27 – 31 May 2019 Running Info

Happy weekend, Runners!

It’s hard to believe it’s the second May Bank Holiday weekend, and we’re just a couple of weeks from summer break.  This past week was full of highlights, though, with lots of sunshine, and great destinations inside and outside of London: the Chelsea in Bloom displays, the iconic Sights of London run, and fun destinations planned by various pace groups (10’s to Brighton, 8’s to Dover– see stunning photos on WRW Facebook page!).  Once again, thanks to Tamar Brooks for lending us her talents and time– her gorgeous photos from last Wednesday’s Sights of London run can be viewed here: https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B0aG6Mn9863FCU .  And a big thank you as well to Magali Kivatinetz for planning our Leavers’ Coffee at The Gate– I think everyone really enjoyed the new venue (even though we hate to say goodbye to our friends who are moving on).  

Running this week.  Monday is the bank holiday, so there is no official route planned.  Meet up at Barclays at 8:30, or set up a meeting time/place via your WhatsApp groups.  Wednesday we are planning the Notting Hill route, which starts out along the canal running west, before looping through Notting Hill and Paddington and back to St Johns Wood.  And Friday, we will head to Borough Market!  Note that this is a change from the planned adventure run… we’ve decided that it’s just a bit too much for everyone to take the extra time both to prepare and to run the new route in these last couple weeks of running.  We will trial run the route over the summer and maybe schedule it for the fall.  In the meantime, it’s always a pleasure to run to Borough Market, right?  Maps and directions for Wednesday and Friday can be found below.

Spring Kit Pickup!  The special order of WRW kit– the tanks and half-zips we ordered around the time of spring break– have arrived!  Pickup will be Thursday morning from 8:15 to 10:00 at Marissa O’Malia’s house.  Please plan to pick up and pay for your kit at this time!  If you are unable to make it at that time, please make arrangements with a friend to help you out (it’s way too busy this time of year to have to chase people down for their items!).  Pricing will be as in the winter order, £25 for tanks and £50 for half-zips.  Unfortunately, the ever-elusive black hats did not ship.  We will leave the order in place and notify those who ordered when they do arrive (but it may not be until the fall).  Another enormous thanks– to Carol Bertolino and Marissa O’Malia for making this happen.  We truly appreciate it, ladies!  (And special thanks to Carol’s husband and ‘friend of WRW,’ Mike Bertolino, who went out of his way to get the kit to us– and who you may also remember as our ‘Italian Barista- extraordinaire’ from race kit distribution day!)

Shout-outs and Announcements.  Congratulations to all the ladies who ran the Hackney Half last weekend!  I’m so sorry that I missed two of our runners in my shout-outs last weekend:  Sharon Lemberger and Katherine Greig!  Great job, ladies!  And kudos again to Julie Bataille, Laura Beal, Meredith Snizek, and Maureen Scheckel.  Great race representation for WRW, and another highly successful cheering outing for the pink hats, as well!  WRW alum Rekha Kumar will be running her first marathon next Saturday, June 1 in Singapore!  Good luck, Rekha!!

If you would like to be included on the Summer Running WhatsApp group, please follow this link to join:    .  The group can be used to informally coordinate meet-ups and running plans in London for whoever is in town during the summer months.

Beginner Running Group, 2019-2020!!  Please let us know ([email protected]) if you hear of anyone who would like to join the Beginner’s class of 2020.  As anyone who has been through this program knows, it can be an amazing, life-changing experience!  Just a reminder that the program is for people who have truly never been runners before.  It starts out with one-minute intervals at a very slow jog, so is not appropriate for anyone who is able to run even a mile or two.  Our regular M-W-F group can help people who have been runners before ramp up and return to running.  We’ll be working on organising our groups over the summer, and will hopefully ‘hit the ground running’ in August/September.
Have a wonderful long weekend, everyone!  I know it’s such a busy time of year, but I hope you get the chance to squeeze in at least a few more runs over the next few weeks!  It’s a glorious time to be running in our city, and these last few weeks together are really the sweet spot in our year– enjoying the friendships and the joy of running together after our year of training.  See you out there!
xx Micki 

For anyone in town, meet at Barclays at 8:30 and plan a fun route on your own.

