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Sierra Leone Marathon 2014

A report from the first Kiln Running Club session!

Kiln Marathon Running Club

 

1st Run, 5th Feb

 

Perfect weather for the first training run. Sitting in a pub in Battersea on Saturday afternoon looking at the snow falling outside, I wondered if this would severely affect the number of runners willing to show up the next day. England had just breached Fortress Murrayfield as well so celebrations might wreck even the best intentions. Sometime later I made it back to Richmond where there was a couple of inches of snow covering everything already. This could indeed make it tricky, with or without the post-Saturday night blues.

 

Sunday morning arrived and I slid the car out of my road and up to Richmond Gate near the park. Here I encountered my first problem, the road to the Roehampton Gate Cafe was closed. I had to settle for the only open car park at Pembroke Lodge, which was on opposite side of where I needed to be, and run down. It was clear that it was going to be impossible for anyone to drive to the starting point, and therefore unlikely any brave souls would be waiting there, shivering. However, we said this would be the first run and so on I went ploughing through the new snow, dodging the odd snowball from children delighted to have a target. Jonny had managed to cycle from Battersea and we decided to have a coffee and wait to see if anyone would turn up. Unsurprisingly, they didn't but we went for a run anyway, deciding on a cross country route and getting into a steady rhythm. The snow absorbed all our noise and we continued across the landscape which was numbed into silence save for the birds wheeling in the treetops. On we slogged for an hour and twenty minutes, up to the Royal Ballet School and beyond, near Kingston Gate and back, doing a looping figure eight. The lack of cars was a real pleasure and there were quite a few runners enjoying the quiet and solitude, and we nodded to each other companionably.

 

Jonny And Matt

 

By the time we got back to the Roehampton Gate Cafe the traffic had started up again, the roads now cleared, and we fought  for a table as one always does at the weekend. There was a real 'ski cafeteria' feel to the place though and a good atmosphere. We got talking to a Somali chap called Adhuhulow who lost a leg to a gunshot wound and was now a 'Bladerunner', with a running shoe sole attached to a curved Kevlar prosthetic. He couldn't get enough traction on the snow so had stopped for a coffee. He was training for a number of marathon and was hoping to run 555 miles in Rwanda to raise money inside the country for educational projects. We asked him to consider coming to Sierra Leone and he is keen on the idea but may need sponsorship to get there. Considering his incredible story, we would be very lucky to get him involved and hope that he makes it!

 

Matt And Adhuhulow

 

 

So, it was an eventful first run, even if numbers were limited. Still, plenty of time until June and we hope the weather will be more considerate next time. If you have any questions about the next run on 4th March or training in general, please feel free to contact me. We should  be aiming at  approx. 10-13 miles next time but can advise a shorter distance or route in the park for those looking to build up to the half marathon in June. The key is to pop down and meet for a coffee, get to meet people and talk the event through.

 

Hopefully, more to report next time!

 

Matt: matt.pain1@hotmail.co.uk

2 Comments:

Hi, Well done on your fortitude and determination. I am living in the Gambia in West Africa and am heading down to Sierra Leone to partake in the marathon. Training conditions somewhat different, usaully sunny and over 30 degrees! But keep it up though!
February 8, 2012 14:02
Marie Loeb said...
Great to hear from you Daniel! Your training conditions seem much more favourable than what we have had here in the UK recently! We have some very brave and determined runners though (all over the world!) =)
February 20, 2012 10:02

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