21 – 25 September 2020 Running Info

Hello Runners!

I hope the photos above aren’t too dizzying, but I wanted to begin this week’s note with all the happy photos we received this week.  Even as we work to observe Covid guidelines and we watch national and community developments with regard to the virus, it’s nice to take a moment to appreciate the runs we’ve had together so far, the perfect weather we’ve enjoyed, and this beautiful city we get to run through!

You are doing a great job with social distancing and the Rule of Six at meetup in the park, and at post-run times.  Please keep paying attention to this, especially when we are meeting our sixes at St Johns Wood Church Gardens.  In order for us to stay legal, each of us must be aware of numbers and make sure we are not pushing a grouping over six.  We also have to intentionally create larger spaces between groups.  From across the park (where people are walking their children to school on the pavement and looking into the park at us!), a 2-meter space between groups looks like no space at all– so we have to make sure our ‘six-packs’ are separated by several meters.  And, of course, keep remembering your masks for our time in the park.  Thanks to all, for doing the right things so that we can hopefully keep running in our small packs!  For a refresher on how we are operating right now, here are the links to last week’s guidance e-mail and our Covid-19 statement.  Please also feel free to reach out to wrwlondon@gmail.com (or to me personally) if you have any concerns, questions, or even if you just need to talk!

Running this Week.  On Monday we are staying with our new standard Hyde Park runs, with the 8s and 10s taking the Hyde Park via Westbourne Terrace route, and the 9s and 11s  taking the Hyde Park via Regents Park route this week.  Directions and RunGo links are in the Routes section below.  There are infinite ways to run once you hit the park, or you can follow one of our routes from the website.  In the last two weeks many of us ran to destinations beyond Hyde Park, and those routes to Westminster/Green Park are always an option as well.  Wednesday we will reverse the two routes we offered last week, the Camden/Mornington Crescent loop (8s and 10s) and the Notting Hill loop (9s and 11s).  Remember we are now running those in reverse, so we hit the canal later, when there is less traffic.  And finally, on Friday we have the two new Heath routes, as well as the ever-tempting Borough Market option.  This week the 8s and 10s have the Elsworthy Rd route and the 9s and 11s have the Belsize Lane/Thurlow Rd route.  All directions and the new RunGo links can be found below.

Announcements.  Jess Browne (pace leader, Beginners coach, and lovely person in general) has come up with a brilliant and generous idea!  I’ll pass it along in her words:   

“I believe that running is great for life, for mental health and for bonding with yourself and others. During this difficult time many teenagers and recent graduates may be stuck at home without local friends as Covid disrupts everything, so I want to offer them running coaching.  Let your kids know that if they want to run with me I can take them with up to 4 friends for 30 minutes. No set pace and no experience needed, just the will to go out and meet outdoors. If they are new to London they are also welcome and I’ll group them up so they can meet new friends. Just tell them to email me. It’s free and I promise they will love it and I promise you I’ll take care of them. Thanks!  Jess”

 Jess has been a WRW Beginner’s group coach for three years, and she has coached many other women as they have started or resumed running (including many of our regular runners over this summer!).  She knows what she is doing, and she is both kind and fun.  If you have young adults or teens at home in a holding pattern, her idea might be just right for them!  You can reach her at the email link above.
We have had a few inquiries from runners who can’t make our regular meeting times, looking for groups running at alternate times.  We’d love to help connect people!  Please drop us a note at wrwlondon@gmail.com, or better yet, use this link to join our existing Whatsapp group– “WRW Alt. Times”– kindly created by Janelle Meyer, and used by runners to self-organise.  
Watch your inboxes in the next week or so for our 2020-21 WRW Kit Order!  Our kit guru Marissa O’Malia, along with race boss Sue Wheeler, has been hard at work organising an order for our annual shirts and some other WRW-logo goodies.  We’re not sure exactly when the form will drop, but keep an eye out, as it will have a quick turn-around time.  In this crazy year, we have to get the order in much earlier than usual, as everything everywhere is operating in a delayed fashion.  Also… we are now taking nominations for the shirt slogan– six words or less to sum up our group or our year??  Here’s a sample of previous years:  “Run Like A Girl”, “We Run London”, “Sorry, Gotta Run!”, “In It For The Long Run”, “This Is My Happy Pace”, “Keep Calm and Run On”, “Anytime, Anywhere, Any Pace,” and “Another Run Stronger.”  Looking forward to your ideas!  Send them to wrwlondon@gmail.com
Just another reminder… The Royal Parks Half has a ‘surprise lottery’ open through this Wednesday, Sept 23 at 5pm, for places in their rescheduled race, now planned for Sunday, April 11.  It’s a free entry!  This race, usually held in October, has been popular with our runners through the years, so we wanted to make you aware of this opportunity, even though it may fall quite close to any possible WRW race.  If we are able to take WRW to a destination half marathon this year, it will likely happen at the end of March or beginning of April.

