The Osterley 10k race is organised by the lovely folks over at Ealing Half Marathon, and happens twice a year – winter and summer. I have done both previously, although I didn’t do the summer one this year. I do love taking part in Parkrun too, and usually can’t because of timing. Saturday morning at 9am (the almost worldwide time for Parkrun) generally sees me at Ealing Common with Quit the Gym.
Osterley Park and House are owned by the National Trust. The house has interesting exhibitions that change regularly. I haven’t yet been to the latest one which showcases the Treasures of Osterley. The house is very grand but the grounds are mainly parkland, with a lake and wooded areas too. However round the house itself is a beautiful garden with an orangery, shrubberies and flowerbeds. The designers and gardeners have done a great job making it interesting and colourful at all times of the year.
Parkrun first then. If you haven’t heard about Parkrun take a look at the website which explains it all very well. Parkrun usually takes place at 9 on Saturday mornings, and is a free, timed run of 5km. I read an article recently about Parkrun where the founder, Paul Sinton-Hewitt, said that he was proud of the fact that the average time for the 5k run had got longer over the years it has been going. This means that more and more ‘ordinary’ people are taking part, not just the so-called serious runners. It really is an inclusive event. I saw young and old runners; very fit and not-so-fit-yet runners; runners with buggies; runners with dogs; and yes – even walkers 😉 It is a very friendly event.
Osterley Parkrun is a two lap run that goes through the parkland, along a muddy path and then through a little woodland area. Lots of lovely marshals are there encouraging everyone and pointing out the way. I took it fairly easy and finished in 29 minutes.
Then there was a short break before the 10k run, enough time to change my long sleeved top for a short sleeved one, and meet up with a few friends from Quit the Gym. Last year I ran this in a Christmas pudding outfit, and I nearly ran in costume this year, but decided it was too warm. I did slightly regret that though, and next time will try and find a costume that works better! Lots of people were in costume, which made it feel even more fun and festive.
The 10k route is similar to the Parkrun, (obviously longer) but also goes through the garden section of the grounds, and out on the pavement along the wall of the estate. The marshals were brilliant as usual, shouting encouragement and warning of potholes etc.
I usually run alone, and I don’t belong to a running club. Most of the time I prefer running by myself. However, there is something very exhilarating running with lots of other people. At Osterley on Saturday 762 runners took part. Lots of the runners also ran the Parkrun too. I always find it amazing when I take part in these events that so many people, just regular people not athletes, are running round a muddy path on a cold winter day – and actually paying to do it! Are we all mad?! No, it is because it really is fun! And there’s also quite an incentive to push yourself a bit more than when just jogging along on a Sunday morning (though there is definitely a place for that too). I finished in just under an hour which I was very happy about (even if it was a minute slower than last year!).
It’s only three weeks until the very last half marathon of 2019 – Number Twelve! I can hardly believe it. If you feel like coming along on 29th December to celebrate a wonderful year of running and fundraising click here for details! Even better join in the run – you can do as little or as much as you can/want in a six hour window.
I’m raising money for JDRF who fund research to find a cure for Type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes has affected members of my immediate and extended family, and affects thousands of children and adults in the UK. All day, every day people with Type 1 and their families have to think about, plan and deal with a chronic health issue that can have devastating consequences if not managed well. Thank you to all my lovely family and friends, as well as kind strangers who have donated to JDRF via my site here.