Wednesday 29 May – Notting Hill – 6 miles
Start out heading west on Circus Road, turn left on Grove End to St John’s Wood Road and go west, turning left on Cunningham then right on Aberdeen to work your way to Blomfield Rd.  Run along the sidewalk all the way down Blomfield to and across the Westbourne Terrace bridge.Turn right after the bridge, follow the sidewalk along Delamere Terrace, and join the canal path heading west at this point.  Run to the Ladbroke Grove exit then run down Ladbroke Grove to Elgin Crescent and make a left. Cross Portobello Road and continue on what is now Colville Terrace until it meets Ledbury Road where we turn right and then left at Westbourne Grove. Run down Westbourne Grove to the top of Bishop’s Bridge, then left down the steps into Sheldon Square (across from the Paddington Station entrance). Stay along the canal to where you entered, then run back on Blomfield to SJW and Starbucks. 

Friday 31 May – Borough Market – 6 miles
Let’s mix it up with a destination run to Borough Market, official address 8 Southwark Street SE1 1TL. Grab a coffee at Monmouth or Rabot, and do a little shopping before catching the tube at London Bridge station back to SJW. Don’t forget your Oyster/contactless card! We start by heading to Hyde Park via the usual route. Head west on Circus Road, turn left on Grove End Road. At the corner of St. John’s Wood Road and Grove End Road, cross diagonally at the light and continue south on Lisson Grove. Cross over Marylebone Road and continue south on Seymour Place until it tees into Seymour Street. Turn right and cross over Edgware Road and then take the first left on Stanhope Place to enter Hyde Park at the intersection with Stanhope Place. Run along the eastern edge of the park to Hyde Park Corner, under Wellington Arch and down Constitution Hill. Run past the Victoria Memorial, cross The Mall at the light and turn right at the grand wrought iron gates into St. James Park. Run over the pond and out of the park, turning left onto Birdcage Walk and down into Parliament Square to Big Ben. Continue past Big Ben and cross Westminster Bridge. After the bridge turn left down the stairs to run along the Thames until the river path ends after Southwark Bridge. Just past Southwark Bridge, head right and then a quick left to go into a short tunnel that puts you onto Clink Street. Make a right on Stoney Street to get to the market (and Monmouth Coffee!).


20 – 24 May 2019 Running Info

Hello Runners!
Such an eventful running week, with great routes and great sights– it was hard to narrow down the photos.  So I didn’t!  (Except that actually, I really did– there were so many good ones!)

Running this week.  This week, we will start with a Monday run to Sloane Square and beyond for the “Chelsea in Bloom” event, in which shops in the neighbourhood go all out with floral displays during the week of the famous Chelsea Flower Show.  The route is flexible on distance, so you can run anywhere from 3.75 to 7 miles– and you might want to add a loop in the Sloane Square area to see more of the floral displays (see event map).  Wednesday is the annual Sights of London run and Leavers’ Coffee in honour of those runners who are, well, leaving us.  This is a special run– we all more or less stick together (though PLEASE be mindful of other pedestrians and traffic!!), and we stop frequently for big group pictures at some iconic spots along the way.  The total distance is less than 5 miles, and we will stop at least 4 times, so do come out, even if you haven’t run in a while.  We’ll end at Trafalgar Square, then tube back to St Johns Wood for the Leavers’ Coffee at The Gate (formerly Delisserie) at 87 Allitsen Rd (NW8 7AS)– a big thank you to Magali Kivatinetz for organising our breakfast in the new venue!  Even if you can’t join us on the run, please stop by the coffee to wish our leavers all the best on their new adventures.  We should be arriving between 9:45 – 10 am.  And finally, Friday we will run up the hill as usual, but then carry on to Finsbury Park via the Parkland Walk, for the 7-mile run to Happenin’ Bagels.  All maps and directions can be found below, as always.

