London Run 13 : Bromley with the Marjorie McClure Specialist School

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Please donate generously to Cancer Research : https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Dan-Thompson11

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Date : 8th  November, 2019

Time : 1h 10’ 07”

Number of talk attendees (total to date) : 18 (5784)

Number of runners (total to date) : 30 (6586)

Run map and details : https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/4242508055

Panathlon is a fantastic charity that, last year, provided sporting and leadership opportunities to over 26 000 young people with disabilities and special educational needs. (If anyone reading this feels like making a donation then you can do so here. And then you should go along to one of Panathlon’s events to experience what it means to the participants.)

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I have the honour of sitting on its Board of Trustees and I asked Ashley, Panathlon’s CEO, if it might be possible to talk at some of the schools that participate in Panathlon’s events. The hope was that I’d be able to combine the talks with my London Borough Challenge runs – and that the students could join the start of the run.

Ashley was good enough to send out a few emails and Guy Wilkins at the Marjorie McClure Specialist School was good enough to invite me to talk.

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Before I get onto the talk, a bit of background. I’m currently undertaking a challenge – Run the World – to complete a 10 km run in all 206 countries in the world. (I’ve run in 181 countries to date.) I’m doing the challenge to raise funds for Cancer Research and to promote the importance of an active, healthy lifestyle.

The Run the World school talk combines stories from my runs around the world with healthy living advice focusing on exercise, diet and sleep.

I always enjoy giving the talks and this was no exception : the Marjorie McClure students were a great audience – even if they did give me a hard time about being a Spurs fan! It was also great to have Adil, a Marjorie McClure alumnus and one of my fellow Panathlon trustees, at the talk.

After the talk we went outside to the school playground where we were joined by the cross-country team from Coopers School (Marjorie McClure sits within the Coopers School grounds).

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We all ran round the playground for about a kilometre

before it was time to say goodbye to most of the Marjorie McClure students with handshakes, hugs and the odd bit of football banter!

I then ran round the Coopers playing fields with their cross country team and a couple of the Marjorie McClure students. Eventually I got to 5 km when it was time to join the Marjorie McClure teachers running club for the final 5 km around the rather lovely  ‘I can’t believe we’re in London’ Hawkwood Estate.

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It just remains for me to say that I very much hope the students enjoyed the talk and run as much as I enjoyed meeting them!

And I also hope they will stay involved with Run the World – either via social media (links below) or by joining in the UK, and final, leg of Run the World on Hampstead Heath on 4th July 2020.

Finally, a huge thank you to Guy, Head Teacher Mrs Cottage, the Coopers cross-country team, Ashley, Adil and all the staff and students at the school for the invitation and warm welcome!

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

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London Run 12 : Barking & Dagenham with Warren Junior School

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Please donate generously to Cancer Research : https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Dan-Thompson11

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

Date : 4th  November, 2019

Time : 1h 08’ 15”

Number of talk attendees (total to date) : 220 (5766)

Number of runners (total to date) : 120 (6556)

Run map and details : https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/4228128625

Panathlon is a fantastic charity that, last year, provided sporting and leadership opportunities to over 26 000 school children with disabilities and special needs. (If anyone reading this feels like making a donation then you can do so here. And then you should go along to one of Panathlon’s events to experience what it means to the participants.)

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I have the honour of sitting on its Board of Trustees and I asked Ashley, Panathlon’s CEO, if it might be possible to talk at some of the schools that participate in Panathlon’s events. The hope was that I’d be able to combine the talks with my London Borough Challenge runs – and that the students could join the start of the run.

Ashley was good enough to send out a few emails and Jamie Bell, the Head of Warren Junior School, was good enough to invite me to talk.

Before I get onto the talk, a bit of background. I’m currently undertaking a challenge – Run the World – to complete a 10 km run in all 206 countries in the world. (I’ve run in 181 countries to date.) I’m doing the challenge to raise funds for Cancer Research and to promote the importance of an active, healthy lifestyle.

The Run the World school talk combines stories from my runs around the world with healthy living advice focusing on exercise, diet and sleep.

