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A fall weekend in the park

Now this past weekend didn’t quite turn out to be the weekend that I planned. But then that’s probably true for most weekends…

When I last checked the weather forecast, it showed cold but blue sky, perfect for days out to take some amazing fall photos. The blue sky hardly ever showed, but persistent as I am, I went out anyways and did get to catch some great fall colors in Hampton Court Gardens and Richmond Park.

It was great being out with my camera rather than running in the park and catch some of those great colors. But maybe now you know why this is a great area to run in, too. 🙂

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This is just wrong…

As I looked through my stats today, I saw this short list for my search engine terms:

The one that gets to me is the last one “deer scared of runners”. Obviously, this person has never been out running in Richmond Park during mating season.

Obviously, it should read “runners scared of deer”. 🙂

As I was walking and chatting to a fellow runner on Saturday after the 5K, I might have freaked her out a little. ‘Cause every time we passed a couple of male deer, I stopped in my tracks and in my conversation.

So, whoever you are, looking for information on deer that are scared of runners, be aware that you may be the one being scared. 🙂

Happy Monday!


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The full story of the animal themed photo…

I already shared with you one of the photos, but maybe you would like to hear the full story, too. I posted this on my running blog earlier this week.

The story starts with: “Last weekend I went for a long run in Richmond Park…”

I have seen a lot of posts of people showing fall colors, so I thought to myself, let’s see what colors Richmond Park has to offer today. I got sidetracked pretty early into my run.

As I entered the park I saw these innocent looking deer:

innocent looking deer as I entered the park

As I was running along the trail minding my own business, I heard something moo at me. A little confused I looked around: where are the cows? Well, it was a male deer. This one was looking straight at me showing off his antlers. My inner dialog went like this:

“Hey deer! I am on the trail minding my own business. Why don’t you mind yours? I am not going to come any closer as your antlers are pretty impressive!”.

Needless to say, the answer was another loud “Moo!”

Carefully, I moved forward on the trail looking out for runners who may be able to come to my rescue.

About 2 miles later I joined the path of a 10k race (now I believe there is a race each weekend in Richmond Park). Happily I thought, “at least there are plenty of people around me now”.

Within half a mile we came across an open field to our left of the running trail. Two male deer with impressive antlers were fighting it out:

not so innocent looking deer anymore

I figured they were busy fighting, so I slowed to check out who might win. That’s when they stopped fighting and one of the stared at me and barked a loud “Moo!” at me. Then he took a few steps towards me.

My inner dialog:

“There is about 30 meter between me and the deer. To my right is a street. There are plenty of runners around me. Hang on! Where are the runners??!?!! Anyway, I have a plastic water bottle to defend myself, that’s good, right?”

“Are you supposed to run away when a deer chases you? Are you supposed to lay down?”

Then the deer started running. Kind of in my direction. But with a huge sigh of relief I noticed a female deer on the other side of the street. That’s what the male deer was eying all along. I was never in danger (please let me believe this!).

I should really wear glasses or contacts while running….


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Travel Theme: Animals

This is a rather fitting theme this week that was posted by Alisa from Where is my backpack.

This past weekend, I took a long run in the morning around Richmond Park. It is breeding season amongst the deers, which makes them rather aggressive. The males roar and clash their antlers to fight off rivals and claim territory. It was as spectacular to see as it was frightening. The roars are pretty frightening when you run on the trails and suddenly hear them right next to you. I saw quite a few antler fights going on and caught this one on my BlackBerry camera (no fancy camera on a long run…).


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First fall colors in Richmond Park

Oops – amongst all the excitement of the deer yesterday, I forgot to share the photos of the fall colors.

Richmond Park was surprisingly green, actually, for this time of the year. Maybe not quite that surprising. Summer started late, so that probably may allow fall to get a late start, too.

I did get to catch a couple of colorful photos though:

I love how the colors move from green to yellow to red. It’s such a beautiful sight and made me smile. I took these photos with my Blackberry camera. I hope to be able to go out there on another sunny day and take my real camera.

Fall colors make me happy! 🙂


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Scary 11-mile run

I ran 11 miles today. APPLAUSE! 😉

It was the long run I should have done last weekend in preparation for my half marathon race next weekend. I decided to make it a slow run as to not power myself out too much.

I have seen a lot of posts of people showing fall colors, so I thought to myself, let’s see what colors Richmond Park has to offer today. I got sidetracked pretty early into my run.

As I entered the park I saw these innocent looking deer:

innocent looking deer as I entered the park

I was running along the trail minding my own business when I heard something moo at me. A little confused I looked around: where are the cows? Well, it was a male deer. This one was looking straight at me showing off his antlers. My inner dialog went like this:

“Hey deer! I am on the trail minding my own business. Why don’t you mind yours? I am not going to come any closer as your antlers are pretty impressive!”.

Needless to say, the answer was another loud “Moo!”

Carefully, I moved forward on the trail looking out for runners who may be able to come to my rescue.

About 2 miles later I joined the path of a 10k race (now I believe there is a race each weekend in Richmond Park). Happily I thought, “at least there are plenty of people around me now”.

Within half a mile we came across an open field to our left of the running trail. Two male deer with impressive antlers were fighting it out:

not so innocent looking deer anymore

I figured they were busy fighting, so I slowed to check out who might win. That’s when they stopped fighting and one of them stared at me and barked a loud “Moo!” at me. Then he took a few steps towards me.

My inner dialog:

“There is about 30 meters between me and the deer. To my right is a street. There are plenty of runners around me. Hang on! Where are the runners??!?!! Anyway, I have a plastic water bottle to defend myself with, that’s good, right?”

“Are you supposed to run away when a deer chases you? Are you supposed to lay down?”

Then the deer started running. Kind of in my direction. But with a huge sigh of relief I noticed a female deer on the other side of the street. That’s what the male deer was eying all along. I was never in danger (please let me believe this!).

I should really wear glasses or contacts while running….


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Olympic Cycling Road Race – Women

THIS was a race to watch.

We picked a different viewing spot today and watched the Olympic women road race cyclists race out of Richmond Gate and on to Richmond Bridge. We thought that was a scary corner. Downhill coming from the park and then a sharp left turn…

The one thing you don’t get watching these races from the side of the road is the nail-biting finish. I always need to check later who actually won. What you do get though are the things that you don’t get to see on TV…

The many police motorcyclists warming up us spectators getting us ready for the cyclist. You don’t get to see the policemen posing on their motorcycles, high-fiving the crowd, doing all sorts of stunts to get the crowd cheering.

warming up the crowd

The cyclist all arrived here (approx. 16km into the 140km race) still close together. The sky was still dry, the roads were still mostly dry.

Olympic cycling road race-women – 16km into the race

The field looked very different a lot of miles/kilometers later. The rain had poured down a few times at this point and the streets were quite wet.

We moved into Richmond Park right at Richmond Gate to view the cyclists coming back on their way to the finish line at The Mall. NOW, this was the really scary corner…

The street was wet and the corner was on a very tight angle. Everyone had to slow down to make this corner. We saw a couple of cyclists running into the barriers. No one fell or got seriously hurt, but it did slow them down.

the lead cyclists with only 15km to go

A few minutes later another group made the corner.

the next group coming through

Another thing you don’t get to see on TV are the sweep cars. At the very end when this one came through the sun made it finally out behind the clouds again.

Do you see the broom attached to the sweep car?

I love the broom…