We met at a car park. I had already parked up. I saw her car enter the car park at 9:59am and she parked alongside me. We got out. She, dressed to whop this 10 miler in the face. Me dressed like a wazuck. But whatever.....we were gonna smash this 10 miler, despite the hot air temperature of mid 20's C. Some of our run would be in full sun - other parts would be in glorious shade. But whatever the conditions, TurboTortoise and me were ready for this almighty challenge. And it started just a few minutes after we'd said our "hello's".

We jogged from Ham House to Richmond Park (Ham Gate) and then started the lonnnnnng climb to Pembroke Lodge which would be our first "water" stop. It was tough going in these early stages. We chatted a bit but respected the silent passages, letting our efforts dominate proceedings. After a hundred years, we reached Pembroke Lodge and TT gulped down some water from the drinking fountain. I was carrying a water bottle so glugged from that. Before long we were off again, bound for Roehampton gate, a mere 500 miles away! (OK....3K or so, but you get my drift).

At Roehampton Gate we stopped again, as TT swallowed as much as she could from the water fountain and I even topped up my bottle. We walked a bit in the sun, chatting about stuff then she produced her beans!! A packet of jellybeans! We had two each and the gorgeous fruity flavour burst into our mouths giving us an instant sugar hit as well as a feeling of freshness. I'm gonna get me some of them thar beans. They are just the ticket on a long run. Beans swallowed, we restarted our garmins and off we went again. I didn't even notice kilometres 2,3,4,5,6 and 7 and before too long Gertie Garmin beeped out 8K had just passed. HALF WAY!

Our next stop was to be a water stop at a gate I can't remember the name of and to our horror, there was no working water fountain! It was there sitting next to the gated entrance to the park, but the button didn't work! TT noticed that a bucket of water had been left by the gate for the horses to have a slurp from and for one frightening minute, I had visions of TT on her knees, taking a drink from the horse bucket! But like a trooper she said not to worry, we'd press on to the next gate and raid the water fountain there! I think it was this next section that included "Dark Hill" - a hill which drained you of all energy, pulling you almost backwards in it's fight to stop you ascending the muthaf***er. TT managed to maintain her pace upwards (she's extremely fast and nimble), but I dragged to an almost stop. It was SOOOO hard to reach the top, but when I did eventually join TT at the summit, we both stood still for a while, to allow our heart rate to drop. Mine was beating like a drum and the sunshine was making us both overheat.

As though by magic, a slew of clouds slid their way into Mr Suns penetrating beams and dropped the temperature a degree or two. The next phase was so much better because of this, and because it was downhill for a good way. The glory of gravity made its presence felt as we luxuriated in the downhill section, allowing our legs to recover from the efforts of Dark Hill. We soon reached Kingston Gate. Now where was that bas**rd drinking fountain?

There wasn't one! NIGHTMARRRRRE!! Poor TT had run God knows how far without a drink of water. I offered her a slug from my diminishing water bottle but she decided to fight on until Ham Gate - the gate where we had entered the park just over an hour ago. She said there was definitely one there......

Reached Ham Gate and the place where the fountain HAD been was now just a rusty imprint on a wall where it had once been attached. This is when TT got on her soap box, cursing the park, cursing the lack of care for human beings who use the park and obviously need water to drink and generally getting more and more annoyed. She took a slug from my bottle and it was then that I looked towards the toilets - right by the gate. There, sitting outside was a little stainless steel sink with a water fountain spout attached!!! TT all but leapt over the fence to get to it and we both took a drink and then had a laugh about her "soap box" moment. I could totally understand it though because there should be a working fountain at EVERY bloody gate entrance! It's not as though they can't afford it. Richmond has THE most expensive council tax in the country!!! Go figure!

We had done 14K. Two more and I will have reached my virgin 10 miles. But I was flagging now. Questioning my ability. I was so knackered, that even a measly 2K seemed like a marathon. Thoughts flew through my head. To hell with the half marathon training. To hell with running more than 10K. It was just too far and I was far happier when I was running 5K's in under 30 minutes. Perhaps I'd taken too much on? I'm 52 years old and not as young as I used to be - but I am FAR FITTER than I used to be! So maybe I should stop being negative? Maybe I should get on with it, maybe Mrs Dan is right and I do moan too muc....

"Ready DAN?" said TT. "Final bit now. Easy!"

"Let's do this!"

"We're gonna SMASH it!"

15K beeped. We were on an endless straight path towards Ham House which went on for ages, but we soon reached the end and then onto the road, back towards the car park where we'd met earlier. I kept looking at my garmin. TT gave me encouraging sounds like "half a K to go".....then I said "300 metres" was getting to the point where even ten metres couldn't come quick enough....when suddenly...


16K!!! We had done it. WOW! 1 hour 36 minutes 26 seconds and nine of those K's were under 6 mins! Check this out dudes -

We got back to the car park and bought lemonade lollies, in honour of Aussie's grandpa who had sadly passed on. There'd been a facebook thing about it (I'd missed it) but TT knew all about it and the deal was that anyone doing runs today would buy a lemonade lolly and take a selfie, in honour of Aussie Gramps who also liked the odd same flavoured lolly. Boy, he had a good taste! A lolly had never tasted SO GOOD! The coldness. The sweetness. The way it melted giving you odd moments of cold lemonade. Oh boy, I enjoyed that!

