Sunday, 16 January 2011

Pulling my Chain

The original email read:

"Attached please find the route directions for the Green Chain Marathon which I did a couple of years ago which we can use as one of our training runs... ...At least that will give us a bit of variety."

So there we have it a new training route taking on board a network of paths in the South-East of London. The route was put together by a member of the New Eltham Joggers who meet in a local park where one of the paths crosses.

Everything was planned as usual, George was driving and picked me up at 6.15 am for the short drive to what was designated Check Point 7 which would allow us to run to New Eltham where the race normally begins and then carry on front page and follow the route. The only thing we hadn't put into the plans was that local public parks do not open that early on a Sunday and saw us having to make a series of adjustments to the route (thankfully I took my local map) that put us back on track to follow the directions.

It was dark for about an hour and I was thankful of my torch, we must have looked really strange dragging ourselves around at that time of day as we navigated through streets, public areas and woodland making good headway as we went.

Early on in the run we saw some sights , the famous Lesnes Abbey which I know George enjoyed from a historical view point and I for its scientific interest as there are fossil beds in the adjoining woods, East Wickham first mentioned in the Dooms Day book. After that we started to enter the tougher areas of South-East London, Thamesmead and Erith which took us through the industrial areas near the canal network and river Thames. The sun was up and as we ran through a local park the two of us were met by the most unexpected sight of a horse running towards us! We were safe as we soon realised that it was chained up but caused a laugh, we were to find out that there were a number of these horses in the park belonging to the Gipsy camp over the hill!!!

Things then turned to more surreal when we finally got to the River Thames to run past the Crossness Pumping Station next to the new works which services 2,000,000 people. All I can say is it stunk to high heaven with the two of us breathing through our mouths and I with my Buff over my face....yuck

So much happened today, well it would when plodding around a 26 mile course at long run pace from smelly old men telling us about how he didn't need to use " little blue tablets" ( I won't write the word as it attracts spam) to George losing his glove (again) and whilst I was waiting for him to get it wondered why everything in the area smelt of poo to realise that some horrible person had left a pile of the dog variety on the wall next to where I was standing!!

So in all I am very tired after such a heavy week of training, the run was a good one despite the tales I portray but remind me that I would never enter this race as it was just not at all attractive enough but I will some that it was certainly a tough little course and one to be respected.

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