Shout-outs and Announcements.  The Hackney Half is tomorrow (Sunday) morning beginning at 9am, and we have a few WRW runners representing!  Great good luck to Julie Bataille, Laura Beal, Maureen Scheckel, and Meredith Snizek!  Extremely well done, ladies, to be motivated and disciplined enough to run a half marathon at this busy time of year!  That said, the markers on our Save the Date board are dwindling.  We’re planning one more adventure run, and another old favourite to Brick Lane before the end of the year.  But every running day is a good day– so come out as often as you can!  Also, if you will be in London for any part of the summer and you’d like to be added to a Summer Running WhatsApp group, drop us an e-mail ([email protected]) with your mobile number and we’ll start getting that set up in the next couple of weeks!

Friday 31 May – NEW Adventure Run – Dollis Hill to Hampstead
Monday 3 June – Brick Lane

Looking forward to seeing you all out on a run, or two or three, this week!  I can’t promise we’ll have the gorgeous, sunny days we had last week, but there will certainly be friendship, laughter, photo opps and coffee– and wait, you had me at ‘friendship’!  Enjoy the rest of your weekend…
xx Micki

Monday 20 May – “Chelsea in Bloom” Sloane Square/Embankment/Westminster-Green Park – 3.75 – 7 miles
The “world class alternative floral art show” Chelsea in Bloom is on this week only, in the streets around Sloane Square, and our route takes us through the heart of the neighbourhood.  Check out this map of the exhibits if you want to take a quick detour or two to see more displays!
Everybody starts out to Hyde Park, taking the usual route: west on Circus Road, left on Grove End, all the way down to Seymour Place to where the road ends. Right on Seymour, across Edgware, left on Stanhope and enter the park. At the silver orb, turn left and run down to the southern edge, following the path to the right before it leaves the Park. Run to the large gated exit (Albert Gate) before the tall ‘One Hyde Park’ complex, cross Knightsbridge and turn right on Knightsbridge, then a left onto Sloane Street after Harvey Nichols. Follow Sloane St until it ends at Sloane Square.

3.75’ers: at Sloane Sq, take the Tube home!

6.33’ers: continue past Sloane Sq down Lower Sloane St/Chelsea Bridge Road to the Thames. Turn left on the Thames side of Grosvenor Rd and run along the embankment to Westminster Tube – you’re done!

7+’ers: continue left on Birdcage Walk, cutting through St James Park to the Mall, then left on the Mall towards Buckingham Palace, crossing before the circle to reach Green Park. Run up to the Green Park Tube on Piccadilly St and head home!

Wednesday 22 May – Sights of London/Leavers Coffee — 4.75 miles
This is a great run!  Even if you haven’t run in a little while – come along!  We run as a (BIG!) group and we wait for everyone at the lights so we can stick together.  (If we get separated we’ll wait for everyone at the photo points.)  The total distance is 4.75 miles and we stop often.
We’ll stop for group pictures at:– Hyde Park Speaker’s Corner– Buckingham Palace– Big Ben– Trafalgar Square

We head to Hyde Park via the usual route. Start heading west on Circus Road and turn left on Grove End and follow south as it becomes Lisson Grove. Cross over Marylebone Road and continue on Seymour Place until the end. Turn right and cross over Edgware Road and then left to enter Hyde Park at the intersection with Stanhope Place. We’ll stop at Speaker’s Corner for the first picture! Run along the eastern edge of the park to Hyde Park Corner, under Wellington Arch and down Constitution Hill. We’ll stop in front of the gates of Buckingham Palace for the second photo! Run past the Victoria Memorial down the mall and enter St. James Park.  Run over the pond and out of the park, turning left onto Birdcage Walk and down into Parliament Square to Big Ben for our third photo! Turn left on Whitehall and run to Trafalgar Square for our fourth picture. Then we’ll take the Bakerloo Line from Charing Cross station to Baker Street to switch to the Jubilee and back to SJW.  Our coffee is at The Gate (formerly Delisserie) 87 Allitsen Rd, St John’s Wood, London NW8 7AS

Friday, 24 May – Finsbury Park (Happening Bagel) via Highgate and Parkland Walk – 7 miles

For this run we start up Fitzjohn’s as if we’re going to the Heath, but pass the Heath entrance and continue up Spaniards/Hampstead Lane into Highgate. Turn left down Southwood Lane (the road next to Gail’s) and go down the hill, then veer to the right (not a hard right turn!) onto Jackson’s Lane. Continue down Jackson’s to Archway Road and make a right, then a relatively quick left onto Holmesdale Road. Run a short distance on Holmesdale and the entrance to Parkland Walk will be on your left. Follow the path to Finsbury Park, cross over the train tracks, turn right and run along the western edge of the park and exit onto Seven Sister’s Road. Happening Bagel is across the street, Costa is to the right, and Finsbury Park Station is further down on the right (on the Piccadilly and Victoria tube lines).

