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Date : 8th March, 2020
Time : 1h 10’ 58”
Number of runners (total to date) : 15 (7043)
Run map and details : https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/4636632241
A few weeks ago I did my Walthamstow run with the London Tube Run – a social running group which specialises in running the routes of London’s tube lines. I enjoyed that run so much that, when I saw that they were running the Metropolitan Line, I immediately got onto google maps to see which boroughs* it runs through.
Quite a few as it turns out– some of which I’ve done and some of which I haven’t. I eventually decided on Harrow – the plan being to take in some of the sights of Harrow and then join the tube runners for the Harrow to Rayners Lane section of their run.
I started at the Heath Robinson Museum in Pinner which, as the name suggests, is dedicated to the great British cartoonist
and all round eccentric – William Heath Robinson**.
Set in the lovely surroundings of Pinner Memorial Park, the museum is very much worth a visit.
Keeping with the tube line concept, I then ran south from Pinner alongside the Watford branch of the Metropolitan line. Past a charmingly narrow football pitch – presumably the cause of a lot of ‘football on the lines’ delays –
to North Harrow and then Harrow tube stations.
From Harrow I ran up the hill to the Doll’s House on the Hill
and the centre of Harrow-on-the-Hill – all churches, chapels and grand buildings
before heading down Football Lane to the Harrow school’s*** extraordinary sports facilities and playing fields.
Its indoor sports complex alone is bigger than some of the schools I talk at.
From there I ran back to Morrisons in Harrow where the London Tube Runners were subsequently to appear in all their glory.
A refuelling stop ensued (picture at the top of the blog) before a short – particularly by the standards of those who were running all 25 miles of the Metropolitan Line from Aldgate to Uxbridge – run to Rayners Lane tube station.
It was now time to say goodbye to the tube runners and return to normal Sunday life. Or as normal as life gets under the coronavirus threat. Obviously none of us had shaken hands and, inevitably, there’d been a lot of talk about running events that had been cancelled (the Tokyo marathon) and which might be cancelled (the London marathon). But I couldn’t help wondering if we’d all still be travelling on the tube – and running in groups alongside it – in a few weeks’ time.
But let’s leave that for a future which hopefully never happens. For now, it just remains for me to say thank you to Phil, John, the Pauls and all the tube runners for the company and the warm welcome. See you at the next one – whenever it may!
I’d love it if you stayed in touch with Run the World – either via social media (links below) and / or by joining in the UK leg of Run the World on Hampstead Heath on 4th July 2020!
If you’d like to help fight cancer then I and, far more importantly, cancer sufferers around the world, would be immensely grateful for any donations to Cancer Research : https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Dan-Thompson11
Please like / follow Run the World on Facebook , Instagram and Twitter because it would be great to stay in touch and because, however silly it may sound, it makes all the travel and running that little bit easier if you think people care!
*A little bit of background. I’m currently undertaking a challenge – Run the World – to complete a 10km run in all 206 countries in the world. (I’ve run in 183 countries to date.) I’m doing the challenge to raise funds for Cancer Research and to promote the importance of an active healthy lifestyle.
In addition to completing a 10km run in all 206 countries in the world, I’m also doing 44 runs in the UK. Taking the global total to 250 runs.
Why? Because 250 runs is equivalent to running 2 500 000 metres. Which is a metre for every one of the two and a half million cancer sufferers in the UK.
All well and good but the question we asked ourselves at Run the World HQ is : where should those 44 UK runs take place? And part of the answer – three-quarters to be exact – is that 33 of them will take place in London. One in each of the 32 London boroughs plus one in the City of London.
We’re calling this the ‘London Borough Challenge’ and we’re really hoping that everyone will take part in some – or all – of the LBC!
**William Heath Robinson (31 May 1872 – 13 September 1944) was an English cartoonist, illustrator and artist, best known for drawings of whimsically elaborate machines to achieve simple objectives.
In the UK, the term “Heath Robinson” entered the popular language during the 1914–1918 First World War as a description of any unnecessarily complex and implausible contrivance. The term “Heath Robinson contraption” is often used in relation to temporary fixes using ingenuity and whatever is to hand, often string and tape, or unlikely cannibalisations. Its continuing popularity was undoubtedly linked to Britain’s shortages and the need to “make do and mend” during the Second World War.
***Harrow School is a public school for boys in Harrow, London, England.The School was founded in 1572 by John Lyon under a Royal Charter of Elizabeth I, and is one of the original seven public schools that were regulated by the Public Schools Act 1868. Harrow has three terms per academic year (2017/18). Harrow is the fourth most expensive boarding school in the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference. Harrow’s history and influence have made Harrow one of the most prestigious schools in the world.
The school has an enrolment of 829 boys all of whom board full-time, in twelve boarding houses.It remains one of four all-boys, full-boarding schools in Britain, the others being Eton, Radley and Winchester. Harrow’s uniform includes morning suits, straw boater hats, top hats and canes. Its alumni include eight former British or Indian Prime Ministers (including Peel, Palmerston, Baldwin, Churchill and Nehru), foreign politicians, former and current members of both houses of the UK Parliament, five kings and several other members of various royal families, three Nobel Prize winners, twenty Victoria Cross and one George Cross holders, and many figures in the arts and sciences.