Adidas 1hr City run! My first time as a guide runner.

This Sunday’s race was a race with a difference! Unlike every other race that I have been to where you try to run a fixed distance in the fastest possible time, in the Adidas 1hr City run, you try and run as FAR as you can in one hour! Set over a 1 mile loop on closed roads in the heart of London, the course has timing mats every 0.1 of a mile to record how far you travel.

In another ‘first’, this would be my first time acting as a guide for a visually impaired runner. I first met VI runner Lynn a few months ago on a Facebook parkrun group. She, like me, is training for her first London Marathon, and so we are both right at the peak of our training plans, with plenty of miles and races under our belts! As a last-minute entry to the race, the Adidas team at the information desk were very helpful, and quickly got me registered and issued with my race T-shirt. The T-shirts all came pre-printed with your individual number, so no having to worry about safety pins or bib clips!

We made our way over to the start and soon the race was underway. The process of guiding Lynn was very easy for me to pick up. We each held the end of a short tether rope between us, which was enough for her to feel where I was going for most of the route, and then I could just give little warnings about upcoming sharper corners. The speedy runners had all sprinted off ahead, giving us a few peaceful minutes to adjust to running together with minimal crowds around. Lynn is an experienced runner so it was mainly me learning what to do! After a while, the fastest runners had gone by lapping us, and by the 30 minute mark, everyone was so spread out that you couldn’t really tell who was on which lap any more. We had loads of friendly and supportive comments from other runners and spectators which was really nice to hear, including the fantastic Adidas cheering station who kept the energy levels high for the whole hour.

In the final ten minutes, the atmosphere of the race really picked up. Marshals all around the course started shouting out the remaining time, and people noticeably started speeding up to try and get round one more lap. When it came down to the final thirty seconds, it became a case of trying to get to the next timing mat to have another 0.1 miles recorded on your official distance. Lynn and I had just passed the 0.7 mile marker on our 5th lap, so we went all out with a strong finish to reach the 0.8 mile marker with just a couple of seconds to spare!

I really enjoyed the Adidas 1hr run, and will definitely put it down on my list of races for next year. I loved the city course around St Pauls cathedral, seeing the whole field of runners in matching T-shirts, being mingled right in amongst the faster runners, and also everyone finishing at the same time so that no-one has to wait around. Also I want to thank Lynn for putting her trust in my hands and letting me guide her round the course. It was a really fun experience and I hope we can run together at another race sometime!

Looking forward now, it’s only 3 weeks to the marathon! I’ve run my biggest ever weekly mileage in this super busy week, so now its time to dial things back and enjoy the taper!

You can read all about my training for the London Marathon 2019 here!

Previous marathon training post: reaching 30 km!

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