Thursday, March 12, 2009

Running in London

Who's running in London? Not just me. I went for a run in Regent's Park this morning* and, as usual, saw several—quite a few, really—other runners on the paths and sidewalks. No surprise there. (By the way, I brought my camera along and paused every now and then to take pictures. You can look at my Regent's Park pictures here.)

No, I wasn't surprised to see people running in Regent's Park in the early morning.

What did startle me was the number of runners I saw as my mother and I were walking through London, particularly as we walked along the Embankment on the River Thames, and crossed the river over and back on the Golden Jubilee footbridge. Every few minutes we would spot one or two or three people in shorts or tights, trotting or sprinting toward us or past us. Many were travelling at a pretty healthy clip, and most looked fit and relaxed, as if running long distances at a steady pace was no big deal for them.

I think, perhaps, it is no great coincidence that the London Marathon is a mere "one month, 13 days, 18 hours, 48 minutes, and 35 seconds" away (as of this writing, at this moment). (It will be a bit closer by the time I finish.)

So many of us have an image of the English as beer guzzling, cigarette smoking, fish and chip eating non-runners, but obviously that is not always the case. After all, England is the homeland of Paula Radcliffe, the greatest woman marathoner, and the London Marathon itself is one of the most famous marathons in the world. In fact, the modern marathon distance was established in England.

So somebody must be running in England.

And the evidence indicates that they're mostly doing it along the Thames.**

To read about the rest of my day in London, click here.

*5.25 miles total this morning; I added the extra by taking a loop into Queen Mary's Rose Garden before I left the park and returned to the hotel.

**No, I didn't get any pictures of them. They were moving too quickly to be captured by a digital camera. (You know, the shutter delay.)

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