One of the ‘difficulties’ in doing the Run the Year Challenge, is finding a purpose to the run. Sometimes I am happy meandering like a toddler, not really knowing where I will end up, just being happy getting there. Sometimes it’s nice to have structure like my Monopoly Board runs or even my errand running.
On others like today, I started running and then wondered what could I do to give me a focus. After due consideration – well about 10 seconds worth I decided within today’s run that I’d stop and take a photo of every statue I saw.
As I started running in the City, it became apparent I’d be dong more stopping and snapping than running; as the reclining couple, the glass feature and William Shakespeare were all within feet of each other. This made me change my route – the Square Mile is one of the richest places in the UK, therefore it would also be likely to have more statues than elsewhere. I headed out to Holborn and whilst the water fountain doesn’t count as a statue, I loved the fact it asked you to replace the water cups after use. The cups still work if it wasn’t for the fact that there is no running water there. I continued on and over the Holborn Viaduct passed Science and Art on the bridge and aimed towards Hatton Garden and Bloomsbury.
Needless to say there were no more statues on my route – which half scuppered my run plan. Then I got to Bedford Square in Bloomsbury and came across this figure of Charles James Fox. Given he is depicted classically in robes, my first thought was another pompous twit with pretentions of grandeur and too much money. Appearances can however be deceptive, as I found out when I googled him
This is an extract of the entry about his commemorative statue:
Fox had been a consistent opponent of the slave trade, ‘a practice so enormous, so savage, and so repugnant to all laws human and divine’, that he said he ‘should prefer the abolition of it to any political good that can be gained or even wished, for the Party or the country’. One of his last political acts was to move a resolution for the general abolition of the slave trade, asserting on 10 June 1806 that, ‘this House, conceiving the African slave trade to be contrary to the principles of justice, humanity, and sound policy, will, with all practicable expedition, proceed to take effectual measures for abolishing the said trade’. The House of Commons voted overwhelmingly in favour of the resolution, and the Lords assented on 25 June. For his political supporters, the abolition of the slave trade came to be emblematic of the liberty so dear to Fox. Francis Russell, 5th Duke of Bedford, built a temple of liberty at Woburn Abbey dedicated to Fox; the first pediment proposed for the unfinished temple after Russell’s death in 1802 showed a slave being crowned with the cap of liberty. Fox’s memorial in Westminster Abbey, erected in 1822, shows the politician on his deathbed, supported by Liberty, to whom he appeals on behalf of the slave kneeling at his feet.
Just shows how first impressions can often be wrong. So Mr Fox, I apologise for my unkind thoughts – evidently you were a man of principles and action.
I continued my run towards home and had errands to do – the library and the deli. The first one was a quick pit stop, the second took a little longer, not helped by a permanently running nose – the joys of being middle-aged. The assistant at the deli asked if I’d been running – I am guessing the red face, sniffing, and runner’s kit gave it away. When I answered yes, she asked was I in training – I explained the challenge and she was saying that she is running half marathons for charity too and is not far away now from completing her first HM of the year at Hackney. She was very nice and helpful and added in lots of paper napkins in case my nose was running too much. Lovely but how embarrassing.
My Saturday run was a series of statues, stops, snaps and sniffs. Oh and one stereotypical thought changed – I must not assume that classical statues are of dilettante rich plonkers. I was the plonker for assuming it, whereas he fully deserves his classical pose and robes.
Champagne SuperNova – Oasis
Have A Nice Day – Stereophonics
Bitter Sweet Symphony – The Verve
So Why So Sad – The Manics
Crazy – Seal
Freedom!90 – George Michael
Let Me Entertain You – Robbie Williams
Gett Off – His Purple Highness
Stay Away – Nirvana
Sleepy Maggie – Ashley MacIsaac
U Can’t Touch This – MC Hammer
What Time Is Love? – People of ‘K’
Listen To Your Heart – Roxette
Common People – Pulp
If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next – The Manics
Millennium – Robbie Williams
Creep – Radiohead
Average Pace (mins/km) 7:00
Elevation Gain 27 metres
Kms done 511.98
Kms to do 1506.02 (hopefully, down to the 1400s tomorrow)
He isn’t actually posting any more challenges, but today I will do some squats, wall press-ups and try the pesky body rocking again!