I always remember this race as the The National Lottery Anniversary run, first brought out in 2013 after the London Olympic games as a 5 Mile race around the Olympic park and finishing in the stadium with a fix number of entries for Newham residents and the public. Unfortunately I wasn’t one of the lucky ones who managed to get a place as it was a first come first serve bases for the public.
It is now a 10 km race which still takes place in the month of July, and is part of Simply Health Great Run series of races around the UK.
It was a beautiful sunny Sunday morning, perhaps a little too hot for running. It was always good to arrive early to a race, to give yourself a chance to freshen up, use the toilets, check your bag in and of course catch up with friends.
This certainly was a big event with thousands of participles including Newham residences, as well as the 10 km race there was also the family run.
Starting on South Park Lawn the 10km route takes you pass the stunning ArcelorMittal Orbit, London Aquatics centre, Hackney Marshes, Cooper Box Arena with music along the way and a tunnel of sound before heading inside the Stadium to finish on its famous running track.
There were 4 start pens; 1st – Orange, 2nd – White, 3rd – Green & 4th – Pink, this was dependant on your estimated finish time. We were taken through a gentle warm-up before the race.
I had hoped that July 2, 2017 was the day for a new PB: sub 50 10 km, but judging by the weather I knew it wasn’t going to happen.
It was definitely a tough route with a few hills along the way, climbing them in that heat proved a challenge. I had been told by friends to expect to run through a tunnel before reaching the stadium finish, speeding up was probably not the best idea when the tunnel was not as short as I had expected.
As the light was at the end of the tunnel as they say, I could see the track in sight, with just enough energy I was able to sprint to the finish. What a finish, inside the Olympic Stadium. Amazing atmosphere just like the official games with music pumping, live commentating, and some spectators in the arena seats.
Overall it was a brilliant race, fully marshalled, friendly staff, and plenty of toilets. The bag drop was somewhat different to any other races I’ve taken part in, it was manned front and back and runners were allow to go in to the area and place their own bags in accordance to their race numbers. Although this was an big event, this type of bag drop actually worked, and I really liked it; easy and accessible.
It was great to see so many fellow runners before and after the race, and I could be tempted to take part in this race again if not just for the stadium finish.
If you like to take part in the next year’s race you can find out more on this link: Great Newham Run