Short version – This is my third time running the Cabbage Patch 10. I’ll be coming back for more.
Long version – The Cabbage Patch 10 is almost as old as the London Marathon. It’s one of the flattest 10 mile races in the country along roads and towpaths. And it’s attracted some big names, sometimes before they were big names like Mo Farah who won it in 2005. There’s also something to be said for races that donate money to local charities as this one does.
In addition to cash prizes, the winners receive a cabbage. In addition to the cabbage, previous prizes have included a vaccum cleaner. A bit of British whimsy – love it!
There’s a short video here if you want to find out more about the history of the race. It’s well worth watching.
This year it was also the place to be for my running club’s 10 mile championships.
On my performance, I wasn’t expecting much. My training of late has been a little inconsistent. I think I need to sign up to one or two long races and have a few specific goals in mind. But I knew I could cover 10 miles without a problem.
The Day of Cabbage Patch 10
6.30am the alarm sounds and up I get. Kit sorted, race bib pinned, tracker on shoe. After my pre-race routine of much coffee and a toasted muffin with butter and honey, I was ready to start the day.
Off I went. Bus, two overground trains but easy to get to Twickenham. It was strangely warm for an October morning.
We arrived and met up with the rest of the runners from my club. Pit stop sorted and off we went to the Cabbage Patch pub to drop our bags. I spotted Hannah who I’d met the previous week at the Women’s Running UK London race.
For the first mile, my pace was all over the place. Some of this was due to everyone sorting out their own pace, some of it down to the excitement of race day conditions.
I saw Hannah ahead of me and decided to catch up. We ran, we chatted for good 2 ½ miles or so until we hit the first water station. After a selfie or two and as we were running slightly different paces, we parted ways.
I felt the sweat dripping off the back of my head and my hands – pleasant I know. I was starting to pass a few runners, others were passing me, some were walking. Marshals directed us along footpaths as roads aren’t closed for this event.
I was thirsty and a little tired. The day before I’d been doing filming in Epping forest with the fabulous Katerina and Alex from Racecheck and some #visorclub members. More on this in a later post. I wasn’t expecting it to be as warm as it was and I don’t think I drank enough water before the race.
We ran along the Thames and then onto side streets to the finish line. About a mile from the finish we offers of shots of beer. While tempting, I was a little worried this wouldn’t sit too well so I passed. The final push, and I pushed. In the final mile I ended up doing pretty much the same speed as my first. I could hear the cheers from around the finish line and pushed myself as hard as I could go.
With medal in hand, I went to collect the fab technical t-shirt. And what I hadn’t realised is this year there were medals. I love a bit of bling as I think most of us do! We were also given a can on London Pride – good times!!!
Would I do this race again?
Well, given this is the third time I’ve done it, that would be a YES.
I really like this event for the following reasons:
- Easy to get to on London transport
- Starts at 10 so no having to get up at 5am
- No portaloos – we all know how grim these can get; instead you can use the pub or the various cafes around the start/finish line
- It has a good community feel, it’s friendly, and it’s not too big or too small
- A shot of beer en route
- A good mix of runners of all ability
- The marshals do a great job of keeping us on track and their support is amazing
- The route is flat and scenic. There is a very short, sharp hill leading up to the bridge we cross but that’s pretty much it
- Good technical shirt (I still use the other ones which are a few years old now), good medal and the London Pride is a nice touch.
- As with the Ealing Half (review here), there is no goodie bag which is fine by me.
To note (and you’re given this info before the race so no surprises):
- You’re timing is based on gun time at the start, and then chip time at the end. For most of us, this added a few minutes. My formal time was 1:43:26.
- It’s run on roads that aren’t closed so it’s really important to follow marshals instructions
- Bag storage is at the top floor of a pub – you put your bag where you want which means no check-in. It also means you’ll want to be careful about valuables though I have never heard of anyone having issues.
Also, as this race had sold out, I got a transfer place from another runner in my club who wasn’t able to do it. This was easy and quick to arrange which was a real plus point.
So a huge thanks to the organisers, the marshals and the supporters along the way!