On Thursday night, in 27 degree heat, myself and 11 eleven others from work took on the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge in Battersea Park. It seemed like a great idea at the time when I signed up, that had soon faded as we were waiting in the blistering heat for the race to start. We had a fun team photo in our mismatched shirts as some of us decided it was too hot to run in grey cotton!
I have mixed feelings about the race itself; parts of it I loved, and other parts I really didn’t enjoy! I’m gonna share my thoughts with you.
So the main bit I didn’t like was the route, I love Battersea Park, but for me, as a slow, not very good runner the changes in terrain really threw me. I’d get into a good pace on the concrete than then within a few hundred metres we’d be on this dusty grass that I didn’t like underfoot. When I train, I always run on the concrete even if I’m in Regents Park so for that’s just a preference. I can’t complain completely as there were some lovely views along the route and I had some great teammates around me!
My other pet hate is walkers on the course, and no, this doesn’t mean you can’t walk at all! I just mean those that walk down the middle or shortest routes around the course meaning when you’re running you’re forever weaving around them. I feel this could be as it wasn’t a ‘proper race’, as when I’ve been to marathon and halves before the stewards would ask walkers to move from the main run tracks, in fact, in the London Marathon Handbook they tell you to not walk anywhere near the blue line that shows the shortest route! When I need to walk I make sure I’m well out of the way!
But enough of my moaning, I did have a great run, it was well organised with plenty of food and drink on offer for after. I may have treated myself to a burger and cider after, but I deserved it running in that heat! The people around all seemed nice enough and there were no issues at all. There was plenty of space in the park to totally relax after the run and finally enjoy the warm evening! There were so many abilities out running which was so great to say as I know some slower runners and walkers can be put off by big races. The crew on the day were really helpful, most were up for some banter, and they kept the event running really smoothly. I was even happy with my time!
Being part of the Cheapflight run club has really opened up my love for running and has meant I’ve met some lovely people I’d never had got the chance to in my day to day role. I’m going to miss our runs – when I remember my kit and the giggles we had on the way round! Thanks Darren for your continued hard work!
Helio Darren, just to let you know that Wandsworth Borough Council have prevented me from launching a weekly Saturday morning parkrun in Battersea Park unless I pay to run, but the park is open to you because you pay.
Ultimately you have to ask if a park such as a Battersea should be available for the local residents and community to run together for free or only be available to corporates to stage huge events.
You complain about walkers so I’d ask whether the park should be available to others to walk in or if they should be expected to yield to corporate runners. This problem has been going on for eight years now with the progressive Disneyfication of Battersea Park where the public are expected to pay to use private facilities that replace public ones.
One day I hope to be allowed to jog for free with my family and friends in Battersea Park, but it’s only 2018.
I think you may have left this message in the wrong place, I’m not quite sure what this is in relation to.