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Date : 4th November, 2020
Time : 48’ 46”
Number of runners (total to date) : 2 (7063)
Run map and details : https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/5774443244
It was the last day before Lockdown 2.0. And the sun was shining brightly in a perfect blue sky.
It was a day to celebrate the last of our freedom for (at least) a month. To explore somewhere new and to do something epic.
In short it was a day to go for a run. In the London Borough of Ealing.*
Big D – who last graced this blog back in the heady days of early September when three of us ran in Brent – and I met at the Horsenden Farm car park at the foot of Horsenden Hill.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect because, when I researched Horsenden Hill before the run, the first article I came to told me it had a Gruffalo** trail. And was sometimes used for dogging. (’The Gruffalo’ is a multi-million selling, multi-award winning children’s book about a mouse going for a walk in a wood ; if you are a parent in the UK you are likely very, very familiar with it. Dogging is something different. )
Eschewing the attractions of both activities, D and I made our way to the Grand Union Canal
and starting heading west. Me running and D on his bike. Humming the Rocky theme tune.
Whether it was the canal, the beautiful weather or D’s inspirational humming, I couldn’t tell you. But it was one of those days when the running was easy and, after a gentle warm-up kilometre, we made decent progress to the A40
and on to Northala Fields.
Northala Fields opened in 2008 and consists of four artificial hills, several fishing lakes, a large field, a children’s play area and a café. The hills were constructed using rubble from the demolition of the original Wembley Stadium, which was demolished in 2003. (The name “Northala” is how the old manor of Northall (Northolt) was recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086.)
And it is very cool with amazing views over London from the top of the hills. Since my videography skills are notoriously erratic, D filmed the 360 degree panorama below – which starts with a view of the current Wembley Arch.
Slightly blown away by it all we retraced our steps back to Horsenden Hill. The sun was still shining and I needed to warm down, so we took a walk up the hill. And found the Gruffalo trail. Altogether now, “ A Mouse took a stroll through a deep dark wood…”
It just remains for me to thank Big D for the company and the humming. Till the next one!
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*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 I’m hoping to run with as many people – and social running groups and crews and clubs –as possible!