London streets inspire marathoner Paul to run
Paul Foinette ran the London Marathon on behalf of St. Mary’s Secret Garden, a horticultural project in Hackney. Here he tells Team London all about it.
As a fairly keen runner at school, when I needed a way to keep fit and the weight in check as an adult running seemed the obvious choice.
I’ve always liked travelling and the outdoors, and see running as an extension to these. Each run I see new things and get to experience the spirit of a place. I live in Catford, so my long runs take me from suburbia to the Old Kent Road, over Tower Bridge, then along the banks of the Thames. I see so much of London and its people- from the north African communities on the Old Kent Road to the tourists at the Tower of London and the Thames paths, then back through the Caribbean and Goldsmith College student influences in New Cross.
I’ve run 11 half marathons and 2 full ones in Amsterdam and Istanbul, although I managed to injure myself just before both so have never run a whole marathon fully fit. I took my training more seriously this time around and booked sports massages to mitigate against any injuries. My training consisted of two 10km runs with a longer one at the weekend. The weekend run went from 13 miles to 17, then eventually up to a maximum of 22 miles. After this point I tapered the runs down in the last three weeks leading up to the marathon, a highlight of which was the Paddock Wood half marathon on 8 April.
When an opportunity came up to run for St. Mary’s Secret Garden via Team London, I jumped at the chance. The work that the charity does for people with supported needs is huge. I work for Hackney Council’s Parks department and carry out works on local housing estates in partnership with them. The garden itself is a beautiful oasis of green in a very built up area of London. It’s the sort of place that, were I to discover it while on one of my runs, would make me smile and remind me why I love to run.
If you can, please help me raise money for a great cause and donate.