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My running mojo is off somewhere downing tequila without me at the moment so to be honest I was not looking forward to the running part of the Ealing Eagles 10k. Don’t get me wrong, I love this race and was excited to be taking part but I had no idea how things would go.

I arrived early to make sure I secured a parking space and found that my running buddy had the same idea but had arrived 15 minutes before me. Registration was a doddle thanks to all the kind volunteers and I used the acres of time before the race to chat with a few fellow Eagles and make the customary walk to the park toilets.

With bags dropped off into the baggage tent, it was time for the warm-up and onto the start line. I thought that I would take a pop at 50 minutes but after the first 400m I knew that this was not going to be my day – painful stomach cramps. I soldiered on around the park but the pain increased and I continued to slow.

I have never experienced anything remotely like this before but I decided to continue my slow running to the first water station, where I grabbed a cup of water and walked for a while in the hope that my stomach would calm down a bit.

The pain gradually subsided from the 3km marker onwards and I was at least able to increase my pace a little. The good folks at Xempo had kitted out some pacers and I had my sad face on as the 50 minute & 55 minute groups trotted past me. I was also lapped by the race winner this year, something I just about avoided last time.

This probably goes down as my worst ever run but at least it took place at one of my favourite races. I am a teeny tiny bit biased but the Ealing Eagles 10k is one of the best races available and it is extraordinary value for money. The race had an abundance of the cheeriest marshals that you’ll ever find, pacers in 5 minute increments from 45-70 minute finishing times, wonderful park scenery, distinctive medal, great goodie bag, free water and fruit, free massage at the finish, organised warm-up, chip timing, and free photographs to download from Flickr.

We treated ourselves to an ice-cream after the race and cheered in the final finishers before joining a large crowd to applaud as the race winners were handed their trophies. My running buddy had to race off to a birthday party so I stayed to help clear up before joining the Eagles at The Forester for a sumptuous Sunday roast lunch.

I will definitely be back in 2014 with a sub-45 minute target firmly in mind.

  • Race position: 241st out of 446
  • Finish time: 54 minutes and 47 seconds
  • Garmin time: 54 minutes and 39 seconds
  • Class: M
  • Class position: 167th out of 228