On 11th September 2021 I took part in the Kew Gardens 10k. I have been fortunate enough to run Kew Gardens during covid secure times (Kew Gardens 10k 2020 review HERE), and also during pre-covid times (Kew Gardens 10k 2019 review HERE). The event organisers have done a great job this year, managing to take the best bits from each set up. This year I had to be super organised pre-race, as I have a busy weekend with Kew 10k and Sundown 5k today. Followed by Brighton Marathon tomorrow. I would have loved to do Richmond Marathon tomorrow, but I was already entered in Brighton when the date changed. I also technically ran this event on its original date at Kempton Marathon.
The start line is in its new spot, starting on pavement, not the usual grass start. Everywhere you look in Kew Gardens it is beautiful, but the new start line is particularly special. We are unable to come through the main gate, which means a long walk around at the start. Which at first I thought was a little annoying, but this long walk kept everything spread out, and by the time I got into Kew Gardens, I had plenty of space, with no bottlenecks. There were the usual queues for toilet on the way in, but other than that everything flowed. Bag drop was easy with no queues at all, and I made my way to the start line for the first wave.
I managed to get fairly close to the front at start, but I turned up a little late. It did mean that at the start I took a couple of minutes to find my pace and get around people, but frankly this is normal. I never mind this much in a race as it helps stop me running off too fast. I wanted a sub 45 minute today, which is what I usually pace at Kew 10k, but nothing too close to 40. With Brighton Marathon tomorrow, today are the warm up events.
The route is entirely in Kew Gardens, and if you have not been there before, I cannot imagine more beautiful grounds for a race. There was one water station during the 10k, and the km markers were perfect throughout the whole race, which is rarer than you would think. The majority of the course is on pavement with a small trail section in the second half. At times it can be narrow, so if you get stuck behind runners you need to say you are coming through if you want to pass. It has a lot of turns in the course, but it is flat as a pancake.
I’m really happy with my race. I enjoyed it and kept a steady pace at a good effort for me. I did slow down a little in the middle, but a sub 42, finishing in 41:54 is right where I wanted to be. If I wanted to go all out I think I could have held on to a sub 40, but I would be absolutely knackered, which is not what I was looking for today.
As always, great medals and tees, are a given at Richmond Runfest. I am looking forward to picking up my 5k medal and Goddess of Victory medals later on today.
If you have been running today, how did you get on?