This was the fourth year for this event and each year it has grown in popularity with a record number of 20,000 people participating to raise money and awareness for Cancer Research. I have been extremely lucky to be invited by Human Race as an ambassador to take part and it is always a very easy yes to get involved. I love this event, it is great fun, for a wonderful cause and completely inclusive with so many people of different abilities.
There are some sad statistics relating to cancer as follows:
- 1 in 2 people in the UK born after 1960 will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime.
- 4 in 10 (42%) of cancer cases in the UK each year are linked to lifestyle factors.
So it is no surprise that when, at the start of the event, the question to raise your hand if you have been or know someone that has been affected by cancer saw most of the crowd with their hands in the air. With the race numbers you receive a piece of paper to note down if you are taking part in the event for someone in particular and there are so many messages and names pinned to tshirts and jackets on the course.
One of the tips I recently received from Tom Craggs (one of the UK’s most in demand running coaches and Head Coach at Polar) was about the power within yourself (centering) and the benefits of having a transcendent motivation such as dedicating each mile to someone and so on days like yesterday I have seen comments from people that found having that motivation helped them get through a distance they had maybe not covered previously or achieve a PB they were aiming for.
I have mentioned (ok maybe moaned a little) about an injury to my knee and part of my physio was a couch to 10k type of run/walk plan to assist with other strength exercises and rehab the knee back to full strength with this event being the first in my training post injury. This was going great until I cycled a hill a week ago that did not agree with my knee and I have been suffering since. I would absolutely be taking part in the event but would not be striving to beat any previous records in any way as that would be pretty stupid and I didn’t want to make it worse – though I did make sure I would be taking part with rock tape in keeping with the colour theme of the event (ha!).
So I was really pleased to be able to run with a friend from my triathlon club, Havering Tri, who had not run further than 5k before. Most of the people I know run faster than me so it is rare I am able to help someone in this discipline!
There were four of us from our tri club taking part and we split into two with my husband pacing a friend, Layla, to an awesome PB and me running with Dave for his longest run to date and by default also a PB!
And we all loved it! We high fived all the animals – penguins, yetis, huskies and polar bears. We sang with the choirs on route. We smiled and said hi to people we knew on course, even took some photos and we had a brilliant time. Dave was amazing and completed in an awesome time and it was an absolute pleasure to run with him. I even got a bit of a commentary finding out the London hotel where his parents spent their honeymoon 60 years ago, where he got a wedding suit and a good place he’d been for coffee.
At the end of the event we were given coconut water, water, soreen and some yummy Optimum Nutrition bars and protein shakes, which went down a treat post run. I even had a chance to have a photo with the official 2018 ambassador of the event, Olympic gold medalist, Amy Williams (who is just lovely by the way).
The atmosphere at this event is one of the best I’ve ever experienced and the volunteers are so positive and encouraging you can’t help but smile and enjoy it.
My social media was full of posts from those who took part in this event – smiles all round and lots of positive reviews that I completely agree with.
Did you take part? If so well done and I hope you had just as good a time as I did.
If you are interested for next year you can secure priority at www.londonwinterrun.co.uk and there is also still time to donate to the fundraising campaign to support the work of Cancer Research UK here.
My race entry was complimentary, but all opinions are my own.