Okay, all that remains is to wish Shana Tovah! to those of you celebrating.  I imagine it has been a different kind of holiday with the Rule of Six in place, but we hope that it has been a meaningful celebration, and that it is indeed a sweet new year ahead!  

I look forward to seeing many of you this week.  Though we are carefully staying at an appropriate distance, I still feel– and I hope you do, too– the WRW camaraderie in our community.  Even at several meters apart, it is a joy to run this life alongside you!

xx Micki

ROUTES

Monday, September 21 – Hyde Park via two Routes (4 – 7 miles)
8s and 10s pace groups – Hyde Park via Westbourne Terrace
https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/j7nkmylery

Options – your choice in Hyde Park to increase or decrease distance!  See here for all of our old, familiar Hyde Park routes!

9s and 11s pace groups – Hyde Park via Regent’s Park

https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/WV7sVAqTR5

Options – your choice in Hyde Park to increase or decrease distance!  See here for all of our old, familiar Hyde Park routes!

Wednesday, September 23 -Reverse Camden/Mornington Crescent OR Reverse Notting Hill

8s and 10s pace groups – Reverse Camden/Mornington Crescent (5 miles)
RunGo link:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/2wR1WTbGbe
Run south on Wellington Rd, cross at the zebra crossing and turn left onto Prince Albert Rd.  Enter the park at Charlbert and turn left to run around the Outer Circle.  Head out of the park at Park Square, turning left onto Marylebone Rd.  Turn left onto Osnaburgh St and then right into Triton St.   Take the second left to connect through to Stanhope St.  Continue on Stanhope and turn right onto Varndell St.  Then take a right onto Hampstead Rd.  Turn left onto Mornington Crescent and then left onto Arlington Rd.  When it ends, cross the street and go straight to get to the canal.  Cross over the bridge to the left and run straight on the canal.  Exit the canal at Charlbert and head to St Johns Wood, or take a detour in the park if you want to extend your distance.

9s and 11s pace groups – Reverse Notting Hill (6.5 miles)
RunGo link:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/G4FcjiR2h9
Run down Circus Road and turn left on Grove End.  Turn right on St. John’s Wood Rd and then left on Cunningham Place.  Make your next right onto Aberdeen, cross Maida Vale and continue on Blomfield Rd.  Turn left onto Westbourne Terrace Rd to cross the canal and immediately turn left to enter the canal, keeping straight.  Just after you pass under the Westway, turn right and then left into Sheldon Square.  Head out of Paddington Basin, going up the steps, and turn right onto Bishop’s Bridge Rd.  Run for about a mile and turn right onto Ledbury Rd.  Make your second left onto Colville Terrace.  Turn right onto Ladbroke Grove and run to the canal, entering where we usually exit.  Turn right and run on the canal until Westbourne Terrace Rd, exiting to cross the bridge and turn right onto Blomfield.  Run back the way we came – left onto Cunningham, right on St. John’s Wood Rd, left on Grove End and right on Circus Rd.


Friday, September 25 – Reverse Heath Routes (5-8 miles)

8s and 10s pace groups – Hampstead Heath via Elsworthy Rd
RunGo link:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/OGdOHtpFkK

Exit the church gardens at the gate on the St Johns Wood High Street side, cross the street, and run a short distance to make a right on Allitsen Road.  Make a left on Townshend Road and follow it to its end, then make a right on Acacia Road and a quick left on Avenue Road.  Cross Avenue at the first crossing to run down Elsworthy Road.  At the end of Elsworthy, turn left onto Primrose Hill Road and follow it until you turn right onto England’s Lane.  At the end of England’s Lane, cross Haverstock Hill and go right just to take a left onto Parkhill Rd.  Follow Parkhill to its end, then take a right onto Mansfield Road and a left on Roderick Road.  At the end of Roderick, you will see the Heath entrance across the street.

Elsworthy to Heath Reverse 6 – 6.4 milesOnce you enter the Heath, turn right and run along the path above the track.  Turn left after you pass the cafe on your left.  Run straight along the path until you reach the end of the second pond.  Turn left and run straight along the path until it reaches a T.  Turn right and follow the path as it curves gently and then joins up with the path we take to enter the Heath on our standard 6-mile route.  Exit the park at Spaniards Road and turn left to run down Heath Street and Fitzjohn’s Avenue to Swiss Cottage.  From Swiss Cottage take St Johns Wood Park to Ordnance Road and turn right on St Johns Wood Terrace to end on the High Street.


