Tuesday, May 13, 2014

We Own The Night London recap

About two months ago, I signed up for Nike's We Own The Night women's run. Very exciting, because 1) it was two days away from my dissertation deadline and 2) it would be my first race, ever! Together with Annemerel, Roosmarijn and two of my bestest friends, I ran through Victoria park along with thousands of other women (and a few men). The atmosphere was amazing! I'll take you through the night..

Around 6pm we headed towards Victoria Park. We took a tube to Bethnal Green and walked for about 20 minutes to the park. In the meantime, the weather was being incredibly erratic so it would pour and the next minute it would be super sunny. Victoria Park was all set up for the night with a stage, food stands and tents. 

First stop: Vita Coco. Coconut water is my favourite drink, especially before and after working out. We then looked for our names on the big cube. Annemerel also needed a picture with the signs since she's also running WOTN in Milan and Amsterdam (slightly jealous!)

While the sun was setting, we were freezing our butts off! We held onto our sweaters as long as we could, but once the warm-up started it was time to face the cold and put away our things.

At 7.30 pm the warm-up started but we were a bit late. I was absolutely freezing so I did 10 burpees. I might have embarrassed myself a little but I was cold ok? Annemerel snapped some pics of the action ;)

After that it was finally time to go to the starting line. I was super nervous but thankfully I had my friends beside me. There was a count down but I was too fussed about getting my iPhone in my back-pocket on time. Before I knew it we started moving. 

Even though we were in the first group, the start went pretty slow so I immediately ran on the grass so I could pass some people. I was so pumped by all the people, the cheering, the music and the vibe, which explains why kilometer 2 was my fastest. At first I tried to follow the 50 min pacer but passed her after it got too crowded. At around 3km there was a drinking point, which was good because I was so thirsty! 

I think around the 5 km point, after the first lap, I ran into the group that started later. It was so crowded I had to run on the grass and continued to do so for the rest of the race (I'm really too impatient). At 8km I started feeling quite tired, but then I ran past the awesome cheering Run Dem Crew, I got 5 high fives which made me so happy I did a little sprint. Only 2km left to go, let's do this! 'Paper planes' by MIA came on, which is supposedly the best running song, and it worked like magic. I picked up the pace, gave myself a final push and ended up sprinting to the finish line. Best feeling ever! 

I checked my phone and saw I finished within 47:35! Yesss, a personal record! I ran a bit more than 10km so I actually did 10km in 47:03 

After I got my goodie bag and medal, I passed the Elle stand, where they had little freshen-up stations with hair ties and dry shampoo. I then got my sweater and bag, and went to find the other girls. 

My friends also broke their personal records so we were all super proud and happy about our first race!

Tired, cold and hungry, we headed straight to Shoreditch for London's best pizza at Pizza East. Perfect ending to the day!

Some things to remember for my next race: make sure my tights are tied well. I was constantly pulling them up, haha. Also make sure my playlist is working properly. Something clearly went wrong which meant I had to listen to about 5 songs the whole race. Apart from that I think I prepared quite well and it felt like I flew through the race. The event was so well organised, props to everyone who helped! I will definitely participate in next year's WOTN, the only question is: where? :) 

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© whiskers & lions

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