Sunday, 15 June 2014

RACE RUNDOWN: Cabbage Patch 10

Every year, the famous Cabbage Patch pub in Twickenham hosts a fast, flat 10 miler that is a great race for a target PB. I completed the race in October 2013 and made sure I got my entry in early for 2014!

Spanning 10 miles over Twickenham and parts of Kingston, Cabbage Patch 10 has been running since 1982 and if you one of the speedier ones, you are in with a chance of landing some great cash prizes.

If you are like me and want to write a new PB in your record book, Cabbage Patch can easily offer this. With the race taking place in October, the weather is normally mild and it is, I find, a great opportunity to keep the legs ticking over a long distance, especially if you are pre/post marathons and half marathons.

The course starts in Twickenham town centre, with the Cabbage Patch pub the main hub to plonk all your bags and clothing during the race. The road in which the race begins is quite narrow so if you are gunning for 1.15 or below, I’d recommend you try and get a spot in the first quarter pack of runners.

As I mentioned above, the course is incredibly flat and takes you through pretty residential areas, along with a couple of spots where you run through nearby town centres along the route. Around mile three, you enter Hampton Wick where you are directed to run on the path round the centre. Last year at this point, I was running with my best bud and was having a bit of a natter when I turned a sharp corner to go over a bridge and ran hard straight into a lamp post! Luckily, we both found the funny side of it, but I did feel daft and it reminded me that I needed to stop yabbering and concentrate on where I was going.

Past the halfway mark, you begin to come into some lovely scenic routes, which eventually leads you along the canal.  Here, as like any other towpath, it can get quite narrow and as this is around the mile 7/8 mark, make sure you have done all your overtaking before this and leave the last stretch which loops back in town for putting your foot down!

Once you’re off the canal, you then trot over a bridge and are on the final stretch. I was in a bit of a daze at this point so I don’t remember very clearly the last mile but the finish is at York House. Once you cross the line (and cheer!), it’s a nice open space so great for a meeting point with fellow runners. You also collect your free t-shirt here (which by the way I LOVE and wear all the time in the winter training months as it’s long sleeved yet thin).

Now sadly last year when I ran, I did have a troubled ITB and I did struggle by the time I got to the canal and my pacing drastically dropped. I remember feeling exhausted and regretted setting off too quickly at the start (epic fail for many of us eh?). I somehow managed to pick myself up and crossed the finish line at 1.20, which was still a PB but not quite what I hoped for. Next time, I want to aim for 1.18 and more importantly, avoid running into any lampposts! Overall though, a fantastic race, perfectly organised and a bubbly atmosphere with bubbly runners. The only thing I will say (and it is only a minor niggle) is that back at the race hub, it does get rammed with people changed and freshening up so make sure you get back there in good time after you finish!


Course: 5/5
Scenery: 3/5
Facilities: 3/5
Water Stations: 5/5
T-Shirt & goody bag: 4/5

My time: 1.20 (October 2013)


Find out more about Cabbage Patch 10 HERE.

Lipstick Runner.

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