9s and 11s pace groups – Hampstead Heath via Thurlow Rd

RunGo link: https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/i8RgRtOTQE

From the Church Gardens, cross SJW High Street and take either Greenberry St or Barrow Hill Rd to Bridgeman St.  Turn right onto Allitsen and left onto Charlbert.  Take a quick left and then a right onto Ordnance Hill and run up to Swiss Cottage.  Pass the tube and turn right onto Belsize Lane.  Take the first left onto Daleham Gardens, keeping left onto Akenside Rd.  Turn right onto Lyndhurst Rd and then the first left onto Lyndhurst Terrace.  Turn right onto Thurlow Rd and run straight until you enter the park.  Take the first path on the left and follow the curve to the right between the two ponds. Then… follow the directions below for your distance/hill preference.

Parliament Hill – 6 miKeep running straight to go up Parliament Hill the way we normally do.  At the top, take a left on the dirt path and veer to the left at the second path and then turn left at the next path.  Veer to the right and shortly rejoin the path we usually run down (turn right to go up the hill).  At the entrance to the Heath, turn left and run back via Fitzjohn’s and to SJW via SJW Park/Ordnance.

Click here for maps of all of the Heath routes.
—————-
Website:  http://womenrunningtheworld.com/
COVID-19: https://womenrunningtheworld.com/covid-19/
Facebook Group:  Women Running The World (request to join)
RunGo Group: WRW London (https://routes.rungoapp.com/group/wrw)
Email: wrwlondon@gmail.com

14 – 18 September 2020 Running Info

Hello Runners!
It was a great week to run together, and I remain so thankful we are able to do so!  Seeing many of you out running– in our six-packs, and socially distant, of course– has been a welcome slice of almost-normal.  Thanks to all for being conscientious in following the guidelines and helping to keep our community safe.  This week is another long e-mail filled with updated instructions… believe me, I would love to have it just be a breezy congrats on another good week!  But these things are important in allowing us to go forward with running somewhat together, so please give the whole e-mail a good read.  In addition, you can find our basic Covid-19 guidelines here.

New Guidelines.  
Monday, as you all know, brings a new round of government restrictions to combat Covid-19.  It is still legal to meet up and exercise in groups of six or fewer, so we believe WRW can continue to meet if we are very strict with ourselves about how we do our meet-up before runs, what we do when we see each other along the way, and how we handle ourselves after our runs.  So, the changes we need to make from how we’ve been meeting the last two weeks are relatively small, but really significant:

Meeting in the Park

  • We must continue to wear a mask in the park for the entire meet-up time.
  • In the park we will collect into groups of six or fewer upon arrival, and move significantly away from other groups, leaving several meters of spacing between groups.  We really must do this right away, not allowing larger groups to form at all!  If we fail in this, we may have to suspend our group-organised runs. (And we may find ourselves facing government fines!)
  • To the extent possible, we should use our Whatsapp groups to self-organise ahead of meetup times.  For example, even if just a couple of people go on and say ‘I’m doing five miles today’ or ‘I’m doing the loop’ (or whatever the variation in route or pace), others will have a marker to look for upon arrival.  It probably won’t be possible to entirely organise groups that way, but it may help us self-sort more easily. 
  • If there are partial groups assembling and waiting for others who are running similar distance and pace, make sure we are spaced into separate groups.  So if there are three people from one six-pack and three from another, keeping a space between them from the start will make it easier to avoid accidentally finding ourselves in larger groups.

Out on the run

  • We will continue to carefully think through the routes we suggest, to try to ensure we aren’t sending too many people the same way, or going into crowded spaces at the busiest times.  
  • Within our six-packs, we ALL need to be careful to give pedestrians plenty of room:  move to single file when passing someone, anticipate when we will need to move over so we don’t cut too close to them, and just generally try to be polite no matter what attitudes we encounter.  Tempers are short in these times, and even if we are doing everything right, there are just going to be people who don’t like what we’re doing.
  • If you run into another six-pack while out on a run, don’t linger together.  Even though we may feel like we’re still in motion if we’re mid-run, stopping for selfies with twelve people is still breaking the six-person government rule.  (So be super quick with those cameras and greetings!  And please don’t be offended if, for now, we don’t put photos with more than six on our “official” communications.)

After the run

  • Our presence on the St Johns Wood High Street is being noted by the community around us, and even by our own kids.  As much as we love our post-run coffees and seeing others we didn’t run with, we need to keep to the rules here as well:  no more than six people together, and more than just token space between groups.  
  • It’s a good time to consider temporarily trying new coffee spots near the end of a route– the park, the other end of the high street, or a nearby area such as Maida Vale or Swiss Cottage.  (But don’t get too used to it– someday we will all come together at the end of a run again!)

