Several thousand runners, me among them, spent a bright and breezy morning in Old Deer Park
Several thousand runners, me among them, spent a bright and breezy morning in Old Deer Park the other week taking part in the Salomon Richmond Half Marathon with Dreams Come True as the official partner charity.
Described as “London’s premier multi surface Half Marathon”, surface-wise it lived up to its billing providing the runners, with grass, pavement, road, tow-path (smooth), tow-path (rough) and even some mud. Well it had been a wet March. The course itself was a flat and interesting figure of eight taking in a multitude of historically and culturally interesting sites with a northern loop round Kew Gardens, and a southern loop round Ham and down to Teddington Lock. There were many miles of tow-path which for those of us running slowly enough to enjoy the views was a distinct pleasure. Our lack of a sense of urgency meant that we could watch what was gently sliding by on the river including Eel Pie Island and every type of rowing boat with every type of rower. We could also exchange pleasantries with the many other tow-path users enjoying the Sunday morning fresh air, some walking, some running, some cycling, some pushing/carrying children. All of life seemed to make an appearance in those few hours.
The wind on the day was fresh (and in the nature of circuit courses, permanently in our faces) but the rain held off and the general feeling was of a well organised and enjoyable morning’s running. The event also offered a 10k route which covered the northern loop of the half marathon, and the organisers should be especially commended for providing the Mini Mile, a free event for kids which made the whole offering genuinely family friendly.
It was a particular pleasure to see so many orange-and-purple liveried runners, who were using the event to raise sponsorship for Dreams Come True Charity. My thanks to them and to all their sponsors. The money raised will make a huge difference to some amazing kids and to their families. For many of them, just being able to take part in such an event, something that most of us involved on the day take utterly for granted, would be a dream come true. Finding and fulfilling their dreams is what Dreams Come True does every day, so it was a huge pleasure to join with so many supporters whose help will enable us to make that happen.
So whether you are a hare, or, like me, a tortoise, if you fancy an excellent running event, in excellent company along an excellent course raising funds for an excellent charity, see you next year!
Author: Peter Newman
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