Some chilly weather, a little mud, and a fresh tempo workout? Nothing this group can’t take on– and with a smile, even! Great running this week, everyone. It’s so good to finish November strong as winter break and all the busy-ness that precedes it can sometimes mess with our training schedules. But not to worry, we’ve still got some great runs in the next couple of weeks.
Running this week. Put on your wildest, brightest tights for Monday’s “Crazy Tights” run! We’ll pause for a photo of all the crazy legs at Barclays, then head out via the canal west to Holland Park, straight through to Kensington High Street, and then down along Hyde Park and Green Park to St James Park for coffee together at Benugo. See the map and route description below for details. Wednesday and Friday ASL is out for American Thanksgiving, so we will operate on our holiday schedule, which is that whoever is available to run meets at Barclays at 8:30 and the group gets to choose their own route. As always, it’s a good idea to also check your group’s Whatsapp chat.
Shoutouts and Announcements. The first shout-out this week has to be a huge thank you to Marissa O’Malia for bringing us the fab new long-sleeve running shirts just in time for the cold weather! What a great job by our new Kit Master, who made it all look smooth and easy– no doubt because she was working extra hard behind the scenes. And thanks also to those volunteers who helped with kit distribution, as well as to all of you who responded to the call to do your pick up and payment, or make other arrangements, on a quick turnaround this week– much appreciated.
Good luck to Francesca Siebel, who is running the Hertfordshire Half Marathon at Knebworth House tomorrow (Sunday)– it looks like a great course! And later this week, in fact beginning at 10pm on Friday (Nov. 29), Miki Neant will be taking on a 100km trail ultra marathon (yes, that’s 62 miles!) on Jersey Island. She will run through the night on the hilly, coastal course (overall elevation gain 9000ft!) with a total of no more than 40 runners, and aid stations only every 10 miles. Sending lots of WRW support and cheers with you, Miki! And speaking of ultra marathons, today as I write, alumn Barbara Jones (who left us last year for Virginia) is running the JFK 50-miler in Maryland– so sending her strong WRW thoughts, too!
So many shout-outs for recent races… you ladies have been extra busy the last couple of weeks! Last Saturday, a handful of WRW runners and alums–Carmine Najjar, Bjorg Fridbjornsdottir, Mee Lee, and Poornima Guruprasad— jumped in to a Central Park 10k to Save the Elephants (see photo at the end of e-mail). Well done to all! And I will add that, even doing it on a whim, Bjorg ended up winning her age group! Also last weekend, Stephanie Gladis, Sharon Lemburger, and Kelly Willis ran the Victoria Park Half-Marathon. All three had really strong runs and good things to say about the race itself, with Sharon and Kelly each winning their age groups, and Stephanie having a top 5 finish in hers. Amazing, ladies! I hope I didn’t miss anyone– please do let us know if you’ve been off running the world somewhere.
Finally… the best shout-out of all: Leah Neenan had a beautiful baby girl, Helena Rose, on November 8!! Tiny Helena is already a WRW veteran, because Leah ran the Milan Half last March with her ‘on board’– so a happy, happy welcome to our newest little lady in the group! And big congratulations to Leah and her family!
Save the Date. We only have half a dozen regular runs before the winter break, but be sure to mark your calendars for the very special, early morning Christmas Lights Run on December 4. We meet at Barclays at 6:00am for a private tour of the city’s festive lights before the sun comes up and the crowds come out. You don’t want to miss it!
I hope you all have a wonderful break this coming long weekend! With all sincerity, as we pause to be thankful for the good things in our lives, I will count this group and all of you near the top of my own list. The friendships and laughter, the solidarity and support, and the joy of running together in this beautiful city– thanks to all of you for making it such a wonderful thing! Happy Thanksgiving…
The Central Park runners last weekend.
Monday, 25 November– Holland Park to St. James Park cafe (8 miles)
Don’t forget your crazy tights! We start out the same as our traditional Notting Hill Route [Circus Rd to Grove End, to St Johns Wood Rd to Cunningham, to Blomfield to the Canal, going west past the Westway to Ladbroke Grove]. Once on Ladbroke Grove, run south all the way until it ends at Holland Park Avenue. Cross Holland Park Avenue, take a right and then a quick left on Holland Walk [just past Aubrey Road]. Holland Walk is a pedestrian way. Run up Holland Walk until the first entrance into Holland Park on your right [opposite the Duchess of Bedford Walk]. Run into the park and then turn left on the broad walk which goes the length of Holland Park until it ends at Kensington High Street; turn left and run along Ken High Street. (For a shorter run, you can leave at the Ken High St Tube which makes it about a 5 mi run). Otherwise, continue on until you reach Kensington Park, where you enter it at the junction with the Broad Walk [just before Palace Gate road]. Take the Broad Walk to the first path on the right which turns into So Carriage Dr. You’ll run past The Albert Memorial and cross West Carriage Dr at the light. Continue on So Carriage Dr all the way to Apsley House/Hyde Park Corner. Cross over Piccadilly and run under Wellington Arch, then cross at the light to run along the path to the left of Constitution Hill [the same route we take in going to Big Ben], At the Mall, cross the street to run along the north side of St. James Park. Turn right into the second entrance and go diagonally to the left (not straight as we usually do to run to Big Ben) and run to Benugo cafe where we will all meet up for coffee. We can take the Jubilee Line home from Green Park after our coffee.
Wednesday, 27 November and Friday, 29 November – No School at ASL, meet at Barclay’s at 8:30 to pick your own route.