in Personal

The Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon, my result

After the run, with medal in place.

Looking undeservedly smug and a little stupid

Invoking the rule that this is a personal blog (and not a councillor blog) I come to the belated boastfulness of my performance in the Royal Parks Half Marathon. Some of the boastfulness comes in just completing it. Some in completing it in a fairly decent time, 1:36:06 (those six seconds are important).

Of course, the time isn’t exceptional: I still crossed the line nearly half-an-hour after the winner and in 942nd place on chip time. But as a chubby runner, who’d had a bad time in training, I think it’s something of an accomplishment.

Most of all, however, I was astounded at how much I enjoyed it. Having convinced myself that I was an anti-social runner, who liked to run in relative solitude, it turned out running with thousands of others along a course partly lined with friends, family, volunteers and charities was something very special indeed. I have no doubt that some of my run was powered by high fives from various children along the way.

My conversion was such that I had a short bout of post-race depression (which is actually a thing) and found myself searching for other runs I could pencil into the diary.

Of course, the personal blog façade was not going to last forever, and I think it’s worth highlighting some Wandsworth connection.

First is a personal one. Runners Need in St John’s Road did me an excellent deal on a new watch when my old one died two days before the run and I was paranoid that my pacing would fail me totally without the assistance of gadgetry. I sometimes worry that a developing narrative of independent-good, chain-bad means we overlook the value of the many great shops that are firmly rooted in their community despite being part of a much bigger business. Runners Need is one example, and I’d highly recommend their Wednesday night running club (which I attend when the diary allows).

Second is for a Putney business, Crewroom who provide the shirts the Royal Park Foundation give to runners. I only realised they were a Putney business when I met their founder at a business event the week before the run. But it is another example of a business firmly rooted in the local (rowing) community developing their product and creating an exceptionally good shirt that I know I’ll still be wearing on runs for years to come. Or, at the very least, until I get a new Royal Parks shirt next year (ballot permitting).

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