This weekend was to be one of our favourite weekends of the year. With a RunThrough Half Marathon in Victoria Park on Saturday and the Cancer Research London Winter 10K Sunday – it was to be a weekend filled with running and friends. Jon, Tiago and Craig were travelling into London and the Pembroke crowd (plus) were to be out in force on Sunday.

As it turned out, storm Ciara had something to say about that. Met Office forecasts of exceptionally high winds and heavy rain for Sunday resulted in the Winter 10K being cancelled a few days in advance. Refunds have been offered. It is an expensive race but I hope the charity itself doesn’t lose out too much. Despite a last minute search for another race for Sunday, we decided to be safe and stay in doors. 

The start of the weekend – everyone is here!

RunThorough Half Marathon

We did manage to run in Victoria park on Saturday, though, where RunThrough were their usual smooth and efficient selves. We like these local events because you can just turn up and run without too much fuss and bother. The event consisted of a 5K, 10K and Half marathon; for the longer distances you need to be ok with laps – 7.5 for the Half.

Although we joked about the “hill” (a short gentle slope) after a few kilometres and gearing up for the perilous sharp bend (hardly), the course is flat and fast. We have both run really well there on previous occasions. The events are chip-timed and (usually) UKA accredited. 

RunThrough provide plenty of portaloo’s, so there is very little queuing. The bag drop facilities are close to the start/finish. And at the end of the race you get a medal and drinks and snacks, including their delicious flap-jacks.  There are also concession stands serving tea, coffee and snacks in the race village and very friendly and encouraging marshals out on the course. 

RunThrough races are frequent in (and outside) of London – a season pass (£450) guarantees entry to all RunThrough events throughout the UK. There are other multi-race deals on their website. Even if you just pay for individual races, we think they are good value. (And no, we are not getting paid to say this!).

The results

So how did we run? Better than expected is the answer.

Jacquie, having bailed the last RunThrough Half here in January, managed to complete the course in 1:56. This earned her an age-grade win and her 80% goal for the year. Cam ran a very respectable 1:38 – having had a couple of weeks off from training so was pleased with that. Jon, again coming back from some time off with a bad virus infection and hamstring niggle, set out for a gentle 1:57 and actually ran 1:52 (typical!).  Martin, who only signed up on the day when he realised his weekend long run wouldn’t take place because of the storm, ran one of this best half’s for some time.

Mark, in true Mark fashion, wasn’t expecting to be racing (long story) and ran a new Half PB of 1:22.  Victoria Park is definitely one of Mark’s Happy Place courses. PB’s are the norm here.

Tiago was running marathons (extremely well) elsewhere and Craig took himself off for a little trip to Paris!

Mark (in red) finishing with a new PB and age-category win. He was so far ahead of the rest of us that he’d left before the post-race photo and drink!

Despite storm Ciara we did have a fun-filled weekend and enjoyed seeing friends. We were sad about the cancellation of the 10k but will no doubt be signing up for the event next year. 

Sunday was a bit fraught as everyone tried to make their way home. Happy to report they all made it safely and without too much trouble. 

Well-deserved post race refreshments in the excellent East London Liquor Company Bar