On the 13th April 2014, I went to watch my uncle run the London Marathon. He’s run it a number of times (he is a running machine!) and I returned home that day, not only moved by the joyous atmosphere but inspired to do some long distance running myself! I’d done 5ks before and was looking for a fresh new challenge when I stumbled upon a tweet from Nike about their women’s race series. “We Own the Night” was an 10k night race, for 10000 participants. It was generally marketed towards ladies, but was open to any gender (I saw a few men running, but predominantly the runners were female).
I ummed and ahhed about entering and then signed up that day! Unfortunately, because of my late discovery of this race, I was left with only 4 weeks to train for my first ever 10k. I was running a little at the time, and since the general consensus online seemed to be that anyone capable of running 5k three times a week would be able to run a 10k as well, I figured I would be fine. I found a basic 4 week training plan online, and set about following it, for the most part.
The race itself was 2 laps of Victoria Park, in Hackney. As I was obviously not going to run fast enough to lap anyone, I didn’t find the course layout to be problematic, but I can imagine that a faster runner would have found it awkward in places to overtake the slower runners, particularly in places where the path was quite narrow.
At £28, it was slightly pricier than other races I have run, but Nike did go out of their way to provide a unique experience for participants. There were huge, lit up, kilometre markers around the course, live bands and an athletes’ village with a stage and various stalls. On top of that, there were seemingly unlimited amounts of free propercorn and coconut water- perfect for refuelling après race! Other goodies were the race technical t-shirt and the finishers necklace. I was actually a big fan of this, as you can wear it out and about far more easily than you could a regular medal.
I finished the race in 1:04:23, which I thought was pretty good for a first attempt. Obviously I would have loved to have gone sub 60, but on just 4 weeks training and without a huge amount of base fitness, it simply wasn’t feasible. I was reassured though, that with proper training this goal could be achieved by me.
I would recommend this race to anyone looking for their first 10k, friends looking to do a race together and runners looking for fun. If you are a fast runner and looking for a really fast time, this might not be the race for you, as you might get frustrated by the course layout, but I would definitely recommend running it for the fun and atmosphere!
Unfortunately I couldn’t run the Nike Women’s Race Series this year, as I was in America when it was on, but I look forward to running it in 2016 and smashing my PBs! Hopefully, some of you will decide to run it too!