Green Park Royal Berkshire 10K, Mini Mile & Mini Marathon
After deciding to book a few races in May, for motivation and in a bid to get my legs going again, I found the Green Park Royal Berkshire 10k. It was advertised as Reading’s Big Family Fun Run. This was a moderately local race to me, flat and looked quite good. I had not tried this one before, so thought I would book it up.
Race details and venue
The cost of entry was £20 (affiliated) with an additional £1.60 booking fee. A week or so before the race date, my race bib arrived along with a pamphlet showing the route and race day information.
The race was held just a stone’s throw away from the Reading FC Madjeski stadium. Plenty of parking was available with a £5.00 charge on the day. To reach the race village you walked down a flight of steps near to a stream and then along a closed road for a couple of minutes.
There were quite a few people around and families with small children walking back towards the car park. Children were wearing medals and carrying cuddly toys. The Royal Berkshire 10k is not just for adults, there were 2 other races. A Mini Mile for 4-8 years old (parents can also run) with free t-shirts and medals for every one entering. Plus, a 3K Mini Marathon with a suggested age range of 9-14 years old. Again with free t-shirts and medals for everyone entering the race.
The sun was shining, it was a lovely day, albeit a little too warm in my opinion. Obviously, mother nature is out of our control. To one side of the race village, there were plenty of Portaloos. The village had quite a buzz to it, music playing, lots of stalls, refreshments, coffee, sports massage, and even Runr the apparel brand were there.
The ambience was excellent. A scattering of giant cushions were on the grassed areas of the village for relaxation, before or after the race. Also, a photo opportunity area was setup. Lots of cardboard cutouts displaying different slogans and a frame were available to hold up and take the pre-race or post-race photos we love. The starting area was adjacent to the race village. Pacemakers were also available for those wanted to target a specific finishing time.
The route and recap
A fellow running friend was also taking part, we met at the starting position next to the 65-minute pacemaker.
A warm-up took place when we were all lined up just before the off. I knew I wasn’t going to able to run the whole 10k in this time quite yet as my fitness was lacking coming back after injury. I decided to run the first 3km at that pace and see how I would fare.
At the beginning of the race you could hear cheers, and see spectators and supporters. A good vibe as you went on your way. A drumming band was knocking out lively beats as well. The pacer we ran beside was brilliant, he chatted along the way and kept everyone motivated.
The opening road had a few speed bumps to contend with. These were a bit annoying as you could nearly trip if not careful and not so obvious when alongside runners in a group. In a short while, the race headed out towards the countryside on closed roads. Scarce shade could be found. You were always in direct sunshine being a bright and sunny hot day. The water stops were supposed to be at the 3km and 8km markers. Having two placements as opposed to the usual one midway through a 10km race was a nice touch, especially in the heat.
Looking at the distance showing on my Garmin watch, I noticed the course markings were not accurate at all. The kilometres markings seemed to be much longer than mine! I reached the 3km marker and was looking forward to the water, to find it wasn’t there. It was actually further along nearer 3.6km. There was little support or spectators, apart from at the start and finish, as the route led you out to a more rural area in one large loop. I think this can be quite boring if you are running on your own. However, that being said, if you were with a pacing group this wouldn’t be the case.
On completing the race, you received a lovely brightly coloured medal, a disposable bottle of water to drink. There was neither the usual race banana, snack or goody bag. Instead, you received a small reusable sports bottle – this felt like a bit of a let-down after arriving at such a buzzing race village and having to pay an additional £5.00 for parking on top of the £20.00 race charge and booking fee.
Taking everything into account, I’m going to give the Green Park Royal Berkshire 10k a score of 3.5 out of 5 on the Runiversity of life™ Runometer™
Route and elevation profile
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