Friday 15 April 2016

The Capital Ring (5 of 5)

I've run the Capital Ring in sections over the last few of weeks. This is part 5 of 5.

Part 1, Grove Park to Wimbledon
Part 2, Wimbledon to Preston Road
Part 3, Preston Road to Stratford
Part 4, Stratford to Charlton
Part 5, Charlton to Grove Park

Just a short section left for today, the South Eastern segment. I'd intended to run the ring in quarters, but my injury-avoidance technique had seen that one off.

Today all was fine, so after a few days not running I headed back to Charlton ready to head on back to Grove Park, where I'd started.

It was a grey day with rain scheduled from mid-morning onwards, I had my lightweight waterproof but no matter how good they are there's always a bit of a "boil in the bag" effect if you're running in it so I'd prefer not to use it.

These stairs are very steep

I'm going to get this rant over and done with - what the hell is it with the ugly, aggressive, and discriminatory anti-cyclist constructions in our parks? Not only are they built from box-section steel and poles capable of withstanding the apocalypse, but they must be impossible to navigate for anyone who is remotely less able or encumbered in some way.

Even I could only just fit through this, it's a really tight squeeze

Got shopping? Sod off, you're not welcome.
Got kids and a buggy? Sod off you're not welcome.
Less able, overweight, or rely on a wheelchair or mobility aid? Forget it!

We're sure you understand; cyclists are the epitome of evil and must be defeated at any cost.

No entry

Now that's off my chest...

Today's run was up for the first third, then drifting back down for the remainder. Setting off from Charlton the climb started immediately through Mayor Wilson Park, Charlton Park, and Hornfair Park. I was surprised to find a city zoo where it was feeding time.


My right calf that was causing me a bit of trouble last week was twitching a bit, but nothing serious - I was confident I'd get through today's distance with no issues.

My eyes have been open by how easy it is to find parks and paths that look like they could be in the middle of the countryside, despite being near central London. Today was no exception and the first few parks were lovely and quiet.

Underfoot there was a mix of pavement, tarmac, trail, and grass. Despite the rain it wasn't too muddy, and the cool freshness was perfect for jogging.

Severndroog Castle

Come off Shooters Hill and into another park I was greeted by a castle, Severndroog Castle (Wikipedia entry) was built in 1783. Seven counties are visible from the top.

The Castle int he Woods

Heading down now, through various roads and housing estates (there are some big houses round here) - but not before one last view out across to the South.

Great view, the last big panoramic sweep of my Capital Ring circuit

Before long I realised I was near the end. I'd only been trundling, but the day was a short one so still passed quickly.

The end of my circuit

So, back down the side of the school where I started a couple of weeks ago. It's been a really interesting run through many parts of London I'd never been to before, and offering a different angle to some parts I knew (or thought I knew) well.

Pleasing stats - last km in 07:07, and 13.07 total distance in 01:37:00

Up for 4km, peaking at Shooters Hill, then downhill all the way - stable pace throughout

Just a little over 13km in South East London for the final leg

My distance for the Capital Ring over the five legs was 126.5km (78.6 miles) and it took me a relaxing 15 hours 34 minutes and 26 seconds.

(Disclaimer: I've subtracted taken 0.3km and 2 minutes to account for the little extra bit I did from the School on day one as I was following the London Ultra course rather than the Capital Ring).

My reward!

I'm already wondering if one day I could try the whole lot in one go... After all, plenty of people run 100-mile races over far more arduous terrain... Got a long way to go before I can take that on though!

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