First Race of 2016 – Battersea Park 5k

Almost as soon as we had finished the Greenwich Park 5k before Christmas, my work friends were keen to book another!

We opted to sign up for the Battersea Park 5k, also organised by Run Through so we were confident in it being another great race. Being only two weeks after Christmas it was good to have something in the diary to keep me motivated to continue exercising over the festive period. And it provided the perfect way to kickstart the New Year!

Battersea Park 5k

The race fell on one of the coldest days of the year so far, not hard when it’s only the 16th January, but considering we had such a mild December it was a bit of a shock to the system.

Being an asthmatic, cold weather is more of a problem for me than most runners, and I opted to wear a long sleeve top and running jacket in order to try and keep my chest warm and ease my breathing a little.

(NOTE: If you also struggle with your breathing when it’s cold check out my top tips for winter running!)

Even so, when we set off from the start line I had to hold myself back and not get swept along with the faster runners. Going off too quickly before I’m properly warmed up spells disaster when it’s so cold!

Battersea Park 5k

The 5k route was two laps of Battersea Park around the boating lake. I lost my work colleagues Steph and Lauren pretty quickly and I later found out they’d really pushed it and come in under 30minutes- amazing considering it was only Steph’s second ever race! It took me about 20minutes to really settle into a rhythm- the park was flat and with the laps being quite short the time seemed to go by quite quickly. It was a beautiful day – sunny, blue skies and still frosty icy ground in places!

Counting down the kilometre markers along the way, and smiling at the encouraging marshalls, before long I was heading back to the bandstand and the finish line.

There was a girl level with me as we came round the last 100m. I went for it and tried to out-sprint her but I think she realised and also picked up the pace, so we pretty much ended up crossing the line together! I always feel like if I’ve got enough energy left for a real sprint finish I haven’t tried hard enough during the race, but I think considering the cold weather and how much I was wheezing afterwards I was glad I kept it a bit more reserved.

Battersea Park 5k medals

Grabbing our amazing medals, flapjack and bananas we headed off to celebrate with brunch at Brickwood Coffee and Bread in Clapham. There was a short queue when we arrived, but an even bigger one when we left – a sure sign that you’ve picked a great spot!

Brunch at Brickwood Clapham

And I can definitely recommend this little Australian cafe. The service was second-to-none, friendly, cheerful and laid-back. They were attentive without being suffocating- giving us a bottle of water, refilling it several times, and offering more coffees and teas – and the food was amazing! I opted for the french toast with bananas, bacon, maple syrup and mascarpone- a seriously good combination. The menu was so varied that the four of us ordered completely different dishes, all of which were delicious – from poached eggs and avocado (classic) to sweetcorn fritters, to sweet potato, halloumi and eggs. I may have to run a race on Clapham Common simply so I can justify coming back here for another brunch! Or at least to grab one of their Tim Tam muffins…

Official 5k time –  33:57

I’m very happy with this and feel like I’m slowly moving in the right direction. Some exciting race news this week is that I got a ballot place for the Great North Run in September! So if you have run this before please let me know your advice in the comments!

Beki x

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  • Reply Amy

    Sounds like a perfect Saturday! I love RunThrough events, always so well organised and you know that medal is going to be a keeper! Brunch looks amazing too, I’ll have to hunt it down. As for GNR tips, I ran it a few years ago and can tell you the atmosphere is one to rival the London Marathon, such an iconic event! The crowds and runners around you really make it special. Top tip would be to hold back at the start as it begins with a gentle downhill so you think you’re flying ahead! and then save some energy for the latter stages, as you can see the finish line about a mile ahead along the seafront but it seems to take forever to get there! Was hoping to get a lucky ballot place too but it wasn’t to be, fingers still crossed though! x

    January 18, 2016 at 9:16 am
    • Reply misswheezy

      Thanks for your advice about the GNR Amy! The atmosphere sounds amazing – I will try and remember your tip about not getting carried away at the start 🙂 x

      January 19, 2016 at 9:50 pm
  • Reply MissPond

    What a great looking race! I always struggle with 5ks as I usually only hit my stride around 4k in, I’m more of a 10k person. I was going to start going to Parkrun this year to see how it goes running more regular 5ks, but mine was flooded a couple of weeks back and has been postponed since! Hopefully this weekend 🙂

    January 18, 2016 at 12:17 pm
    • Reply misswheezy

      I know what you mean – it takes me so long to get into a rhythm! Sorry to hear about the flooding – I hope you’re able to make it back to parkrun soon 🙂

      January 19, 2016 at 9:51 pm
  • Reply Maria @ runningcupcake

    Well done! I think in the cold it is harder for anyone, so with asthma it must be even harder- not pushing it can be sensible, and you are still speeding up which is brilliant.
    And exciting about the GNR too – I would say book accommodation right away as it gets very expensive and full. And book your travel- eg train- we had seats but some people had to stand, which for 5 hours after running a half is no fun. (Or have the Monday off work if you can do that, and travel back the next day). But it’s a great experience and Newcastle is a lovely place to visit.

    January 18, 2016 at 6:43 pm
    • Reply misswheezy

      Thanks for the tips about the GNR Maria – much appreciated! I’ve booked the Monday off work so I can take my time travelling back. Quite excited! 🙂

      January 19, 2016 at 9:48 pm
  • Reply Anna @AnnaTheApple

    Nice work! And on such a cold day, well done!
    Errrrrrrrrrrrm, I’m just going to stare at that picture for a little while and drool. Uber jealous it looks AMAZING.

    January 19, 2016 at 2:06 pm
    • Reply misswheezy

      Thanks Anna! I know, the brunch was sooo good! 🙂

      January 19, 2016 at 9:49 pm

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