The Suunto Run Wimbledon 10k

Picking up a left hip tendonities in May was no fun. First of all, injured for a week I ran a hilly off road half marathon (did well but I was in agony) I had to cancel all upcoming triathlons and running races I had booked in the diary. Luckily cycling saved my sanity over the summer but frankly I couldn't wait to be running again.

I missed those early in morning runs in Richmond Park when I got to see the sun rising. I don’t listen to music anymore, instead I tune in with my surroundings. I missed the feeling when your lungs scream, legs hurt but you're still miles from home and have to push on and I love the endorphine I get when I complete a particularly long or hard run.

When a friend invited me to stay at his place in the Brecon Beacons for a couple of days of hiking, mountain biking and kayaking I jumped at the opportunity. On the last day I decided to head out for a run, just down by the canal and see how the hip feels. Passing the 5km mark I decided to turn back and was pleasantly surprised how relatively easy 10k was after months of no training. (hmmmm it's called fresh legs!) I carried on strengthening the hips the next few weeks but also got back into running. Nothing crazy just the 5-10km training runs.

I was so encouraged by the pain-free runs I signed up to the Suunto Run Wimbledon 10km race on Wimbledon Common on the 8th of October. This race is one of the Preservance Events and the man behind is runner Richard Xerri. (a member of the Wimbledon Hercules Running club, he has a 34min 10k and an impressive 2:46 marathon to his name) His other event, the Salomon Citytrail™ Richmond half marathon was my first ever half back in 2014 and Wimbledon Common being almost at my doorstap, it made sense to participate. Not to race though I promised myself, this would be a “let’s see where my fitness is” training run. Conveniently, my new running shoes didn’t turn up for the event so I ended up wearing an old and ompletely worn out Nike barefoot shoes. No grip at all, just to make things a little more interesting on the uneven terrain! 🙂

None of these mattered though. I was wearing a race number and standing on the grass amongst a large group of runners I couldn’t help but smile to myself. It was just after 4pm when the gun went off, unusual late afternoon start time for a running race (the marathon did finish in the dark) and off we went. The paths on Wimbledon Common are so much fun. There’s always a dip or a bump, a narrow path or a trickier section to navigate. The Common stretches out quite big, even though I trained there for years I still got to see some new parts during the race. The small hills suited me and I managed to overtake some men & women but the field, with 10k, half and marathon runners was too big to know where I was. After all, if I finish the race without any injuries/ embarrassing moments that’s a bonus.

Just don’t push it too hard I repeated. My legs were thinking differently. Every time I spotted a runner in front, I had to overtake. That joy of running has returned. Next thing I realised, I had done over 5km then suddenly when I looked at my watch, just over 8.5km. And the strangest thing happened. Running towards the finish line I didn’t want the race to end! I sprinted towards the clock and pressed stop on my watch. 10.55km in 48minutes. Okay, Paula Radcliff can relax I wasn’t going to beat her time but I did well I thought. Went to say hi to a friend at the Up&Running Store who had a stall just by the finish (thanks Ricky for the entry and the massive high five as I crossed the line!) and after a quick chat I changed back into a dry t-shirt, jumped on my hybrid bike and cycled home. I got a text message from a marshall to say I came third. I couldn’t believe it. And I probably shouldn’t have because the next morning I checked the results and found out I in fact was the fastest woman in the 10k race. I won a running race. Out of 68 ladies, I was the fastest and 18th overall. (the fastest man won it in 41minutes)

A couple of days later Richard email me to congratulate and asked me when I was available to collect my prize. I was in Switzerland with work at the time so he kindly agreed to drop it at the event’s partner, Up&Running on Upper Richmond Road.

With store manager Ricky at Up & Running Richmond

The title sponsor Suunto really made an effort. When I opened the box I was speechless. I was presented with Suunto’s latest watch, the beautiful Suunto Spartan Sport Sakura.

I wear Suunto for climbing and mountaineering expeditions (a specialised altimeter watch) and I know they make excellent products so I can’t wait to put the Spartan to the test. And who knows where our next journey will take us....

The Sunnto Spartan Sport

© copyright 2021 by Alexandra Nemeth