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Five Parks Challenge

17 August 2012 1,816 views One Comment

Decided to spice up my Friday night run with a mini-self-challenge. Instead of going straight home I popped (for which read ‘sweated & panted’) through as many parks as I could.

Hyde Park

I’m lucky enough to work on the edge of Hyde Park so after a quick chat with friends outside the pub I was right into it, assisted by the Chilli Peppers who are awesome for sunny running. So, really this is two parks innit, Kensington Gardens and then Hyde Park but I won’t cheat straight away :)
Beautiful evening so there were a lot of people around, especially cyclists. There’s lots of shade through these parks – tree lined avenue type paths – and a fair bit of waterside track too. Luvly jubbly.

Green Park

I only sliced through here – Piccadilly to Buckingham Palace – but it really is a civilised space with lots of deck chairs for summer soaking fun.
Somewhere in here I think I swallowed a fly.

St James’s Park

If there are any tourists left in London after the Lympics I’m pretty sure they were all in St James’s Park this evening, on the one bridge that connects each side of the park, very congested! And the park is still very Lympic-fied with fences and signs and the feeling that the beach volleyball teams might still be lingering (they’re not).
Found some good track that was nice’n’quiet and I really enjoyed the bit by the pond with all the ducks. I think the population of brown ducks has gone bonkers in London, they’re like the new pidgeon, but I like ’em.

Battersea Park

A longish stretch from St James’s Park, through Victoria, Pimlico etc to get here and on the bridge I switched to Florence and the Machine for a bit of anthemic push. And so with songs about dogs and coffins in my ears I discovered that there’s a deer park here..?!? Who knew.. Not that I saw any deer.
I always see people rollerblading here (and on the north side of the Serpentine now I think of it) and it reminds me HOW MUCH I want rollerblades and a rollerblading body and a rollerblading (Californian) lifestyle, sigh.

Clapham Common

There’s an incline to get up to the Common and I won’t lie to you, I could have done without that, I was hot and tired now so I only ran round a little bit of it, but there’s the challenge for next time :)
Heaps of people hanging on the Common, Clapham style, on the grass, no posh deck chairs here, and some outdoor fitness classes alongside which made me nice and nostalgic for lovely Manly.
It really was a hot evening so by now I had that dried sweaty salty skin thing going on and the shower never felt so beautifully good.

My running distance of late has been pathetic. Enjoyable but pathetic and so this is the start of an effort to get back ‘up’. I guess I can try to take in more of the five parks, and then there’s adding extra parks too – Wandsworth Common is an option, Holland Park perhaps, Regents Park would be the biggie…
Let me know which running tracks you like. My iPod is bust now so I’m uploading new things on to my phone. In addition to the above I enjoy GaGa and Kylie. Anyone want to make me a playlist perhaps..?

x runningluce

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