After the relative success of the first event a month ago I felt the pressure was on to perform this time around – to prove it wasn’t a one off if you like. I had a faithful following from the Olympic Park as well as a few newcomers looking to put some fun into their running. The theme for this run was bridges, the Thames has quite a few in central London and I have walked and ran over them hundreds of times; from the iconic Tower bridge to the latest Millennium bridge. In terms of preparation for this one, I planned the course a fortnight ago and worked out which points may become congested and the direction we need to cross the bridges in order to finish at Tower bridge running south to north to the finish point I had set my mind upon. Whilst out on this run it dawned on me, bridges also involve steps and a lot of them! With this in mind and also wanting to include Battersea Park at the beginning of the run, I made a judgement call and re-branded the event as 10 Miles, 10 Bridges.
So on to Sunday morning, the fear of precipitation put to one side we met up in lovely sunshine. The start point being Imperial Wharf station which unfortunately was closed for engineering works (when I ran the route a few weeks ago it seemed perfect!) I met most of the team at Fulham Broadway station and made our way to Imperial Wharf on foot. A speedy introduction to how the run would unfold, saving a few surprises of course! Speed dating to get everyone socialising – note this is the last time speed will be mentioned from here on in the run takes to the term socialising! A warm up to get the blood pumping and then we’re all ready to go running!
Armed with a playlist full of delectable tunes with selections from the runners thrown in for good measure we set off. I was lucky enough to have a professional photographer join me for the first third of the run, David Altabev did well to capture some brilliant shots of the crew as we ran. I kept in mind that with us running a longer distance than the last event and the amount of steps involved in cross 10 bridges, I planned fewer impromptu circuit training breaks. The first bridge we crossed was Albert bridge and the photo to my right is one of the favourites from the day. We then into Battersea Park, along the river and up to the steps to say hello to the Buddha. I particularly enjoyed this section with the combination of park and river running. The route then took us out of the park and over Chelsea bridge along to Vauxhall bridge. Outside Macmillan’s offices we shouted #teammacmillan ridiculously loud five times! As we ran along the southbank beneath Lambeth bridge the city centre sights of Big Ben, parliament and the London Eye came into visibility and with the influx of tourists as the crowds began to gather. Thankfully it wasn’t heaving and we only had to walk for just a minute or so. Just after passing the eye across the river, we had a banana gate. One of our runners had predicted needing an energy boost and wisely brought a banana with her, however said banana had made its way to the bottom of her backpack and become a horrible mush. The rest of the team assisted as well they could in cleaning it up. Onwards we went up and over the Golden Jubilee bridge, a lap of the carousel on the southbank, ten press ups and on with the run. As the miles were increasing so were the smiles as ran through the iconic skate park which was empty. Crossing over Blackfriars bridge the team quickly found a seating area where we did some tricep dips. Just a short run away was the Millennium aka ‘Wobbly’ bridge which we had to walk over as it was nearing midday and crowds descending. The bridges were coming thick and fast now and before we knew it, we were climbing more steps to cross north over Southwark bridge. It was great for everyone to have Tower bridge in their sights and getting ever nearer. A final crossing south over London bridge being closed watched by the Shard, passed the famous HMS Belfast and then to the scoop. Some decided to go for a whole scoop – I had only planned section twelve! – but each to their own! I gathered the crew together threw in some circuit training – five huge #teammacmillan’s and then a sprint up section twelve. An unplanned stop just a few metres later as there was a colourful fire breathing dragon in honour of Chinese new year, but then on to Tower Bridge. What a great feeling running Tower bridge, passing the Tower of London, into the subway, squats because we just had to take in the lovely artwork and then on to Trinity Square Gardens and the finish line!
Once again I was delighted that for some this was the first time they had attempted and achieved the distance set out. Running doesn’t always have to be about shaving five seconds off a PB, run with a smile and focus on something else – like the next bridge or socialising with friends new and old!
A special thanks to David Altabev for the photography, check out his Facebook Page or on Twitter @davidaltabev
A huge thanks to my #teammacmillan runner’s you are the ones who have made the London ‘FUN-RUN’ Series a success so far and I truly appreciate your support. The money raised in this event could equate to paying for a Macmillan social worker or family support worker for three hours. They work with community and social agencies to help people manage the social and practical problems of living with cancer.
THANK YOU Abby, Anne-Laure, Ashley, Carleigh, Emma, Melina, Olivia, Pippa, Rita, Ant, Jason, Joon, Michael and Pedro!
If you would like to donate to the cause you can do so here
What’s next for London ‘FUN-RUN’ Series? London Parks 15Miler – Sunday 22nd March
What’s next for Adventure Adam? #15in15 event No.2 Endurance Life – Northumberland Coastal Ultra-marathon – Saturday 28th February