Thursday, 30 May 2019

London Vitality 10k, Moths, Beetles and a Water Shrew

Monday saw us in London for the Vitality 10k, a race through central London on closed roads. 20,000 people took part. It was quite something. We were up at 5:30 and on the train by 7:30 and got into London with plenty of time to walk to Green Park and sort out the bag drop and a meeting place. A number of the Hares had come with us and, as with the London marathon, the organisers had handily had alphabetic meeting places put up, so we plumped for H of course.

The start was outside Buck Pal and it was arranged in waves to manage the relative speeds of the runners. M was in the top wave just behind Mo Farah and I was in the third. It was well managed and ran smoothly so we weren't hanging about for ages BUT as always happens, some people had been over-ambitious in their predicted times and there was a fair amount of dodging slower runners who had put themselves at the front then run out of steam after a mile. Grrrr.

My race went well, given that I'd been off for a week with a virus, then done a reasonably fast parkrun on the Saturday and a long ten mile run on the Sunday. I managed to knock 2.5 mins off my PB and come in at 47 minutes, which I was thrilled with. Some of the credit for this has to go to a lovely chap whom I ran most of the way with. After the first couple of miles we realised we were about the same pace and stuck together for the remainder of the race. Sometimes I went ahead, sometimes he did, but we always managed to join up again. We had this kind-of unspoken accord that happens sometimes in races where you don't say a word to each other but you just know you're keeping one another going. Anyway, we got to the final 100m marker and I said to him come on buddy, let's sprint, so we did, and we crossed the line together. We shook hands at the end and thanked one another - he was chuffed because he hadn't managed to go under 48 minutes before and I was obvs thrilled with my time. Then we went our separate ways. I do think running brings out the absolute best in people- complete strangers helping one another out in a kind of silent support. It's brilliant.

So now I'm on marathon taper, which I do not enjoy- not enough running, too much eating. It messes with your head and you feel fat, slow and slothful. I shall be very glad when the weekend after next rolls round and I can get on with it!

So on to the other part of the post, which is about moths! I don't put the moth box often these days because I worry about the collateral damage, but the other night I decided to and see who came visiting....

scorched wing

alder moth


white ermine

poplar hawk


broken barred carpet moth

silver ground carpet

orange footman

white banded carpet

light brocade

shoulder-striped wainscot

pale tussock

mocha moth


The rose chafer has been back three times....

And I'm not sure what this is. Any ideas??

I have also been very lucky this week to see a water shrew hunting in our stream for the first time in my life. They are normally shy, nocturnal creatures so it was an absolute treat. Hard to spot in the photo below unless you know what you're looking for but I promise he is there. Magic!

Hope all are well?



  1. Looks like a longhorn beetle of some sort?

    1. I thought same but then inspiration struck- I think it’s a weevil: either platystomos albinus or cramp-ball fungus weevil. Both rare so good news👍

  2. Well done on the run - fancy M being up there behind Mo! So many beautiful moths; I especially like the white ermine one. I've enlarged the last 2 photos as much as I can on my little laptop, but sadly can't see the water shrew :0( . I'm off to Google one so I know what I'm looking for! xx

  3. It is hard to make him out. He’s basically a black ball with a white line running underneath! X

  4. It looks like a Japanese Beetle to me, but I'm not sure. I hope not for the sake of your flowers. They are voracious flower eaters.

    I saw that cute little water shrew. It looks so sleek and well fed.

  5. Congratulations on your new 10 km PB and good luck with the marathon tapering. It's nice to see the wings of the moths in daylight.

  6. Well done on the new PB. Bet that was fun running around famous landmarks although maybe too many people for my liking. Amazing collection of moth visitors to your garden, a species I know little about so I have really enjoyed seeing them. B x

  7. I'm not sure if I can see the water shrew or if it's a stone but what a lot of different types of moth you've found in your box. Looks like you had a bright day for the run. x

  8. Ah, I too am on a marathon taper of too much eating and not enough running... Fat, slow and slothful is my modus operandi. I am disappointed in my lack of motivation. I was all set to take up skipping the other day and it never happened. But honestly, I can feel the fat sticking to me at the moment. Disappointing as I say. Beautiful moth photos, especially the ermine, he is stunning. Hope you have a good weekend. CJ xx

  9. Congratulations on your new PB! You'll be giving M a run for his money (see what I did there? 😆) before long. X

  10. The third photo looks like it would take you at least 30 minutes to get to the start line. Good for your new time and nice running friend new time also. Love all your moth photos. I will have to look up what a moth box is and why there is collateral damage.
    Good luck this week.....
    parsnip x

  11. Congratulations on the pb and also running with someone else- that sort of thing is fab in the running community. When I finished parkrun on Saturday, the two people behind me ended up chatting to each other, both thanking each other as they had both helped each other stick with the pace- they both said that they would have walked more had it not been for the other one- they didn't know that about each other at the time but it's lovely that those sorts of conversations go on too.


Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them. CT.