“A solid medal, charming surroundings and high potential for PBs on an excellent surface – they just need to sort the start out.”
Usually when I turn up for a race it is with one of two mindsets – I am there to race or I am there to experience (like Ashridge last week). Today was slightly different in that I came along to support friends in their second 10k outing and hoping to pace at least one of them to a PB during Run Fest at Lee Valley.
Run Fest was completely booked well in advance and around 1,200 runners arrived to perhaps one of the busiest registration desks I had ever seen. Unfortunately a mixture of bad positioning and low staff numbers led not only to long queues but also delayed the start of the race by nearly 15 minutes. The start itself was also slightly confusing – the where wasn’t particularly obvious – but eventually we passed over the chip timing mats and onto the course.
The 10k route was set in the spectacular Lee Valley Park starting at the White Water Centre and dancing around the beautiful Rive Lee in a single traffic-free loop. It was flat as a pancake with an excellent surface underfoot and wide paths that were highly suitable for overtaking. Marshalls were well positioned around the course to encourage and also keep the two distances – a half marathon was also taking place at the same time – going in the correct direction. Two pit stops along the route provided welcome water and jelly babies.
Facilities wise there was a bag drop, some busy toilets at the start and the Cafe was open serving a wide variety of food and drinks. There was a good amount of free parking available (though driving on the grass after the recent weather was a little dicey!), with your walk to the start line distance determined by where the marshals parked you! At the end of the race there was water, bananas and Jelly Babies!
The bling was simple but solid – a weighty medal featuring the Lee Valley Run Fest logo – certainly one for the collection.
Overall? This was a good event that could have been a great event with a few tweaks. A solid medal, charming surroundings and high potential for PBs on an excellent surface – they just need to sort the start out.
Personal running stats
Time – 1:10 (Pacing a friend to their PB)
PBs – Not for me!
Report – It was a very pleasant and gentle outing in beautiful surroundings. An enjoyable way to put on some miles for the month.