Listening to the rain fall as I write gives me a little satisfaction that we managed to dodge the raindrops this week. I KNOW that tempts fate, but it’s still worth acknowledging our good fortune to have had these beautiful runs around London. Along with this week’s photo highlights, I snuck in a picture of the magical rainbow unicorns, because I didn’t get one in last weekend (and unicorns are so elusive). Also, look for the specially skilled selfie-takers above– not all of us have that skill, so thanks for sharing your abilities and your photos, ladies!
Running this week. Monday is Remembrance Day– Veteran’s Day in the U.S. Last year’s run to the special “Shrouds of the Somme” exhibit was quite meaningful to many runners, so this year our Routes Team took on the challenge of finding another special run for the day. The amazing Erin Roth has put together a very special route through our home turf– SJW, Paddington, Hyde Park, Westminster, Regents Park– and highlighted some surprising and touching historical sites most of us will not have been aware of, as well as some of the major memorials in central London. Truly, I can’t say enough about the effort she put into researching and writing this for us– thank you, Erin! So please, please take a look at the attachment we’re including, with all of its history of London and Londoners– particularly women– and how they lived and what they dealt with during times of war. It will put you in the right frame of mind for an Armistice Day run. The directions and maps below contain the highlights (and thanks to Amy Grace for doing the photo-highlights map!), but again, do take the time to view the attached pdf! And note that even if the full 9 miles feels a bit long at this point, there are many places to exit via tube and shortcut back to St Johns Wood! As for the rest of the week, we’ll switch our hill day and do the new Primrose Hillzzz route on Wednesday, then reward ourselves with a run to Borough Market on Friday.
Announcements and shout-outs. Today in the U.S., about 40 WRW alumni are converging on Philadelphia to run various distances in the “Rocky Run”– you know, up the courthouse steps, like in the original Rocky movie? It’s wonderful that so many women are gathering in the WRW tradition! Best to all of you, and a special shout-out to Ariadne Petrucelli for organising the weekend, with the help of Alyse Driscoll, Stefhanie Howe, and Michele Cale! We’re sending cheers, shouts and hugs from here and hoping you all have a great weekend together!
Save the date. Mark your calendar for these runs you won’t want to miss:Monday, Nov. 25th, we’re doing a “crazy tights” run to Benugo in St James Park– who will find the wildest tights to wear? Wednesday, Dec. 4th, we will meet at Barclays at 6:00 am for the annual Christmas Lights run– it’s our own private tour through the mostly deserted streets of central London to view the festive lights.
Enjoy the rest of the weekend, everyone! Thank you for being this wonderful community you are– showing up for ourselves and each other, staying positive, and generally making every great thing about living here even greater! See you on Monday…
Monday 11 November — Remembrance Day Run (9 miles, or exit early at any of the many tube stops close to the route)
Head down Circus Road and cross Grove End Rd to Hall Rd. Remember Davies the dental surgeon at the corner of Hamilton Terrace. Run down the hill to the Sutherland roundabout, taking the left after the Warrington Pub onto Warrington Crescent. Keep an eye out to the left for the five tudor style houses on your left — this is the site of the WW1 bombing. Carry on down Warrington Crescent, past the Warwick Avenue Tube Station until you reach the bridge over the canal — and picture those incredible “Idle Women” making their way in narrowboats carrying crucial war supplies from London to the industrial north and back again. Straight on to the tunnel that goes under the Westway, then over the curving metal pedestrian bridge to run alongside Paddington Station. You’ll pass a Paddington Bear statue on your right — a reminder of those young evacuees.
Keep Paddington Station to your right as you leave the canal area, cross Praed St, cross Sussex Gardens and continue straight down London St until you come to a small roundabout with a Fuller’s pub ahead on the left. Turn left in front of the pub onto Strathearn Pl, right onto Clarendon Pl, and cross at the zebra crossing into Hyde Park, which would have had a very different feel during the two wars. Cross N Carriage Dr, the sandy horse trail and the hard path paralleling it, and then take the SECOND angled path to the left to head towards the eastern edge of Hyde Park — the goal is to get to the corner we always exit the park from onto Hyde Park Corner. There are a few path options but as long as you angle left here you will eventually end up in familiar territory.
