20 Ponds Run 2007

Tuesday nights training session at Ranelagh Harriers running club was tonight an altogether different and fun evenings running. To commemorate the memory of Olympic gold medalist (1956 – steeplechase), pacemaker for Roger Bannister’s 4 minute mile (1954), the inspiration behind the first London Marathon and past Ranelagh Harriers member Chris Brasher (obituaries: The Guardian, Ranelagh Harriers) I was in one of a number of groups running the “20 Ponds Run” – where we sociably run around Richmond Park and try and visit all 20 ponds (yes, there’s 20 of them) in a relatively short time.

Chris created this as a training run with a difference, and its good to keep the memory of him going with this annual event. More information about the run, together with a map of the park (including a suggested route) and descriptions of a number of the ponds can be found at the Ranelagh website.

I was in a group of about 9 or 10 although somehow by the finish we were reduced to 7! The course took us 1 hour 21 minutes (from entering the park by the Ranelagh clubhouse to leaving it at Richmond gate) and I clocked 8.94 miles on my GPS (not quite the 8 miles that it should be nearer to). We clearly didn’t make it close to an hour (the leading “fast” group came in about 65 minutes) and we did stop a few times for “navigational discussions!”

Contrary to rumours that we spent most of the time arguing this wasn’t the case. We just didn’t always know where we were all the time!

The idea is that you should be able to “dip your toes” in each of the ponds or touch the water. I did this for most of them although a few weren’t the easiest to get to with all the nettles etc. around. Although I didn’t see all 20 ponds I did see probably 18 or 19 (some are rather small/hidden away) and I think we did a great job of finding our way around.

20070626-20_ponds_run.jpgHere is a map with our route (I stored a “lap marker” at almost all of the ponds we visited) together with a Google Earth KML file (if the file doesn’t load straight into Google Earth then you will need to save to disk first then load it manually).

The weather was fantastic for this run and I got to see parts of the park that I’d never seen before. We saw lots of young deer and three baby swans being looked after by their mother. I love this park.

3 comments on “20 Ponds Run 2007
  1. angela says:

    Thats an interesting route – I may have to store that up for a challenge later.

  2. Twenty Ponds!! I’ve only ever seen two. Clearly there is much more of Richmond Park for me to explore. Thanks for the map but I wont be venturing out into the wilderness until someone can lend me a flare gun or other SOS device.

    The 20 Ponds Run sounds like great fun. PS, thanks for the kml file – I love those things :)

  3. Kirsty says:

    Just doing some research for Tuesday…

2 Pings/Trackbacks for "20 Ponds Run 2007"
  1. […] fear of getting lost although the idea really intrigues me now after David’s account of the 20 Ponds Run where runners navigate to all twenty ponds in the park (I had no idea there were more than […]

  2. […] learn a little more about the run please see the post from 2007.  When I’ve done this run in the past the weather has been beautiful.  This time it was […]

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