I always enjoy giving the talks and this was no exception – the Warren Junior students were a great audience.

After the talk we went outside to the school playground with the cross country and Panathlon teams (pictured above) to run a kilometre or so. There were 35 of us at the start – and 120 at the end as other students joined in. Great fun!

We ended up running about a kilometre and a half in the school grounds and then Head of School Jamie Bell and I set off to complete our 10 km run round the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. We headed north towards Marks Gate, then southwest to Little Heath and south to Chadwell Heath.

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And while we were running, Jamie told me his story which, with his permission, I’ll repeat here.

When Jamie hit 40 he went for a health check. At the time he weighed 19 stone and, at the end of the check-up, his doctor turned to him and said, “A third of you doesn’t need to be here.”

Not long afterwards, he was on holiday in Las Vegas, went to an Elvis Presley museum and noticed that he made the notoriously overweight Elvis look slim.*

He came back to the UK, was diagnosed as pre-diabetic, and decided something had to change. A lot of hard work followed and eventually he slimmed down to 12 stone. A third of him was no longer there.

I asked him how he did it – eating less ; exercising more ; eating better? “Eat less ; move more” was his succinct summary.

Back to the run. From Chadwell Heath, we ran to Furze Infant School – which feeds a lot of students to Warren Junior School – for a picture with Headteacher Junaida Bana.

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And finally back to the school playground for the final few meters of our 10  km.

It just remains for me to say that I very much hope the students enjoyed the talk and run as much as I enjoyed meeting them!

And I also hope they will stay involved with Run the World – either via social media (links below) or by joining in the UK, and final, leg of Run the World on Hampstead Heath on 4th July 2020.

Finally, a huge thank you to Jamie Bell, Mairead Pryor, Ashley and all the staff at the school for the invitation, run and warm welcome!

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 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!

 *For younger readers, Elvis Presley was probably the biggest pop star in the world in the late 1950s and early 60s. Towards the end of his life he put on a lot of weight and apparently weighed 159 kilos / 25 stone at his death.

The picture below is of Elvis in his early days – is it my imagination or does he look a bit like Warren Junior’s Head of School?

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Germany – Berlin

Please donate generously to Cancer Research : https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Dan-Thompson11

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

Date : 27th October, 2019

Time : 1h 24’ 28”

Number of runners (total to date) : 30 (6436)

Run map and details :   https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/4203660122

As regular readers will be aware, I’ve had the pleasure of running with hashers all over the world including in HollandGhanaSierra Leone, EstoniaAntiguaSt Kitts & NevisAzerbaijanDominican Republic, Austria and London. (For anyone’s who’s interested, the Ghana blog includes the hash origin story and the basics of how it all works.)

Whether I’m joining an actual hash, or just running with hashers, I’ve always had a warm welcome so, as I was in Berlin for the weekend, I thought I’d try the local hash.

There were 30 of us at the start at Nordbahnhof and three routes to choose from – a running route, a walking route and a ‘taking it easy’ trail.

Now, every hash is different and the Berlin hash was slightly unusual (in my experience) in that the running route was by far the most popular. And plenty of the runners ran at a fair pace. Which was great for me as I’ve got an 7 country trip coming up and I need the training or I won’t get through all the runs and travel.*

The route even took us up a proper thigh trembler of a climb

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to a disused anti-aircraft missile site. Which was perfect for views over Berlin, a hash flash or two

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and even a spot of booty shaking…

And just to reassure anyone who might be interested in hashing but isn’t so keen on running fast: hashes are deliberately designed with check points where you have to cast around for the trail. Which has the happy effect of ensuring that the pack regroups on a regular basis and that the FRBs don’t get separated from the rest.

Including searching around for the trail, I’d run a little over 8 km by the time we got back to Nordbahnhof. I therefore needed to run a further 2 km and headed off to the nearby Mauerpark to complete my 10 km in what had been no man’s land at the centre of the wall . (If you’ve any interest in the Berlin Wall and post war history/ politics then the Mauerpark is highly recommended.)