Finsbury Park

13 – 17 May 2019 Running Info

Hello Runners!
Welcome to May in London… where our runs might be soaked in summery sunshine, or they might be pelted with icy raindrops and the occasional hailstorm.  Hopefully we’ll move more toward the former in the weeks ahead, but last Wednesday’s run to Covent Garden was sure cold and wet.  Good thing we found a warm place to stop for giant bowls of coffee and blankets!

Running this week.  Monday we are going on an Adventure Run, the ‘Country Run’ from Virginia Water to Windsor.  Meet at SJW tube station at 8:15 if you are joining!  This one requires a commitment– don’t plan to be back before noon– but it should be well worth it if you can spare the time (and right now the weather forecast is looking good).  If you are not able to take the whole morning, meet up as usual at Barclays and there will likely be others to run with.  It would be a great day to run any of our Hyde Park routes.  
For those going on the Adventure Run, please be prompt in meeting at the tube station, as we are trying to make an 8:50 train from Waterloo.  To save time on the way out, a couple of runners will be going to Waterloo early to purchase enough train tickets for everyone running.  The total cost for train travel will be £21.20, and Oyster Cards/contactless will not work on this journey.  (So it would be great if you are able to bring cash– or get it in Windsor– to repay the ticket-purchase team).  If you are joining us from somewhere besides St Johns Wood, please let us know you are coming so we can look out for you and include you in our count.  If you don’t let us know ahead of time you will be joining from elsewhere, please do purchase your own train ticket– one-way to Virginia Water– as we won’t have included you in our final count.  Our return from Windsor into London will be into Paddington station.  Complete directions for the run are included below, along with photos and extra maps.  Sue, Carolyn P. and I will keep an eye on this e-mail address should you need to reach us that morning.  A huge thank you goes to Erin Roth, who created this run and then went out to walk it and take photos so we won’t get lost in the countryside!
Wednesday we will keep it a little more simple, doing the Regents Park Inner and Outer Circle.  (We were early for the roses last time we did this, but it might be worth the detour into the gardens to see how they’ve come along since then?).  Friday we will go up to the Heath again, for more of the gorgeous green and the thrill of the hill!  Alternatively, there is a 9 am rehearsal for the Trooping of the Colour on Friday, so some may prefer to head for a place along the Mall or by Buckingham Palace to try for a preview of the troops on parade.

Announcements and Shout-outs.  We’ve heard of a few runners who will be taking on the Hackney Half next Sunday, May 19th (watch this space for shout-outs next week).  I’m not entirely sure there are still places available, but if you want to try to sign up, the link we were given for discount spots (£55) is  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/hackney-half-marathon-2019-run-for-team-rsbc-tickets-46799150519 and the code to use is RUNWITHRSBC (Royal Society for Blind Children).

The Sights of London/Leaver’s Coffee will be next Wednesday, May 22.  For those who haven’t done it before, this is a different kind of run.  We try to run more as one group (minding our fellow pedestrians, of course!) to some of London’s iconic sights.  We stop frequently for photos, and we end at a cafe (this year it will be The Gate, a new restaurant on Allitsen Rd, just off the SJW High Street) for one of our WRW coffees and a chance to honour and say goodbye to those who will be leaving London this summer.  Don’t miss it!  (And bring tissues…).