Running this Week.  
We begin the week with our Hyde Park routes.  Remember that we have two NEW ways to run to the park, both avoiding the busy Lisson Grove area during school dropoff times (though the loop-routes come back that way later in the morning).  These runs have loop options from 4 miles to any distance you care to add in the park.  Our ‘destination’ option for this week continues on from Hyde Park to Sloane Square (for about 4 miles), with options on to Westminster (6 miles) or Green Park (7 miles).  On Wednesday we are going to try two old standard routes in reverse:  Notting Hill (6.5 miles, or stop/walk from St Johns Wood Road for 6) and Camden/Mornington Crescent (5 miles).  Both of these routes use the canal towpath for a couple of miles, so we are reversing them to hit the canal later in the morning, when there are hopefully fewer commuters.  And, of course, our Regents Park routes are always an option on Wednesdays. Friday we will continue to learn the new routes to the Heath.  This week the 8s and 10s will use the Belsize Lane/Thurlow Rd route, and the 9s and 11s will use the Elsworthy Rd route.  We have mapped mileage variations from 5-8 miles (see here for our maps, though keep in mind they are routed the old way up Fitzjohn Ave).  AND, I keep forgetting to mention that for those not averse to finding a way home by bike, taxi or public transport, our beloved Borough Market routes are always an option on Fridays!  See below for more on routes, including links to new RunGo maps!

RunGo. 
During lockdown, many of us began using the RunGo app, which allows us to take maps and step-by-step directions with us on our phones.  Thanks go to Amy Grace for working to bring our newer routes into the app quickly so we can all avoid being lost!  Download the app and connect to the group WRW London to see the routes.  As we will continue to offer a greater number of routes each week, we may start to use links to RunGo routes in place of some of our basic in e-mail maps in future.

Shoutouts.  
We all know it’s hard to say goodbye, but we don’t expect to have to do it in September!  This week we very sadly have to say our farewell to one of our 11s Pace Group Leaders, Ann Sharma, who is headed to the Seattle area.  We are sending all of our best WRW love and good wishes with you, Ann!  

Upcoming events.   As we mentioned last week, if races are happening in the Spring, we will, of course, plan to take WRW to one!  In this landscape of unknowns, we can’t say what the exact timing will be– but likely late March or early April, as usual.   The Royal Parks Half has announced a ‘surprise lottery’ for places in their rescheduled race, now planned for Sunday, April 11.  The ballot opens Wednesday, September 16, and will be open for a week.  Another local half marathon planned for that timeframe is the London Landmarks Half on March 28 (not yet open for registration).  It is possible that either of these local races might conflict with whatever race trip we might conjure, but we thought we should let you know about them.  For some runners, the entry fee may be worth it to hedge a bet on being able to run a race in the spring.  (Last year the London Landmarks half was on the same weekend as our Prague half marathon and, in the end, both were canceled).

Finally, I want to say again, that as we consider how to officially conduct WRW during these times, we are aware that there will always be a wide range of individual feelings and comfort levels within any large group regarding how to respond to the pandemic.  While our plan aims to respect the letter and spirit of the guidelines, we also respect people’s individual choices about how to respond.  As we’ve said before, whether you are comfortable joining a group run or prefer to stick to solo or prearranged group runs, we are here to support you.  There are so many ways for us to stay connected now, and our shared lockdown experience taught us all that we can ‘be there’ for each other in all circumstances.
Looking forward to our runs this week, to seeing some of your faces, and to proving to ourselves and to others that we can adapt to these new guidelines and– just keep running!
xx Micki

ROUTES

Monday, September 14 – Hyde Park via two Routes, with Destination Options to Sloane Square/Westminster/Green Park (4 – 7 miles)
8s and 10s pace groups – Hyde Park via Regent’s Park 

RunGo link:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/WV7sVAqTR5

From the church gardens, run down Park St to the mosque to enter Regents. Once in the park, turn right and run along the outer circle of the park and exit at Baker St.  Turn right on to Park Rd, then left onto Ivor Place and left again on to Gloucester Place.  Run along Gloucester Place towards Oxford St.  Once you cross over Oxford St, Gloucester Place becomes Park St.  Continue along and turn right at Brooke St and enter Hyde Park. To return to St John’s Wood, turn right and run towards our usual entrance to the park.  To make the run longer, pick up any of the regular Hyde Park routes from where you enter.  Click here for the routes.

On to Sloane Square/Westminster
Turn left and run down towards 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.  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. See below for the map from the edge of Hyde Park to Sloane Square/Westminster/Green Park.