10 km finished, I joined the circle. Many songs (the Berlin hash has a particularly inventive repertoire) and many ‘down downs’ (punishments involving downing beer) ensued. My crimes deserving of down downs included being a visitor ; not wearing any hash gear ; being ‘just Dan’ (i.e. not having a hash name) ; and pointing with my figure in breach of hash etiquette that hashers point with their elbows. (Alcohol free beer was available for anyone who for health / religious / other reasons wanted to avoid alcohol.)

I’ve talked a bit in this blog about how the Berlin hash differs from other kennels I’ve run with. But in the most important ways it’s like every other hash I’ve ever come across. Everyone was very friendly and welcoming and it genuinely felt like a family. If I lived in Berlin I’d be a regular!

Thank you to to Phil and Dee for hosting me for the weekend in Berlin and thank you to every member of the Berlin hash – it was a pleasure meeting you and I’d love to see you all in London on 4th July 2020 for the UK, and final, leg of Run the World!

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!

*I’m currently undertaking a challenge – Run the World – to complete a 10 km run in all 206 countries in the world. I’m running the world to raise funds for Cancer Research and promote the importance of an active, healthy lifestyle.

 

 

 

 

 

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Run 181 : Czech Republic – Prague

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Please donate generously to Cancer Research : https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Dan-Thompson11

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

Date : 18th October, 2019

Time : 53’ 22”

Number of runners (total to date) :  1 (6406)

Run map and details :   https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/4176259252

I’ve always wanted to go to Prague and, for various reasons, never made it. So I was really looking forward to running there.

And perhaps it was therefore inevitable that it would be just about my most disappointing run to date.

I’d spent an hour travelling from my hotel to Modranska skola tram stop about 8 kilometres south of Prague. I’m sure the local residents would tell you it’s a fine part of the world. However, I suspect it doesn’t feature highly on most tourist itineraries.

Unless, of course, you’re a graffiti aficionado in which case there’s plenty to see. Lots if it of the tag and scrawl variety but some of it quite eye catching.

After waiting at the tram stop for some time I came to the rather sad conclusion that no one else was joining me. I realised that I either needed to get back on a tram into town – or start running.

By now it was starting to get dark and I figured there must be a reason that fate had led me to Modranska skola. So I started running. Along a few roads and down to the Vltava (mistakenly referred to as the Danube in the video below).

And then, via a wrong turn or two, north along the Vltava back to the centre of Prague.

There’s not a lot a more to say about the run. It was my fourth run in 72 hours and I’d had a lot of niggles in the lead up to the trip so I was quite pleased that I’d been able to accelerate during the run finishing with a 4’35” kilometre. (Good for me ; not so good for Eliud Kipchoge).

And that’s it. I never did discover why fate took me to Modranska skola.

The best bit about the run was finishing at the Charles Bridge which really is magnificent (unlike my video).

And not a bad place to plank. My thanks to the group from India who took the planking photo above.

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It was a lonely visit that had little or no impact  no Run the World talks, no fundraising and no one to run with. Not what I was hoping for. But I saw just enough of Prague to know that its wonderful. I’ll definitely be back.

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!

Facts & Stats

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia.

The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe that covers an area of 78,866 square kilometers (30,450 sq mi) with a mostly temperate continental climate and oceanic climate. It is a unitary parliamentary republic, with 10.7 million inhabitants. Its capital and largest city is Prague, with 1.3 million residents; other major cities are BrnoOstravaOlomouc and Pilsen.

Following the Battle of Mohács in 1526, the whole Crown of Bohemia was gradually integrated into the Habsburg Monarchy. The Protestant Bohemian Revolt (1618–20) against the Catholic Habsburgs led to the Thirty Years’ War. After the Battle of the White Mountain, the Habsburgs consolidated their rule, eradicated Protestantism, reimposed Catholicism, and adopted a policy of gradual Germanization. This contributed to anti-Habsburg sentiment and resentment of the Catholic Church that continues to this day. With the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, the Bohemian Kingdom became part of the Austrian Empire (1804 to 1867) and the Czech language experienced a revival as a consequence of widespread romantic nationalism. In the 19th century, the Czech lands became the industrial powerhouse of the monarchy and were subsequently the core of the First Czechoslovak Republic, which was formed in 1918 following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after World War I.

