London 10km – 30th May 2011

BvH Ladies meet Paula Radcliffe - May 2011

BvH had both Ladies and Men’s teams at the London 10km race which was staged on the proposed marathon course for the olympics in 2012.

There were some fine perfromances from BvH runners on a course which was flat but challenging and in some very warm conditions.

Mel James was first home for BvH in the Ladies race in 38:21 followed by Linda Howell in a new SF club age best of 38:58 and Caroline Harlan-Marks running under 40 minutes for the first time in 39:46.  Other great performances from Sara Roberts (43:36) Laura Leslie (45:40) and Michaela Thompson (49:46).

BvH Men ran some solid performances with Dean Parker leading the challenge (34:42) followed by Gareth Cadd, Sean Rose, Rob Andrew (suffering with an achillies injury), Chris Harlan-Marks and Paul ‘Hulk Hogan’ Gorman.

Report from Caroline Harlan-Marks: I hadn’t even heard of the Bupa London 10,000 (2011 UKA 10k Championships) until Joe Lewis casually suggested I try and put together a ladies team to compete in the event. One month and about 427 emails later, Mel, Linda, Michaela, Laura Leslie, Sara Roberts and I headed down to London with various supporters in tow to compete alongside the best distance runners in the country.

Clearly, BvH ladies know how to travel in style, as most of us arrived on the Sunday night to find that we had booked into a hotel so exclusive that none of the so-called “elite” athletes had managed to get a room there. (Covent Garden Travelodge).

On the morning of the race we were all a little tired and weary, having not had the best night’s sleep, but we headed off to find the “Championship Runners’ Changing Area”. I think we all must have secretly been expecting the “Championship Runners’ Changing Area” to be a tent and a couple of porta-loos in a muddy field, but we were a bit shocked to find ourselves in a very posh building, complete with bouncers and (gasp) REAL toilets, with soap… and handcream!

We wandered upstairs to the ladies changing room and nearly bumped right into Paula Radcliffe. Laura, in a moment of extreme bravery, waltzed right up to Paula and invited her to take part in our BvH Ladies team photo. She consented and we were all very pleased, though we obviously remained very calm and collected. (She’s now considering joining as second-claim member…) The strangeness continued outside where all of the Championship athletes were warming up in the same very small area, including Paula Radcliffe, Jo Pavey, Mo Farah, and Andrew Lemoncello.

After that, we had the minor issue of the race itself to contend with. The course was relatively flat, though not quite as flat as I had expected, and very windy in places. The weather was actually ideal for racing when we first arrived at the changing facility, but the air gradually got warmer as we warmed up and the sun came out, so we were all worryingly hot by the time we were lining up to start. There was lots of support throughout the whole course, and the crowds were very enthusiastic – a bit off-putting to me at times, as I haven’t done many races like that, but very impressive nonetheless.

Overall, I think we all found the race challenging, both mentally and physically, due to the conditions and the pressure/excitement that stemmed from changing and warming up with and then lining up right next to athletes we’d previously only seen on telly. (The pressure of being an honorary BvH team member must have gotten to Paula too, as she apparently had a “disaster” of a race). Not everyone was pleased with their finishing times, but as far as I could tell everyone ran really hard and deserves to proud of the performances that they put in on a warm, windy day that saw Mo Farah run 90 seconds slower than last year.

Special mentions should go to Michaela Thompson and Linda ‘I-just-sat-on-Paula’s-toilet’ Howell, both of whom achieved their ambitious pre-race time-goals. In the end, our team finished 11th out of the 21 UK Ladies 10k Championship teams.

Many thanks to Rob for all of his help prior to the race, as I’ve never been responsible for putting a team together before, and thanks to everyone who travelled down to support on the day. Lastly, thanks to all of the ladies who ran for the time, money, and effort they committed to this little trip. I had one of the best weekends I’ve had in ages, and I hope you all had fun too.

Sorry to anyone who missed it, as I somehow doubt the organisers will be too keen to invite the star-struck midlanders back next year… 😉

BvH Results
Pos Cat Pos Gender Pos Name Time Cat
150 135 142 Dean Parker 34:42 M35
169 150 157 Gareth Cadd 35:05 SM
180 9 166 Sean Rose 35:21 M40
213 3 193 Rob Andrew 36:16 M45
314 3 48 Mel James 38:21 F45
349 49 55 Linda Howell 38:58 SF
415 61 68 Caroline Harlan-Marks 39:46 SF
495 344 413 Chris Harlan-Marks 40:53 SM
761 100 123 Sara Roberts 43:36 SF
1055 134 165 Laura Leslie 45:40 SF
1261 806 1061 Paul Gorman 46:41 SM
1948 255 323 Michaela Thompson 49:46 F35

11 Replies to “London 10km – 30th May 2011”

  1. Apparently my phone autocorrects ‘Mo’ to ‘Mi’. (Now if only someone could turn Me into Mo…)

  2. I realise that this is technically the Ladies Team report, but I feel like someone should also say well done to Paul Gorman who completed this as his first 10km race ever, following a long return to fitness after injury. He pulled his quad one week prior to the race and still managed to get round in an excellent time, all whilst wearing a giant fake mustache.

    Also, a personal thanks to Gareth for shamelessly ambushing Mo Farah before the race. I’m going to frame the photo and get Mi to sign it when we run again next year!

    Well done to everyone who ran. After a month of eager anticipation, that was truly brutal. (Had a great weekend with you all though).

  3. I would almost certainly have struggled with the heat if I had run,and would have had to work hard to go under 50 mins.I am truly impressed with those BvH runners who managed to run under 40 mins, and to those who significantly improved on their PBs.I look forward to the possibility of `cheering on`,and even being `a travelling reserve`(if I can manage to speed up!),at next year`s UKA Championships in London.The hard work and commitment of JL, and the BvH Coaching Team, is clearly beginning to reap its rewards.Everyone who ran in London did us proud;especially those who have had to contend with injuries in the past year. And that includes Linda and Caroline,which makes their particular contributions even more remarkable.
    I hope Mel is right (she usually is) and that BvH is invited back next year.
    Barrie Roberts M65

  4. I’d just like to acknowledge the runs by Linda and Caroline as I think they deserve a special mention. The fact that we finished 11th is a great result and made possible because both these team members managed to break that 40 min barrier, which as anyone knows is as much a mental as physical barrier. On a day when most people struggled with the heat, Linda and Caroline didn’t only manage to run well, but ran significantly better than their previous best performances and knocked great chunks off their PBs. I think we’ll definitely get an invitation to come back next year … just look at all those good clubs behind us.

  5. Well done everyone, it looks as if you all had a great time, and a great run.

  6. Well done everyone, Im rather disappointed that I couldn’t commit to running it with you all now!!!

  7. Great report, Caroline! Sounds like a good time was had – I look forward to Paula and Mo joining us!

  8. I also believe they are gun times. The clock at the 5k marker was at 17.10 when I stepped on the mat but watch said 17.00 and I had cleared the mats at the end before stopping my watch which read 34.59.

  9. Does anyone else who ran think those look suspiciously like our gun times? I would have started up next to Mo if I’d known they were going to do that… (he’s mates with me and Gareth now, you know…)

  10. A good day for BvH runners (Men and Women) .Congratulations on solid/sound Team effort and performance in what were clearly challenging,windy and,at times,uncomfortably warm conditions.I am pleased to learn that not everyone was entirely satisfied with their finishing times,for `we` should all endeavour to go faster—-Or if `we`can`t quite do that improve on our age %. ie.if `we` seek to participate meaningfully in a competitive event/championship.
    Barrie Roberts