9s and 11s pace groups – Hyde Park via Westbourne Terrace
RunGo link:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/j7nkmylery
From the church gardens exit towards Wellington Rd, cross at the zebra crossing and turn left.  At the traffic lights turn right on St John’s Wood Rd.  Run along St John’s Wood Rd and turn left at Cunningham Place and right at Aberdeen Place, which turns into Blomfield.  Run along Blomfield towards the canal.  Do not get on the canal but instead cross over it and take the Westbourne Bridge under the Westway (A40).  Run south on Westbourne Terrace and, at the fork, bear right to enter Hyde Park at Lancaster Gate.  From here you can take any of our Hyde Park routes (click here for the routes). 

On to Sloane Square/Westminster

Turn left, run up the hill and cross Carriage Drive.  Start running towards Speakers Corner but quickly take the first diagonal path.  Follow this to Serpentine Rd, cross it and run straight 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.  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.


Wednesday, September 16 – Reverse Notting Hill OR Reverse Camden/Mornington Crescent

8s and 10s pace groups – Reverse Notting Hill (6.5 miles)
RunGo link:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/G4FcjiR2h9

Run down Circus Road and turn left on Grove End.  Turn right on St. John’s Wood Rd and then left on Cunningham Place.  Make your next right onto Aberdeen, cross Maida Vale and continue on Blomfield Rd.  Turn left onto Westbourne Terrace Rd to cross the canal and immediately turn left to enter the canal, keeping straight.  Just after you pass under the Westway, turn right and then left into Sheldon Square.  Head out of Paddington Basin, going up the steps, and turn right onto Bishop’s Bridge Rd.  Run for about a mile and turn right onto Ledbury Rd.  Make your second left onto Colville Terrace.  Turn right onto Ladbroke Grove and run to the canal, entering where we usually exit.  Turn right and run on the canal until Westbourne Terrace Rd, exiting to cross the bridge and turn right onto Blomfield.  Run back the way we came – left onto Cunningham, right on St. John’s Wood Rd, left on Grove End and right on Circus Rd.

9s and 11s pace groups – Reverse Camden/Mornington Crescent (5 miles)
RunGo link:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/2wR1WTbGbe

Run south on Wellington Rd, cross at the zebra crossing and turn left onto Prince Albert Rd.  Enter the park at Charlbert and turn left to run around the Outer Circle.  Head out of the park at Park Square, turning left onto Marylebone Rd.  Turn left onto Osnaburgh St and then right into Triton St.   Take the second left to connect through to Stanhope St.  Continue on Stanhope and turn right onto Varndell St.  Then take a right onto Hampstead Rd.  Turn left onto Mornington Crescent and then left onto Arlington Rd.  When it ends, cross the street and go straight to get to the canal.  Cross over the bridge to the left and run straight on the canal.  Exit the canal at Charlbert and head to St Johns Wood, or take a detour in the park if you want to extend your distance.


Friday, September 18 – Reverse Heath Routes (5-8 miles)

8s and 10s pace groups – Hampstead Heath via Thurlow Rd
RunGo link: https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/i8RgRtOTQE

From the Church Gardens, cross SJW High Street and take either Greenberry St or Barrow Hill Rd to Bridgeman St.  Turn right onto Allitsen and left onto Charlbert.  Take a quick left and then a right onto Ordnance Hill and run up to Swiss Cottage.  Pass the tube and turn right onto Belsize Lane.  Take the first left onto Daleham Gardens, keeping left onto Akenside Rd.  Turn right onto Lyndhurst Rd and then the first left onto Lyndhurst Terrace.  Turn right onto Thurlow Rd and run straight until you enter the park.  Take the first path on the left and follow the curve to the right between the two ponds. Then… follow the directions below for your distance/hill preference.
Parliament Hill – 6 miKeep running straight to go up Parliament Hill the way we normally do.  At the top, take a left on the dirt path and veer to the left at the second path and then turn left at the next path.  Veer to the right and shortly rejoin the path we usually run down (turn right to go up the hill).  At the entrance to the Heath, turn left and run back via Fitzjohn’s and to SJW via SJW Park/Ordnance.