Czechoslovakia was the only democracy in Central Europe during the interwar period. However, parts of the country were occupied by Germany in World War II, while the Slovak region became a German puppet state. Czechoslovakia was liberated in 1945 by the Soviet Union and the United States. Most of the German-speaking minority were expelled following the war. The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia won the 1946 elections and after the 1948 coup d’état established a one-party communist state under Soviet influence. Increasing dissatisfaction with the regime culminated in 1968 to the reform movement known as the Prague Spring, which ended in a Soviet-led invasion. Czechoslovakia remained occupied until the 1989 Velvet Revolution, which peacefully ended communist rule and re-established democracy and a market economy. On 1 January 1993, Czechoslovakia peacefully dissolved, with its constituent states becoming the independent states of the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

The Czech Republic is a developed country with an advancedhigh income social market economy. It is a welfare state with a European social modeluniversal health care, and tuition-free university education. It ranks 15th in the UN inequality-adjusted human development and 14th in the World Bank Human Capital Index ahead of countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom and France. It ranks as the eleventh safest and most peaceful country and performs strongly in democratic governance. The Czech Republic joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union (EU) in 2004.

 World Bank Data

Here’s the latest World Bank data for the Czech Republic – with the year 2000 as a comparison.

GDP $245.2 bn 2018 $61.6 bn 2000
         
Population 10.6 m 2018 10.3 m 2000
         
Primary school enrolment* 101% 2017 103% 2000
         
CO2 Emissions** 9.2 2014 12.1 2000
         
% below poverty line*** 9.7% 2013 10.4% 2004
         
Life expectancy at birth 79.5 yrs 2017 75.0 yrs 2000
         
GNI per capita $20 260 2018 $6 330 2000

*Percentage can exceed 100% due to the inclusion of over and under aged students

** Metric tons per capita

***The World Bank notes that the methodology can vary between countries and over time within a given country. (While much of the World Bank data generally follows understandable trends, this number often oscillates wildly suggesting that different methodologies are frequently used over time within a given country.)

Greatest Sporting Nation Data

Finally, here’s the data from Greatest Sporting Nation on how the Czech Republic performed in the global sporting arena in 2018:

Global Cup – 24th

Per Capita Cup – 16th

The Global Cup aggregates results from over 1000 events across 80 sports to produce the definitive annual ranking of international sporting success. The Per Capita Cup uses the same data to produce an annual per capita ranking.

 

 

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Slovakia – Bratislava

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Please donate generously to Cancer Research : https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Dan-Thompson11

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

Date : 16th October, 2019

Time : 49’ 50” (fastest time in central Europe and rare sub 50 minute run)

Number of runners (total to date) :  1 (6399)

Run map and details :   https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/4176259195

The train from Budapest to Bratislava costs 9 euros and takes just over 2 hours. There’s masses of leg room, you can move around at will and I had connectivity throughout the journey. You then arrive in the city centre, a few minutes from your hotel.

If I’d taken the plane I’d have had to get to the airport two (usually completely unnecessary) hours before the flight. And it would have cost I don’t know what for an unconnected space that I could hardly fit my legs into.

The flight would also have done damage to the environment before disgorging me at an airport nowhere near my final destination.

Please, world, build lots of (very) high speed train connections. So we can all go on enjoying the benefits of travel (especially poor countries that rely on tourism) without killing the planet.

As you’ll have gathered, I enjoyed travelling by train rather than flying. I also enjoyed my run in Bratislava.

I started at the Holy Trinity Column (why are all my selfies so appalling?)

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in the historic centre before making my way down to the banks of the Danube so blau.

I then ran west past the castle

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and along the Danube for 2.5 km before turning around and heading back past my start point and the historic centre as far as the Eurovea shopping centre.

Turning round again I finished the run in the historic centre, past Ganymede’s Fountain through the main square

to the Schone Naci Statue where lots of tourists were taking photos. Some of those tourists were good enough to take a photo of my now traditional plank – before joining in the plank.

