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Once out on the road

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Once out on the road

Postby lasky1994 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:40 pm

As a historian, I often find myself admiring, or at least noticing, the history of the places I race in. In marathons, for example, I have run past a surviving section of the Berlin Wall, and also past Dublin Zoo, which opened to the public, for an admission cost of a penny, in 1840. I’d far rather run a marathon where there is something to look at, and in that way I’m a running tourist.

But last weekend I ran the Swansea half-marathon, and there I was a different kind of tourist. Swansea is where my maternal family is from, and therefore I looked at the sites I ran past in a different way.

Even before the race started, there were links to my family history – the baggage area for the Swansea half was right outside my great-great-grandfather’s engraver’Nike Air Max Command Gris s shop on Caer Street. Adidas Ultra Boost Uomo Looking at the route map before I entered, I realised that I would be passing many more places where my ancestors lived and worked. The thought of running past these places, so linked to my own history, made the race a positive one in my mind before I’d even taken a step. I was looking forward to spotting the places associated with my family, and, in the event, doing so made both the race and me go quicker (so much so that I ran a PB of 1h 37min).

After a Saturday of torrential rain, Sunday started well, with sunshine and warmth. Walking up Wind Street, I could see Swansea Castle on my right, and I thought about my great-great-grandfather Henry walking up here every day, looking at the castle ruins, on his way to open his shop. Sadly, the race start, on Oxford Street, showed that many roads in the Nike Air Max Tavas Uomocentre of Swansea Nike Cortez Donna are barely recognisable New Balance 574 Homme Rouge from their Victorian heyday. I was penned in, with M&S on one side and Sports Direct on the other – not much family history there. Once out on the road, though, the city centre was done in minutes, and then it was back down Wind Street and right onto Oystermouth Road, which skirts Swansea Bay from the city towards the Gower. Here was where my history tour really began.

Soon after the prison, the run went past a network of Victorian terraces where, around Fleet Street and Bond Street, the “proper Welsh” side of my family, the Joneses (who else?), lived after migrating from their Welsh-speaking homes in Carmarthenshire and Cardiganshire (now Ceredigion) in the late 19th century. At the top of one of these roads was the church where my great-grandparents Harriet and Seth met in the choir; Harriet Nike Internationalist Mens had to give up Nike Air Pegasus 89 Womens her job as a local schoolteacher when they married here in 1908.
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