernie! I LOVE races like that, the ones that feel effortless. For me, though, it only happens in cold weather. Good for you for doing it in the heat wave!

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