Why Wolf Hall has set me on the Tudor running trail

I love a good book, and Wolf Hall is supposed to be one of the best.

But the truth is it took me longer to read it than it did to train for the Edinburgh Marathon.

I finished the book last week, eventually, and very good it was too. But when did I start it?

Well it must have been late 2015 as I tend to use receipts as book marks and the one I had in the book that tells me I borrowed a Mad Men DVD from the library in the November.

I’m not a slow reader, and yet it took me a an age to read it – despite loving the TV series (which as some of you may know combined two books into one, which may have been the problem), though I should say I did put it down for several months and only read it intermittently, turning to other quicker reads, as well as Pillars of the Earth would you believe (not a slim volume) and getting on with other stuff meantime.

And the world has moved on – we have Brexit in fact, or to put it in another way we have David Starkey coming to Diss Corn Exchange in May to talk about how Henry VIII and the Reformation was our first Brexit, if like me, you like that sort of thing.

Yet like a lost humanist trying to make sense of the ruptures of the world in which we live, I’m still soul searching – searching for a half marathon or more to sign up to, which has proven a test of my running faith, if I’m honest.

But then I thought – what if I wanted to run in the Tudor’s footsteps, where could I go?

First up, should be Blickling parkrun of a Saturday. We may not see the ghost of Anne Boleyn, but I’m told it’s a good run, so let’s go for it.

And then I found this – The Original Hampton Court Half Marathon

Hampton Court half


Hey nonny nonny –  how cool is that? And also my wife has always wanted to go to Hampton Court, so I can present it as a trip for her to boot. Most excellent!

But the ‘original’ Hampton Court half, I wondered?

Has there been some sort of schism in the running world not seen since well…since the Norwich half moved from November back to Spring?

Perhaps we should be told..?


  • Do you know of any Tudor running routes – have you done the Hampton half  – are you a quick reader (sorry that’s just a joke), anyway let us know!

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