London Winter Run Series


So, today I completed the London Winter Run Series – 10K.

I have run many 10k races in the last few years, all of which were more challenging than this. However, as many people will know, no matter how many races you have run If you wake up knowing you are “not feeling it” the chances are you will have a bad run.

Today that was exactly what happened to me.

After one month of a chronic cough (which I have chosen to ignore) and restless sleep I woke up this morning over tired and in panic.

All runners, no matter how experienced, will want to constantly beat their best time and have a good race.

From the get go, I was trying to open my stride and make my legs move. No matter how much my mind tried to talk to them, they were having none of it. My legs were dead weights. Heavy and unwilling to move out of the snail pace they were moving at.

The atmosphere around me didn’t help. It was a typical cold, rainy afternoon in London – not that the cold bothered me. My main problem was the number of people at the event. 15,000 runners according to Cancer research.

I had never competed in an event as large as this, mainly sticking to local 10k running events where you have the community spirit and cheer.

The first 15 minutes was full of people barging past; the “competitive runners” trying to get past the steady runner (like myself) knocking into me or running through puddles, regardless of who they were effecting behind.

It didn’t improve much on the way round. My head was constantly arguing with my legs. And i kept thinking “I have run a half marathon – why am I finding this so hard?”

The moral of the story is, no matter how hard you train you DO NOT know how you are going to feel on race day.

All I can advise is don’t let you legs stop, keep going (no matter how fast/slow). You will get the the finish line and there will be someone waiting for you.

Today, as I approached the finish line I spotted one of my Bestie’s Jo, Sarah and Richard waiting for me. I got through the course breathing fine but as soon as I saw them – became a complete wreck. The course was tough for me, but seeing them was a lot tougher.


People often say to me, you are so fit, you are tough. NO! This is not the case! As today has shown, I have weak moments as everyone else. I am human, I sometimes find the simplest race challenging. The difference is, I pick myself up (drink several bottles of Prosecco) and I look towards the next race.




  1. Gemma!! Congrats (again!) …Richard did say you were all off to the pub after! Haha!

    …also, you’re so right, you NEVER know how you are gonna feel on race day. So many people put everything on that one day, when in actual fact, its as much about the journey to the start line as it is about how long it takes you to get to the finish!


  2. […] London Winter Run – the first of many 10k races I took part in, was one of the hardest. Little did I know under the surface I was developing an illness which was the cause of my bad performance. That said, it was a great route with an amazing atmosphere. I shall be running this one again in February 2017 – hoping this will be more enjoyable and that I will train enough to get a sub 60 minute time. […]


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