Crystal Palace Canter

I’d done my research. I’d planned my escape. While on a short break to London I sneaked out the hotel and walk/jogged from Cavendish Square the 9 miles to Crystal Palace. While the rest of my party were at the Wallace Collection gazing in wonderment at all the marvellous things that Mr Wallace collected, I had my own plans. At noon I arrived at (I am reliably informed) the highest point in London. It was here I met with the shadowy figures who take part in the monthly Crystal Palace Canter, a 3 mile 2 lap circuit around the parkland at Crystal Palace.

Everyone was very friendly and gave me the low-down on the course and the hills, turns and slidey bits. Just as well as the 1st lap was a squally sleety ordeal and I was seriously under dressed, although the parakeets screeching in the branches above seemed to find it warm enough. For such a low-key event there was some great competition and I swapped positions a few times in the two short laps. As the race started I naively thought I might get on the podium surrounded as I was by lots of M50+ runners, but I finished with depressing consistency more than halfway down the field. As I was running in a tiny midweek lunchtime race hundreds of miles from Durham I wasn’t hugely surprised to be the only one there in a Striders’ vest. But it’s a small friendly world, and Claire Wyngard of the Dulwich runners, instantly recognising my Striders’ vest, asked me if I knew her sister-in-Law Janet Wyngard who is also in the Striders!


Total distance: 16.06 km
Max elevation: 119 m
Min elevation: -29 m
Total climbing: 1543 m
Total descent: -1531 m
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Total distance: 4.83 km
Max elevation: 98 m
Min elevation: 54 m
Total climbing: 185 m
Total descent: -180 m
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