I was invited to the event by Gung Ho, on behalf of New Balance. I've been lucky enough to review New Balance's latest trainers and their 1260 model has become a firm favourite of mine.
It was an early start as I made my way up to London and to the Cavalry and Guards Club in Mayfair for some pre-race hospitality adjacent to the start line. I could get used to this sort of hospitality pre-race in such grand settings.
|Inside the Cavalry and Guards Club|
|Great view from the balcony and the waves of runners|
|With the Military Wives Choir|
|The Military Wives Choir performing|
With the 100 year centenary of the First World War it all felt terribly British and I felt quite proud of my Country. With the National Anthem being sung by the Choir before the start of the race I was feeling quite pumped up and ready to run despite my nagging Achilles injury.
|World War 1 procession|
Another bonus I had was the chance to start in the front group, a privilege I've never had in such a big race. Me an elite athlete for the day...who would have thought!
With so many runners taking part, I was expecting a slow start and a struggle to settle into any kind of pace early on.
However with being at the front of the pack and amongst the lead runners, I started way too fast and by the first mile was running at sub 7 min/mile pace which is unfamiliar territory for me.
Surprisingly, I managed to keep the pace fast for the first few miles, at 5K I was not far off my PB for that distance. My running the couple of weeks previous had become somewhat subdued due to my Achilles problems, so I was more than happy to be flying along. My new New Balance 1260's were performing great on the wet tarmac streets of London.
The crowd support was good despite being a short race and a damp Sunday morning. The crowd was particularly good along the embankment and approaching Big Ben near the end of the race. It bought back great memories of the marathon but this time without the pain of being at mile 24!
A great way to see the Capital, traffic free and I would highly recommend, especially for runners who don't want to take on the marathon but want the big London race experience.
|The iconic route|
I managed to complete the race in a respectable 48:26 before heading off to the New Balance Village in Waterloo place to collect my belongings. I picked up a nice New Balance goody bag and my medal and then took advantage of a free massage from YourPhysioPlan.com.
This was great to get some long overdue attention on my Achilles and my tight calves which are causing the problem. I say 'great' but at the time it was far from that as the Physio pummelled into my knotted muscles!
A great morning and a massive thank you to Gung Ho and New Balance for their wonderful hospitality.
|The walk back and past one of the races landmarks|
|Some nice race bling|