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Feel like an Olympian at the Great Newham London Run

by Susie Chan
Monday 18th July 2016
 
 
Standing just under the Orbit, the UK’s largest sculpture, in the Olympic Park I was surrounded by thousands of fellow runners. As 10ks go, it was apparent this was a huge race. 15,000 runners had assembled in the early morning summer haze to run the 10k route or take part in a family 2K race.
 
Being in the Olympic Park was a great setting, but the real thing I was looking forward to was the stadium finish. If there is one thing which will prompt a sprint finish, it will be running round the actual track that Mo Farah and Jess Ennis won gold medals on in 2012.
 
World champion, and recently confirmed Team GB member for Rio Christine Ohuruogu was there to start the race and give runners a high five as they went past. As the klaxon went off a big cheer went up and we were off!

Chris Ohug

The course was quite congested to start off with, but once we got going there was space to weave and get past people. There were wave starts which also helped the flow.
 
The course itself had a few sharp switchbacks and despite looking flat from a distance, there are bridges to go up and over. These small hills taken at 10K pace are a harder than they looked. You to run around Olympic venues along the course, the Copperbox, Aquatics Centre, and Velodrome all were seen as runners weave your way away from the stadium.There are pacers (dressed as Duracell Bunnies!) to help you stick to pace along the way and get you across the line. They had gathered quite a large numbers of runners around them as they paced steadily towards the finish. 
 
It was a hot morning but on course showers and water stops kept runners cool. About 8.5K you enter a tunnel under the stadium. It had loud adrenaline-pumping music and offered cool shade from the sun. I thought this would lead into the stadium itself, but we popped out onto an outside track. A Pavlovian response saw me run round this quite hard before we turned off and finally entered the Olympic Stadium proper.
 
What a venue! It was as impressive as I had imagined. Some runners punched the sky and lapped up being on the track.  The crowds watching were cheering and you can see yourself running on track as it is beamed up on a giant screen. It was a wonderful atmosphere! We got to run nearly an entire lap to cross the finish line.
 
I’ve run lots of 10ks and it would be fair to say most of them are not that memorable. This one may not have had the fastest course, but it certainly had the most memorable of finishes. Knowing that a lap of the Olympic stadium awaits you at the end is a real motivator.

Susie Chan is at www.susie-chan.com and @Susie__Chan
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

About The Author

Susie Chan

Susie Chan is an endurance runner, who runs all sorts of races from 1 mile to 100 miles and beyond. Her favourite races are multistage ultras. Find her on Twitter @susie__chan Instagram @susie_chan_ or read about her races on her blog www.susie-chan.com
 
 
 
 
 

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