The park is in front, however behind there are pounding feet. With one swift glance, I find Moses charging behind me. This short sprint designed to break them has achieved part success: James beat; Moses defiant. There is only one thing on my mind: upholding Queens Park’s honour and teach these young upstarts a lesson.
We burst through West End Park’s north entrance, a beautiful creation of Sir Joseph Paxton who designed Queens Park; and maintain a steady pace around the perimeter. The stunning architecture of Park Circus appears on our left, which is Charles Wilson’s residential development completed in the 1850s, mirroring the streets of Edinburgh’s New Town and a house here is my ultimate dream.
Moses draws up to my side, lungs heaving, sweat splattering and steam condensing into the cold March air. There are no words between us, conserving energy for the final half-mile.
Park Gardens signals the exit, left onto Clifton Street and right onto the street of the Willow Tree Meadow. Shoulder to shoulder, zig-zagging onto Berkeley Street, where a small crowd gathers outside the tenement we left thirty minutes ago.
I look down at my sweat-soaked blue Queens Park shirt, take one final deep breath, turn and salute my competitor and kick for the imaginary finish line at 169 Berkeley Street.