Monday, 1 September 2008

Nike Human Race - TFR's first 10k!!

Yes, yesterday TFR entered himself into his first 10k run - the Nike Human Race based at Wembley.

I'm not sure how much you've read about the Nike Human Race, but certainly the various forumites at Runner's World were not particularly enthusiastic.

Without wanting to rehash it all here, many people were complaining about the fact that it was (a) too expensive for what it was, (b) based in Wembley, so not easy for everyone to get to, (c) a twisty track, (d) based in Wembley, which is not the prettiest run and (e) not particularly well organised to the extent that Nike were unable to give anyone a definite start time.

On the day, Nike's (dis)organisation appeared to be even worse. The poor runners in Waves 1 and 2 were herded onto the pitch, where they stood from before 6pm until around 7.30pm when the first waves headed out (while the heavens were opening up on them through the open Wembley roof). All of this came after two support acts - Pendulum and Moby - who only a portion of the runners were interested in. In my view, these acts were entirely irrelevant but even worse than that, they made the event worse by delaying the start...

Anyway, I was in Wave 4, so started running at about 8.20pm (this, despite having to be inside the stadium well before 6pm).

But once the race was underway, things were actually rather good. I worked hard to keep my heart rate down (so in other words, worked hard at not working hard, ha ha!) and other than blisters from about 7k, had a really great time. The rain probably helped to keep everything cool, and certainly kept the dust down from what is the Wembley building site. The fact that it was dark made the floodlit Wembley stadium even more dramatic (as well as hid some of the less interesting parts of the industrial estate we were running around). And the marshalls, some of which had been there since 4pm, were continually shouting encouragement and clapping - in fact the marshalls were the best part of the event.

As I'd started off relatively slowly, it meant that I was able to pass a bunch of people throughout all of the 10k, which was a very nice feeling and probably contributed to my thoroughly enjoying the race (once it had started).

And my time? 1 hour 5 mins 20 seconds - not bad for my first 10k I think... At least I was happy with it.

Will I do more 10k's? Absolutely - but will probably aim for the larger ones like this where there is more of an 'atmosphere' and more people who are my standard (or worse, hopefully!)

Will I do another Nike event? That depends. I think that the whole concept of this event was completely misguided and I'll be a little more suspect of any future Nike event. Certainly, if they can't tell me when I'll be starting (to withing 10/15 minutes) or think that locking people up in a stadium for three hours before they can run is an acceptable way of organising a race, I'll be going elsewhere...

In any event, I'll be wearing my "I raced the world" finisher's T-shirt with pride!