We started out from Hampton Station at 13:19. Luckily, the overcast weather meant that we didn't have the crowds to compete with as we made our way through Bushy Park and Home Park. Dry conditions throughout the first half made for plain sailing as we crossed Teddington lock and made our way along the Thames Path to Ham House. We went through the halfway mark at 1 hour, 16 minutes and 45 second as we approached Ham Common, and had a quick snack as we ran.
Entering Richmond Park, we tackled the first hill swiftly, slowing to a power-hike as the gradient exceeded 15%. A particular highlight was passing between Pen Ponds, though we didn't stop to admire the view, pushing on up the second hill to the Royal Ballet School. From there it was a long descent to the Roehampton Gate, where we lost some time looking for the Beverley Brook Walk. Having found Beverley Brook, but no footpath, we retraced our steps and eventually got back on track.
Note to future runners: Exit through the Roehampton Gate and look out for the entrance to the Beverley Brook Walk footpath immediately on your left.
Leaving the park and moving downhill towards the Thames, we took advantage of the tarmac to take on some more food and water ready to make our final push for the finish. At this point, we experienced some light drizzle, but nothing heavy enough to warrant us re-layering. Now back on home turf, we navigated the maze of paths through the Barnes and Putney Lower Commons, eventually breaking out onto the Thames Path once again.
Once on the Thames Path, we picked up the pace, counting down the metres to the finish as we raced past familiar Tideway markers. We stopped the watch at the Hammersmith Bridge pedestrian crossing, finishing in 2 hours, 32 minutes and 20 seconds, before beginning the long walk back to Putney for a well-earned beer.
Overall, a consistently-paced effort, with only one minor navigational hiccup. This was Izzy's longest run in 3 years, and we were very happy to finish well under our target time of 2 hours, 45 minutes.