A happy ending

There’s nothing quite like a happy ending. Or an ending that makes you think That was great! I want more! (You know, those films which set themselves up for a sequel) Or an ending that takes you by surprise and was more than you could have hoped for.

All of these happened to me last Saturday at the Trees for Cities 5km in Battersea Park, London. After the roaring success of signing up my mum for a 5km and her running the whole thing and loving it, I did the same for a friend in cohorts with her boyfriend. She probably hadn’t run for as long as my mum hadn’t, even being 24 years younger, and I think it’s fair to say, hated running even more. Emma Wrafter was many things, but a runner wasn’t one of them.

A few weeks ago she found her trainers and even went out on a few runs round the park. She would much rather have been in the pub sipping a gin, or at home cooking a pig. And she made that perfectly clear. Running Is NOT Fun! You don’t have to read between the lines of her blog to get that message.

I didn’t expect her to be all perky and smiles as we met at Sloane Square at 9am. The sun was shining and as she stepped out of the shadows of the station, she certainly wasn’t. Knackered. Angry. Lemsip. These words might be more appropriate for those early moments.

But then we got into Battersea Park and the park started to win our reluctant runner over. If you need a reason to go and visit this wonderful park, read her blog, linked at the end of this post. Battersea Park should definitely be given a knighthood. It can turn tides.

After a very strange but fun warm-up with Sinitta not singing her So Macho song next to a very camp aerobics-salsa-zumba-man shouting at us, we headed to the start line. I recommend the Trees for Cities 5km, not just for the route and their village fete organisation and activities, but also for the fact that not a lot of people do it. It’s like running round the park with a few mates.

Emma ran the whole thing. Without stopping and with talking. She even laughed at jokes and shouted at us when we were lying about how far she’d run (damn her and her contacts). This can mean only one thing: she’s got more miles in her.

We crossed the line in under 34 minutes and headed to first pick up our free foot cream and complimentary trees, then to run 100m barefoot as part of a world record attempt and finally to sit in the sunshine with some drinks and listen to the music.

Em didn’t talk in the pub as Wo had, full of excitement at having done it and wanting to continue training. She was quieter, but proud I think that she had beaten even her own expectations.

Beep beep. And then, later that evening, a text message arrived: Bird, I’m hovering over a 10km…

See, even the unlikeliest of suspects can become runners, one step at a time…

To read Emma’s view on her first 5km, go to: http://runningisnotfun.wordpress.com/

To find out more about Trees for Cities, go to: http://www.treesforcities.org/

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About Laura Alonso

We run. We travel. And to combine both is a beautiful thing. "Runners just do it. They go for the finish line even though someone else has reached it first."

Posted on September 17, 2012, in General, Running and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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