The Womens Running 10km race was based around Willen Lake in Milton Keynes the central lake in MK, it’s a beautiful lake and perfect for your first 10km, very flat and easy to get to and around. It cost me a total of £43.60 which is quite pricey for a 10km but it got me a hoody with the entry. I had heard about the Women’s running events for about a year but wasn’t in the country to enter one, I heard that they had a great goody bag and a great community of women to run with.

It was on the 3rd July and was a beautiful morning, the sun was shining and it was already really warm before 9am! There was not a cloud in the sky and knowing the route not a lot of a shade cover either. The course is very flat, it was two loops around the lake, the only ‘hill’ is by two aqueducts on the top part of the lake. The between 1-4km and 6-9km there was no shade, it was all out in the open running by the side of the lake, it was beautiful the sun was shining on the lake, but was reflecting straight back onto your skin and the sun was out in full force. Between 5km and the last 10km it was in the trees around the bottom of the lake, it was lovely because spectators hidden down there were out in full force, and then through the finish area was pack full of spectators and people just walking around the lake.

The lake was still open for people to walk around and luckily no one was getting in the way or taking up the path, usually when I have ran around there people don’t tend to want to move out of the way for a hoard of runners! Towards the top half of the lake there wasn’t anyone around, there was an occasional marshall cheering you on (big shout out to these guys, they were always so lovely and very encouraging). It was quite a peaceful run though.

You had the option of running a 5km and 10km race at Willen, the 10km being 2 loops. I do sometimes struggling with events that are loops of the same route because I get a little bit bored or struggle a bit more because you know what’s coming ahead.

Value wise, the goody bag you receive at the end is probably where your money is going (unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of it until after I had eaten everything) You receive a copy of the women’s running magazine, popcorn, supplements, dry fruit, coconut water and some other items in a drawstring bag. The price for the race is a little steep however for the location and the goody bag was worth it and you can see where that goes.

This was my first 10km race since I had started training, I was feeling a little bit sore as I had done the triathlon the day before, I was a little bit nervous because it was also the first race that I would be running with some of the redway runners.

I pulled up and started walking to the start, I had to park a while away because the parking at the event was charged and I didn’t want to be charged for parking, it was only about a 10 minute walk but I didn’t see any other runners doing the race so I was starting to get a little bit worried, I then saw a marshall who told me that the start was definitely in the place I thought it was, I just had to check as there wasn’t any other runners!

I got to the starting area and it was quite small with a few stalls including buff, hoka and a supplement stall. I only arrived about 30 minutes before we were starting and it didn’t seem like there were that many runners around, however after a while they started to turn up.

The warm up was okay, there was a presenter talking in the microphone to try and pump up the women with music in the background, it was a beautiful day and everyone was just really getting involved. They then brought a lady on stage who was giving some exercise warm up instructions however her microphone was so quiet you couldn’t hear what she was saying but luckily I was close enough so I could see what she was doing. I was already sweating before we had even started it was so hot!

We started to head towards the start, and they had been given pacers I think there was a 50 min, 60 min, 70 there was another pacer but off the top of my head I can’t remember. I thought I would attach myself and follow the 70 minute pacer, from the previous race that I had done I had finished at this pace and was aiming for it. We were trying to get to the start, but it was a very tiny funnel to get to it, the women weren’t moving up either so we were all still in the warm up zone and then they sent the starting buzzer off and the ladies started running when we hadn’t got to the starting line yet!

We set off and I stayed behind the pacer for a bit but I was really feeling the heat, I had bought myself a running belt with bottles a few days before but thought I would be able to deal with it as it was only 10km on this day and I have run that distance before. Around the 4km mark I was really feeling the heat, we were exposed to the sun with no shade to cover us, I hate running in the heat, I need to figure out a way to be able to deal with it when I run. We came to a water station where they were given out full bottles of water! Something I haven’t had in a race before and it was awesome. Having a bottle to run around with was such a good idea. It really helped me get through the rest of the race.

The second lap felt better than the first, I think I always know how much I have left in my system and I’m able to push myself a bit more and go a bit faster or what I felt was faster. I had a lady who was running near me, walking and then running with me for a bit and then walking, using her technique, we were having a chat around the last bit of the course, it was really nice to have someone to chat with in the run. On the last 1km she started to walk and I said no, ‘lets do this’ and made her run with me for the last bit, we came into the finish which was full of people and the lady on the microphone was calling out our names. I sprinted for the last bit and managed to finish, I felt like I was going to pass out it was so hot! We were greeted by lovely people giving us our goody bags and then headed into the main area again, by the time I had finished most people had gone home but there were still hanging about who were lovely and still really friendly and encouraging.

It’s safe to say I felt like I had a bit of sun stroke and my skin was definitely burnt, my time was not my best but considering the heat I was happy I had managed to actually complete it. I will definitely do it next year and have a look into doing some of the other locations.