Wednesday 22 May – Sights of London/Leaver’s Coffee
Friday 31 May – NEW Adventure Run – Dollis Hill to Hampstead
Monday 3 June – Brick Lane

This can be a crazy-busy time of year, but do come out and run whenever you can!  The routes are fun, everyone is relaxed about pace and distance, and we’re all just enjoying each other’s company and this running thing we do together.  It is, in fact, a great time to try running with different people– and a great time to welcome someone new into the fold.  Stay open and welcoming, as always, because you never know who may become your next new running bestie!  Getting out there now is also a great way to make sure we head into the summer in shape and ready to keep running wherever summer plans take us.  It really is a pleasure to run with you all– I can’t wait to see you out there this week!
xx Micki  


Monday 13 May – ADVENTURE ‘COUNTRY RUN’ – Virginia Water to Windsor – 7.4 miles
Travel: SJW Jubilee line to Waterloo (10 minute journey), Waterloo train to Virginia Water (8:50am, 41 minute journey), total outbound travel about 1 hour. Return from Windsor & Eton Central Station to Paddington (30 or 40 minutes journey).
Pricing: tube fare + £21.20 (£10.60 one way to Virginia Water + £10.60 one way from Windsor to Paddington)
Exit the Virginia Water train station and turn right, taking the stairs up to Christchurch Road.

CAREFULLY cross the road and turn left. Stay on Christchurch Road (be sure to take the correct exit off the roundabout at .8 miles) until you come to the T-junction at a traffic light. Turn right and immediately cross the A30 at the traffic light. This is a very busy road so please use caution!! Continue right down the A30 for a very short distance and turn left into the Virginia Water Lake car park, then follow the walkway through the Visitor Centre.

Turn right at the lake on the paved path and follow this paved path along the lake, past a totem pole and across an intersection.

You will see Obelisk Pond on your left, and as you come up the path past the pond turn off at the dirt path on your left.

Stay on the dirt path, over a bridge with stone benches, and then up a straight, grassy path with a huge field on your left. Continue to the end of this path and turn right through the large white wooden Cumberland Gate.

Continue on this paved path, past houses on your right, and past other paths turning off. Continue through the intersection with pink buildings on your left. Go straight to pass through the black metal gate into Windsor Deer Park.

Follow the main path here as it winds through the park. You will come to a low stone bridge (see below); just after the bridge you will run up the grassy hill towards the grand statue of King George III, known as the Copper Horse. King George III was monarch during the American Revolution and father to 15 (!) children, who later in life suffered from mental illness. His dissolute son George IV commissioned this statue and inscribed on it “the best of fathers” despite the fact that father and son apparently despised each other.

Take in the view then head straight down the hill for 2.5 miles until you reach the gates of Windsor Castle. On the way you’ll pass through a large wooden gate and cross a busy road — take care!

At the castle gates, turn left onto Park Street and continue onto the High Street. You’ll pass a statue of Queen Victoria, see the castle walls on your right, and on the left is a passage called Jubilee Arch which leads you to the train station.

Lots of options for food and drink – your choice!

If you prefer a longer run, there are many options once you reach Windsor Great Park. Take your phone and explore! Here is a link to the park website with more information: http://www.windsorgreatpark.co.uk/en

Wednesday, 15 May – Regent’s Park Inner/Outer Circle (5 miles)
From Barclay’s head down Wellington Road to the traffic circle at Lord’s Cricket Ground and bear left onto Prince Albert Road. Run to the pedestrian crossing where we will cross and head to the OuterCircle. Turn right and run on the inside of the circle past Winfield House which will be on your left. Continue around the Outer Circle until you reach the traffic light at intersection with York Bridge. Turn left and proceed to the Inner Circle. Run one complete loop of the Inner Circle and back out across York Bridge where we will take a left and continue on Ulster Terrace which is part of the Outer Circle. At the next large intersection take a left and continue on the Outer Circle, heading north back towards the Zoo and Camden. Pass the entrance to the Zoo on your left and continue to the bridge at North Gate which we will cross to reach Charlbert Street. Run up Charlbert Street until St John’s Terrace where we turn left and run back to Barclay’s for a stretch before heading to Starbucks.

Friday 17 May – The Heath
It’s Friday and you know what that means!  Choose your favorite hill route or try a new one!
4 miles:  A great way to ease into running the hill. Run up to the Hampstead tube station and back. If you have trouble running up, think about how easy it will be running down!5 miles: The Betsy Route6+ miles:  The partial Heath route OR the Reverse Heath route OR Pergola route7.5 miles: The Highgate route
8 miles:  The full Heath route
Click here for maps of all of the Heath routes.

