Please donate generously to Cancer Research : https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Dan-Thompson11
Date : 12th November, 2020
Time : 47’ 43”
Number of runners (total to date) : 2 (7090)
Run map and details : https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/5812906457
Most people know running is good for your physical health. A lot of people know that running is good for your mental health. And quite a few people know it can also be good for your social life.
During the UK’s Lockdown 2.0 the only way you could (legitimately) meet anyone other than members of your own household was by meeting one person outside.
So meeting Darren for my London Borough of Hounslow 10 km* wasn’t just a run and the chance to explore another part of London. It was also my social life. For the week.
We met at Kew Bridge
with a view of the perfect running / cycling / walking path on the south side of the river which, as Darren noted, was no bloody use to us because it wasn’t in Hounslow.
Instead we ran along the north bank through the Hollows and Waterman’s Park to Goat Wharf and then Ferry Wharf. What with all the steps and twists and turns, it wasn’t a great cycling route (Darren was on his bike) but it was fascinating with jumbles of houseboats
the occasional semi-submerged wreck
and Brentford and Lots Aits (river islands).
At Ferry Wharf we met our old friend the Grand Union Canal and turned inland before making our way, via a dead end or two including Catherine Wheel Rd
to Syon Park.
Syon Park is the 56.6 hectare (139 acre) garden of Syon House, the London home of the Duke of Northumberland It was landscaped by Capability Brown in the 18th century, and it is Grade I listed by English Heritage under the Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments Act 1953 for its special historic interest.
The 56.6 hectare main gardens are a Site of Borough Importance for Nature Conservation, Grade I, and the flood meadows next to the River Thames are a biological Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation.
As it happens the house and gardens weren’t open that day but the park was – and very fine it is for running. And cycling. And walking. And no doubt picnicking and frolicking on a summer’s day.
We continued west and south along the Thames past Nazareth House and Isleworth Ait
before turning round at the Hounslow border and retracing our steps.
As we returned back through Syon Park, we’d settled into a 4’30” / km pace (fast for me) and my head began to thump. I suspected I was dehydrated. By 9km my whole body was feeling positively strange and I was sincerely hoping that it was just dehydration and not something more serious…
I limped back to the car, drank a load of water, felt a bit better and wondered how I could possibly not yet have learnt the lesson about hydrating before a run. Especially after a Zoom and a couple of beers the night before…
It just remains for me to thank Darren, as always, for the company and to thank Emma Hadleigh-Sparks for all things Syon Park!
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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!