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Race Review: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park 10k series

July 28, 2015

There was a lot of publicity last weekend around the Morrisons Great Newham London Run 10k which finished in the Olympic stadium, but it was very busy and it only happens once a year.  If you fancy getting to race in the Olympic park and having a much more low key but incredibly friendly experience, let me point you in the direction of the QEOP 10K series.

QEOP 10k race

I’ve run the race twice now and would heartily recommend it. The 3 lap setup means it’s good for attempting some kind of pacing. Whilst it is fairly low key, it’s chip timed so you know you have an accurate result and there’s race photos which are only £3 per download (a bargain, I’m sure you agree, if you’ve ever though about buying any half / full marathon photos). The gentleman who starts the race is a veteran racer and an absolute hoot and there’s even a little podium which you can have you photo taken on. A podium photo in the olympic park – awesome! One particularly unexpected bonus is that your race number gets you entry into the Copper Box or the Aquatic Centre, both of which are beautiful building and have great shower / changing facilities. You could even go for a post run swim if you were feeling energetic.

Each race varied in speed and entrants, but I came 2nd female (32nd overall) with 41:18 in the June race and 1st female (27th overall) with 42:46. Each race had about 320 entrants.

And you might see a random ballet dancer on your way to the race!

The series is run by The Race Organiser (sponsored by Ronseal?!). The races take place on the first Saturday in every month r at 9.30am and cost £15. The route starts from just outside The Podium Cafe, which is a very short walk from Stratford tube station. It is 3 laps and fairly flat – just a few undulations to get over bridges. There’s a bag drop, finishers medal  for everyone and  a prize of 2 tickets to go up the  Arcelormittal Orbit for  top 5 male and female winners.

arcelormittal orbit view

Mr Bland surveys the view from the Arelormittal Orbit in the Olympic Pakr

The Summer Series finishes with the September race, but last year there was a winter series from Oct – March. I love the fact that you always know you can have another bash next month. The same company organises lunchtime runs, Sunday 10ks in Regents park and a whole host of other very reasonably priced and varied events. It’s worth checking them out.

By the way – I’m wondering about splitting this into two separate blogs – one food, one running etc. What do you think? Does the muddled content annoy you or do you like the mixture? My current thinking is that the fitness site would be called “Bland on the Run”. I’d value your input.

UPDATE: The lovely chaps at The Race Organiser have confirmed that they are running the winter series. Entries are open here: http://www.theraceorganiser.com/qeop-races-winter-series.html

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