London Training Session – Hampstead Heath

The heat on Sunday, 23 May did not stop the session going ahead and in fact it encouraged us to keep our vests visible long after the session had ended. At least we missed the peak of the heat which did not stop some other runners as I noted during my afternoon excursion around Hampstead Heath and later in the Victoria Park area.

The crowds were out but not to support us, rather the British weather! If you are not aware there are five public pools or ponds as they are known on Hampstead Heath.

Back to the running, it was inappropriate to follow our previous routine of intervals otherwise our runners would have complained. Meeting up near Parliament Hill, we still focused on climbing the hill several times including from the lowest point, the start of the South of England cross country championships, held at the end of January and similarly for the London champs in November. We also toured the course of the championships, just one lap, looking out for areas that were either still rather bare or had been repaired. Apart from the ruggedness in places, it was a lot easier now dry.

Attendance: Vanessa Hudson, James Millington, Annette Herold & Peter Simpson. Annette in fact brought along her visiting brother from Germany but he went for a walk and met us again on concluding the session at the heath cafe. Vanessa & James decided to try one of the ponds, the mixed one (two other ponds are for men or women only). Given it was still early in the summer, the ponds were apparently still cold, similar to what Anna Finn had to endure after each of her recent 10 marathons if only her legs!

At our earlier session in April at Clapham Common I omitted to report that we had our best turnout so far of seven although I had to resort to standing on the sidelines due to injury and put our members through their paces on the flat course. New member Chris Taylor-Reed certainly led from the front that day and they completed the varied session as planned. We followed the session with refreshments at a cafe towards the High Street corner which also served soya. Attendance: Vanessa Hudson, Annette Herold, Alison Taylor-Reed, Louise Hakem, James Millington & Chris with me as trainer. Coinciding with our training session on the Common was the Innovation Sports 10K & kiddies fun run but on a different course.

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