Race Review: Run Hackney 5K

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Hackney borough was keen to get people moving in 2014. With the huge interest in their half marathon, a free untimed 5k was add to the weekend lineup.  I was lucky enough to do both. Here are my thoughts on the 5K.

Registration process & fees: free race and registration was online. Easy-Peary

Location: Hackney Marshes was the start/finish for both the 5K and half marathon which was a bit of a challenge to get to if taking public transport. The park itself was big and the area was set up for the half marathon meaning there were a few food stands open and some health-related vendors. Tweets from the @runhackney account said there would be a bag check, but when we arrived there wasn't. Eventually they did open up the tent but you left bags at your own risk.  The ladies at the info tent were nice enough to take my bag as the race was about to start and the start line was at the opposite side of the park from the baggage tent. (Thank you ladies!)

The weather that weekend was exceptionally hot.  The park didn't boost many shady spots which made waiting around for friends to turn up and the race to stat a bit warm. Luckily Lauren was there and kept me company while we waited for Leah to arrive.
Course & bogs: I could tell on Saturday that there definitely were not enough porta-loos for the half on Sunday. Most were locked for the 5K but there were enough available for the 5K runners.  The course started in the half marathon starting gate.  We headed towards the road, passed the community center, and then along a shaded (mostly) paved path through some woods.  The path was a bit narrow at times for runners at varying speeds to keep a steady pace or chat with friends (ahem).  We came out of the woods and across the middle of the park, to wind around onto the paved path on the other side of the park. You finish back where you started, just headed in the opposite direction. Leah clocked the course at just below 5k but that might have been we were tight in the corners.  As this was untimed, the three of us were enjoying ourselves and catching up (I will say I tried in vain to finish unofficially under 30 min only to find out the course was short).
1st medal of the weekend

Atmosphere: The sunshine was out and people were excited to be running. The weather was a bit of a bummer (who'd think we'd be able to say it was too hot in London?) but it helped keep the race fun rather than competitive. It was one of the first times I ran a course with friends, which was a nice change from the endless dialogue in my head that usually occurs when running on my own.  The park wasn't too busy, which meant there weren't spectators cheering you on.  I am pretty sure we ended up running through a cricket match....

Bling/goody bags: Lovely bling and a bottle of water.  
Tips if you decide to take part next time: Get your friends involved and keep it social. No timing facilities so you don't need to worry about anything but having fun,  Hopefully it will continue to be an annual race offered free to Hackney borough residents and encourage people to take up running as a hobby.

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