I love being a runner, especially when on vacation. I need pack only my shoes, and I’m ready to go.
Running affords me a view of places that non-pedestrians never encounter. We see the details– railings, patterns, elevation changes, and tides in the sea of humanity that make up a place. Combine all of those details with the benefit of watching the world’s greatest city unfold in the early morning hours, and there is really nothing else like a nice long run along the Thames.
I love London. I’ve loved London since I first came here nineteen years ago this week. I was a teenager then, an art and history geek who could also run a respectable 2-mile cross-country race. In many ways, I remain the same. I’m still a culture vulture who enjoys a good run.
This morning, while my London-loving husband and sons slept, I laced up my shoes and snuck out of the hotel room. I had 90 minutes to myself to enjoy the city I love. Running around the Thames Path and Riverside Walk between Tower Bridge and Westminster Bridge took me from the 11th century to the 21st century– with plenty of stops in between along the way.
Sure, there were taxis and buses out on the streets, but most of the other people I saw were fellow runners. We enjoyed our Sunday morning communion, individuals lapping up the sites and miles in our collective ritual.
For me, the only other run that I prefer to what I enjoyed this morning is the one I’ll do in a day or two— the Royal Parks route. It’s fair to say that there are few things in this world that I’d rather do than run the Capital.