Wednesday, April 20, 2016

For Lynnea! - Lodi Garden

Lynnea is an old friend from Camp Miller. She was also close friends of Ty and she understands why raising the money for a recurring campship in his name is so important. If you want to see some crazy photos of her from back in our camp days, check out the Camp Miller Facebook Page. If you want to offer the opportunities that camp gave us to a lucky camper in the future, donate here -  Thanks!

Lynnea's dedicated run is a 6.5 mile loop that is terrain well-trod for our running group. We left this morning at 5:10am and headed out for Lodi Garden. I've written about Lodi runs a few times in the past - read about them here and here. In a great coincidence, another Lodi run was dedicated to Julie, another former Miller counselor.

SIDE NOTE: The group that ran this morning is most of my core support group. Of the five us that went running, these are the ones that are almost always up at 5am, ready to run. Of the five of us that went running this morning, four will come across the finish line in Canal Park this June. And that's something that I'm really excited about. This summer, four of my Delhi friends are coming to stay at our summer house for the race! 3 of them will do the Bjorklund and 1 will do Grandma's with me. I love it when my world's overlap. Hosting this group at the house, going for a pontoon cruise, playing some bags or horseshoes, hanging out in Murphy's on the Lake is something that I can't wait to share. I'm proud of my little piece of America and I love these people, so I'm expecting a good time. For Saturday night. Friday night we have to be responsible. Spaghetti and water!

I have to say, I'd love to host a Camp reunion at the house too. What say you Miller alum?

Back to the run.

I took the opportunity to use today's run as a pace training run for the marathon. Luckily, my friends were up for it. We picked up our pace a bit and cruised out of school. We were to the park before we knew it. It's hot already and we noticed. On the way, we passed Safdarjung's Tomb.

We can't see this view, but here's a shot a took several years ago.
The park was cooler, the temps always drop in the shadows of the lush, leafy trees, and we were grateful. I had one of those moments in today's run where you look around and even though you've been there a million times, everything seems different. A slight change in light, or visiting at a different time of day and the path seems different. Strange.

Wikipedia reports that Lodi Garden houses buildings and tombs from the 15th century. In those times, small villages surrounded the tombs, but the villages were relocated in the 1930s in order to allow Lady Willingdon the opportunity to landscape the entire area into a park. After independence, the Park was renamed Lodi Garden in honor of the original architects of the monuments. Speaking of architects, Joseph Stein, the architect that designed buildings at our school, re-landscaped the park in the 1970s and included a greenhouse.

That greenhouse is the first thing we see on our loop of the park.

As we continue clockwise, we can just spy a glimpse of the Shisha Gumbad, which was originally covered in shiny blue tiles. You can just make them out in this photo I took in 2011 (to the left).

Below is a shot from inside the walls of the park's namesake, Sikander Lodi. It's a popular spot for family photos, including some of mine!

The next landmark on the route is the Athpula or "8 Piered Bridge." It was the last of the Mughal structures constructed in Delhi. We often run across it, not wondering why there is a bridge in the middle of a park, seemingly going over a lake. A guest of the eighth grade a few years ago that came to talk to the students about water explained to us that at one point in history, there was a waterway that connected Lodi's tomb to the Yamuna river which is at least 3-4 miles away.

The loop off of the bridge brings us around toward the main entrance of the park where the Bada Gumbad and attached mosque dominate the scenery. There are always large groups of people in the grassy lawns surrounding the Bara Gumbad and this morning was no exception. Lodi is a magnet for the city's early risers.

The final leg of the loop passes the last tomb in the park, that of Mohammed Shah, built in 1444. This is the first time that I've done any research on the buildings in the Garden. I've been too many times to count, but seeing that date gives me a new appreciation for our running route. Also, the morning light at Shah's tomb is always great. The photo of Mohammed Shah's tomb below is from a group run in August of 2015.

After that, it's back to the glasshouse and out of the park. Then we zipped home.

Distance: 6.54 miles
Duration: 57:04

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