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There’s a nice story behind the statue. Schöner Náci was the son of a shoemaker and grandson of a famous clown and was inspired by the latter’s example to bring happiness to the streets of the city. He walked around the Old Town in top hat and tails, greeting women with the words, “I kiss your hand” in GermanHungarian and Slovak.

Plank over, I then ran the last two kilometres around the old town before finishing at St. Michael’s Gate.

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Bratislava’s old town is pedestrianised which, combined with the pathway along the Danube, makes it a great place for a city run. You should try it – but make sure to travel there by train!

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!

Facts & Stats

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia.

Slovakia is a landlocked country in Central Europe. Slovakia’s territory spans about 49,000 square kilometres (19,000 sq mi) and is mostly mountainous. The population is over 5.6 million and consists mostly of Slovaks. The capital and largest city is Bratislava, and the second-largest city is Košice. The official language is Slovak.

In the 10th century, after the dissolution of Great Moravia, the territory was integrated into the Principality of Hungary, which would become the Kingdom of Hungary in 1000. In 1241 and 1242, much of the territory was destroyed by the Mongols during their invasion of Central and Eastern Europe. The area was recovered largely thanks to Béla IV of Hungary who also settled Germans who became an important ethnic group in the area. World War I and the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Czechoslovak National Council established Czechoslovakia (1918–1939). A separate (First) Slovak Republic (1939–1945) existed during World War II as a totalitarianclero-fascist one-party client state of Nazi Germany. At the end of World War II, Czechoslovakia was re-established as an independent country. After a coup in 1948 Czechoslovakia became a totalitarian one-party socialist state under a communist administration, during which the country was part of the Soviet led Eastern Bloc. Attempts to liberalize communism in Czechoslovakia culminated in the Prague Spring, which was crushed by the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968. In 1989, the Velvet Revolution ended the Communist rule in Czechoslovakia peacefully. Slovakia became an independent state on 1 January 1993 after the peaceful dissolution of Czechoslovakia, sometimes known as the Velvet Divorce.

Slovakia is a high-income advanced economy with a very high Human Development Index, a very high standard of living and performs favourably in measurements of civil libertiespress freedominternet freedomdemocratic governance and peacefulness. The country maintains a combination of a market economy with a comprehensive social security system. Citizens of Slovakia are provided with universal health carefree education and one of the longest paid parental leaves in the OECD. The country joined the European Union on 1 May 2004 and joined the Eurozone on 1 January 2009. Slovakia is also a member of the Schengen Area. As part of Eurozone, Slovak legal tender is the euro. Slovakia is the world’s largest per-capita car producer with a total of 1,090,000 cars manufactured in the country in 2018 aloneand the 6th largest car producer in the European Union, representing 43% of Slovakia’s total industrial output.

 World Bank Data

Here’s the latest World Bank data for Slovakia – with the year 2000 as a comparison.

GDP $106.5 bn 2018 $29.1 bn 2000
         
Population 5.4 m 2018 5.4 m 2000
         
Primary school enrolment* 99% 2017 101% 2000
         
CO2 Emissions** 5.7 2014 6.7 2000
         
% below poverty line*** 12.6% 2013 13.3% 2004
         
Life expectancy at birth 77.2 yrs 2017 73.1 yrs 2000
         
GNI per capita $18 330 2018 $5 500 2000

*Percentage can exceed 100% due to the inclusion of over and under aged students

** Metric tons per capita

***The World Bank notes that the methodology can vary between countries and over time within a given country. (While much of the World Bank data generally follows understandable trends, this number often oscillates wildly suggesting that different methodologies are frequently used over time within a given country.)

Greatest Sporting Nation Data

Finally, here’s the data from Greatest Sporting Nation on how Slovakia performed in the global sporting arena in 2018:

Global Cup – 35th

Per Capita Cup – 18th

The Global Cup aggregates results from over 1000 events across 80 sports to produce the definitive annual ranking of international sporting success. The Per Capita Cup uses the same data to produce an annual per capita ranking.

