This was my second MCC Promotions 10K event (the first being the Reading Rivermead 10K a month earlier). It seemed much more organised this time. Southampton Common is a very scenic setting, where even the light drizzle and gusty winds couldn't dampen the runners' spirits. The course was well laid out: 2 laps of 3.4km and a third of 3.2km. There were two downsides for me though. First, that it was all on a concrete pathway which isn't my favourite surface to run on but, given all of the rain, it was probably better than running on the mud - and the pathway was relatively puddle-free (and quite wide, so avoided any bottle-necking for runners). Second, it's a deceptively steep hill. It's starts with a gradual incline which isn't very visible, but you notice it when you're running. It gets a little steeper in places (nothing drastic though), leveling out every once in a while, but lasts quite a distance. The good news with it being a lap is that what goes up must come down, and the second half of the lap is pretty much all downhill. Hills are my nemesis, but it was certainly good practice for me. There were plenty of marshals lining the route, all of whom did a great job of cheering the runners on. The facilities were generally good. A water station was provided at the start/finish line, although the two guys on duty there seemed to struggle a little keeping up with the demand, but did a fantastic job nonetheless. There was an ambulance crew on standby, a coffee van to provide hot drinks and snacks for the spectators and, although there were toilets, the three port-a-loos did have a really long queue in the twenty or so minutes leading up to the start of the race. I think some runners got caught out by this. The run director was still talking to us in the middle of the starting pack when the hooter went off and the run began, but it wasn't anything to complain about really. Unfortunately for me, an old injury reared its ugly head during the run so although I put in a fairly good first lap, my subsequent lap times suffered greatly. I still managed a respectable time, but knew I could have done better. I made a couple of new friends and enjoyed the run overall though.
Having chosen the venue for a race the organisers obviously have to make the most of it. Therefore if they wanted a 10k race it had to be 3 laps which is not popular with a lot of runners. The most disappointing things as far as I am concerned was the very poor quality shirt and cheap looking medal without even the year of the event. I realise you have kept the cost down but I think most people would pay the same price and just have a decent medal. The worst thing is that the results give no age details. We have to give our age on the entry form and it is included on the race entries list so why not on the results. Most of us have no chance of coming in the first three but it is good to be able to compare yourself with runners of the same age. At registration nobody mentioned the chips. Obviously if you read the race information before the race you should know you have to pick up a chip but at most races you are given the two together. When I got to the start I noticed two runners without chips and suggested they go back and get one. I hope they got back to the start in time. I feel sure that with a bit more attention to detail this race could become much more popular.
A coldish morning to do another 10k race, over 260 done now. A well organised race on a good flat course. Felt ok on the multiple laps. I would reccommend this race to my fellow athetes looking for a PB in the future. I will always support local races in the south. See you next year.
3 laps of the course was slightly dull! 24 hours after finishing, we are still waiting for the results to be published. Race numbers were only available to collect on the morning of the run - I would have preferred for it to be posted. So, in many respects, not great really, in comparison to other 10k's I've been in. Though, marshals, crowd & participants were all really nice & it's nice to race on the common without a huge crowd (the usual Parkrun held here is incredibly popular!). Overall, yes I probably will be back next year!