Twin Lakes 10 Miles 2024

OH ladies running club is 10 years old this year, so we have been joining in with lots of events to celebrate. One of the chosen ones was the Twin Lakes 10/20, a 10 (one lap) or 20 (two lap) race around the lakes of Milton Keynes. I’d not done it before and really like the 10 mile distance so I signed up. It’s ideal for anyone marathon training as it’s a supported long run, and they let you drop down to the 10 if you’ve signed up to the 20 as well.

I was hoping it would go OK, having run the Brighton half at the end of February, but in fact I’d managed one 9 mile run, then I’d been ill so had missed a week, then we had a weekend at Disneyland Paris so no running then either- not ideal race prep! So the plan was to not even look at previous 10 mile race times, just run on feel and enjoy the route.

Catherine, an OH runner, had signed up to the 20, so I travelled by myself as I thought I’d want to get home after running rather than wait for another loop. The navigation there was fine (it’s where Willen Lakes parkrun is) but I found the parking app a bit stressful and it took me about 10 minutes to get it sorted. You had to pick up your number on the day, so I had allowed about an hour before the start to get my number, visit the toilets (there are real toilets rather than port a loos) and eat a cereal bar for breakfast. After the trouble with parking, the bathroom queue was already quite long so I opted for that first and I am glad I did as it was much longer when I came out. Picking up my number was quick, and it was so cold so I sat in my car to put the number on and eat my cereal bar. With about ten minutes to go I thought I should have a look for Catherine, and managed to bump into her at the start.

I am not kidding when I say it was cold- I was actually shaking because I was shivering so much. I was so glad I had taken my gloves with me, and originally was going to keep my jacket for after but kept it on as I don’t mind running with it around my waist. We were given a standard race briefing and then told not to fall in the canal because we might get weil’s disease (I mean I don’t think anyone plans to fall in a canal…) and then we were off. Within minutes I’d put my buff around my neck rather than carrying it on my wrist as the wind was just so chilly.

Run views, my number in the warmth of the car, and Catherine and me at the start.

The route claimed to be flat, but in reality it was not flat like a road race, with lots of little slopes up to bridges that were short and steep. The second half was along a canal- it was narrow (we were warned not to fall in) and the ground was so uneven with lots of large chunks of tarmac missing so you had to watch your footing carefully. At one point I was just thinking that it was a miracle that I hadn’t fallen over, and then came around a corner and saw that a runner had fallen. She had several people with her but she was really wailing. There were lots of marshals out on the route so she would not have been far from a checkpoint but I felt so awful for her, particularly if she was using this as a training run for a marathon- hopefully she was OK.

I did take off my jacket for a bit as I warmed up, but the wind was cold so at times I would then get a chill from being sweaty and then the cold wind blowing. I’m never sure what the best option is clothes wise for this sort of weather.

The other tricky part of the canal was that it was so narrow it was not good for overtaking or being overtaken. At times I could hear runners coming up behind me, and I’d move as far to the right as possible, onto the grass if there was some grass, but the runners going past were very close to the water. Every now and then it would widen as we went under a bridge, so some people would go then, and a couple of times I went past runners then too, but it wasn’t easy to run at your own pace.

The wheel at the start/end, the canal, the finish in the park and then a medal pic

I really enjoyed the scenery of the run, and it was a sunny day which helped, but overall I found the route quite tough and by the end I was feeling really tired. We had a small detour around a flooded patch of path and I stopped to take a photo, and this was probably less than a mile to the finish and I would have happily not carried on. The poor 20 mile runners had to run through the finish arch to begin their second lap- something I would have found extremely hard to do. I was very glad I was stopping at one!

At the finish they were announcing your name, and then I was very happy to see Mel (an OH lady) handing out the t-shirts. I’d opted for a tree not tee (I LOVE it when races offer this) but all the finishers had to walk past the t-shirts before getting water, so we had a brief chat. I then saw another OH runner (Anna) finish just a few minutes after me. I had thought more of them were coming, but didn’t know if people had dropped out. It turned out that some of the “fun club” runners (they run at 6am together) had all travelled up together but as they had no space in their car they didn’t tell anyone. I was glad I’d happened to see them as I would have been strange to find out after that they were all there. Anyway, we had a nice chat after before I had to get back as my car parking was about to run out.

Random tankard, medal and tea, medal, and cereal bar

The medal was lovely, although I do feel like a fraud as it had 20 on it but I only did 10! We did get the most bizarre memento- a plastic tankard with a shamrock on it, and some “sports lotion” (anti chafing cream maybe?), but also a delicious (and vegan) Tribe bar.

On the drive I’d passed a Starbucks, so I was going to head there on my way home for a cup of tea, but the internet was not working on my phone at all. I was in the car trying to load up maps and nothing worked, and as I didn’t have long left on the car park time either in the end I just had to drive out. Then I went the wrong way and had to do a million point turn at a dead end, before seeing signs for the M1. The signs had taken me a different way and so I didn’t pass the Starbucks on the way back which was a shame. I had brought warm clothes with me and in the car park had quickly taken off my t-shirt and put on a dry one, and a jumper, but I was cold and thirsty so ended up stopping at the services for a tea. Side point- I know lots of people love Costa, but it is my worst coffee shop- their plant milk is rank first of all (although sometimes they seem to do Alpro coconut which is good) but they are just so slow. I do not understand how they are so slow in every branch. Seriously how long does it take to put a teabag in a pot and pour on hot water? They don’t need to boil a kettle or anything. So you can tell I was desperate as I stopped there!

Then it was time for a shower, lunch, and then time to chill in front of a movie (Wonka) which is the best way to recover from a race!

Do you like the 10 mile distance? Would you like a lapped race?

Loading Facebook Comments ...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *