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Red-lining Through London

At 5:15 this evening I threw my non-conforming budgets into the air and stepped away from the computer. I had a bus to catch and it’s becoming obvious that I won’t be able to maintain my usual level of commitment to the day job and still hope to complete this challenge.

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It took an hour and a half for me to get from work to Holborn, all for the joy of having me run an hour and half back the way I came. This is the absolute worst kind of running commute, the sort that seems to bare so very little reason and might just have been created for the sole purpose of making me work, a true Cinderella task.

The planning for the run started yesterday evening as I packed my bag and then lay awake fretting for most of the night listening to the raging wind, rain and thunder. In the end I decided that a torrential downpour was the best I could hope for on the day I cover off the whole of Oxford Street.

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The weather proved to be ideal. A perfect running drizzle welcomed me as I hit the bustle of Southampton Row and headed on towards Tottenham Court Road.

It was busy but perhaps not the worst I’ve seen it. I could run about two paces before having to jump in and then quickly out of the path of a bus, to avoid bizarre zigzagging shoppers, waving cigarette butts around.

I tried a few Oxford Street avoidance routes, such as attempting a parrallel route through Soho but almost as soon as I did that I spotted an interesting piece of graffiti back across the other side. I must have made terribly slow progress towards Oxford circus.

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Despite myself, I began to enjoy the challenge today. I’m stopping at every station to take a photo, partly as proof of my journey but it’s having the result of turning me into a tourist and I’m happy to see areas in a new light.

I now know for example that Farringdon (from Sunday’s H&C line) has a better class of graffiti artist.

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While this blog is turning into an art appreciation forum, I’m going to slip in a photo of the Barbara Hepworth sculpture, tacked onto the side of the John Lewis building, a little after Bond Street. Isn’t it beautiful?

So I’ve traveled about 400 yards and already taken 12 photos, you won’t be surprised to hear that this was another record breaking slow run. But at least I was calm and didn’t feel the need to throttle any shoppers which is what normally happens when I venture onto Oxford Street.

I was almost tempted to commit some form of maiming on a lad who insisted on walking faster than I could run though. In the end I managed to catch him on the long downhill stretch to Shepherds Bush but probably only because he stopped at a cash point.

The journey along the Central Line between Holborn and the new Shepherds Bush station was just under 9km so I felt fit enough to tag on a few extra stations and grab the westerly section of the Hammersmith and City line as well.


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Salomon XT Wings Challenge
Today:
13 Tube Stations
10.56 km
Sports Tracker map with photos

Cumulative:
28 Tube Stations
25.72 km

Warriorwoman vs Jogblog 100m Challenge Combo
17.2 miles total

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Running Salomon Challenge

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • londonjogger 29 May, 2008, 8:08 am

    such a great challenge! keep it up… love the pics

  • monica 29 May, 2008, 9:42 am

    excellent! I wish I still lived in london; i could do this with you :-) keep it up…I’m goign to see now how jogblog is doing :-)

  • Karen 29 May, 2008, 11:52 am

    Oh, my feeder hadn’t updated so have missed all this salomon challenge thing! Great pictures, I’m sure it’ll show you sides of London you’ve never seen (or will want to again! LOL)

    Good Luck!

  • Runner Leana 29 May, 2008, 5:26 pm

    I love the pictures! Sounds like your challenge is going well, and it definitely looks pretty scenic out there. I probably would have felt the same way about that fellow that just had to walk faster than you…

  • jogblog 29 May, 2008, 8:48 pm

    I recognise that red route, did you nip into the Swan for a quick pint of Stella?

  • warriorwoman 29 May, 2008, 8:53 pm

    I was tempted.
    I also recognised Lancaster Gate tube station, had some vague memory of escorting a very drunk runner onto a tube there and then staggering off in search of onion bhajis.

  • Karen 29 May, 2008, 8:58 pm

    You can still enter Crowthorne tri.. nice sprint did it last year… see http://www.axlr8.com/triathlon/

  • Speed Racer 30 May, 2008, 5:43 pm

    Your newer post keeps crashing my computer. I’m impressed that you’re able to use Google Maps for cool stuff like drawing routs, uploading GPS data, and crashing other people’s computers. All I can figure out how to do is get driving directions or zoom in and out. When I’m feeling REALLY on top of it I can zoom in and out of driving directions.

    You almost make London look like a nice place to live. I’m glad you’re finally able to run again, although I’m not sure if what you did can be called “running”. When are we going to start getting race reports again?

    Take care of yourself!

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