1 PAX and 1 M posted for a friday morning christmas run.
Start at 10 St. Georges Square. Run toward Hyde Park, enter Hyde Park at the Marble Arch Gate. Run to Serpentine Lido, short break to watch the Peter Pan Serpentine Cup, turn around and head back to 10 St. Georges Square.
Great to run with the M today. We got to know each other years ago (Yes Toga, right around the second World War) running together in DC. So it was nice to run around another capital city together today.
The real purpose of our run was to catch the Serpentine Swimming Club’s Christmas Day Peter Pan cup. The Peter Pan Cup is a 100 yard swimming race in the Serpentine pond in Hyde Park. Water temperature at race start was 52 degrees, a nice balmy temperature. It was the 152nd annual run.
A couple of things struck me as I watched the “race”. First, the camaraderie between the people before, during and after the race. The event was more about doing something together than accomplishing something as individuals. The group gave the oldest swimmer, 91, a 50 yard headstart. The cheering for the winning swimmer, Paddy, was enthusiastic as he dog paddled across the finish line. I looked through the list of winners when I got back to the apartment and did not see one repeat winner in the 152 year history. This year must have been Paddy’s turn.
Second, I was a bit chilly watching the race after having worked up a sweat on the way to the park. It was 45 degrees out this morning. The racers, when finished, stayed in the water for a few minutes after finishing. Several things were going on a) they were congratulating the winning swimmer b) they were chatting, about what, I do not know c) they were connecting with friends and family. This totally reminded me of the post workout 2nd F that happens at F3. I am often amazed at how we stand in the rain, cold, snow, etc to catch a few minutes of conversation with the fellow PAX. No concern for anything else except a friendly conversation. Truly a special thing, one that I have not witnessed in many places.