What better way to kick off the New Year than entering in for an organised 10k run in one of London’s finest parks?! The Battersea Park 10k is one of many runs organised by Run Through. Me and a few unsuspecting victims (friends visiting for the weekend) turned up bright and early on Saturday morning all confidently claiming we were “PB ready”. See how we got on..
Luckily my visitors for the weekend, Kaine and Jo are also avid runners who train with Clifton Running Club in Bristol so it wasn’t too much of a difficult pitch when I first suggested the 10k run over Christmas. When we arrived into Battersea Park via Chelsea Bridge, we were a little bit unsure where to go, no sign posts or marshals telling us which path in the fork in the road to take. We just followed other lycra-clad people until we found a bandstand playing rave music and marshals in hi-vis.
I’m sure I’m not alone when I admit that I check the run route about a week or two before an event (except for running 10mile+ events in Bristol where hills always managed to sneak in, I want to be prepared for that). The 5k route is twice around the park and the 10k route is four times around the park. Running in loops divides runners; some consider it the ideal way to track lap times and to confidently go quicker the next lap knowing what’s round the corner, others complain that covering the same turf can get pretty boring quite quickly. I am the latter.
Having said that, the people of Battersea Park provided some quality entertainment; there were skis on wheels, rollerblades and pretty much anything else with wheels on it in the park that day. Including a car which rudely had to cut across the pathway at one point. Run Through had warned that the park was open to visitors as business as usual, so no runners should’ have complained about this – after all, we train in parks with all the usual obstacles all the time so this run was no different
(Also, we all logged 6.1 miles at the finish, maybe we all cut the same corner?! Had I not been too busy collapsing at the finish line I might have noticed and carried on running)
Was it a PB kind of day? Yes it was, we all scored PBs. Turns out my runner friends are pretty quick! Jo – 44.23 / Kaine – 45:50 / Me – 48:41
The organisation was great, bag drop was nice and easy to get to, everything was sign-posted, marshals were super encouraging (especially the lady at the 0.3 mile mark, she was really great at cheering everyone on – can she marshal at all the events I run?!)
Only negative point is the bad state of the loos :/
Race entry is £21 which is fine for a 10k run in London but seems a bit steep for a 5k (especially as Parkrun offers free timed 5k runs in a park every Saturday, albeit, without a medal).
For the race entry, you will receive a cool little medal (but no mention of the year completed which is a shame). You will also get professional photographs for free, NO WATERMARK! There is also a wealth of snacks at the finish line, including bananas and homemade flapjacks for the people who like good old fashioned race recovery foods, there was also ‘On your Whey!’ protein bars and some suspicious looking protein drinks.
Battersea Park 10k feedback
I have three suggestions for improvement about how the Battersea Park 10k can be made a little bit better:
- If you don’t step over the start line, your time just defaults to when the clock was started for all runners. It’d be good if this was communicated in email or on the website beforehand. I put my headphones in 10 seconds before starting and maybe didn’t hear the direction. The start line was quite narrow so went round it then… realised about 10 seconds later what I’d just done!
- The port-a-loos were in a bad way even at 8:20am (race wasn’t due to start until 9:30am)
- The machine that pumps air into the inflatable finish line gate outputs fumes which you run past when doing a loop of the park which can be a little unpleasant when you’re going at a good pace towards the end. Maybe the other runners didn’t notice this but I was quite enjoying the leafy green environment until I caught a breathe full of the fumes, peh!
Take a look at what’s next on the very busy Run Through exercise calendar!