What a fantastic race! The City of London Mile takes place in the heart of the city next to St Pauls. Runners are split into categories - men, women, family, youth (11-16), wheelchair, and international (elite) and each category sets off for their mile run in timed waves which run from 10am to 12:30pm. Not only does this make the race inclusive to all abilities, shapes, sizes and ages, it's free to enter. How good is that?
We entered the family mile. I think our littley may well have been the youngest "runner", and toddler also may well have been one of the youngest running too. Most children were 4 plus. It was so good to see youngsters exercising and having fun. We too often read those attention-grabbing headlines about obesity, computer games and children, or of children not getting outdoors to play. This sight was a reassuring check on all that.
The atmosphere felt more like a festival than a race, lots of laughter and people talking to one another and cheering each other on. It was well organised and not too crowded, which is a definite plus when you have small children to monitor.
Waiting at the start line in running gear with a baby strapped to me and a toddler holding my hand is definitely an experience I've not had before. I had to resist the temptation to bolt off when the gun went off as I don't think my 8 week old would have appreciated too much jiggling about.
Running our mile (read walking) was the most fun I've had in a long while. Our toddler LOVED the start and ran a great sprint for about 50 metres (before asking to be carried for most of the rest of the route). We managed a respectable 17 minutes - possibly the fastest mile ever run by a 2 year old.
It's fairly unusual to have a mile race, which makes the event even more special. Without children, it's a great opportunity to see how fast you can run a mile. We met a couple of families who had entered both their event plus the family mile, which is possible to do as the categories set off in waves.
Definitely a race to mark for future years. We'll be back both to run solo and with our kids.