I was happy that my employer put together a team for the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge this year. This is a 3.5 mile / 5.6 km that has been going for many years, and now has thirteen events across seven different countries. For us, it was going to be Battersea Park in London.
I entered a while back, putting my finishing time at an optimistic 21 minutes. That was an error, as I thought it was a straight 5k race, rather than the 5.6 km reality! Oops. As a result, I was a bit nervous when this resulted in me being placed in the Red Wave, who would be heading off first.
To put that into context, the winners are typically beasting out times of seventeen and a half minutes to do the whole distance.
Based on recent performances, I set a personal goal of getting round in 24:30. I based that on a 22 minute 5k (my next milestone) and an appropriate amount added on for the remaining 600 metres. I was also determined not to disgrace myself given that I felt I was in the ‘wrong’ wave.
We all met up and got the train over to the event. It became very apparent just how popular this event was (over SIXTEEN THOUSAND runners each night!).
The organisation was excellent though. Although there were so many people around, it never felt too crowded and there were plenty of Events Staff on-hand to help point us in the right direction.
It was soon time to line up in the starting pens. I went all the way to the back of the Red pen, and could see all the other Waves stretching out behind me.
Then we were off, via a staggered start.
The course was very fast and flat. Perhaps due to the more undulating training that I have been doing recently, this had the weird effect where it felt like I was going downhill most of the time. I am happy that I managed to hold my own in the Red wave, keeping a strong pace and lots of overtaking.
I came in with an official time of 24:40. That is a bit slower than I was hoping (remember my goal was 24:30) but my GPS reported I ran an extra 40 metres, so I’ll take it!
The important bits to remember with this time:
- Strava reports that I ran the first 5k in 21:58, thus successfully hitting my ‘Run 5k in 22 minutes milestone’.
- I ran the first 2.7k in 11:32. My upcoming refereeing fitness test requires me to run 2.7k in 12 minutes, so this race has served as a good practice run.
And, of course, I kept running after hitting both of the above targets.
A really enjoyable and successful race in a beautiful environment. Now I just need to plan the next one!