9s and 11s pace groups – Hampstead Heath via Elsworthy Rd
RunGo link:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/OGdOHtpFkK

Exit the church gardens at the gate on the St Johns Wood High Street side, cross the street, and run a short distance to make a right on Allitsen Road.  Make a left on Townshend Road and follow it to its end, then make a right on Acacia Road and a quick left on Avenue Road.  Cross Avenue at the first crossing to run down Elsworthy Road.  At the end of Elsworthy, turn left onto Primrose Hill Road and follow it until you turn right onto England’s Lane.  At the end of England’s Lane, cross Haverstock Hill and go right just to take a left onto Parkhill Rd.  Follow Parkhill to its end, then take a right onto Mansfield Road and a left on Roderick Road.  At the end of Roderick, you will see the Heath entrance across the street.
Elsworthy to Heath Reverse 6 – 6.4 milesOnce you enter the Heath, turn right and run along the path above the track.  Turn left after you pass the cafe on your left.  Run straight along the path until you reach the end of the second pond.  Turn left and run straight along the path until it reaches a T.  Turn right and follow the path as it curves gently and then joins up with the path we take to enter the Heath on our standard 6-mile route.  Exit the park at Spaniards Road and turn left to run down Heath Street and Fitzjohn’s Avenue to Swiss Cottage.  From Swiss Cottage take St Johns Wood Park to Ordnance Road and turn right on St Johns Wood Terrace to end on the High Street.

Click here for maps of all of the Heath routes.
—————-
Website:  http://womenrunningtheworld.com/
COVID-19: https://womenrunningtheworld.com/covid-19/
Facebook Group:  Women Running The World (request to join)
RunGo Group: WRW London (https://routes.rungoapp.com/group/wrw)Email: wrwlondon@gmail.com

7 – 11 September 2020 Running Info

Hello Runners!
We did it!  What a joy to see you come together again last week!  Thank you to everyone for being so conscientious about our new way of operating through the Covid times, as well as for your feedback, ideas, and support.  You were brilliant!

So, as we move into another week, a brief reminder/summary of our new mode of operation:  we meet with our pace groups in St Johns Wood Church Gardens, wearing masks.  Quick or distant hellos are great, but we have to mostly stay in separate groupings to observe government guidelines.  Within our groups we observe social distancing and form into packs of six or fewer to head out on our runs, leaving 2-3 minutes of space between departing packs.  And, of course, out on our routes we give pedestrians plenty of room.  All of the specifics can be found here, if you missed it the first time around.  And our general Covid-19 guidelines can be found here.
One further thing we should think about in our new MO, is how we spend our post-run time.  Though many of us, myself included, really enjoyed seeing each other on the SJW High Street after the run last Wednesday, we probably need to be more careful about how we congregate in that time.  As with all the other elements of our plan, we need to think about public perceptions in addition to public health, as we are so identifiable to the community.  Even if we are maintaining social distance on the high street, we don’t want to look as if we’re overwhelming the space.  Let’s all try to be conscious of our overall spacing (not just how far away we are from the person closest to us).  Last week some six-packs took their coffees back to the SJW church gardens, where there is plenty of space to spread out.  Or if you are in for just a short coffee, let’s try to make sure we are spaced along the high street rather than clumped on the corners.  And THANK you for being understanding about our flood of instructions and recommendations as we try to make sure WRW can continue to find a new normal without getting cross-wise with the community or the authorities!

Running this week. 
Monday we will be trying some new routes to Hyde Park.  We’re going to avoid our normal route down Lisson Grove, because it is a high pedestrian traffic area during school drop-off times.  Once you reach Hyde Park, you can choose to turn around and run back for 4 miles, run your desired extra distance in the park (our standard routes can be found here), OR, in keeping with first-Monday tradition, follow the routes on to Big Ben.  Though it will mean organising transport back to SJW (running, walking, biking, or public transport), we wanted to put the route in for those who might want to keep our old traditions in these very new and different times.  Wednesday we’ll return to Regents Park, using the same basic routes as last week, but reversing which group runs which.  And Friday we return to the Heath, also switching up the routes.  Please look at the maps and directions found below.  In this time of running in smaller packs, it’s especially important that we all have a good idea of where we are going!

Announcements and Shout-outs. 
This will come as no surprise to those of you who have just joined us and have already received a lovely welcome note, but I wanted to give a very big shout-out and thank you to Jen Iannazzo!  Jen has agreed to take on the role of managing our membership and email lists.  We can’t imagine anyone better to give a warm welcome to our new runners, and to help keep us sorted and organised!  Thank you, Jen!!

Beginner Group.  
Our Tuesday-Thursday Beginner group got underway last Thursday with a great group of women!  As you know, the group is for true beginners, women who have never run 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.  Please help us spread the word about our beginner group– it’s really helpful if beginners can find their way to us sooner rather than later!  If you know of (or meet) anyone who is interested, have them email us at wrwlondon@gmail.com.  

