Welcome to the 2021-22 WRW Running season!! It is SO great to be back in London, and I hope you are all feeling as excited as I am about the start of our WRW year together!
Happily, we have fewer restrictions facing us at the moment than we have had in the last year and a half. For starters, we will now be able to meet all together(!) in St Johns Wood Church Gardens, beginning this Wednesday, September 1. We will meet at 8:20 (for an 8:25 start) on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, and for now there is no need to spread to the far corners of the park as we have done over the last year. Let’s take the opportunity to reconnect across pace groups by meeting near the park entrance on Wellington Place (the one closest to St John’s Wood High Street) before we break into our groups to take off on the run. As with current guidance across the city, masks are optional, but we would encourage you to bring one along on the run (along with a bank card or ApplePay, as always) in case you end up taking public transport at some point.
It goes without saying that we must continue to be mindful of Covid precautions and sensitive to the community around us. Please do not run with the group if you are experiencing covid symptoms or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive. If you have not had a vaccine, we respectfully request that you consider wearing a mask when with the group, as some of our members (or their family members) may be immuno-compromised. We will keep current on the rules and conditions in the UK, and will adjust our plans as needed throughout the year.
Running this week. As always, route maps, descriptions and links can be found at the end of this e-mail. This week we will ease into the routine with our customary ‘first week’ runs, beginning on Wednesday with our home course in Regents Park. The suggested route is the Outer and Inner Circle, but there are so many options to run as short or as long as you like in the park– and there are also many options for coffee together on the High Street when your run is finished! On Friday, our tradition is to run up the hill to Hampstead Heath. In the routes section below is a link to all the Heath routes. Even if the hill seems a little daunting, you can take the pace easy, and enjoy the challenge with friends. Alternatively, ask around at the park and you will undoubtedly find others who want to stick to a flatter route this week
Announcements… If you are new to the group, Welcome! Whether you have never run more than a few miles, or you have many marathons under your belt, you belong, and we are glad to have you! I’m trying to keep this e-mail contained, but it still may seem like a lot of information. Don’t worry! We are a super friendly group, and we pride ourselves on helping new people become addicted to running with us. Just show up, say hello, and ask anyone in the group for help with finding someone to run with at a pace that is comfortable for you.
Beginner Group. Our Tuesday-Thursday Beginner group will start this Thursday morning, Sept 2 (meeting at Barclays). As you know, this 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. If you know of anyone who would like to be part of the 2021/22 beginner group, please let us know— it’s really helpful if beginners can find their way to us sooner rather than later!
Wonder Women Runners. For those who are not beginners, but are coming back from a long injury or a break from running, or are not yet confident with covering a few miles at our varied pace options (from 12 min/mile down to 8 min/mile), Tamar Brooks will be leading a ramp up group again this year– The Wonder Women Runners– with Claudia Figueroa and Yvonne Horrell. Let us know if you are interested and we can connect you with Tamar, or simply ask anyone during meetup at the park and we will get you connected. Next week’s e-mail will include more details on pace groups and our basic weekly schedule, but it is worth mentioning that we are very excited to have added a 12s pace group this year, with Fernanda Spinelli and Carol Osborne leading the way.
… and Shout-outs! Congratulations to all who ran the London Landmarks half marathon recently, including Jess Browne, Alysia Hoyt, Claire Missin, Laurie Morgan and Mandeep Rai. And more shoutouts to the crew who ran the Vitality Big Half last Sunday: Bjorg Fridbjornsdottir, Stephanie Gladis, Miki Neant, and Charlotte Sinclair. And a big additional shoutout to Bjorg, who ran a beautiful ultramarathon in Iceland in July– the Laugavegur Trail Ultra, at 53 kilometers and 1900 meters of climbing! Let me know if I’ve missed anyone in these races or any others recently– shoutouts are free, and so much fun! And finally, a huge cheer for Rebeca Ehrnrooth, who is about to finish the famous Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) trail ultramarathon as I write. The race runs a giant ring around Mont Blanc, beginning and ending in Chamonix, running through France, Italy and Switzerland, and climbing more than 32,000 feet along the way. It is truly an epic undertaking!
Upcoming events. The Cancer Research 10K London Summer Run— a Covid adaptation of the popular annual London Winter 10k– will take place next Sunday, September 5 from 9:30 am. It appears that entries are still open. If you are signed up to run already, make yourself known on your group’s whatsapp chat if you want to find friends to run with! (And if you are not yet on a pace group whatsapp chat, please let us know and we’ll get you connected!) Going forward, please feel free to send us information on upcoming races. We can’t include everything in the weekly e-mail, but we do try to flag some of the events our community might love.
We will leave it at that for now. Let’s just celebrate being back together for a couple of great, familiar runs this week! I cannot wait to see the group gathered for a fresh new start on Wednesday morning! In the meantime, enjoy the bank holiday, and happy back-to-school wishes for all!
Wednesday 1 September – Regents Park Inner/Outer Circles (3-5 miles)
From St Johns Wood Church Gardens turn left onto Prince Albert Road. Run to the pedestrian crossing where we will cross and head to the Outer Circle. 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 the 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 the High Street for a coffee. Don’t forget to stretch, whether on the corners or in the park!
3 mile alternate: walk to the Charlbert entrance and run around the outer circle, ending where you started, and walk back to the High Street.4 mile alternate: skip the inner circle
Friday, 3 September – The Heath
Come on, you know you can’t wait to get back up that hill! There are multiple mileage options below, and the link will take you to all the maps.
<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 route8 miles: The full Heath route
Click here for maps of all of the Heath routes.
Facebook Group: Women Running The World (request to join)
RunGo Group: WRW London (https://routes.rungoapp.com/group/wrw)