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Maidenhead Easter 10 Run Report
Friday 15th April 2022
Warning! This is not your usual run report.
I am going to tell you about the Maidenhead Easter 10, one of my favourite races of the year, and share with you why I love it so much! And *spoiler alert*, it’s not just because I once got into the Evening Standard with my race selfie with the then Prime Minister, Theresa May.
Evening standard article from 2018.
So, let me start at the beginning, where all good run reports begin. We woke up early (well, 7 am – early for me!) on a slightly nippy but beautiful Good Friday morning which had all the promise of being a scorchio day! “Yippeee!” I thought! “Easter 10 day! Free chocolate at the finish line and hot cross buns for lunch!”
Most of you will know my husband, Aaron. Now, he has been coasting with his running for 3 years, but there is nothing that Aaron loves more than Theresa May. For proof, please see his Strava from May 2021 when he dedicated an entire month of running to her! He said it was his cold that made him want to run with me, but I knew the truth. You see, Theresa May marshals at the Maidenhead Easter 10 and regardless of your political affiliations and beliefs (disclaimer: Hers don’t necessarily match my own) you have to admire it when the Prime Minister is stood there on a corner shouting at runners to “Go left”! So, anyway back to my husband. I knew that he wanted to run with me because he knew that at my pace the potential for selfies is far greater!
Aaron’s 31 day Theresa May challenge.
There is a real festival vibe on arriving. There is the joy of knowing this is day 1 of 4 whole days off work. Then there is the joy of seeing (and finally being able to hug) friends and family (my mum and dad both run this race and Aaron and I both used to be members of Reading Roadrunners who always put forward a number of runners for this race). And then there is the low hum of excited chatter – “Have you seen her?” “T-May is at the usual corner”, “Not so much security this year” etc etc. So yes, I love the Maidenhead Easter 10!
So… now to the race!
Well. What can I say? It was wonderful!
We were a little late in starting. Truth be told it was because I had got caught up chatting to an old friend so was in the portaloo when the klaxon went off to start the race (for those of you who, like me, find the quality of the pre-race loos to be vitally important, they are awesome at Maidenhead. Lots of them, clean, nice smelling, with plenty of loo roll and even a nice steward who helps signpost you to an empty one).
The first part of the run is fairly fast as you can run on good surface around the Maidenhead Business Park where there were plenty of supporters, kids to high 5 and people there to reassure us that we were ‘running well’ / ‘doing awesome’ and generally massage our running egos (despite the fact we were at the back of the pack due to the aforementioned loo stop). Another bonus at this stage was the beautiful weather, I recall feeling glad to be alive as the sun shone happily down on us (it wasn’t too hot at that stage), there were plenty of people with boom boxes pumping out feel good music and a very enthusiastic compere who was giving Aaron an appropriate amount of banter for being at the back (egged on by our good friend Christopher Sutton).
After a while you leave the business park and run along a long road where, in our case, you see the faster runners making their way back down the other side. This is fab because it’s a chance to shout out encouragement (or abuse in Aaron’s case) and wave to all the people you didn’t see in the race village. Our very own Captain Will Rawling included (who seemed to be impressively close to the front of the pack).
Theresa checking out my pink shorts. Photographer: Paul Sharp.
After another quick whizz around the Business Park, you’re at mile 3 and at Theresa May corner. After a cheery hello and wave and a reminder to keep left we ran into the most cheerful field of bright, sunny, joyful yellow flowers. It was one of those moment where I felt lucky to be alive as I ran through the flowers, under a bright blue sky with only the barest wisp of cloud and light aircraft to cast a shadow over me. Another nice thing about this run is that it’s in spring so you really notice the bright green leaves unfurling on the trees and little purple flowers along the hedgerow.
Aaron needed all the power he could get. Photographer Kelley Sharp.
At about 2/3rds of the way through the run, we finally caught up with my mum who seemed to be taking it altogether more seriously than me and Aaron (she was taking gels). She was a bit hot and bothered. Not just because the mercury was rising, but the gel was stuck all over her hands. Thankfully some kids had got out their parents’ garden sprinklers and were busy cooling off runners.
The remaining 1/3 of the run went well and when we got back to Theresa’s corner my mum started shouting at her that she’d made page 3 of the Evening Standard with me in 2018 (much to my embarrassment). Our friend, Kerry, just happened to be there with her camera and suggested a family photo was in order. “Not without Aunt Theresa” Aaron shouted and Aunt Theresa duly obliged. I had a cup of water and a quick chat with Kerry and our friend who was over from New Zealand and then looked up to see where mum was and could see just a little speck of green in the distance. It seemed the gel had finally had its desired effect!
Photo: Left to Right – Aaron, Mum, Aunt Theresa and me at mile 9. Photographer: Kerry Eastwood.
Faced with a dilemma - did I stay with my sick husband or let my mum beat me – my usually dormant competitive instinct finally took hold and I hot footed it after her, finally catching her shortly before the finish line where they were handing out some nice shiny medals, bananas and 2 free bars of chocolate each! Bonus!
The Bling. Photographer Paul Sharp.
After a bit more chatting, I went to the race village and got a free (for a donation to charity) massage from some physio students. Another bonus of being slower is that the fast runners with injuries had all gone home, so I had one student working on each leg. I felt like I’d made it! After yet more chatting, it was time to rehydrate at the pub and then home for hot cross buns and to enjoy the rest of the weekend.
So, google informs me that there is some extra information I should include in this race report so here goes:
Where: Maidenhead Business Park
How long: 10 miles (not 10k as I’d led my friend, Eirwen, to believe)
When: Good Friday (15 April)
Weather: Sunny ~ 18 degrees C
Course Description: The route initially takes you to Point X. Then back to do a loop of the office park. The “country” section follows, as shown on the map, bringing the total to 10 miles. The White Waltham – Woodlands Park section is on a segregated pavement, otherwise on quiet lanes and a cycleway. The route is fully marshalled and generally flat – total ascent is 70 metres.
How I trained: I’d run Reading Half Marathon a few weeks before so I knew I was fit enough to run this and so didn’t train for it. I was actually looking for a gentle run having pushed it quite hard at Reading and having not realised the damage that 2 weeks in Italy prior to the race would do to my time. Before Reading, I had run another fun 10 mile run called the Grizzly which I did train for by doing parkrun regularly, a solid long run on Sunday (making my way up to 12 miles and hill training) and one run in the week. So not loads, but enough to enjoy it!
My gear: I wore ON running shoes, pink running shorts, orange socks and the black SHAEF Shifters running vest (expertly designed by Owen Delaney).
My nutrition: I ate a fulfilling breakfast of a pain au chocolat and a grapefruit.
1 6:25 /km
2 6:37 /km
3 6:42 /km
4 6:26 /km
5 6:24 /km
6 6:47 /km
7 6:38 /km
8 6:24 /km
9 6:33 /km
10 6:12 /km
11 6:06 /km
12 5:59 /km
13 6:17 /km
14 7:52 /km
15 7:01 /km
16 6:16 /km
0.17 6:10 /km
Overall Evaluation of the event: 11/10. Fast or slow, this race is the perfect way to start the Easter weekend. Hope to see you there next year J