Upcoming events. 
It feels like an exercise in optimism to talk about races, so here goes!  The Royal Parks Half has announced a ‘surprise lottery’ for places in their rescheduled race, now planned for Sunday, April 11.  The ballot opens Wednesday, September 16, and will be open for a week.  If races are happening in the Spring, we will, of course, plan to take WRW to one!  There are so many unknowns at the moment that we can’t say what the exact timing will be– but likely late March or early April, as usual.  Another local half marathon planned for that timeframe is the London Landmarks Half on March 28.  It is possible that might conflict with any race trip we might conjure, but we thought we should bring it to your attention in case you wanted to hedge bets.  (Last year the London Landmarks was on the same weekend as our Prague race and, in the end, both were canceled).
I can’t wait to see more of you in the week ahead!  It has been such a pleasure to return to running ‘with’ you all.  There’s something special about being out there together– even at a distance– after our six-month hiatus.  Seeing another WRW ‘six-pack’ across the park is still a little thrill for me, and I hope many of you have felt that way as well!  Hope the week ahead brings a fresh sense of a new normal to you and your families!  See you in the Gardens…

xx Micki

ROUTES
Monday 7 September – Hyde Park (4- 6.5 miles)

The Hyde Park routes offer something for everyone in terms of distance, looping routes (to and from St John’s Wood) and destination runs with the option of walking, cycling or tubing back to St John’s Wood.
Instead of heading to the park our usual way we are going to avoid busy Lisson Grove and run via Regent’s Park or Westbourne Terrace.  Both routes are approximately 2 miles to the park entrance.  From there you can turn around and head back for a 4-mile route, or continue through the park to add mileage.

8s and 10s pace groups – Hyde Park via Westbourne Terrace
From the church gardens exit towards Wellington Rd, cross at the zebra crossing and turn left.  At the traffic lights turn right on St John’s Wood Rd.  Run along St John’s Wood Rd and turn left at Cunningham Place and right at Aberdeen Place, which turns into Blomfield.  Run along Blomfield towards the canal.  Do not get on the canal but instead cross over it and take the Westbourne Bridge under the Westway (A40).  Run south on Westbourne Terrace and, at the fork, bear right to enter Hyde Park at Lancaster Gate.

6 mile option – Run along the west side of the Italian Gardens and continue along the south side of The Serpentine until you reach Hyde Park Corner. Run through Wellington Arch and turn left to enter Green Park. Run to the Green Park Tube (4mile route) on Piccadilly and head north (turn left) to Berkeley Street. After Berkeley Square Gardens, turn left and then right onto Davies Street. Run north on Davies to the Bond Street Tube. Go left on Oxford and then right onto James Street. Run north on James which becomes Marylebone High Street.  At Marylebone Road, turn left and then right to enter Regents Park at York Gate. Once in Regents Park, turn left and run along the Boating Lake back to the mosque exit. Return to the church gardens or Starbucks.

Big Ben
To get to Big Ben, there are a few options depending on the mileage you want.Option A – follow the route for the 6 mile option above but after running through Wellington Arch, continue on to Big Ben the usual way (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.).  This will give you close to 5 miles to Big Ben.  Turn around and run to Green Park to make it 6.
Option B – upon entering the park, turn left to run up the hill and then cut diagonally across the park over to Hyde Park corner and follow the usual route to Big Ben from there (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.)  This should make it closer to 4.5 miles to Big Ben.  Turn around and run to Green Park to make it 5.5 miles.

9s and 11s pace groups – Hyde Park via Regent’s Park 
From the church gardens, run down Park St to the mosque to enter Regents. Once in the park, turn right and run along the outer circle of the park and exit at Baker St.  Turn right on to Park Rd, then left onto Ivor Place and left again on to Gloucester Place.  Run along Gloucester Place towards Oxford St.  Once you cross over Oxford St, Gloucester Place becomes Park St.  Continue along and turn right at Brooke St and enter Hyde Park. To return to St John’s Wood, turn right and run towards our usual entrance to the park.  To make the run longer, pick up any of the regular Hyde Park routes from where you enter.  Click here for the routes.

Big Ben
To go to Big Ben intead, upon entering Hyde Park, turn left and run along the eastern edge of the park to Hyde Park Corner, under the arch and down Constitution Hill.  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.  Turn around and run back to Green Park to make it 5 miles.

Wednesday 9 September – Regent’s Park (5 miles)
8s & 10s pace groups – Reverse Inner/Outer
From the church gardens, make your way to Allitsen Road and run down Allitsen to Primrose Hill.  Enter the park and turn right.  Cross over Prince Albert Road to head into Regent’s Park.  Once across the Outer Circle, turn left to run around the outer edge of the park.  After 1.5 miles, turn right on York Bridge to get to the Inner Circle.  Run all the way around the inner circle and exit the way you came in on York Bridge.  Turn right to continue running around the outer edge of the park, exiting at Avenue Road (NOT Charlbert).  Turn left to run along Prince Albert Road to SJW High Street and Starbucks/Pret. 

