Conservation through cultivation through running

Last year I was offered a place in the London Marathon, I wasn’t able to take it up,  so I deferred it till this year. I have had a very busy year at work so far and my training has not exactly taken priority, so I was a little diffident about running 26.2 miles. But Vicky, our PR Officer very nicely asked if I would run it for Plant Heritage so how could I refuse?


A20 Path and Downs, Kent

It isn’t my first marathon, or even my first London Marathon; in fact I think it will be my 11th and 3rd respectively. I have run more attractive marathons (Iceland, the South Downs, the Lake District)but London is always the Mecca for fundraising. Last time I also ran for Plant Heritage, and raised the rather paltry sum of £150 I think, so let’s hope I can improve on that!

London Marathon number 2008

Part of the spring training regime to enable you to transition from running a few miles at a time to 26.2 miles, is to participate in other races leading up to the main event. There are a plethora of runs from 10k up to 21 miles in the lead up to April, especially in the South East. A new one this year, is the Surrey Half Marathon (13.1 miles) going from Guildford (near the Plant Heritage office at Loseley Park) to Woking (round the back of RHS Wisley), so I thought I would try it out.

Rear half of Surrey t-shirt – front half shows Guildford

The day was unexpectedly summery, from last week when I had been shivering at the start for the Reading Half Marathon in temperatures of 5-6°c the forecast was for 18°c. This and the fact that the road surface was pock-marked with huge holes caused a few problems. I saw at least 2 people receiving the attention of St John’s Ambulance volunteers for nasty trips and falls, and on the way back several who had needed help due to the heat. Luckily I am very undertrained so went very slowly and cautiously.

2014-03-07 16.49.03

Primrose – at last a plant picture!

The route was very pretty, passing through the quieter villages between Guildford and Woking, and there were several bands along the way (a sort of male voice choir, a teenage boy-band,  a brass band and various horns, shakers and vuvuzelas).


Post-finish runners at the Spectrum track in Guildford

It was a relief to sit down at the end, and then walk back up through the town for a nice cheese sandwich at Gillian’s house. I have just over a month (the marathon is on April 13th) to make my way up from my current maximum of about 15 miles to 26.2. I think it is going to be painful. If you would like to sponsor my efforts please visit this page:

Your money will be gratefully received by Plant Heritage and dedicated to conserving cultivated plants.

About mercym

Plant Conservation Officer for Plant Heritage
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One Response to Conservation through cultivation through running

  1. Ruth at says:

    Best of luck Mercy, happy to sponsor you!

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