Cross into Hyde Park Corner with its four war memorials. After taking a look, cross at the traffic light as normal to Green Park, but turn left in the park to get to the Bomber Command Memorial inside its columned portico. Continue for a very short distance past the memorial and the path forks to the right — it is signposted “Buckingham Palace”. Follow this path towards the palace. At the open area where many paths meet and a large Victorian lamppost stands, turn right towards the palace. You’ll pass a modern, low-built Canadian war memorial in the grass to your left — it isn’t in the write-up but is something to visit sometime.
Continue towards the palace, across the top of St James Park and left on Birdcage Walk. There is a long iron fence that runs along the right side of the road. Just after the gate marked with the “Wellington Barracks” sign in blue you will see the side of the rebuilt Guards’ Chapel with its low bell tower. Continue to Parliament Square with the statue of Churchill, then turn left onto Whitehall. The Cenotaph is in the center of the road and shortly after that you will come to the Women of World War Two Memorial.
Continue up Whitehall to Trafalgar Sq and stay on the right side of the road while edging around the right side of Trafalgar Square. Shortly after St Martin-in-the-Fields you will see the Edith Cavell Memorial, opposite the National Portrait Gallery. Use the crossings to get across to the Portrait Gallery, go around to the right of the Portrait Gallery onto the angled Irving St that becomes a pedestrian way into Leicester Square. Cross Leicester Sq on the diagonal and take a right after the big clock and M&M World onto Wardour St. Follow Wardour St all the way up to Oxford St. This will likely be a very busy stretch of the run…be careful of pedestrians and cars!
At Oxford St, look across at the Next store, housed in the grand Bourne & Hollingsworth department store building with its handsome green window panels. Continue straight across Oxford St onto Berners St, left on Mortimer St, right on Langham Pl, right on Park Crescent, across Marylebone and into Regents Park. Follow along the right side of Regents Park and emerge onto the Broad Walk. The Home Depot would have been nearby buzzing with mail distribution 101 years ago. Cross the Outer Circle at the traffic light, across the canal, left to Primrose Hill. Run across Primrose Hill to the gate at St Edmund’s Terrace, and proceed to Starbucks as normal.
Wednesday 13 November — Primrose Hillzzz (4 miles)
We’re switching the hill workout this week to a Wednesday session on the Primrose Hillzzz– the zzz for the zig zag hill repeats that are sure to get your hearts pumping and glutes working!
Head out from Barclays, past Starbucks, and take a right on Charlbert Street, heading into Regent’s Park at the North Gate entrance. Run straight into the park, following the left fork until you get to the first intersection, where you go left. The Hub and the cricket nets will be on your far right. Follow this path until the end, over the Outer Circle and the bridge, then bear right and cross the zebra crossing to the entrance to Primrose Hill. Once in the park, take the first path on your left, run up past the entrance from St Edmund’s Terrace and continue up until the path forks, taking the path to your right all the way up to the top. Enjoy a brief moment taking in the view and then head down the left path all the way to the bottom corner of the park (corner of Albert Terrance and Prince Albert Rd.) Run along the bottom of the park, past the Children’s Playground, Cafe and outdoor gym to where you entered the park. Repeat this loop two more times (or more if you like!). On your final loop run back up to the St. Edmund’s Terrace entrance and turn left out of the park. St Edmund’s Terrace will become Allitsen Rd and will take you back to St John’s Wood High St. Turn right and head back to Starbucks.
Friday 15 November — Borough Market (6 miles)
Let’s mix it up with a destination run to Borough Market, official address 8 Southwark Street SE1 1TL. We can grab coffee at Monmouth before doing any shopping and catching the tube at London Bridge station back to SJW. Don’t forget your Oyster!
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!).