6 – 10 May 2019 Running Info

Hello Runners,
Happy Bank Holiday weekend!  I hope you are enjoying the extra time relaxing, playing, traveling, adventuring– or doing whatever makes you happy (did someone say ‘running’?)I spent a bit of yesterday combing through photos posted on WRW Facebook group page and adding a few to our WRW archives.  The ones above show some of the best aspects of this group– how we support each other, cheer for each other, and know how to have fun!  Hats and pom-poms, bright and witty signs, and screaming… you ladies are absolutely THE best!  There were so many Milan pink hats out cheering on that marathon course last Sunday, it literally lifted us through the race– so from myself and Sue once more, a really heartfelt thank you to all who came out to cheer, as well as to the many more who sent notes and thoughts before and after the race.  

Running this Week.  Monday is a bank holiday, so holiday meet-up time at Barclays is 8:30 for anyone in town and wanting to run.  We officially start the week with a run to Covent Garden on Wednesday.  The 5.5-mile route loops through Hyde Park, past Green Park, then straight down the Mall to Trafalgar Square before cutting through to Covent Garden for a finish at Le Pain Quotidien. See below for full directions.  And Friday we will go up to the Heath, where things are sure to be in bloom– the Highgate route is suggested, partly for the flowers at Kenwood House, but all our Heath routes should be nice this week.  And note that if you were following the ‘Save the Date’ section closely– we’ve moved the Dollis Hill adventure run from this Friday to later in the month, just to spread the fun across the calendar.

I hate to mention it, because no one really wants to think about it… but the Sights of London and Leaver’s Coffee is coming up in a couple of weeks (May 22).  We already have enough goodbyes to say, but it seems like there are always a few that come up right at the end of the year.  If you suddenly discover you are leaving London– even if it’s the day before the coffee– please do let us know, so we can celebrate and give you a proper send-off.

Monday 13 May – NEW Adventure Run – Windsor – expect earliest home time is noon
Wednesday 22 May – Sights of London/Leaver’s Coffee
Friday 31 May – NEW Adventure Run – Dollis Hill to Hampstead
Monday 3 June – Brick Lane

Enjoy this bright day in London, or wherever you are this weekend!  See you soon at Barclays…
xx Micki

Monday 6 May – BANK HOLIDAY
For anyone in town, meet at Barclays at 8:30 and plan a fun route on your own.

Wednesday, 8 May – Hyde Park to Covent Garden (5.5 miles)
We start from Barclays, run down Circus Road and turn left on Grove End/Lisson Grove. Cross diagonally at the light to run along the west side of the street. Cross over Marylebone Rd (now you’re on Seymour Pl) and run until the road ends. Turn right on Seymour St, cross Edgware Rd, and turn left at the next street (Stanhope Pl). Cross into Hyde Park, cross over the Carriage Rd and enter the park.

Turn right at the silver sphere after entering the park. Cross over N Carriage Rd and turn left just after the Italian Gardens. Run along the water (it turns into the Serpentine) and turn right at the end to run along the southern edge of the park. Turn right to run out of the park at Hyde Park Corner and follow the direction below.

At Hyde Park Corner, run through Wellington Arch and along the southern edge of Green Park.  At the end of the park, keep running straight down The Mall (do not cross the street as we do when we are going to Big Ben) until you come to Trafalgar Square.  Run along the far side of the square, past St Martin-in-the-Fields.  Turn right onto St. Martin’s Place and then left onto Chandos Place.  When it ends, turn left and enter Covent Garden.  We will meet at Le Pain Quotidien which is next to Shake Shack.

Friday 10 May – The Heath
If it’s a beautiful day, why not try the 8 mile Heath run?  The flowers should be blooming at Kenwood House – take advantage of spring in London!   And if it’s raining, just run from Barclays to Starbucks.  Just kidding! 🙂

4 miles:  A great way to ease into running the hill. Run up to the Hampstead tube station and back. If you have trouble running up, think about how easy it will be running down!
5 miles: The Betsy Route
6+ miles:  The partial Heath route OR the Reverse Heath route OR Pergola route
7.5 miles: The Highgate route
8 miles:  The full Heath route

Click here for maps of all of the Heath routes.