London-Brighton Group Run 2014

When this event came around. my recovery from inuries and all that had got as far as a walk/jpg routine lasting 50 minutes each session - 2 mins walk, 2 mins jog, repeat until arrival at work. So, with a group of friends running 50 miles from London to Brighton, I went along mainly to watch and drive a support car, but also to chip in the odd mile if I could. This was one of a number of events we are doing in 2014 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Sri Chinmoy's arrival in the west from India, in 1964, which led to the foundation of the Sri Chinmoy Centres all over the world. Hence 50 miles!

We ran into the runners on a quiet lane near Ardingly and those who had started at 7am in Mitcham and already run a marathon were looking amazingly fresh! First we met Tarit from Edinburgh who had travelled down to be a part of the event, then the Bristol Posse (Rasmivan, Abichal, Suswara) plus Londoners Mahasatya, Petra and Jana and Cliff from Cambridge. There were plenty of people from London, Cambridge (and myself and Kokila from Bristol too) pitching in a few miles as loose-knit "relay teams" but the focus was on those who had committed themselves to the full distance.

Having not run more than 2 minutes without a walk break in quite some time, I was cautious to start with, but a mile jog south from that rendezvous left me none the worse. So, I plucked up the courage to do a couple more, opting for uphill rather than down for the sake of my patella tendon :)

The first climb was up from the Ardingly Reservoir, a quiet winding road lit by sunlight filtering through pines flanking the road. Amazing. Here's a blurred shot from my phone camera showing Abichal tanking up the hill ahead of me:

After making a full mile or so out of that leg, I took a rest on a bench in a charming village with Sahadeva and Balavan. We're all at some part of the running cycle - Sahadeva resurgent and back out running after a long absence thanks to a new diet and newfound energy; Balavan under doc's orders to sort a cardiovascular condition (with yoga, meditation and a new slant on the veggie diet) before he does the kind of mileage he's used to. It's not just me that has to labour through injuries, illness and all the rest of it after all!

Last run of the day was the famous climb of the London-Brighton route, Ditchling Beacon. This gets a "v" on the map so it's clearly a steepy, but not as steep as I expected and I jogged the approx mile from crossroads to viewpoint carpark in 9 minutes which was very pleasing. Heart, lungs, knee and foot did not raise any protest at all. Here's me reaching the top.

I hope we keep up this tradition of running to Brighton in future years when I'm fit enough to do the whole thing.

Congrats to Adam and also Devashishu for getting this together, and to everyone (I've only named a few) who ran.

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