We runners have urges and today I had a strong desire to run through the centre of Cambridge. We live around 4.5 miles from the City centre and it doesn’t take long to drive to the edge and run in from the suburban road where I parked. It took 6 minutes to run to Jesus Green then along the river to Magdalene College and Magdalene Street and St. Johns Street, past the wonderful Heffers bookshop and into Trinity Street and Kings Parade and then turning into Market Square.
I experienced inexplicable icy chill as I ran past the Haunted Bookshop and clearly the man outside G. David wearing the cream suit is no ordinary browser. I ran around the Market Square a couple of times, weaving in and out of the crowd and then past Kings College. I passed so many groups of Chinese tourists I’m almost fluent in Mandarin.
In all I ran 8.51k in 53 minutes which included stopping a dozen times to take photos. Just outside the Market Square I came across a man consulting a map and smoking a pipe (simultaneously). I thought I had slipped through a hole in the time/space continuum and found myself in the 1950’s. I regret not asking him if I could take a picture. Pipes are so evocative of the past when there was no emphasis on the dangers of smoking and a pipe represented dependability and thoughtfulness. This man is an endangered species. Smoking has killed them all off.
I really enjoyed running in crowded streets of Cambridge. Even in the most congested places it’s always easy to deviate down a side street or alley and break away from the seething masses. I admit to feeling a tad superior to the slow moving tourists and shoppers as I dodge past them with panache and energy. I didn’t run fast and I didn’t exhaust myself. I did feel I saw a different aspect of the city as if I was running through one piece of a jigsaw into another. Can’t wait to do it again, hopefully with Lorna next time.