 

 

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Run 179 : Hungary – Budapest

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Please donate generously to Cancer Research : https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Dan-Thompson11

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

Date : 15th October, 2019

Time : 54’ 25”

Number of runners (total to date) :  1 (6398)

Run map and details :   https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/4176259171

When we’re discussing potential running routes around the world with local runners, it’s clear that many, if not most of them, prefer to run in the countryside or in a park. And for good reason. Nice views, cleaner air, no traffic, no pedestrians in the way, no stopping at red lights. The arguments are compelling.

And yet I must admit I do love a good city run. I love the variety and the excitement of discovering a city. To the extent that I often think I should become a city running guide when I finish Run the World. Ideally I’d do this around major sporting events when I show visiting fans something of the city in question and get them out of the bars and onto their feet.

But that’s the future. The present was Budapest where you can do a very fine city run – of just about any length – along the banks of the mighty Danube.

I started at the Szent Gellert Metro station at the foot of the Citadella (an old Hapsburg fortress). A quick stop for another one of my award winning panoramas (of the Danube even though I refer to it as the Buda in my voice over…)

followed by another quick stop to take a picture of the chapel at the Geller Hill cave

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and then I was off running north along the west bank of the Danube. Past the Szechenyi chain bridge before another photo stop for the Hungarian Parliament.

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And if that seems like a lot of photo stops then I can only say that it is a particularly scenic route. And that I was far from the only person taking advantage of the photo opportunities!

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I turned east on Margit /Margaret bridge for a spectacular view of Budapest at night expertly captured on the following not remotely jerky video..

before detouring off onto Margaret Island where, at almost exactly the 5 km mark, I came across the delightful Musical Fountain.

Having crossed over the bridge I started running south along the east bank when I spotted a statue of a man on a bridge. It seemed like as good a place as any for my traditional one minute plank (photo at the top of the blog).

Thank you to the somewhat surprised bystanders who heard my story and took the picture for me.

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What I didn’t realise at the time was the significance of the statue. Turns out that it was a statue of Imre Nagy, the man who became Hungary’s reformist Prime Minster during the 1956 uprising against Soviet / hard line Communist control. When Soviet troops subsequently invaded Hungary he was arrested (along with thousands of others), charged with treason and eventually executed.

The statue had originally stood in Kossuth Square next to the Hungarian parliament.

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However, it was recently moved north to Jaszai Mari Square where I came across it. (Critics say that this was as a result of the growing relationship between Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Russia’s Vladimir Putin.)

From there I continued south with views back over the Danube to the Fisherman’s Bastion

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and the Citadella (not my photo as you may be able to tell)

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before finally finishing near Szabadsag Bridge.

And, yes, occasionally I had to wait at a light, or for pedestrians, and I certainly wasn’t going to set a PB. But that’s city life and it was still a brilliant run!

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!

Facts & Stats

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia.

Hungary is a country in Central Europe. Spanning 93,030 square kilometres (35,920 sq mi) in the Carpathian Basin, it borders Slovakia to the north, Ukraine to the northeast, Austria to the northwest, Romania to the east, Serbia to the south, Croatia to the southwest, and Slovenia to the west. With about 10 million inhabitants, Hungary is a medium-sized member state of the European Union. Hungary’s capital and largest city is Budapest.

By the 12th century, Hungary became a regional power, reaching its cultural and political height in the 15th century. Following the Battle of Mohács in 1526, Hungary was partially occupied by the Ottoman Empire (1541–1699). It came under Habsburg rule at the turn of the 18th century, and later joined Austria to form the Austro–Hungarian Empire, a major European power.

The Austro-Hungarian Empire collapsed after World War I, and the subsequent Treaty of Trianon established Hungary’s current borders, resulting in the loss of 71% of its territory, 58% of its population, and 32% of ethnic Hungarians. Following the tumultuous interwar period, Hungary joined the Axis Powers in World War II, suffering significant damage and casualties. Hungary became a satellite state of the Soviet Union, which contributed to the establishment of a socialist republic spanning four decades (1949[–1989[). The country gained widespread international attention as a result of its 1956 revolution and the seminal opening of its previously-restricted border with Austria in 1989, which accelerated the collapse of the Eastern Bloc. On 23 October 1989, Hungary became a democratic parliamentary republic.

