Time for a rare treat on this blog… a man! Alex has been doing some pretty cool races lately and can’t be convinced to start his own blog so I got him to write about his experience at the Wimbledon Common Half Common.
I thought I knew about all the running races either hearing about them from running friends, co-workers, or reading in the most recent Running magazine but the Wimbledon Common Half in May was a new one and I had a special reasoning for signing up… The Medal.
I have run many races all for various reasons and the medals at the finish line have been a great reward for the gruelling training and race day challenge. The chance to get a medal in the shape of the well known children’s television program The Wombles was too much to turn down.
Signing up was the easy part and managed to persuade my fellow colleague Tony and his friend to join the 21.1km race. My wife came along but was a unusual spectator since she had cycled from London to Brighton the previous day.
Getting from the NE to the SW to the race HQ was straightforward with a quick Victoria Line to Vauxhall, then a train to Putney and then the 93 bus to the start in Wimbledon Common. The weather threatened to not cooperate, but in the end just softened up the trails a little bit. The start area was well organized and us arriving 30 minutes before the start was more than enough time to pick up the my race number and safety pins and warm up to some Wake Me Up by Avicci. We were ready to race!
My outfit took some careful planning and was pleased to have recently been given some Tribesports apparel to try out which included the Performance shorts and Performance Tech Tee SS shirt. I have worn various running apparel throughout my many years of running 10ks, halfs, and marathons and I like the soft material and light feel of the Tribesports kit, this was especially important on such a rainy/damps day. The black & yellow shorts suit my colour preferences and the grey and yellow top is a nice change from usual running gear with block colours, one aspect of the shirt which I haven’t found in any other product are the thin air vents on the back and under armpits.
The race started right on time and had my iPod ready to go with some Ministry of Sound classic beats. The start was a bit compact and soggy on the rugby pitch but once the route opened up it took us runners up a steep first 4k incline within the Common which was a nice break from usual road races. I started to enjoy the scenery which included some energetic dogs on a Sunday morning (which meant for some quick feet and dodging). The course eventually flattened out and there were spectators to cheer us on as the drizzle continued under the trees. The next 3k went through wider trails and fields passing by the local golf course and horse riding parks. My Tribesports outfit was able to keep me cool and dry as I began to sweat as the race continued.
The second half of the race was a bit more of a blur (editors note: Good thing as so were my photos of you!) as we knew what to expect but that didn’t make the first hill any easier. My pace went up and mile splits decreased as my friend Tony wanted to get under 2 hours and I needed to keep him on pace to achieve this. The final 500m was met with my wife Laura cheering us on the sprint finish.
I accepted the BEST Medal so far and although tired was happy to finally own a Womble, my Tribesports outfit felt good afterwards and was dry even after all the running. The race was very well organized at the end with water and oranges supplied to finishers which was much appreciated.
We took our Wombles to the pub where we all had a well deserved beer and burger showing off our medals. I will recommend this race to all my running and Womble friends.
Laura’s Note: Alex and I were sent some kit from Tribesports to review. Instead of another blog about me and my t-shirt preferences, I thought you’d like to hear Alex’s opinion. The Wimbledon Common Half Marathon was an event Alex signed up (and paid for) on his own.
There are a few more Wimbledon Common Half Marathons this year if you want your own Womble – Next one is July 27th!