So thanks to TurboTortoise for her brilliant support. Amazingly, apart from feeling tired, I feel bloody great! No aches or pains thank God. Although.....there's always tomorrow!

Thanks for reading,

yer pal


34 Replies

  • Ha ha ! Absolutely Brilliant !

    Well done Dan and Emma ! That sounded tough , but the sense of achievement at the end was well worth it , I bet

    I flippin' love you two ! :-) xxx

  • Cheers Pops! We kinda love you too :-)

  • Fantastic post Dan, well done for running in the heat!

  • My first thoughts before setting off were ' Are we insane? In this heat?"!!!

  • Wow Dan and TT! epic run! epic post! and how great to get a lemonade lolly, i used to always have them when i was little! fantastic milestone of a 10 miler, and so lovely to have the company of TT for the long haul round! you both look really happy in your picture and so you should! :)

    Ps saw a plaque at the car boot yesterday and thought of you!........ "i'm on the G and T diet................ i've already lost 2 days! " :X :)

  • Hahahah!!! Thanks Ali.

  • You two look great ! Sound like such fun, and a great achievement that 10 miles. Well done....

  • Thank you Hen!

  • Ah look at you two! :-) Well done, 10miles in that heat, awesome! I love those lollies and I'm not being rude here but I've just remembered those 'funny faces' ice creams, I loved them too! x ;-)

  • Thanks N-e! X

  • Well done Dan but I have to say you are in good company in more ways than just with TT. You see, I too just did my first 10-miler (on Friday) in a time very similar to yours (1h 38m). The post is on the Facebook page. Old guys rule, eh!!

  • That is bloody brilliant!! Oh my God! Isn't it a great feeling? I'm with you on the Old Geezers front. WE RULE!

  • Brilliant Gordon, well done!

  • Thanks Lesley. Life in the old dog yet!

  • Well done!!

  • Fab pic! Fab run! Fab blog! Fab lollies :D

  • Excellent work and a fab read. Well dine to you both

    Phoebe Edna Beau :-)

  • Well done both! What a team!

  • Well done sir. I blame that Turbo Tortoise..... She's a real life running siren. Before you know it, you'll be running around in a pink shirt!

  • Great stuff - and many congratulations to you!!

  • Good God y'all, that's fast!! Just looked at your Garmin record and I'm in awe. Hats off to TT for setting such a cracking (and remarkably even) pace, and hats off to you for keeping up with her. You two are a great team. Well done the pair of you :)

    Great tip about the jelly beans btw. Do love a lemonade lolly! :)

  • Wow that's brilliant!!! Well done to both of you! Fantastic!!! Spookily, I was being driven through Richmond park yesterday, on the way to Wimbledon, lucky me, And I was thinking of you and scanning the runners incase I spotted you!!!! Didn't unf

  • Fat fingers! Soz!! Didn't unfortuntely! You were prob way too speedy and long gone!!! Fab run though well done and I must try one of those lollys! Look lush!!! Man! Xx

  • A better read than 50 shades... Congrats!!

  • Lovely picture and a VERY well deserved lolly for both of you! What a terrific achievement - I applaud both of you and can only dream of such giddy heights of achievement! Think 5k will remain my goal!!

  • Yay!! Congratulations both. That's ten milestones in one go, Dan................the man who always said he couldn't do the distance. Certainly having a couple of years running on your legs helps you cope with the longer distances. Ten miles is the new 10k.

  • Yes I remember those "negative days"!! I amazed myself although not sure yet I can embrace it with love and affection - like I can 10K!

  • You'll get used to it in no time. I am planning to do a 10 mile run at least once a month, regardless of any other training and with a few under my belt and proper hydration and fuelling, I am beginning to enjoy it as a satisfying distance to run.

  • What a fab read and you two are just the best! Stonking time and I'm green as a pea about your steady pace. How do you do that?

    Love the photo and I bet those lollies didn't last long.

  • Well done dz, great to read how to do it and the negatives going through your mind. Loads of time to crack the HM. Thanks for sharing route and tap tips might check it out when down in a couple of weeks.

  • Well done again, Dan. You totally nailed it - and the conditions weren't the easiest, just too hot for comfort, and hilly to boot. I was pretty tired afterwards! It was fun, and it's reassuring to know I can still run 10 miles too - I hadn't gone further than 12k since my half marathon.

  • Good running guys - and great photo!

    I was also doing a 10 miler yesterday and I can't believe I looked anything like as fresh at the end of it as you two do! Man it was hot! You guys look like you are ready for another 10!

    Well done!

  • Wow, what a report and what a run. Well done, that is an amazing achievement!

  • Hold it, hold it, hold it just a dog garn minute here folks, scrolls back.Did Toony say she was being driven through Wimbledon, luck her. You don't mean SW19 and the men's tennis final by any chance?????? If so, I am so jealous I can't speak. (yeah me!)

    Oh right, where were we? Oh yeah, many congrats to Dan the Man on this auspicious occasion. TEN MILES!!!!! No mean feat and in HEAT!!!! It's hard, especially with those ****amn hills! Well done too to TT (that took some saying!) for being Supercoach and kicker up the asser

    Lemonade lollies anorl! Such larks

    When you doing it again then Dan? You're practically doing a HM there boy (no pressure, natch)

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