Human Race Kingston Run Challenge: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Through the pouring rain this morning, I ran the Garmin Kingston Run Challenge to complete my 22 mile long training run before the New York Marathon on 3rd Nov. I used it as race day prep- testing out my nutrition, hydration and outfit! You can read more about me ‘Not Racing a Race’ here. Here’s my review of the Run Challenge; the good, the bad and the ugly.

The Good

  • Easy to follow signs and info about the race start.
  • The small race meant it was easy to meet up with friends that were also running. Leah and Katy ran the 8 miles, and Stephanie ran 16 miles! She was super fast! 
  • A well organised staggered start. 
  • I practised running without my hydration vest, carrying a handheld instead and filling it up with water cups at the water stations along the course. This ended up working out really well and meant I could still take small sips as I ran, like I’m used to, and should mean I don’t lose as much time as I would if I were to stop to drink at water stops along the route. 
  • The fueling strategy that I’m going to be using for NYCM worked perfectly- I took a GU gel every 5 miles, and didn’t feel sick or get a stitch!
  • I listened to the new Bridget Jones Diary: Mad about the Boy which distracted me whilst running, and reinforced my thoughts that I run more consistantly to podcasts/audiobooks than to music. It’s something I need to think about during NYCM as I don’t want to miss out on anything along the course because I’m too plugged in!
  • Friendly volunteers, and really sweet cadets handing out water and powergel bars at aid stations.
  • Chatting to the 10 min mile pacer during mile 20- she was saying that it’s actually quite hard running a slower pace than you’re used to, and that she had to check her Garmin a lot!
  • I’ve found my race day outfit, right down to the socks!! No blisters despite the soaked feet!
  • I hit an average of 9.55 min miles.
  • Although I didn’t manage to hit Gia’s prescribed paces, I did mostly manage to keep my miles below 10.05. Here are my splits- 9.53, 10.04, 9.57, 9.59, 11.18, 9.53, 9.49, 9.52, 9.55, 9.58, 10.02, 9.43, 9.35, 9.47, 9.55, 9.55, 9.49, 9.54, 10.03, 9.44, 9.52, 9.21. 
  • My last mile was my fastest- negative splitting, sort of! 
  • The amazing girls that were there to cheer me in to cross the finish line and give me a big hug!
  • Getting a medal for completing my long training run!
The Bad
  • The 6 am start, and taxi ride in what felt like the middle of the night!
  • The freezing, driving rain that didn’t let up all run. 
  • Hundreds of puddles- I tried to dodge many of them but ended up with completely soaked feet anyway. 
  • Listening to the new Bridget Jones diary. Sadly it is not living up to the hype, and is really rather boring. 
  • Nearly slipping on the muddy bits of the course. 
  • Nearly tripping over the edge of a curb. 
  • Narrowly managing to avoid stepping on a condom. 
  • £2 for bag drop (I’ve never paid for bag drop before) and a soaking wet bag waiting for me on collection- it had however, kindly been transported directly to the finish line so I could change into dry-ish clothes almost immediately.
  • The course wasn’t that attractive- some of it was along the Thames, and we ran past Hampton Court Palace, however a lot of it was along a main road!
  • I had to use the loo at mile 5, clocking my slowest mile-11.18. 
  • Not many people were running the 24 mile race, so there were points of the race that I felt like I was totally alone out there. Mentally that was tough, especially when I was soaking, and my fingers had gone numb!
  • It was tough to stop running before crossing the finish line, I walked/very slow jogged from mile 23. I did get really, really cold too. 
The Ugly
  • My post-race hair. 
  • The horrific Sports Bra chafing, despite layers of vaseline being applied pre-race. 
What’s your best/worst race experience? 
Thank you to Human Race for entry to the Garmin Kingston Run Challenge. All opinions are my own. 

7 Comments

  1. 13th October 2013 / 5:23 pm

    So impressed Charlie! Fast and consistent pace – hope you get a HUGE PB in NYC 🙂 xx

  2. 13th October 2013 / 5:41 pm

    Congratulations of a speedy 24 miles in horrible weather! Where is your lovely pink top from? Disappointed to hear that the new Bridget Jones isnt up too much 🙁 xxx

    • 14th October 2013 / 10:34 am

      I know, me too! Although having read a few reviews I didn’t hold out much hope!

  3. 13th October 2013 / 6:46 pm

    Well done! You’ll do great in New York 🙂

    • 14th October 2013 / 10:34 am

      Thank you!

  4. 14th October 2013 / 6:03 am

    Wow well done, that is amazing! Disappointed about Bridget though….

    • 14th October 2013 / 10:35 am

      I know, and no Mark Darcy!