When: June 5, 2011
Where: Bluewater, Kent
First man: TEWADROS SHIFERAW 29:13
First Woman: EDINAH KWAMBAI 33:39
Last Finisher: 1:54:51
No. of Finishers: 1,903
RW Rating 2011: 81%
Being a shopaholic can do wonders for your fitness. For example, to take in all 330 shops at the Kentish retail Mecca Bluewater, you'll cover 2.25K. Loop its triangular circuit four and a half times, and you will have clocked up 10K.
The temptation to add some wear and tear to the credit card, however, was mercifully low during the fifth annual Bluewater 10K, as the race took place not on the gleaming promenades of Europe's largest shopping centre, but the streets of the surrounding towns of Stone and Dartford.
An 8:30am start saw a field of around 2,400 line up on a flyover outside the main complex. Within the first kilometre, runners left the 240-acre excavated chalk pit that houses the shopping centre and entered the flat (but lifeless) business park. As the course ran perpendicular to the QEII bridge at the 4K mark, a challenging hill proved the undoing of many PBs. Although this was the steepest, three more hefty climbs followed as the route undulated back home. Thankfully, the level final 2K gave most a chance to make up for some lost time.
Many lamented their finishing times, but no one in the bustling race village had a bad word to say about the organisation: there were good toilet facilities, and the local bands that dotted the route cranked up the atmosphere. And, as the race ended just before Bluewater opened, the shopaholics couldn't have been happier.
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Merseyside, September 18
An undulating out-and-backer that attracts around 700 runners every year. The route starts and finishes at Hoylake Community Centre and takes in the North Parade Promenade, the Meols embankment on the Wirral Peninsula and Leasowe Lighthouse. Find out more.