Name: Self Transcendence 10k Race Series
Date: 21st November 2015
Location: Battersea Park, London, SW11 4NJ
London Self Transcendence Races
The Battersea Park race series is a regular running event held in South London which has a very local feel, with the level of organisation and facilities around, it quite possible could have been arranged by your friend’s Dad as a way of getting friends together to keep fit on the weekend.
Like with most 10ks, if you're keen on getting a great time, it's always a good option to blend in some middle distance runs with HIIT training, not forgetting the right nutrition of course!
The course consisted of approximately 4 loops of Battersea Park, which presented itself with a few interesting characteristics. Firstly, the course design meant that you simply ran the exact same track 4 times, with the markers being set sequentially and requiring you to keep an eye on how far you had ran, i.e. when viewing the 4th and 6th KM markers within a few hundred metres, you could have easily missed a loop of the track if you really weren’t paying attention.
Secondly, the loop design, whilst making sure that you are bored of the scenery by lap 4, also required you to pass the finish line area 3 times before actually finishing the race.
This, coupled by the fact that the elite runners lapped slower runners (sometimes several times), could be pretty de-motivational for those who have 10k times lasting over an hour.
They may as well have had a screen up with some de-motivational quotes as people went past such as “You’re only on your second lap? These guys finished ages ago, look how relaxed they are..” or “You’re STILL running? Half the people who ran the race are already in their cars home!”.
Battersea Park itself however, like many of the parks in London, was lovely (even if it was a cold, snowy and wet Saturday morning).
Facilities and Amenities
Upon signing up for this race, myself and my running partner for the day were told to arrive at 07:50, in preparation for an 08:30 start.
With nothing more to do than drop off a bag and let the organisers know we were there, the 40 minute window seemed pretty excessive, particularly when the beautiful English weather was at its best, cold, wet and snowy at 8am on a Saturday morning.
Standing around for 40 minutes waiting for the race to start in these conditions was anything but pleasant.
With regards to timing, there was no chips or otherwise to calculate each racer’s time accurately. There was however a single clock at the finish time, which of course doesn’t take into account when you crossed the start line or when you exactly crossed the finish line.
In reality I could have set a new world record (I didn’t) or I could have achieved a new personal best (I didn’t either), but with the lack of effective timing on the day, I would have been better placed to simply turn on my running app to track the time on the day.
Lastly, there was not medals apart from small trophies awarded to the top 15 or so finishers. I ran with my running partner for the day as it was her first ever 10k. Keen to finish her first 10k in under an hour, she did herself proud and finished with a time under 53 minutes but despite all her training and hard work on the day, there wasn’t even a small piece of metal to commemorate the achievement. This is the first race of this kind where there was no simple medal for all finishers that I’ve experienced.
There was much to be improved in terms of the race experience, in reality, there was very little difference, if any, to going for a jog around the course with a running app in the background.
The only single thing in favour of the race organisation, was the offering of a bin bag to wear whilst racers stood in the cold waiting for the race to start.
Although nobody was going to win any fashion awards that day, it was nice to have some protection against the wind and snow, for which both myself and my running partner were very grateful.
With no accurate timing and no overall medals awarded for individuals, you do question what you’ve actually paid for after the event.
However, the staff were nice and friendly, with various marshals standing around offering their support in the blistering cold.
If you are a seasoned runner and simply want the atmosphere of a race to give you that extra boost, and you live nearby Battersea Park in London, then by all means pop by on the day.
If you’re keen for the full experience and a medal to put into the trophy cabinet, there’s much better 10k race options available. Alternatively, why not challenge yourself with a half, or even a full marathon?
Then why not share this article on Facebook? :)