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Events

THE 'HALF' MARATHON

THE 'HALF' MARATHON

First Major Event for Hyde Park
(since Christmas 2019)

Congratulations to all who ran in The Royal Parks (RP) Half Marathon (‘The Half’) a couple of weeks ago and congratulations to the teams who organised it.
They’re  off!   In the Mall with all flags hoisted

It has been postponed and run as a virtual event, but this time it was for real. The weather was fine and dry and the runners raring to go. To allow for social distancing 10,500 people ran instead of the normal 16,000. The race started on the Mall and finished on South Carriage Drive by the Old Football Pitches (sometimes now referred to as the Great Exhibition Field, which I think is rather good). This helped immensely as the crowd was much reduced in the park. There have been times when it has been so wet the whole area turns into a quagmire taking some time to repair but
, on this occasion the supporters were able to spread out.

The event raised £1.5 million for TRP a combination of corporate sponsorship, registration fees and runners who run for TRP charity. In 2019 £6 million was raised for other charities. This year 543 charities benefitted.
Streaming through Kensington

The runners really appreciated starting in a flag lined Mall by Admiralty Arch and the run which wove its way through both our parks passed many iconic places. Supporters were able to dash from one spot to another to catch sight and cheer on their special runner. I really felt for the runners struggling along at the end who were so spread out towards the back. We gave them individual claps and cheers, touchingly several of them gasped out thanks.
Queen Anne’s Alcove in Kensington Gardens makes a wonderful back drop to the runners

There were teams of people helping and I was able to speak to one or two. The team of Doctors with St John Ambulance were kept busy. Tragically, one young runner passed away at the finish and although help was with him very quickly, it wasn’t possible to save him. He was running in aid of prostate cancer research which his father is suffering from and very kindly many people have donated in his memory. Another runner had a heart attack but he was fortunately saved. What a sobering side to a happy day.

Behind the scenes
Some of you may recognise Bernard Horowski. He is normally to be seen gardening in the South Flower walk.

This time he had a sack to pick up litter which was more or less empty. He told me it was much better this time.

Instead of bottles of water at the drinking stations drunk and discarded all along the route, there were cups which had to be quaffed and admittedly dropped, but all in the place where they were picked up.

The teams of St John Doctors had a base on the Broad Walk and I took a group photo. I was told later about the tragedy which had taken place. It must have been a difficult event for them, but goes to show how important they are at this kind of occasion.
Cycling doctors at their Broad Walk base

We are challenging Jeremy Clarkson
Phil Newcombe, Assistant Manager of Hyde Park, tells us the area where the ‘Half’ had its tented village is now being renovated with a programme of Autumn work. So, the football pitches are being decompacted, aerated, top dressed, seeded and fertilised. The kit used to do some of this work looks as though it might have been borrowed from Clarkson’s Farm.
Has the Christo team turned up with a new Art installation or is it top dressing?

An impressive programme, which was slightly delayed at the west end by sudden very heavy rain, will mean the enormous numbers of small weekend footballers and schools which use this area as their play grounds will soon be back in action.

In the meantime, bowlers may be startled as their lawn has apparently been torn up but it is being treated to spiking, scarifying, top dressing seeding and feeding. All this took place amazingly in one day and we are assured that the sound of gently clicking bowls and polite congratulations will be back ready for the season next year.
 Challenging Jeremy Clarkson

During the next week you should receive a copy of our new look Annual Review together with new Membership cards and a Concessions list, I hope you enjoy reading the review and also using your card.

Hyde Park Super Nursery Autumn Plant Sale, 11th November 2021
Don’t forget our members plants sale at the Nursery. Top up the garden and add to your winter planting.

There will be plenty of plants throughout the day and you will be able to buy some wonderful specimens to drop in to any gaps you may have. I was staring at the planters at the Serpentine Bar and Kitchen and they are packed with interesting plants, what a challenge to try to copy them.

We are delighted to offer our members a special invitation to purchase surplus plants from the Hyde Park Super Nursery. Some of you will have noticed the Autumn flower bedding plants being planted in both parks, giving you an insight into what will be available. It is your last opportunity this year to put a final splash of colour in your window boxes, balconies and gardens. Plants will be very inexpensive with prices starting from 50p. On hand will be Mike Jones, Nursery Manager and some of his staff to provide assistance with your gardening questions.

Tickets are £5 and along with the money raised from the plant sales, the proceeds will go to both parks. We are allocating 1 hour time slots from 10:00 until 14:00, the nursery will close at 15:00 before dusk falls. There will be plenty of plants supplied throughout the day.

Please Note: We can only accept cards on the day for purchases and don’t forget to bring you shopping bags!

We look forward to meeting you again on the 11th November.
See you there!

Sue Price
Chairman
24/10/21.
contact@friendshpkg.org.uk

Photography by:
Sarah Scott
Rob Dowling
Richard Price
Sue Price
Phil Newcombe
Master Jarvis

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