The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Elain Harwood warming up for her marathon in Paris
Paris Marathon

Running a marathon for Goldfinger

On Saturday Elain wrote: “I must be mad to be running a marathon.  But I saw my friend and fellow-C20 member Elaine Battson run the Paris Marathon two years ago and felt inspired.  She has now run 200 marathons and another friend, Joanne, is a keen marathon runner too, so I thought I ought to try one.  They’ve both been really helpful.

Then came the idea of marrying the running to book I’m writing with Alan Powers on Ernö Goldfinger, since Ernö met his English wife Ursula Blackwell in Paris, and Alan and I have to raise £5,000 for Historic England to publish our book (as for the other volumes in the series Twentieth Century Architects).  So thank you all for your support – just as you’ve all been so generous with the forthcoming journal, out next month – though more support is needed for the Goldfinger book.

I began training in December, and the rain came down between Christmas and New Year.  I did a 10K for Cancer Research in memory of Gavin Stamp in February, and kept going.  You may have seen posts of me running down the canal to Trellick Tower, through Poplar to Balfron Tower and south to the former Alexandra Fleming House.  A cold and the snow put off the intended run round all three, via Willow Road, Regent’s Park and Albemarle Street.  So I’m really under prepared!  I hope not.  I’ve done two three-hour stints round the Isle of Dogs and back to Islington, and up to Enfield Lock on the Lea and back, and discovered parts of the canal system of London that I didn’t know existed, which has been exciting.  And run out of top running tunes after flogging the Pet Shop Boys and New Order to death.

So here I am in Paris, stuck in a grotty Ibis and dreading tomorrow.  Will you be cross if I don’t make it?  I know I will be.  But with so many C20 Society publications in the pipeline (work is advanced on Journal 14 but needs sponsorship) it seemed good to try something personal and positive.

Thanks again for  your help and do please keep supporting the Society.”

And, of course, Elain did make it – in a more than respectable 4Hours 33 minutes and 10 seconds! Congratulations to Elain on a fantastic achievement, for a good cause. Follow the link if you would like to donate for the Goldfinger book.


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