Suppose you really liked the Richmond Park parkrun, but thought they
started in the wrong place and ought to charge money for it. Then
you'd have the Richmond Park 5k. And if you thought that was such a
good idea that you'd like to do it twice, you'd get the Richmond
Ok, that's maybe a bit unfair, but it's quite surprising that they
do seem to get a reasonable turnout for the 5k. Maybe it's London
Marathon fever making people feel they want to do a 'proper' race –
even if 26.2 is a bit much.
But anyway, here we are.
Amanda's gammy knee is playing up a bit, so she's not going to push.
Pat's got a dodgy hip, so she reckons she's going to take it easy
too, and has deliberately left her watch behind. She thinks she's
going to be so laid back she'll even be able to smile for the
camera! Yeah? We'll see...
Off into the wilds of Richmond they go. That didn't look
like a slow start, Pat.
No, it's not really very slow... And if there's a smile
there, it's barely at Mona Lisa level. I think our girl may have the
bit between her teeth after all.
Amanda's being a touch more reasonable a little further back.
Pity the weather's a bit dull; some blue in the sky would reflect
nicely in the pond.
Yep, this is running Pat, not smiling Pat!
And she comes in to take second place in class!
Now while I've been haring all over the park chasing me birds, like,
the official photographer has walked twenty yards from the start
line and sat down again. That's dedication to his art!
And it turns out that Amanda gets category bronze after Pat's
silver, so maybe she wasn't as slow as she thought either. I shall
have to buy a Frankenstein Mad Scientist kit and see what kind of
racer I can make out of their best body parts.
There's no conveniently nearby cafe, and it's a bit chilly to hang
around for too long, so it's back on the bikes and head for home,
but we'll take it in a fairly leisurely fashion.
From the top of the hill, the London skyline behind the trees really
does look like another world.
Back at Kingston, they've got a bit of an event on to celebrate the
"Mini-Holland" cycleway scheme. I'm afraid we are distinctly
unconvinced by it, or at least the most prominent bit, which is a
major road alteration which doesn't really seem to have been thought
through. It's supposed to encourage inexperienced cyclists by making
them feel safer, but you can't actually get to it without riding on
unaltered and presumably frightening roads first, and it's a bloody
nuisance for drivers and anybody who was previously happy to ride
their bike on the road.
They have some entertainment lined up, including a chap riding a
Penny Farthing along the riverside; except that when we get there
he's just about to take a coffee break.
Ok, we'll pop back into the town centre and try again later.
But later, it seems he's still on his break. He could be a while,
too, 'cos it looks like he's pulled! Who needs a Ferrari or a
Porsche when you've got a babe magnet like that?!
And on that bombshell, as Jeremy Clarkson used to say, goodnight :-)