Hungary is an OECD high-income economyand has the world’s 58th largest economy by PPP. It ranks 45th on the Human Development Index, owing in large part to its social security systemuniversal health care, and tuition-free secondary education. Hungary’s rich cultural history includes significant contributions to the artsmusicliteraturesportsscience and technology. It is the 13th most popular tourist destination in Europe, attracting 15.8 million international tourists in 2017.

Hungary joined the European Union in 2004 and has been part of the Schengen Area since 2007.

 World Bank Data

Here’s the latest World Bank data for Hungary – with the year 2000 as a comparison.

GDP $155.7 bn 2018 $47.3 bn 2000
Population 9.8 m 2018 10.2 m 2000
Primary school enrolment* 101% 2017 101% 2000
CO2 Emissions** 4.27 2014 5.47 2000
% below poverty line*** 14.9% 2014 13.5% 2004
Life expectancy at birth 76.1 yrs 2017 71.2 yrs 2000
GNI per capita $14 590 2018 $4 670 2000

*Percentage can exceed 100% due to the inclusion of over and under aged students

** Metric tons per capita

***The World Bank notes that the methodology can vary between countries and over time within a given country. (While much of the World Bank data generally follows understandable trends, this number often oscillates wildly suggesting that different methodologies are frequently used over time within a given country.)

Greatest Sporting Nation Data

Finally, here’s the data from Greatest Sporting Nation on how Hungary performed in the global sporting arena in 2018:

Global Cup – 25th

Per Capita Cup – 17th

The Global Cup aggregates results from over 1000 events across 80 sports to produce the definitive annual ranking of international sporting success. The Per Capita Cup uses the same data to produce an annual per capita ranking.

 

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Run 180 : Austria – Vienna

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Date : 17th October, 2019

Time : 58’ 18”

Number of runners (total to date) : 6 (6405)

Number of talk attendees (total to date) : 29 (5546)

Run map and details :   https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/4176259226

If you have any interest in sport, or just in extraordinary human achievements, you’ll be aware that Eliud Kipchoge recently became the first person to run a marathon in under two hours. 1 h 59’40” to be exact.

And he did it in Vienna (Wien) – more specifically on the Hauptallee in Vienna’s Prater park. And so where better for Run the World Austria to take place and give us runners a chance to measure ourselves against the great man?

Of course, he did have a few things going for him. Like groups of pacemakers running in front of him in an aerodynamically efficient formation. A flexible start time optimised for a combination of humidity, wind and temperature. A laser wielding car leading the way at exactly the required pace. The new Nike Vaporfly Next% shoes. And, of course, an abundance of god given talent and determination.

And what did we – the Vindobona Hash House Harriers and yours truly – have ? A certain amateurish enthusiasm, some fringe benefits from the reputed $40 million invested by INEOS in the route and the comradeship you get wherever there are a group of hashers.

Would this be enough to challenge Kipchoge’s achievement ? Possibly not – except for our secret weapon. We were only running 10 km versus the 42.2 km run by Eliud. Surely, given this advantage, we could beat his time?

We started at the Praterstern end of Hauptallee and could immediately see some of the results of the INEOS investment. There were lines on the road and, every so often, new tarmac which meant the running surface was smooth and flat throughout.

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We ran through the Prater, the emperor’s old hunting grounds, as far as the Lusthaus – one of the two turning points on Kipchoge’s record setting course.

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Now, it’s very hard to keep your speed up around a corner, especially when it’s quite a tight corner. So they’d built a cambered road around the Lusthaus to minimise loss of speed. Unfortunately this was closed to us so we had to run round it in the usual way, bleeding speed and time as we went.

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Truthfully it probably didn’t make a huge difference as this was one of the various points where we paused to regroup…

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We then set off back up the Hauptallee getting back to our start point having run close on 9 km. A little backtracking to regroup once more before running our last kilometre through the Wurstelprater amusement park

finishing with a plank in front of the legendary Riesenrad Ferris wheel*.

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We did, in the end, beat Kipchoge’s time. But only by running less than a quarter of his distance….

