Friday 11 October 2013

ZSL London Zoo Stampede - A little bit sick

Sometimes the best prepared runs end up the hardest.

We set off with plenty of time, found a good spot to park and made our way through Regents Park to the main entrance to London Zoo. A quick toilet stop and my current favourite pre-race snack, yoghurt eat natural bar.

I realised I hadn't remembered all the paperwork but thankfully Tim and I have weird surnames so we were easy to check on the list.

After a quick toilet stop and dropping our bags we made our way to the start line. The zoo was buzzing, everyone was so excited and chatting. The ZSL asked runners not to wear costumes as it may startle the animals but a few had opted for animal print leggings or tops, my usual leggings for once looked rather tame!

I found a good spot in the starting pen around the 1 hour marker and wished Tim good luck as he made his way forward aiming for sub 50 minutes.

The run started in the central courtyard, twisted round past the monkeys and the wild boars, through past the lions and then out into Regents Park. The course was undulating and scenic and the first lap I kept a good steady pace. As we looped round the New Albert Memorial statue to head onto the second lap I recognised the marshal from the finish line of the BHF Greenwich run, hearing his banter with the runners ahead lifted my mood.

Around the middle of the second lap my pace was slowing and I was feeling tired, I paused to walk a few strides and tried to catch my breath but struggled to get back to a comfortable pace. After a short walk at the water station I was feeling bad, and felt the water rising back a little too quickly, thankfully the area surrounding Regents Park is wooded and I was able to spit up without causing too much fuss. I stopped to tell a nearby warden and he assured me to keep running.

As I approached the statue for the third final time I started to push forwards, picking out those I wanted to pass, counting them down as we got closer to the Zoo entrance. We came through the tunnel and as I sprinted past the penguins I spotted Tim cheering near the finish line, I tired to catch his eye but was worried if I slowed my pace I would trip and fall or that my legs just might stop running.

This race was full of doubts, I started feeling that I hadn't prepared, then the imagined niggles started, a cramp in my hamstrings, a click in my ankles, my breath too short and a nauseous feeling in my stomach, but I finished.

ZSL London Zoo Stampede 15/09/13 (1:05:54)

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