Race Report: Whole Foods Market WomenOnly Run

Location: Richmond Park
Date: Saturday 19th October
Distance: 5km, 10km or 15km
Cost: £16, £22, £25

On Saturday I took part in the Whole Foods Market WomenOnly Run hosted by Human Races. When I initially signed up I opted for the 15k, but that was when I was injury free. Luckily it was very easy to drop down to the 5km distance on the day of the race.

The only pre-race niggle I had was that my race number was missing from my race pack. I made the silly mistake of not checking my race pack until the day before. However, after e-mailing the race organisers I was assured that I could just pick it up on the morning of the race. When I arrived at the start area the info tent was easy to spot and there was only one person in the queue so the race number situation was resolved quickly.

There was an opportunity to hire a Garmin at this event which I think was a great opportunity for people who have been thinking about purchasing a running watch to test drive the products.

It was a little chilly in the morning so I decided to wear long sleeves.

It made a nice change for me having a race on a Saturday, as all the races I’ve done in the past have been on a Sunday. It meant I could have a lazy Sunday and not worry about training! The race also started at a very reasonable time – 10:00 for the 5km, 10:15 for the 10km and 10:20 for the 15km. I was lucky enough to grab a lift from my mum to the start, but those without a car had to do quite a bit of walking to get to the start line (approximately 40 minutes from the nearest station).

Before heading to the start line there was a group warm-up which was good fun. Although these types of warm-ups always make me feel very uncoordinated!

The start was very well organised with all the women doing the 5km race ushered to the start line first. The race started promptly at 10:00 with Helen Baxendale of Cold Feet and Friends fame taking the lead. We were warned just before the start that the deer seemed to be quite active that morning, but hopefully they won’t interrupt the race…that would be one way to get everyone running faster!

It was great bumping into lots of familiar faces before the start:

Elle, Jen, Kiera, Leah, Jess, me

Due to my back injury I was using this race to see how my body coped, so in no way was I ‘racing’ it. In my mind I wanted to keep to about a 10’30 pace as my physio had advised me to take it slowly. I found it really hard to go slowly, but managed to find a steady pace around the 10’10 mark.

The route was so beautiful. The colours of the Autumn were evident on all the trees and the deer could be seen in the fields adjacent to the path. There were a few hills which lots of girls were walking up, but I found them manageable and enjoyed the undulating nature of the course.

Apart from at the start and finish, there were only a few supporters dotted around the course. I didn’t mind this as I was only doing 5k, but I can imagine that for those doing the 15km they could have done with a little more support.

I finished the race in 30:03. I wasn’t aiming for a time so I was fine with this pace. I could feel that my back wasn’t particularly happy whilst I was running, but the pain was manageable. My Garmin and Nike+ only clocked around 2.94 miles, so the distance was slightly under  the 5km mark.

Thanks to my photographer mother I got some great action shots of me crossing the line and some of the other girls coming down the finishing straight:

Elle

Jess

Charlie

Leah and Keira

Nice medal and delicious goody bag!

In the finishing area you were able to type your race number into a computer which then printed out your results on a small slip. I’d never seen this in a race before – I thought it was really neat.
To help my back I got a 15 minute massage for £10 with a guy from Physio & Therapy whilst I was waiting for the other girls to finish the 15km.

Hot Bikram Yoga offered two short sessions at the end of the race. I was too busy getting a massage, but lots of women got involved.

It was great to have all the girls together at the finish line for a medal photo call!
Leah, Jen, Jess, Melissa, Stephanie, me, Kiera, Charlie

The Whole Foods Market WomenOnly Run was the second female only event I’ve done this year (WOTN was the other). I really like the atmosphere at these events as there is a sense of comradery. Overall I thought it was very well organised and the course was both scenic and challenging. 
*Thank you to Human Races for giving me a media spot for this event. All views are my own.

1 Comment

  1. October 20, 2013 / 9:12 pm

    haha! that's how happy I was for your cheer at the finish line! I look like I am about to cry!! LOVELY PICTURES!! THANKS Zoe's mum! :) xXx

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