Finsbury Park 10K
Volunteer Marshalling at Finsbury Park
Being injured made me tetchy. I wanted to run, badly. Being unable to do something you want to do is like being a child and having a toy taken away from you. So I decided if I couldn’t run I would do my best to support others who were running so I decided to marshal some races. One of the first ones I marshalled was the Women’s Running Finsbury Park 10k.
Arriving early myself and my friend Paula found the organiser Paul and immediately chipped in to help hang banners around the course start. We were left in the registration tent and got to work sorting out the marshal’s jackets and goodies into sizes. When volunteer marshals arrived we welcomed them and got them to sign in, issued them with marshal jackets and event tshirts and asked them to wait in the tent for further instructions for Paul. Shortly after Paul told each marshal where they were located. Myself and Paula were located on separate points but towards the end of the course, we were driven onto our sections. I was at the top of the hill, Paula just around the corner.
I waited around 30 minutes for the first ladies to appear and shouted encouragement to every single one. Clapping and telling them they were doing great, especially after the hill, and just how close to the finish they were. Some were doing the 5k and some had to do another lap for the 10k. It was a great feeling to see the smiles on the women’s faces and being thanked for the encouragement.
Afterwards the sweeper car let us know the last woman had finished and we walked to the finish. Some volunteers were ready to leave so we made sure they had their hoody and goody bag before leaving. We stayed to help to pack all the tents away and Paul thanked everyone for their contributions. It felt like a very rewarding morning and we received a free t-shirt, hoody and a runner’s goody bag as thanks.
Racing Finsbury Park
In September I was back to run the same course. I knew it was incredibly well organised. I’d received lots of emails beforehand about the location of the race, how to get there, timings etc. I’d received my bib number in plenty of time. It’s not one of the cheapest 10k’s but the course is well sign posted and most of volunteer marshals are really friendly and encouraging.
I was running the 10k and my friend Paula was running the 5k. I was running it the day after I PB’d on a hilly 10k Windsor. I wasn’t planning on going too hard as I knew it wasn’t a terribly flat course (even though it is advertised as such). So I just took the course as I found my legs to work on the day.
You start on the main path and immediately turn left onto the grass which you cross for about ½ mile. This then turns into path ways for the rest of the first lap. You follow a winding route and it is pretty hilly and even though not obvious to the eye your legs feel you are going up. (See map). The 5k is a one lap and the 10k is a two lap of the course.
My legs felt incredibly heavy as the previous days running seemed to have taken its toll. Towards the end of the run I was almost overtaken by the 55 minute pacer which spurred me on to make one last concerted effort to push to the finish line. Only one hill to push through. I finished in 53:14. I was really chuffed with this as I’d managed a 51:09 the day before.
A great, well organised race. I’d definitely recommend the Women’s Running races to run or to volunteer at.