Gosh seems like a damn long time ago that I posted this - PXR from yesterday's rather fantastic day out, for those who couldn't make it.
Cooooooo ! Get in !
For anyone who had decided to run their very first Half Marathon , yesterday's Royal Parks was as good as it gets.
Well organised, cheerful happy runners, perfect weather and London at its Autumnal best looking gorgeous.
One of the seasoned runners enjoying the best possible day in the sun was Katherine Jenkins, running for the Royal Marsden Hospital.
( here she is with some old soldier making the most of his photo op )
Her time was 2:14.
Who in their right mind would run past ?
Silly old goat - I was apparently 10 minutes ahead of her at the line but I swear I would have been happy to follow her over
Maybe we could persuade Katherine to tag team with Nell McAndrew and run for Combat Stress next year !
Fingers definitely crossed.
Organisation definitely on a par with VLM. Bag check fairly smooth, event area well marshalled and volunteers around the course doing their best to cheer on the 16,000 who took part.
The route was a bit like the London 10K PLUS , with echoes of the final gruelling but uplifting miles of the London Marathon.
Starting and finishing on the South side of Hyde Park we went out over Westminster Bridge then hooked right along the Embankment up as far as Temple underground before running back the other way to short cut past Main Building and up into Traf Square.
Then through my old office block (ABN) and the long straight of The Mall.
' Right turn Clyde ! ' at Buck House and around the Northern edge of Hyde Park looping back through Kensington Gardens.
For anyone who is desperate to run Central London and has (like me) an uncanny knack of missing out on a Virgin London Marathon place, the Royal Parks is a very acceptable alternative.
Big thanks and Bravo Zulu sir to the shy and retiring Alec_Lomas who was able to blag me a car park space and a post race shower facility within a mile of the Finish line.
( good on yer boss - the Jameson's is on me next time !)
Be warned, this is a very popular race internationally...the ballot takes place in Spring and you need to get in there.
I am delighted to report that the charity I was running for ( Combat Stress ) had 60 runners at the event.
If you get a place next year do please consider signing up with them, even if you know you have tapped out most of your friends and rellys generosity. As much as anything else, it is about VISIBILITY of a charity which has been quietly serving the Ex forces community since 1919.
PS the Justgiving page in my sig is still very much open for business!