A Day in the Country

PrettyGreeners Si and Nick were broken. The rain was lashing down sideways, our kit was soaked through, we had mud up to our knees and our trainers were layered in clay. And this was before we had even started. Welcome, ladies and gentleman to the inaugural Great Shaftesbury Run.

Granted the weather was not on our side, but if we’d wanted a cosy run, we would be pounding the monotonous tarmac of St. Albans in a bland street race attempting to hit our PBs. Lord Shaftesbury setting up the Great Shaftesbury Run was anything but normal; just 2 years ago, he suffered a broken back in a horse-riding accident. Today, thanks to developments in research for Spinal Cord Injuries (SCIs) he was proudly standing on the bonnet of a car, klaxon in hand, ready to start proceedings.

You had two choices; the grueling 13 mile half-marathon that took-on country tracks, muddy climbs and the occasional pheasant or the slightly less grueling 10k, that did all of the above, just a little bit less. Both equally exciting and exhilarating, although perhaps not equally exhausting. Whilst Si basked in the glory of finishing his 10k before grabbing a cup of tea, Nick completed the half-marathon over an hour later looking a little worse for wear.

With over 500 people turning up on the day, and thanks to Lord Shaftesbury offering his estate to the public, the first Great Shaftesbury Run was a magnificent success. Wings for Life can continue to raise money for those suffering with SCIs whilst St Giles House can be restored to its former glory.

Same time next year?

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