9s & 11s pace groups – Regent’s/Primrose
From the church gardens, run down Prince Albert Rd to the Charlbert entrance to Regent’s.  Run straight, pass The Hub and at the next intersection after that, make a sharp right and run with the water on your left.  Curve around and then turn left to run over the bridge.  Turn left after the bridge to run past the Boating Lake and keep running around the edge of the park (keeping inside the park).  The path will start making its way to the left, putting you at the fountain at the highest part of the Broad Walk.  Go straight over the Broad Walk and keep to the right to run along the edge of the zoo.  Cross over the Outer Circle and then Prince Albert Road.  Once in Primrose Hill Park, turn right and run to the far edge, then turn left and run at a slight diagonal and make a left to run up to the top of Primrose.  Head back down towards the Elsworthy exit and go out and turn left on Elsworthy.  At Avenue, turn left and cross where you can, then turn right on Acacia to head back to SJW High Street.

Friday 11 September – The Hill!  (5 or 6 miles)
It’s Friday so it’s hill time!  To avoid the school crowd on Fitzjohn’s, we will be running reverse routes that take us up another way and back down Fitzjohn’s after the school run is finished.  The routes also avoid Royal Free Hospital so pay close attention to the street turns to avoid getting lost!

Getting to the Heath – 8s & 10s
Exit the church gardens at the gate on the St Johns Wood High Street side, cross the street, and run a short distance to make a right on Allitsen Road.  Make a left on Townshend Road and follow it to its end, then make a right on Acacia Road and a quick left on Avenue Road.  Cross Avenue at the first crossing to run down Elsworthy Road.  At the end of Elsworthy, turn left onto Primrose Hill Road and follow it until you turn right onto England’s Lane.  At the end of England’s Lane, cross Haverstock Hill and go right just to take a left onto Parkhill Rd.  Follow Parkhill to its end, then take a right onto Mansfield Road and a left on Roderick Road.  At the end of Roderick, you will see the Heath entrance across the street.

Elsworthy to Heath Reverse 6 – 6.4 miles
Once you enter the Heath, turn right and run along the path above the track.  Turn left after you pass the cafe on your left.  Run straight along the path until you reach the end of the second pond.  Turn left and run straight along the path until it reaches a T.  Turn right and follow the path as it curves gently and then joins up with the path we take to enter the Heath on our standard 6-mile route.  Exit the park at Spaniards Road and turn left to run down Heath Street and Fitzjohn’s Avenue to Swiss Cottage.  From Swiss Cottage take St Johns Wood Park to Ordnance Road and turn right on St Johns Wood Terrace to end on the High Street.

Elsworthy to Heath Reverse 5 – 5.3 miles
Once you enter the Heath, turn left and stay to the left until you cross the pond, then carry on taking a basically straight path to exit the park at Well Walk (where the normal Betsy route enters the park).  Follow Well Walk until it turns into Flask Walk, and then carry on to the Hampstead High Street.  Cross the street and cut through Oriel Place to Heath Street, and then turn left to run all the way down Fitzjohn’s Avenue to Swiss Cottage.  From Swiss Cottage take St Johns Wood Park to Ordnance Road and turn right on St Johns Wood Terrace to end on the High Street.

Getting to the Heath – 9s & 11s
From the Church Gardens, cross SJW High Street and take either Greenberry St or Barrow Hill Rd to Bridgeman St.  Turn right onto Allitsen and left onto Charlbert.  Take a quick left and then a right onto Ordnance Hill and run up to Swiss Cottage.  Pass the tube and turn right onto Belsize Lane.  Take the first left onto Daleham Gardens, keeping left onto Akenside Rd.  Turn right onto Lyndhurst Rd and then the first left onto Lyndhurst Terrace.  Turn right onto Thurlow Rd and run straight until you enter the park.  Take the first path on the left and follow the curve to the right between the two ponds. Then… follow the directions below for your distance/hill preference.

Parliament Hill – 6 mi
Keep running straight to go up Parliament Hill the way we normally do.  At the top, take a left on the dirt path and veer to the left at the second path and then turn left at the next path.  Veer to the right and shortly rejoin the path we usually run down (turn right to go up the hill).  At the entrance to the Heath, turn left and run back via Fitzjohn’s and to SJW via SJW Park/Ordnance.
Note – for anyone wanting more mileage, you can easily continue on from Parliament Hill to do the regular Heath 8 mile route – just follow the normal route after running up the hill.

Reverse Betsy – 5 mi
Take the second path on the left and run to the normal Betsy intersection.  Turn left and keep running straight to exit the park on Well Walk.  Keep running straight until the Hampstead High Street.  Turn right and then left to run back to SJW via Fitzjohn’s and SJW Park/Ordnance.

Click here for maps of all of the Heath routes.
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