London Run 10 : Merton with Pretty Muddy


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Date : 31st August, 2019

Time : 1h 10’ 03”

Number of runners (total to date) : 2 (6263)

Run map and details :

Climbing over and under obstacles – through and into mud baths – while being sprayed with cold water. Honestly, does that sound like fun ? Or something any sane person would do?

And yet, apparently, 5 million people in 40 countries take part in obstacle races each year. Tough Mudder, set up by an British ex counter-terrorism officer, has had over 3 million participants since its inception in 2010.

In fact, muddy obstacle races have proved so popular that Cancer Research’s Race for Life now offers Pretty Muddy events alongside its runs and walks. (For anyone not familiar with Race for Life , it’s one of the great British institutions. The first Race for Life was held in Battersea in 1994 when 750 participants raised £48,000. 25 years later, 8 million people have taken part in events across the country raising £550 million along the way.)

So, when I saw that there was a Pretty Muddy event in Morden, it seemed like a great opportunity to do my London Borough of Merton run* while trying something new and, umm, muddy.

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Now anyone who’s ever used the Northern Line – which is quite a few people because it is London’s busiest tube line with c 300 million journeys per year – will be familiar with Morden. Because, as the tube announcements never fail tell you at each stop, southern journeys on the Northern Line go to Morden via Bank or Charing Cross. (To be entirely accurate, some of Charing Cross branch trains terminate at Kennington.)

While we’re on the subject, have you ever wondered why the Northern Line is so inhumanely nose-to-armpit packed at rush hour ? It’s because the service is limited to 24 trains per hour due to the two branches sharing stations. If the two lines could be segregated there’d be up to 36 trains per hour at peak times.

Ok, ok, enough of the public transport ; back to the run.

Even if you’re familiar with Morden you may not know Morden Park – 50 hectares of green about a mile from Morden tube station. And the site for last Saturday’s Pretty Muddy event.

As the course is c 5km long, and I need to do 10km in each borough, I got there a little early, ran a few kilometres and filmed the previous wave tackling the obstacles. (For obvious reasons, it’s not advisable to take your phone with you on a Pretty Mudder.)

Back to the start where I met up with my sister, Charis, who’d gamely, if perhaps foolishly, agreed to join me.  This is her – and her back message – pre-mud.

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(Post mud pic below.)

You start with a warm up

before making your way to the first obstacle. Where you crawl through mud, under netting, while being sprayed with cold muddy water. Lovely…

After that you go over under and through various obstacles before the grand finale – a climb and then slide into another mud bath.

All great fun and, if you want a fun, accessible introduction to muddy obstacle courses – or a novel way to fund raise for Cancer Research – then Pretty Muddy is almost certainly for you!

It just remains for me to thank my sister for getting muddy with me

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and to thank Jessica, Lizzie and all the CRUK staff and volunteers who make these events so great!

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*Most of you reading this will know that the idea of Run the World is to complete a 10 km run in all 206 countries in the world. Many of you will also know that we’ve decided to add an additional 44 runs in the UK to take 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!

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 :

Please like / follow Run the World on Facebook , Instagram and Twitterbecause 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!



About Run the World

I'm running 10 km in every country in the world - a total of 205 countries - by the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. I'm doing the Run the World challenge to promote the benefits of sport and physical activity and to raise money for cancer research following the death of my mother from cancer. If you'd like to donate to Cancer Research - - then I know they'd be very grateful.
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