I don’t know how you would beat his time over the full distance. He ran 42.2 km at an average speed of c 2 minutes 50 seconds per kilometre. If you can run one kilometre in 2 minutes 50 seconds then that’s already pretty impressive (I couldn’t and I dare say most people would struggle.) To run over 42 kilometres at that pace is simply incredible.

And so run 180 was done – just 26 to go. Not the 999 820 to go which would be the case if one of the more enthusiastic attendees at that afternoon’s school talk had been correct in guessing that there are a million countries in the world!

It just remains for me to say a huge thank you to Mr Pink, Joystick, Pussy Galore, Prima Donna and Richard Kopf from the Vindobona Hash for the company, the donations and the Kasekreiner!

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And to Maria Addie and all the staff and students at the American International School in Vienna – the talk was great fun!

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I’d love to see you all in London on 4th July 2020 for the UK, and final, leg of Run the World!

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!

*For younger readers, it played a key part in the seminal film ‘The Third Man’

 

Facts & Stats

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia.

Austria is a land-locked country in Central Europe composed of nine federated states (Bundesländer), one of which is Vienna, Austria’s capital and its largest city. Austria occupies an area of 83,879 km2 (32,386 sq mi) and has a population of nearly 9 million people.

In the 16th century, Austria started serving as the heart of the Habsburg Monarchy and the junior branch of the House of Habsburg – one of the most influential royal dynasties in history. As an archduchy, it was a major component and administrative centre of the Holy Roman Empire. Following the Holy Roman Empire’s dissolution, Austria established its own empire in the 19th century, which became a great power and the leading force of the German Confederation. After its abolishment, the Austrian Empire pursued its own course independent of the affairs of other German States. Following the Austro-Prussian War and the compromise with Hungary, the Dual Monarchy was established.

Austria was involved in World War I under Emperor Franz Joseph following the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, the presumptive successor to the Austro-Hungarian throne. Austria was also the birthplace of Adolf Hitler, who became the Chancellor of the German Reich. Prior to the invasion of Poland in 1939, Germany previously annexed Austria by the Anschluss and seized the Sudetenland under terms outlined by the Munich Agreement. Following the defeat of Nazi Germany and an extended period of Allied occupation, Austria was re-established as a sovereign and self-governing democratic nation known as the Second Republic.

Austria is a parliamentary representative democracy with a directly elected Federal President as head of state and a Chancellor as head of the federal government. Major urban areas of Austria include GrazLinzSalzburg and Innsbruck. Austria is consistently ranked in the top 20 richest countries in the world by GDP per capita terms. The country has achieved a high standard of living and in 2018 was ranked 20th in the world for its Human Development Index. Vienna consistently ranks in the top internationally on quality-of-life indicators.

The Second Republic declared its perpetual neutrality in foreign political affairs in 1955. Austria has been a member of the United Nations since 1955 and[ joined the European Union in 1995. Austria also signed the Schengen Agreement in 1995, and adopted the euro currency in 1999.

 World Bank Data

Here’s the latest World Bank data for Austria – with the year 2000 as a comparison.

GDP $455.7 bn 2018 $196.8 bn 2000
Population 8.8 m 2018 8.0 m 2000
Primary school enrolment* 103% 2017 104% 2000
CO2 Emissions** 6.87 2014 7.77 2000
% below poverty line*** NA NA
Life expectancy at birth 81.6 yrs 2017 78.1 yrs 2000
GNI per capita $49 260 2018 $26 790 2000

*Percentage can exceed 100% due to the inclusion of over and under aged students

** Metric tons per capita

***The World Bank notes that the methodology can vary between countries and over time within a given country. (While much of the World Bank data generally follows understandable trends, this number often oscillates wildly suggesting that different methodologies are frequently used over time within a given country.)

Greatest Sporting Nation Data

Finally, here’s the data from Greatest Sporting Nation on how Austria performed in the global sporting arena in 2018:

Global Cup – 22nd

Per Capita Cup – 10th

The Global Cup aggregates results from over 1000 events across 80 sports to produce the definitive annual ranking of international sporting success. The Per Capita Cup uses the same data to produce an annual per capita ranking.

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