On Saturday 10th May 2014, my newly appointed Breakin’ Boundrez team members and I made the journey to Victoria Park, London, England where we joined thousands of other women who signed up for this 10k after dark race. As you may already know, for most of my team members, this was either their first EVER 10k race, or their first race outdoors since being in high school.
I love encouraging others to try something new so was delighted that through words of encouragement and gentle persuasion, I managed to rally five of my girlfriends to join my team. This had a knock on effect on @Beifit‘s friends as they too were inspired by her decision to sign up so my team doubled from five members to 10!
On the day of the race eight members were in attendance with two of my friends having to pull out due to unforeseen circumstances.
Most of the team met at Mile End Station just after 6.30pm and after a brief introduction we all made the 10 minute walk to Victoria Park where we met kicks and kit founder and recently appointed Boots No 7 girl Thelma. The weather had not been playing ball all day with bursts of torrential downpours followed by bright sunny spells so we all were pretty much praying the rain would hold off when making our way around the 10k course!
The atmosphere was electric the minute we stepped foot into the park. Distracted by the gigantic screens and loud but tasteful music we made our way *or danced in my case* to the designated bag drop area where we were swiftly seen and attended to.
The warm up was lead by Equinox trainers and whilst attempting to follow the routine on screen, our team let loose and began to freestyle the minute Beyonce’s Who Run The World ‘GIRLS’ came on. It was a joy to see my team and other young girls and women smiling, laughing and joking amongst their selves as they prepared for the task ahead.
Warm up complete and it was time to make our way to our starting points. Most of the team opted for the orange wave to finish under 1hr 10 mins whilst Edna and Tatiana chose the yellow of completing the race in 1hr 30 mins.
It took a while to get going for there were a no of waves in front of us so we kept ourselves warm by dancing and singing along to the tunes that bellowed from the surround speakers.
I took the opportunity of downtime to capture the atmosphere and have a group picture taken moments before our wave began its countdown to the start of the race.
And we were off… We set off at a nice steady pace and whilst it was heavily congested with women running at different paces I ensured I looked around every ten paces to ensure they were still right behind me.
I have always been adamant from the minute I signed up to this race to run as a team with me being the designated pace maker to sure my girls got around the course safely and in one piece, but much to my disappointment and shock horror, I somehow managed to loose the majority of my team in the first few hundred meters of the race, all bar Sasha, founder of online women’s lifestyle website Inspire-LS who stayed by my side.
Unsure weather the team members were behind or ahead of us, Sasha and I collectively decided to carry on and therefore paced Sash around the course. Now Sasha had only completed just over 3 miles during training in the lead up to the race and much to my delight and her determination, Sasha stayed with me throughout the entire race.
She responded when I upped the pace at various stages *her splits per km showed this* and managed to run an impressive 7km straight before slowing down to a brisk walk to recover from a cramp whilst taking some fluid on board. After approx 3 minutes we were back on the go again and kept a steady pace until we reached the 9km.
Sasha breathed a sigh of relief knowing we were just 1km from actually finishing the race so decided to really challenge her by gradually upping the pace with every 100m mark we passed.
With the final stretch and finish in sight I told Sasha to go all out and sprint like your life depended on it, I kicked and Sasha followed but sprinted ahead to lead by example.
I stopped just short of the finish line so we could cross the line together and there were smiles and hugs all around!
Sasha kept shaking her head in disbelief, and repeated ‘I done it’ with the biggest grin.. this was amazing to witness and was bursting with pride that she completed her first ever 10k race in an amazing 1hr 5 mins and 39 secs.
I’m pretty certain this lady could have completed it 10k in under 1hr had we not stopped but is a HUGE achievement nonetheless.
Whilst walking down the finishers line we bumped into Nicole who finished approx 5 mins ahead of us (massive congrats hun).
Celebratory hugs were followed by excitable discussions of the race and how we found it.
With the beautiful finishers necklace and Nike goody bag in tow, we decided to make our way back to the bag drop off in the hope of bumping into the others.
It wasn’t long before we saw Monica in the distance quickly followed by Bei. By this moment I was bursting with pride as most of my ladies made it around their first 10k in under 1hr 10mins and was fantastic to witness the sheer delight and amazement on their faces.
We were greeted by Thelma approx 5 mins after Monica and Bei and have got to point out that this woman was feeling unwell with flu-like symptoms and didn’t train for the race but despite these setbacks she still completed the race in a very commendable time of 1hr 11 mins. Below our team breakin’ boundrez post wotn picture minus two.
Edna and Tatiana were the last to finish out of the group. They both completed the course in just over 1hr 30 mins and enjoyed it soooo much they are rearing for the next challenge lol.
Words cannot express just how PROUD I am of these ladies… they didn’t have to sign up and join my team but they did, and in doing so broke boundrez to complete their first EVER 10k race *massive props ladies*
The We Own The Night Race Motto kept going through my head that night, we created memories for sure and in some instances, planted seeds for some team members have been inspired by the night and their achievements that they’ve signed up to more races this year!
For me what we accomplished as a team perfectly sums up what We Own The Night is all about, we came, we saw and you bet we conquered.
Now for the mentions…
This post won’t be complete without sending a MASSIVE Shout Out to all of the Run Dem Crew’s Cheer Dem Crew for coming out in full force! Your loud cheers of motivation for EVERYONE that passed the 4km/ 7km mark made all the difference to us running, so THANK YOU!
Also a massive THANK YOU to Sam Bloch at Nike HQ for allowing me to be a part of this awesome movement!
I’d like to conclude this race recap article by thanking the lovely Katie Ryan for taking the awesome images of Sasha and I whilst running and the post race pictures (pictures without watermark).
NIGHT OWNED and OWNED IN STYLE 🙂
Until next year please god…