The camaraderie of runners

First thing today, I managed to write my first poem of the coronoviral age, about my dad and his drinks cabinet, which was apt as he would have been 87 on Friday.

I then noticed, on my customary Sunday long run, this time 17.5 km in exactly 90 minutes, that, rather than staying in the zone like they and I would in ‘normal’ times, all the runners I passed either acknowledged me with a wave or nod, or answered my thumb-up acknowledgement of them.

As I was running up the hill beside Sandown Park up to Esher, I saw that the sign advertising the date of the next meeting rather optimistically said May the something. By the time, I passed the farm where my fellow Old Tiff poet Roger Garfitt spent his teenage years, described so beautifully in his memoir The Horseman’s Word, it had started to snow.

Through Hersham, birthplace of the ’erberts responsible for the only riot in Kingston in the last 200 years, the traffic – both vehicular and human – had thinned out to me alone.

At Walton, the easterlies were so fierce that the Thames was flowing the wrong way and it felt as though I was running backwards.

Walton tide (2)

It was the first time I’d run along this bank in about a year, as opposed to heading over Walton Bridge and tripping through Lower Sunbury and Hampton and that way round to Hampton Court.

Sunbury Lock was in Sunbury lock-down:

Sunbury Lock

From the Molesey bank, one can appreciate the great Victorian waterworks architecture as well as anywhere.

Hampton waterworks (2)

My legs, usually so keen to gallop away like they belonged at, well, Sandown, were for once very glad to be home.

2 thoughts on “The camaraderie of runners”

  1. Glad you managed your first poem of the lockdown. Poems about my mother/father seem to come at me most days and I try to deflect them. Managed to get into a routine so for two hours each morning I draft out a poem, intending to knock them into shape when all this is over. I’m keeping fit with Joe Wickes and watching too many films.

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