What’s a better way to mix things up a bit then to run at night? I honestly am not a night runner, I prefer morning, midday or even afternoon but not night. I will however, make an exception to my personal rule for the Nike She Runs 10K event. This event is typically run in May, and has been allowing women to run the night since 2012.
I started running the event in 2013, and have seen the race grow stronger to be an amazing women’s event in 2014, taking cues from the women’s series in the US and really focusing on the fun in the race.
The run itself takes part in Sydney’s Centennial Park. This year’s course was different from that in 2013 (mostly uphill) and was certainly thought out for those of all abilities, not just elite runners. I even believe that the winning runner ran a faster race this year than last year (it was the same person 2 years running). Additionally there weren’t too many parts where the course narrowed, certainly an issue with 6,000 runners taking part in the dark.
As like 2013, it was chilly and windy – I had come prepared this time, doubling up on the tanks (you had to wear this year’s colour to get into the event village), armed with arm warmers and compression socks. Of course I had to rock the Sparkle Athletic Sparkle Skirt! There were a few others in skirts, but nothing too sparkly. It appeared once again that I was the only one, and it certainly got attention on the course!
The corrals were determined by the anticipated mins per km, I was towards the back but they kept the waves moving pre-start time, and encouraged participants to keep warm by following the on-stage warm up instructor. When my wave was called, it followed the back of the previous wave, I did end up just running through the start rather than waiting for the “official” wave beginning – in the end it doesn’t matter since it’s all recorded chip time – but I found it to be less crowded and more enjoyable.
My aim was for a sub 1:05 10K, and I was on track until 3.75K mark where my feet started to go numb again. I immediately pulled to the side, sat down and fixed the shoes – thinking they were too loose. A lovely group of spectators commented on the skirt and mentioned that perhaps it was a beer that my feet needed! Politely declining I set off. It began less about my time and now about finishing feeling ok. I was annoyed at my feet – I had run during the week and didn’t have anything like this come up, now this is the second race where my feet were playing up.
Entertainment on the course was plentiful and I was able to keep my mind off the feet as I passed Cheerleaders, Drummers and a Marching Band, complete with a Koala costumed mascot, who was a great dance partner for a small section. My feet did ruin my hopes for an awesome PR, BUT it wasn’t going to ruin the event for me.
All was great until 6K when I felt a pop in between my big toe and second toe, followed by immediate pain. I had to alternate between walking and running at this point, but I was NOT going to pull out. I was going over that finish line. In the end I ran over the line and straight into the med tent, thinking the worst. Some Panadol and ice later, they released me to seek out my finisher’s drink bottle (this year they handed them out rather than an honesty system), some food and some warmth!
Surprisingly I ended up beating my 2013 time by 1 min – with all the drama!
One of the things I was really disappointed in this year was the lack of event merchandise. I’m wondering if they got burnt last year, and decided not to move ahead this year. It just so happened that I was really after a hoodie, but what can you do?
This year’s event was certainly well polished. I did take a survey after the event which focused on a non-competitive lifestyle focused event filled with training club runs, but I think that the run in itself should be left as it is. I will be definitely keeping an eye on what’s going on in 2015!
You can find the race review on BibRave here!
Disclaimer: I paid for my own entry into the Nike She Runs 10K . This post and all views & opinions are entirely my own.