Whilst preparing for her 10 x 10K charity runs earlier this year, Ruchi Dhir noticed that the majority of 10K runs were only available in London. They were mainly organised by The Race Organiser and Fix Events covered all the major parks in London: Queen Elizabeth Park ( Stratford where the Olympics took place ), Regents Park, Hyde Park, Greenwich Park, Victoria Park and Richmond Park.

Ruchi Dhir had always been attracted to London, but more for its reputation as the ‘big smoke’ with its numerous art galleries, cafes, activities and sightseeing. However, as soon as she started training for her charity run, she realised just how many green spaces London has generally and in comparison to other capital cities around the world.

The first 10K run took place in Stratford Queen Elizabeth Park. Although inside the traditional stadium, there was still so much greenery and it was extremely accessible for disabled people and people with young families. London Parks had so much to offer as getaways from city life without having to travel so far.

Richmond Park proved even more beautiful: The park is nearby Mortlake and is sprawling: as well as a lake, the wildlife there is incredible: deer, parakeets, birds, rabbits amongst other animals, the medals received at the end of the race celebrated the uniqueness of each location: a symbol of the tube station sign for Stratford and a symbol of a deer for the Richmond Park race.

There was also the obvious difference between people in East and West London. In Stratford ( East London ), as runners prepared for the race with a few stretches but were mostly congregated in the café out of the cold. In the West (Richmond Park ), they ran the race! When Ruchi spoke with the organisers to ask where to wait pre race, they suggested running the race: there were children, dads pushing buggies. They did remark that it was a bit overly keen, but that many people chose to do this to get a feel for the track.

Richmond Park was much more ‘off road’ than Stratford: Stratford having a more traditional track and the whole area generally having had a major facelift during the Olympics in 2012. Although it was a 10K, just visiting and running around the stadium and the Arcelormittal orbit gives you a  buzz and the place still has an incredible atmosphere whether you are doing something sporty or just going for a walk. It still holds so many memories and dreams, you can feel the excitement in the park.

Richmond Park is much more of an established green area where serious wildlife watchers go for days out. The deer, who had mainly shied away during the race, are usually found in the forest area but are reasonably friendly and can be spotted whilst driving through to the restaurant there. As well as being a big lover of the outdoors, she also love indoors, as you can find out on Ruchi Dhir’s interior design blog. Alternatively, for a different type of read, head to Ruchi’s blog to find out some interests, opinions and more.

Lesson learnt so far : London isn’t all about the city

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