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Best foot foward: Pride 10K review


The Pride 10k is organised by London Frontrunners and a team of volunteers at Victoria Park in Hackney, East London. As the name would suggest, it was founded to celebrate gay pride and, such has been its success, this year was its 10th anniversary. The selected charity for the 2013 race was Diversity Role Models, who provide workshops in schools to prevent homophobic and gender based bullying.

When is it?
It's usually held on a Saturday in mid-August, 2013’s fell on the 17th.P1020231

The finishers run under a rainbow created with balloons

The course
The route is fast and flat with three laps around the historic park. The paths are concrete with tree-lined avenues circling football pitches and playing areas. A water station is on the route around the 1k, 4k and 7k points. There’s also pumping music at one corner of the course playing upbeat pop songs to help you keep in your running rhythm. After the third lap, you turn off onto grass for the final 10m where you run under an arch of rainbow balloons to finish – a both fun and symbolic gesture.

The facilities
There’s a club house by the finish (about five minutes jog from the start) with changing rooms and toilets and a baggage storage area. There’s also Portaloos to help cut down on the queues.

What’s good about it?
The race was founded to celebrate inclusivity and diversity and this is reflected in the entrants. Everyone is welcome regardless of their running ability. The atmosphere is friendly with a mix of club and charity runners (a few in fancy dress) making it a good choice for those running their first 10K. But, as stated above, the course is fast and flat so if you’re in good shape, it’s also a good opportunity to run a PB. As it’s three laps of the park, spectators can follow the action easily. As it was the 10th anniversary, there was a barbecue at a nearby pub afterwards that all runners and their supporters were invited to and where the race presentations were made, which also added to the inclusive and friendly atmosphere.P1020235

Victoria Park is a flat and fast course

What’s bad about it?
Personally, I can’t find anything I didn’t like about this race, except for the fact my legs couldn’t go quicker! But considering it from a wider perspective, some might find running three laps of the same loop slightly boring and it must be demoralising for slower runners to see people sprinting for home when they know they have another lap to go. I loved the 11am start time as it gave me plenty of time to get there without getting up too early, but given the race is in mid-August, it might mean the conditions are unbearable should it be a scorching day (thankfully this year it wasn’t too hot).

What do you get for finishing?
A vast haul of goodies both commemorative and useful including a medal, towel, shopping bag, water and a cereal bar.

How do you enter?
Online or via post as per the instructions at www.pride10k.org/registration.html. Entries open in the Spring and sold out this year two weeks before the race day. In 2013 it cost 317 for affiliated athletes to enter.

In a nutshell
I’d recommend this to those looking for a pb as well as first-timers and slower runners looking for a friendly atmosphere and an unchallenging course. The organisers had clearly worked hard to ensure the event ran smoothly and the result was a race they can be proud of.

Race reviewed: Saturday, 17 August 2013 by Lucy Waterlow, finishing time 41.27