Frank Turner. Ally Pally. Excellent.
Frank Turner. Ally Pally. Excellent.
We're off! Day 1 of Juneathon is well and truly complete!
If you are an avid reader of this
amazing mediocre tedious blog you'll be aware that I'm in London for a few days to celebrate my Mum's 70th Birthday. Which began with yesterday's fabulous helicopter ride over London, read more here.
So as May came to a close the focus turned to Juneathon. Early thoughts were to begin Juneathon with a parkrun, this did not materialise because I woke up slightly too late. Therefore, the first day of Juneathon was to be completed pounding the streets of London. This has many pros and cons:
But it was quite enjoyable to be running somewhere slightly different, and I even managed the odd picture along the way in a bid to liven up the post.
This I couldn't resist….taking advantage of the green space and extending your garden, there are so many plastic ride on thingys that it looked like a branch of Toys R Us, although not sure what they would do if the council insisted that the trampoline be stored in the garden…
Also, as I was running along the 'Green Chain Walk' for a bit I crossed the railway line, this involved bounding up the steps in a 'Rocky' style and punching the air. No trains about, although I think engineering works were in 'progress' as I did spot a couple of fellas in fluorescent jackets leaning against the fence having a smoke….
Day 1 mileage = 4.69
Mojo level = very high
Today was quite a day! We have reached about half-way through Mum's never-ending 70th Birthday celebrations….and today a helicopter ride over London. We've always said that London is the best city in the world, and Mum has certainly seen a few, but today just backs up that statement.
Arriving at Redhill Aerodrome in Surrey, we were greeted by the friendly staff of EBG Helicopters, including Nick, our pilot for today. After a quick coffee and identification checks, including a safety briefing of: “don't stand on the rail thingys at the bottom”, we were off!
Once airborne the champagne was poured – it had been open prior to entering the helicopter as I'd imagine you don't really want a cork bouncing around in the cockpit. Travelling at 1200ft and 130mph we reached London in 9mins and were treated to some truly amazing sights. We followed the route of The Thames from Fulham and turned for home at Greenwich. Along the way we whizzed past various landmarks: Hampton Court, Wimbledon, Wembley, London Eye, Westminster, The Shard, The Gherkin, Canary Wharf and many many more.
A number of things strike you when you are up there: the amount of green spaces in London, the closeness of everything and the fact that London is indeed a fantastic looking city.
We all had a fantastic time, especially Mum who had wanted to do this for a long time. Happy Birthday!
After watching the fabulous opening ceremony and watching some brilliant performances from Team GB from the safety of the sofa, it was finally time to experience the Olympics for real. The date had been on the calendar for about 18 months, Tuesday 7th August, after failing to get various sports in the initial ballot, we ended up with Hockey in the second chance ballot. I have to admit that Hockey was not the first choice event, but we were going, we were going to experience this 'once in a lifetime' visit to a home Olympics. We were all very excited.
Our ticket admitted us to a morning session of Hockey at the Riverside Arena in the Olympic Park, Men's Hockey, two matches: Netherlands vs Korea; and Australia vs Pakistan. First match
kicked off sticks away started at 8.30am. Despite staying at my Mums, in South-east London, this meant an early start. Plan was get up at 5am to be sure of leaving at 6am, to ensure we would not miss a kick a whack a hit any of the game.
So, 6.15am and the short walk to the station, Jill and Craig in good spirits…
Leg one of the journey complete, train to London Bridge. Next up was a quick jump on the tube to Stratford. Didn't quite go to plan. As we entered the platform, we were greeted by the Great British public queuing in an orderly fashion (this would not be the last of today's queues) to the sounds of a tanoy, “We apologise for the delay – we have a signal failure on the Jubilee Line”. We waited for around 15mins, several trains coming and going, all packed solid, allowing very few passengers on board. A few prayers to Lord Coe later and we were on board, like the proverbial sardine. Various announcements, all completely ignored, told us to get off at West Ham if we were travelling to the Olympic Park. We therefore went past West Ham and duly got off at Stratford, with everyone else….
Despite the amount of people, we got into the Olympic Park, including various security checks, quickly and without fuss. A short stroll and we had reached the Riverside Arena, followed by a climb of 1000s of steps and we had reached row 29 of 30 and in position to enjoy the hockey.
The Hockey was actually quite exciting, a very fast and skilful game. The Dutch were too strong for Korea and beat them 4-2, whilst the Aussies whooped Pakistan 7-0.
After the Hockey we went to Park Live to watch the Brownlee boys bring home gold and bronze in the triathlon on the big screen.
Then a stroll to the Velodrome where I re-enacted my celebration at seeing Chris Hoy win another gold….
We passed the biggest McDonalds in the world, apparently, before seeing the biggest queue in the world to get into the London 2012 Megastore. Both we avoided before taking a closer look at the Olympic Stadium…
We ended the day by queuing for fish and chips….it was a really great experience, well done London!!!
The end of half-term has appeared incredibly quickly this time, and coincided with a very busy weekend.
First up was a trip to London late Friday evening to stay at Mums for a family gathering on Saturday. Brother Paul is home from China for a few days and my niece is visiting.
Saturday morning I went to Norman Park in Bromley to take part in my first parkrun, a free timed 5km run. It is a great idea and the race was great fun, three laps of Norman Park – finished in a time of 20.53. After the event you even get a text with your time and details of the race:
“Bromley results for event #130 – Your time was 20.53 – Congratulations on completing your 1st parkrun and your 1st at Bromley today. You finished in 41st place and were the 37th gent out of a field of 298 parkrunners and you came 5th in your age category VM40-44.”
AND they sent me a £15 off voucher I can use for my next pair of trainers from Sweatshop. Apparently these events take place all over the country at 9am on a Saturday morning. However, it would seem that my nearest ‘home’ parkrun is about 30 miles away! If anyone fancies running a parkrun near me, feel free!
Later in the day my niece came for a visit……
Grace is doing fantastic! I hope she enjoys ‘Discovery Bunny’ that we bought her. I drove back Saturday night to be ready for this morning’s Sleaford Half-marathon.
Initially I was not going to run this event but with the cancellation of the last two races due to snow, plus all the mileage I did in janathon, I thought I should go and run it. Firstly, let me just say it was a cold and very windy morning, when I say windy, think….
The Sleaford Half is an event I’ve done a number of times. A rural course, slightly undulating, and because it begins at RAF Cranwell, very open. So the wind was a big issue especially over the first half of the course. Finished in a time of 1:42.06 – pretty happy with that.
Next event up is a club 5-miler Frostbite followed by the Grantham Half-marathon.