Wimbledon 10K, 22/3/09

We had our stall at the Brighton Vegan Fayre on 21 March so, with a busy time traveling with the stall contents by public transport, after the fayre I would rather have conveniently taken the train back to Milton Keynes. Given that I was traveling through London, passing near to the venue and not wanting to disappoint, I decided to make the effort and support the event where Anna Finn was already entered with her school team. With many members in the London region it was an opportunity to meet up and possibly complete a team. Wheeling the heavy load to the overnight accommodation, I was not quite sure I was going in the right direction, ending up taking a detour.

I had no intention of taking the heavy luggage to the 10K, it would have been too much. The short journey still took about an hour and with a 9.30am start not leaving much time for preparation on arrival at the Wimbledon Rugby Ground however, the mile or so walk from the nearest rail station was a good warm-up. I soon met up briefly with Anna close to the start and with a short run across the rugby field, joined the Start. The venue was quite familiar although it was some 10 years or so since I ran there.

With a calm, sunny day it was ideal for a 10K event. After the long climb near halfway, the course was mostly long flat stretches with the long descent around 7K and a touch of countryside as we passed through the edge of Wimbledon Common. Between 2 & 3K we passed a busy T-junction where there were no marshals or police and some motorists were disgruntled as they tried to turn right. Horns were used for long intervals and with the road turning sharply left followed by a sharp right, I felt our lives were at risk but as the road straightened calmness was restored.

Reaching the edge of Wimbledon town centre we turned left and up the long steep climb. Despite the most testing part of the course, I felt comfortable. At the top we turned left towards Wimbledon Common. Leaving the Common the pace increased as we approached the long descent and the main road where we had earlier problems. A couple of male competitors clearly much older overtook me but I could sense that it was only temporary and reined them in later on the long flat stretches. Finished quite strongly, overtaking many other competitors but just missed breaking 42 minutes. Not many other runners had finished in the entry of about a 1000 but even so was surprised later by 63rd place due to not many club runners being present.

After seeing Anna finish we supported her school students who were running their first road event after six weeks of training which ended with the school team photo.
I returned to the overnight accommodation to resume the journey with the heavy luggage.