How wonderful was it to be back together this week? Having been unable to freely mingle as one big group for so long made this week’s gatherings feel especially great and a little surreal. A very big welcome to those of you just joining us– we are so happy to have you! Every one of us was new to the group at some point, so we genuinely want to make you feel comfortable and included, and we look forward to getting to know you. I loved meeting so many of you at yesterday’s SCOOP event at ASL!
Running this week. It’s a good week to work on settling back into a running routine, so we will make it easy by keeping it local and giving you lots of options on distances for each route. Our first Monday back, we traditionally run the WRW standard route to Big Ben– don’t forget to bring a contactless or Oyster card and mask for transport home. The standard route is four miles to the Westminster tube station, or you can take earlier exits at Hyde Park Corner or Green Park. You can also extend the run back to Green Park for a five-mile run, or back to St John’s Wood for eight. On Wednesday we’ll do the Primrose Hill/Regents Park loop, which enters Primrose Hill from the Elsworthy Rd side, goes to the top of the hill (great view, great photos!), and then coasts down the hill and into Regents Park. The full route is five miles, but the routes section below includes suggestions for modifying it for three- or four-mile options. Friday our official route will once again be up to the Heath.
As always, route maps or links, directions, and RunGo links are found in the Routes section at the end of each e-mail. RunGo is a live, on-the-run navigation app we have found useful for way-finding, especially when we get on to more complicated routes. It’s certainly not required, but it’s a great tool if you are interested in turn-by-turn navigation.
Announcements and Shoutouts. Just a reminder for all of us as we take off toward Hyde Park for the first time this year: please be aware and considerate of the Londoners with whom we are sharing the pavements. We can be unintentionally intimidating to pedestrians when we’re caught up in our run and our conversations– especially now, when no one is accustomed to seeing larger groups like us on the pavements around them! Please make sure we don’t take the full width of the sidewalk when there are others around, and do give enough space that they don’t feel we’re running over them. (And it goes without saying, do be careful at street crossings– don’t just follow the person or group in front of you into the intersection!)
If you are new and not finding the right pace group, please speak up! We really want to help you find the people who are doing the pace and distance you’re looking for, but sometimes it might take more than one try to get it right. Any of the returning runners can point you to someone who will be able to help. And if you are a returning runner, try not to worry too much about established pace groups these first couple of weeks. Everyone has a different summer running (or not running!) mode, and we each need to be careful to avoid injury by not trying to just pick up where we left off last spring. Find the pace that is right for you right now, and there will be others who are running that pace. If we take a couple of weeks to get back in the groove, our pace groups will begin to settle in naturally.
The Cancer Research 10K London Summer Run is taking off as I finish writing this e-mail. Good thoughts to all our WRW participants– I look forward to sending shoutouts next week! Actually, since my phone just lit up with starting line photos, I’ll share a few below (feeling a kind of BBC Breaking News vibe, here)! Please do keep us up-to-date on races or events you or a WRW friend are doing, and always feel free to send photos from any run– we have grown into such a big group, this is a good way to stay connected!
In the next few weeks, our emails will talk about our training routine and introduce some of the people who make sure WRW is working (pace leaders, routes team, kit, the Race, membership, beginners coaches, etc). But we’re going to stick to the basics for another week: meet, run, smile, stretch, drink coffee, and enjoy being back together!Looking forward to seeing you out there this week!
Monday 6 September – Big Ben (2-8 miles)
This is a WRW standard, and such a fun route! We run right through the heart of London and stop at the famous Big Ben. The 8 mile option is for runners who’ve been training for a fall race.
On Monday 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. Run along the eastern edge of the park to Hyde Park Corner, under Wellington Arch and down Constitution Hill. Run along the edge of Green Park, past the Victoria Memorial and cross The Mall at the traffic light. Run down The Mall and enter St. James Park. Run over the bridge across the lake and out of the park, turning left onto Birdcage Walk and down into Parliament Square to Big Ben. Those running four miles will take the tube back to SJW from here and those running eight will turn around and follow the same route back. You can also make it a five-mile run by turning back at Big Ben and running to the Green Park Tube Station, then tubing it home.2 mile alternate: stop at Hyde Park and take the tube from Marble Arch3 mile alternate: stop at Green Park and take the tube from Green Park
Wednesday 8 September –Primrose Hill/Regents Park Loop (3-5 miles)
Start out as if we’re headed for the Heath, running down St Johns Wood Terrace until it reaches the T. Turn left, then right, then left again at Avenue Rd. At the crossing just a short distance up Avenue Rd, cross over and run down Elsworthy Rd a short distance until you see a small road on the right that ends in the entrance to Primrose Hill park. Once in the park take the path that angles to the left, then bear right at the first fork and left at the second. This will take you up for a fantastic view from the top of Primrose Hill. After you’ve caught your breath, take the path that goes down on the right (if you are looking out toward London), then curve around to the left at the first split. Follow this path all the way down the hill to the crossing at Prince Albert Rd. Cross at the zebra and head straight into the park via the bridge and across the Outer Circle (NOT a zebra, please note!). In Regents Park, take the path that angles to the left, running behind the zoo. Cross the Broad Walk by the fountain and continue across on the path that heads toward, but not all the way to, the perimeter of the park. Follow this to the far corner, and then turn right to run along the southern edge of the park, inside the fence. Continue to follow this around the boating pond to run across the little bridge at the far end of the pond, then bear right to follow the contour of the pond to its end. Continue on the same path until it meets the diagonal path that runs behind the zoo (the same one we ran in on). Turn left to follow that to its end and then turn left onto the Outer Circle and follow it for a short distance to the crossing at Charlbert. Exit the park and take Charlbert to St Johns Wood Terrace to finish at our Starbucks/Pret corner of the High Street.3 mile alternate: Rather than go out to the Broad Walk, curve around to the right and turn right to run straight past The Hub, between the fields, and straight out to Charlbert St. Run 2 blocks and turn left on St. John’s Wood Terrace and head to Starbucks.4 mile alternate: Rather than cross the Broad Walk, turn right and run straight, cross the road and keep going. Turn right at the end and run straight, eventually getting to the water so it is on your right. At the boathouse, curve to the right to go over the bridge and make your first left to get to the Charlbert entrance. Run 2 blocks and turn left on St. John’s Wood Terrace and head to Starbucks.
Friday, 10 September – The Heath
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 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.