I got my number ready the night before, but totally forgot until the morning that I usually paint my nails- I had packed the nail varnish and everything- so I decided that if I got ready super quickly I could paint my nails before we left for the bus. We had to get the bus at just after 8am, as they were only every 40 mins on a Sunday, and the next busy wouldn’t get me to the centre in time. By the end the bus driver wasn’t letting people on as it was so full, so I think we were lucky that our stop was a long way out.
We had a wander around the race village and then I made my way to the start pen. I had a very precise start time (9:41 I think) and I had to be in the pen by 9.30. It was chilly so I left my top with Andy at the last possible moment, but then I couldn’t get into the pen because all of the entry points seemed to be closed. There was no way I could jump over a fence like some people were doing, but thankfully someone had opened one of the fences so I could get in. I was a bit confused as the warm up was at the opposite end to the start, so half the people were facing a different way. Jo Pavey was on the stage starting the race, which was exciting!
The race started like clockwork- I was very impressed as often the big events get delayed for one reason or another.
I really enjoyed this race- a lot more than I expected to. I am not always a big fan of the big races- I find the crowds stressful and I would rather have nice scenery than run through a load of streets. The route took us quickly through the city and along a gorge next to a river, with beautiful views. There were loads of bands en route, and I just felt immensely happy as I was running- some cheesy thoughts running through my head but happy that I am healthy enough to run, happy that even though Andy didn’t want to run it with me, he knew I’d enjoy it and suggested it for my birthday weekend, happy that so many people were out enjoying the run and enjoying spectating.
The route doubled back along the gorge at about 2.5 miles, and then at around 4 miles we were back in the city again. We passed a water station in the out and back bit, but I didn’t need to stop. Side point- they were using plastic bottles and the number of runners that just took one sip and then flung the bottle to the side was ridiculous- it’s not only a waste of water and plastic, but think of all the fuel used to transport this heavy water around- it’s so bad for the environment on so many levels. I just don’t understand why races don’t use cups as not many people will be drinking 500ml water while running a 10k. Rant over.
I wasn’t aiming for a time and I had no idea it was actually flat, and I was feeling good with a couple of miles to go so decided to increase my pace a little. I didn’t quite manage the royal flush negative split- my mile splits were 9.33, 9.11, 9.03, 9.06, 8.55 and 8.46, with the final bit at 7.52. Not too shabby!
I was waiting for a text to come through, but in the end I had to look up my time on the internet- 56:40. This is a little bit of a shame as it must be so easy to do- so many times now you get a text almost as you cross the line, and this race wasn’t cheap. They did have a fantastic way to get pedestrians to cross the race route- the run route was split in half with fencing, and marshals would hold up tape and direct runners to one side only, and then the pedestrians would cross to half way, and then they would move the tape to the other side, directing runners to the other side of the track- very clever.
The finish area was packed- I picked up my finisher pack and enjoyed some water, before picking up my t-shirt. Mini rant alert- the smallest size available was a unisex small- it’s massive and there are plenty of runners slimmer than me. It’s such a nice colour but it feels so lazy to just have unisex sizing. Plus if I wore it on a run it’s a free advert for the race- I am not likely to wear it much when it’s so big.
I met Andy at Bill’s where we had breakfast, and then popped to Bird&Blend for an Earl Grey latte.
The t-shirt that is way too flappy to run in- not so good for the expensive entry fee
We then got the bus back to the hotel, had a shower and headed over to Bath for the afternoon- another one of my favourite places to visit.
Of course we stopped for tea and cake after a bit of a wander (we shared some delicious carrot cake) and then in the evening headed to the cinema to see Long Shot. I’d not been to the cinema for ages- we only get free tickets every two weeks now, as Vitality have changed the rules, and Andy has been using them for all the comic/ Marvel films recently, but they don’t interest me so I’ve not been. I took some sweets as a snack (the peach fizz Candy Kittens which are gelatin-free are so tasty), and really enjoyed the film. I’m not a huge rom-com fan, but it was funny enough without being all soppy.
On Monday we made our way back home via a couple of National Trust places. I tried my medal out on a wooden squirrel, and of course we visited a tearoom. All in all a lovely weekend.
Do you prefer big city races or smaller events? Did you enjoy the Bank Holiday weekend?
7 thoughts on “Bristol weekend part 2- Bristol 10K”
Fantastic split times, well done! I so agree about plastic water bottles- a lot of our recent races have been no cup so you bring your own. There’s absolutely no reason why people shouldn’t take responsibility for their own hydration needs. It’s a complete waste in every way throwing water and bottles away. Also agree about t shirts- I picked up small at the Grizzly again this year and again it’s like a night shirt on me so I don’t wear it.
Bringing your own is a good idea, especially on shorter ones- I suppose with marathons it’s not so easy to carry water with you, unless you have one of those rucksack things.
The Manchester 10k I did on Sunday (Great Run series) was the exactly the same for the water bottles AND the t-shirt sizing. A unisex small is definitely not a small for females. And like you said, it’s such a missed opportunity for them.
Well done on your time though! Strong splits! I love Bristol 🙂 I remember doing the half marathon there a while ago and loved it.
I like a mix of big and small races. I don’t think I prefer either – they have pros and cons for both.
I did fill in the online questionnaire after, but I might email them about the t-shirts and bottles as it is so annoying!
I bet a half marathon would get fab crowd support there- it seemed a bit like Brighton in that respect.
The whole water bottle situation really is something that needs addressing at these big races. I don’t feel I’ve run enough races to know which I prefer! I do like local races though as it means I can get up later and I’m more likely to know spectators. I know the finishers t-shirt is too big, but it looks like a nice t-shirt!
The shirt is such a nice colour but I wore it on one run and it rubbed under my arms, so now it will be for gardening or decorating!
I have such an issue with the T-shirt thing and have found Great Run to be one of the worst for this. My “unisex” (not a thing – men and women are not the same shape) top from the Stirling marathon is allegedly a small but I could fit another human in there with me! With the number of female runners rapidly overtaking the male, that needs to change. No way would men accept paying a race fee then not being able to wear the race shirt because it was female fit! If small, local races can do female fit, surely the bigger players can manage it too.