Capital Gains

Andy Luke
Friday, 3 August, 2012

I hail from the sleepy market town of Morpeth in Northumberland and last year moved to Consett in County Durham.  I’m used to running on quiet country roads, disused train tracks, minimal traffic passing by and the occasional runner or cyclist to say hello to.   Now following the training day in Teddington (that Matt so brilliantly described) with the magazine I stayed in London for a week with my girlfriend’s family.    

City running

Since my training had already commenced I had to continue whilst away on my break in the capital.  The idea of running in the big bustling city seemed somewhat intimidating. It was also the opening weekend of the Olympics so there was an energetic buzz in the air.  I decided to do my first training session in Regents Park rather than pounding the streets of London (and risk getting lost).  Despite it being early on a Saturday morning it was very busy.  There were so many runners too.  Back home, if I pass a fellow runner, I’ll give them a nod and say hello.  It’s a different world in the city.  I looked to make eye contact with the first few runners I passed in the Park but every one of them just stared ahead or at the ground.  I felt like Crocodile Dundee when he first takes to the streets of New York and attempts to greet all the passers-by on the side walk only to be ignored by everyone.  I gave up on the greetings and focused on my threshold runs that I had to inject into my 60 minute session.  
The following few days found me running various routes around Abbey Road, past Lords (as the Olympic archery was taking place), along Regents canal and through Camden and Kilburn.  To be honest I had fretted a fair bit about where I would manage to run in the big city and in the end I was a satisfied man.  I had accomplished my training goals and at the same time given myself an eye opening tour of the capital. I even planned on doing some cross training using one of Boris Johnson’s rent-a-bikes, however I failed to manage this as I just thought you just needed your bank card to release a bike.  I was sadly mistaken and as a result the streets of London were probably safer. Until next time…


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