Monday of this week was a typical British Bank Holiday – rain rain and more rain! After getting up early to support some friends taking part in race 3 of the Thames Turbo Triathlon Series I jumped on the train and headed into central London to watch (and take photos) at the Bupa London 10,000 – a new road running race in central London which takes in part of the proposed route for the 2012 Olympic marathon race.
The race starts on Birdcage Walk and follows an anti-clockwise route around the City of Westminster and the City of London via Parliament Square, Embankment, Blackfriars Bridge, Queen Victoria Street, Cannon Street, Great Tower Street, Crutched Friars, Fenchurch Street, Leadenhall Market, Cornhill, Queen Victoria Street, Puddle Dock, Embankment, Horseguards Avenue, Whitehall and via Trafalgar Square to the Finish in The Mall.
The weather was terrible – heavy rain and lashing winds, and with part of the course taking in the exposed area of Victoria Embankment (alongside the River Thames) it didn’t look like fun for many of the runners. I found myself a good vantage point on Embankment, was dressed head-to-toe in waterproof clothing and had the camera protected by a decent rain cover – it sure needed it out there. The rain probably explained why about half the entrants didn’t even turn up (12,500 entries and just over 6,000 finishers)!
The mens race had some top class runners including London Marathon winner Martin Lel, Micah Kogo (the world’s fastest 10km road racer in 2007), Dan Robinson (Great Britain’s representative in the 2008 Olympic marathon) and Mo Farah (2006 European 5000m silver medalist). In the womens field there were entrants such as 2008 London Marathon Winner (Irina Mikitenko) and two of the three 2008 Olympic marathon representatives for Great Britain – Mara Yamauchi and Liz Yelling.
The race was certainly exciting to watch (even though when you’re there the action flies past rather quickly!) and it was good to see Mo Farah stick with the two leading men for most of the race – especially as he’s a 5000m specialist and aiming for that race in Beijing and not the 10,000m distance.
Watching the leaders race past at 9km was very impressive, and one thing that stood out was the effort that some of them were clearly putting into it – and I had to include in this post a photo of Liz Yelling – who is clearly pushing incredibly hard – and this is with over 10 percent of the race remaining. I got a good sequence of her running past which show her determination very clearly. Superb stuff.