It’s no exaggeration that everyone in this area (Teddington, Twickenham, Richmond) runs the Cabbage Patch 10 Miler – well maybe a small exaggeration – but you get my drift. You see those characteristic white long sleeve race tops everywhere, and say casually (mid summer) to any runner what they have coming up, and will undoubtable say the Cabbage Patch. The route runs from/to Twickenham by the river Thames via Kingston and Richmond bridges, was founded in 1982, and it has previously been won by local resident Sir Mo Farah!
This race is so popular it sells out. And after a few years of everyone talking about how great this run is, this year I wanted to sign up. But it sold out before I registered 🤦♀️.
Then I was given a golden opportunity. The run was featured in Runners’ World Magazine top races to-do and the organisers opened registration for a limited number of additional registrations. Then you guessed it, it sold out (again) before I registered 🤦♀️🤦♀️.
I lamented to my friend, that I wasn’t going to get to ‘the race’ and she said I could have her place, as she had to work on that day. Thank you Nat (@park_lane_stables) for my race place 🎟. Not only that but my friend Anna, was equally keen to run in and in a similar kept-missing-the-registration-opportunities also had a golden opportunity – through an a Sweatshop runner who also had a race place to give away because he was travelling.
Race place ✅
Mate doing it with you ✅
Happy Lady 😃
This race was 2 weeks before a half marathon that I had already booked, so I was going to use this race as a long training run, and enjoy it. The race organisers were very organised (yay) and the transferring of the race places was pretty seamless. The emails pinged through with regularity, and the race pack was posted (and came complete with a route map 🗺 – thank you 🙏).
So, with all my plans to enjoy this race, the weather had other ideas. Torrential rain literally bucketed down – actual buckets 🌧. I planned to wear my hair in a pull through braid (check out @milabu.co who has great tutorials) but after getting my hair race ready, I realised I’d need to wear a cap and if I didn’t I’d probably have to wear swimming goggles if I wanted a chance to see where I was going. Hair reconfigured, cap in place, race number pinned and spare clothes (including nik naks 👙) I was ready.
Anna’s father-in-law gave us a lift to Twickenham – and low and behold, the rain stopped. Some of the roads were closed, but we found a little alley to stop, allowing us to jump out. It still looked pretty bleak, but dry, and we were excited. We rushed over the Cabbage Patch Pub to drop my bag, and in my rush and excitement, I forgot my jelly babies in my bag 😣.
Jumpy Happy Runners
We headed over to the start area, and there was a crowd of jumpy excited runners bobbing around. We herded out to the main road and the gun went off. The race is gun-to-chip so if you are going for a time, it’s worthwhile hustling to the front.
The rain held off and the route was a pleasant mix of familiar trail and roads. The volunteer marshals were well placed and very friendly, cheering 📣 us along as we ran. The water stations were well placed, and there was also a refuel station with Haribo sweets 🍬 – never have I been so happy, as I had been kicking myself for being so prepared to bring my jelly babies and then went and forgot them.
We ran steadily around 5:15-5:25/km pace ⌚ – putting us well inside our 1 hour 30 minute goal. No part of the race was too busy (or narrow), so we had no hindrance to running our planned pace. We came to the final few turns (which were well signposted) and gave a little kick to come to finish 4 minutes inside our goal 🎉.
The post-race funnel was filled with goodies, including our medal 🏅, Kind bars (I love these bars), water, fruit, cabbage seeds 😂, and a lovely white long sleeve-t-shirt. Yay, I’m now part of the gang.
We ambled away from the finish area, and the bucketing rain resumed. I rushed to the pub, and so thankful that I had a full change of clothes. I got changed in the loos, and left so happy to be dry and finished, I rewarded myself with a shandy 🍺, and waited for my family to come down.
We listened to the award ceremony, which was lovely – and although we didn’t win anything in the prize draws, the atmosphere was so much fun (much like the race).
Have you run the Cabbage Patch 10? Would you run it again? What was the last race you truly enjoyed?