By Brue Fordyce
The group I run with on a regular basis in the mornings has taken to naming our various training runs rather than discussing the distance of those runs. (Actually they are all 10kms or as near as dammit).
So as we gather in the frosty Parkview dawn someone will ask “What are we running this morning?” and the reply will be “Gautrain, Botanical Gardens, or Everest.”
Immediately everyone knows which route we are running and how tough it will be. Actually as frightening as “Everest” sounds it is only so named because we run to the rooftop parking at the Mall shopping centre to pause and gaze look at the stars and the sun rising over Johannesburg. “Gautrain “is a route that takes us past the entrance to the Rosebank Gautrain station.
I am sure the same decision to stick to a chosen lexicon of interesting names applies to many training runs and many training groups. In Cape Town I have run on “Pat’s Track” or on the testing Nek to Nek” long run. Though not strictly a training run Pietermaritzburg’s “Herman’s Delight” time trial is legendary. Danny Biggs used to run its 7.2kms in 25 minutes while carrying a canoe on his shoulders in training for the Dusi. (By the way the origin of the names of these runs is in many cases a mystery. Why “Pat’s Track, Why Herman’s Delight”?)
In London I have run the “4 Parks” with friends. This essential experience encompasses four of Central London’s most famous parks; Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, Green Park and St. James’s Park.
On a trip to Tokyo friends took me on the legendary Imperial Palace run. This run takes runners round the Emperors Palace and past moats teeming with Koi fish. The run is actually 5.3 kms. and every 100 metres is measured and marked but it is the experience which is remembered not the distance.
In New York’s Central Park my friends and I have added the Jackie Kennedy 1.5 Reservoir loop to a run when a little extra distance is needed and in order to relive Dustin Hoffman’s run in the movie “Marathon Man”.
I know I have omitted dozens of runs both International and local. Perhaps Runners World readers have some to add to the list?
Do you and your mates have your own named training runs? Tell us by commenting below.
Want to plot, find or share your running route? View the My Runner’s World route mapping tool and route database here – and feel free to add to it, too!