Race: Standard Chartered Great City Race
Date: 17th July 2018
Venue: City of London
Well I can openly admit I’ve been a bit lazy with my blog. I manage to post everyday to Instagram no problem but getting something down on the blog has proved more challenging. So once again I’m starting it up – think this is the third restart, third time’s the charm……
Let me take you back to mid July 2018 and the Standard Chartered Great City Race. The first thing to say about this race is that it’s BIG, big in terms of numbers of participants for a 5k. I have ran in bigger races – both the Winter Run and British 10k are much larger but the Great City Race is only 5k so there’s not really any chance of the race spreading out and you’re surrounded by runners at all times. The race itself takes you on a tour of the sights of the City of London, the roads are closed so it makes for a unique way to see the City.
Starting at the Honourable Artillery Company on City Road we took a hard right turn onto Chiswell Street where you basically hit the back of so many runners that you’re back at walking pace. Oh apart from the few idiots who were pushing and shoving people out of the way! Not sure how many seconds they saved doing that, but really come on people it’s a big fun run charity race for all levels of runner, there’s no need to push your competitors out of the way!
We headed through the tunnel under the Barbican Centre, which even with the roads closed still had the delightful taste of diesel in the air. Clear of the tunnel and we started to pass a the first few tourist sights, the Museum of London and St Pauls Cathedral, I don’t like to say but it was quite easy going. The City is pretty much flat so anytime you hit a bit of space it was easy enough to speed up, although again you have to watch out for runners with earbuds in. I’ve noticed in this years races that runners with earbuds can be a bit of a danger to overtake, they have no spatial awareness as they’re plugged into their blaring playlists. More than once I’ve nearly had a mishap passing them as they can’t here you coming up behind them and seem to always suddenly change direction into your path. I guess that’s the reason every race pack I’ve read always says no earbuds, for me I much prefer races without earbuds so you can take in the atmosphere and also chat to other competitors (like I needed to at the Henham 10k!)
We passed the Guildhall and Bank of England between 2 and 3k, and before you know it you’re turned around and heading back towards London Wall. Now I did mention the City is pretty much flat but it must be said that on the way back up Moorgate there is a bit of an up gradient, or at least by this point my legs felt one! You finish where you start and I managed to get around the 5k in 30:35 (6.06 min per km) which was position 3243 out of 3556 – so I need to do a bit of work to move up the leader board for 2019’s Great City Race, but I’m still quite happy with the time.
I’ll be back to take part next year as this is a really good event. There are very few chances to run on closed roads in the City and where else could you pass St Pauls, Royal Exchange, The Mansion House, Bank of England and Guildhall all within minutes of each other. Not only that but this years race raised $100,000 for the chosen charity Seeing is Believing who are working to eradicate blindness in Africa and Asia.
Difficulty (for me): 6/10
Would I run it again: 100% Yes