In 2009 it was suggested that a social run around the Bushy parkrun 5k course a few weeks out from the London Marathon would be a great little motivator for those long runs and also to get to share a long run with people who are running different distances – so not just for the 20+ miler club! Not The London Marathon was born! You can read about 2009, 2010 and the 2011 events elsewhere on this blog.
The ‘rules’ are as follows…
- Start around 9am
- Start at the Bushy parkrun current finish line.
- Run the Bushy parkrun course as many times as you like, looping round the start line and finishing line trees.
- Anyone can join in and run any number of laps at any time at any speed, either alone or in groups.
- No official timing, time yourself if you’d like.
- Friends and supporters congregate at the parkrun finish line to give encouragement and support, or maybe just enjoy an alfresco picnic/refreshments and a social.
- People can run as many laps as they like.
- It’s Not the London Marathon, cos it’s not a race, it’s not a marathon distance for everyone, and anyone can join in anytime.
The date was set for Sunday 11 March and a large number of us (around 45) found ourselves on the ‘old startline’ for the Bushy
Park Time Trial parkrun. After a quick photograph we all set off to run anything from 3 miles up to 18 or more back and forth on the Bushy parkrun route.
I’m currently in training for the London Marathon so had plans for a long run. Today I wanted (well, a book I found on the shelf at home that has some schedules in it) to do around 17 miles, but at a slower pace to my normal long runs. If I can follow this schedule then my long runs will be slower than normal, my faster runs faster than normal and then my marathon will be spot on perfect. That’s the plan anyway!
I set off with fellow parkrunners Hayden and Andy and the three of us had a good chat for about 12 or 13 miles. At this point Andy and Hayden headed for the ice cream van (they’re not marathon training) and I headed for a final two ‘laps’ of the parkrun route. I pushed a little harder this time and closer to my target marathon pace and had a lovely run. Just shy of 19 miles ticked off. OK, so its more than the ‘scheduled’ 17 but that’ll do.
Part way through the run it was lovely to see Roger and Gill Wilson out in the park. Roger originally came up with the idea of ‘Not The London Marathon’ so I’m sure he was out in the park just to check up on us all and make sure that we weren’t cutting any corners!
It was a beautiful day in the park, lots of us out running and we were all giving each other plenty of support as we crossed each other multiple times during this long run. After finishing a group of us had a good chat, some coffee, some cake and a little bit of stretching which enjoying the Sunday morning (now lunchtime) sunshine in the park.