If you are familiar with the parkrun concept you will know that the basics are a 5k run in a park. Some courses though are not actually in parks. The Aberdeen course for example runs along the seafront and I am sure there are many others following this format. The Kingston park run was originally planned to run along the river Thames starting in Canbury gardens, about half a mile downstream from Kingston Bridge. As it turned out the organisers had not realised that on the first event there was also a major regatta based at Kingston Rowing Club and the whol;e area was a chaos of crews and boats. As a tempory measure the start was moved further downstream to a grassy area near the Hawker centre. The temporary area became permament and the course now starts from here and runs East along the Thames on the towpath for about half its length, before following a loop into the hamlands and back. Commonly referred to as a “P” shape.
This Saturday was a struggle for me. Having gone down with some bug the night before I woke at around seven feeling distinctly out of sorts.I’m not running today I told my wife, I’m going to take it easy. After a few cups of tea I felt marginally better and decided to go for it. A run always speeds up the metabolism, so whatever you’ve got, you get it through the system faste,r is one of my motto’s.
It was raining fairly steadily when I drove down to Ham. A slightly smaller group than usual were gathered. We walked/jogged a couple of hundred metres to the start. The Thames was muddy brown and flowing fast, the water high on the banks.We set off into a grey gloom.
I thought I was running OK in the circs, and could see a number of marker runners just ahead. Julie Garner, Keving Furlong of 26.2 and Warren Hardcastle were all in range. After we left the tamac at Teddington Lock we hit mud and puddles all along the unmade pathway. I was wearing trail shoes and didn’t bother to try and skirt the edges, heading cross country style straight through the water. Passed a few people in the process. Over the last mile I could hear someone right on me and couldn’t shake them off. Eventually Paul Dunn came alongside. I gave a kick and pulled back slightly in front and eventually came in a couple of seconds ahead. All in all quite a satisfactory run. Then I went home and slept most of the day!
174th park run to date!