What do you get when a race is organised by a bunch of passionate runners on their (and my) favourite stretch of river?
The Awesome and Inaugural Fulham Running Club Boat Race. A new ten mile race following the Oxford v Cambridge Boat Race route and cunningly the week before the rowers hit the river.
I miss Putney, I have friends in Fulham Running Club (even more now) and I do love the ten mile distance. By the time you get into double digits you are done. So when my pals told me this was coming up, I didn’t hesitate to enter. The good news kept coming, I love a small race, and with only 50 entrants this year (more next year) this suited me down to a tee. Hostess with the mostess Amy put me up the night before, and got our morning off to a good start with tea bought straight to my bed. Amy continued her day of being very awesome, by running me to the start and being chief photographer. Star!
You probably won’t get the Amy treatment if you enter, so let me tell you about the organisation. The race listings for the Fulham Running Club Boat Race were available online the day before, making number collection quick and easy. A trestle table outside Craven Cottage (Super easy to find) was manned and surrounded by dozens of capable marshals. I went to the table, was offered snacks, collected my number and had plenty of time to see super star running friends Cat and Justin before we had to walk to the start.
The start of the race was tantalisingly close to the toilets (proper ones, not portable toilets) and the race organisers let us last minute larrys pop in quickly with the race starting a few minutes late. Because it was a small group the banter and camaraderie was such that it really didn’t matter and every set off on the whistle chatting and enjoying the morning.
Everyone running was chatty and friendly, many running clubs were represented and I fell in pace with Catherine from Imperial College running club, she was fabulous running company (thank you!) and helped push me through the head wind we hit on the second half. We chatted almost all the way round, but doing it together meant we both achieved a better pace than hoped.
I knew the route well, I’ve run this river dozens of times and the river was busy with lots of rowers hitting the river before the official boat race. Plentiful marshals meant I was directed where I needed to go, before I’d even thought about it myself and kept the route clear of other obstacles for me at key points. They took lots of photos and had a smile at every turn – top work team!
There were a whole host of unexpected surprises at the Fulham Running Club Boat Race, I only expected a run and pub visit with friends but the superb organisers had sorted out:
- pre race snacks
- post race snacks
- post race bananas
- post race beer
- post race pizza
- spot prizes
- prizes for the first male and female
I will be running the Fulham Running Club Boat Race next year and I’ll make sure I update this post as and when details are available for 2018! Head over to the Fulham Running Club website and follow them on social media for more updates.
How was your weekend?