It was truly wonderful to see so many of you this week at kit collection! Thank you for coming out for that, and for bringing your enthusiasm, good humor and correct change! More shoutouts on that below. You are looking great out there in that new kit! And I hope you are all feeling as strong as you look! As the calendar takes us into February this week, our training is beginning to ramp up. Lucky for us, the great company and the great routes make it so much fun.
Running this week. Monday we do the famous 9-mile Canary Wharf run– always a milestone on the WRW training calendar. The route mostly follows the canal all the way, with a few complications around Angel and when we exit the canal at Limehouse Basin. All the details are in the Routes section below, or you can use the RunGo link (also below) for turn-by-turn navigation. You’ll feel great when you reach the end of this one, and you’ll be ready to celebrate, with several choices for coffee or food (including Tortilla, where some past runners have been known to talk the managers into firing up the margarita machines). On Wednesday we will do Primrose Hillzzz to get some interval efforts and hills in. Doing a run with repeats on Groundhog Day seems only appropriate! And Friday is the first Friday of the month, so we are off to Borough Market– a flat, fun, 6-mile run with big foodie rewards at the end.
Shoutouts and announcements. A really big thanks is due to our kit collection hostess, Jen Iannazzo, for graciously opening her door to about 200 of us this past Tuesday. Kitmaster Marissa O’Malia deserves all of our gratitude for securing such great gear in this year of supply chain challenges– not to mention creating great and memorable items for us to wear. Trip boss Sue Wheeler is doing an amazing, incomparable job of keeping all of our Berlin details cooking along, and keeping all of us straight as we put more details in place and collected payment. Thanks also to Amy Grace, Jess Browne and Melissa Kay for helping with the kit pickup operation all morning. Thanks as well to several ladies for participating in other valuable ways: Abby Khatiblou, Fernanda Spinelli, Shakha Mehta, Stephanie Gladis and Veena Gopal.
Covid policy. As things are once again changing rapidly around us, many have been asking for clarification and updates on how to handle household Covid exposure and running with the group. For the time being, we are continuing to ask that runners do not run with the group if they have people at home who have tested positive. We know that this is more strict than current UK guidance. The reason for this is that we don’t always know how others feel about exposure or what vulnerabilities they or a loved one may have, and we don’t want to inadvertently push anyone out of the group because we are not doing enough to manage risk. While we are sensitive to the fact that people may find themselves having to train outside the group for a few to several running days, we hope and believe the affected runner will rejoin us when their household has recovered. In the meantime, some women who have found themselves in that situation have been able to connect and run separately with friends who are comfortable with the level of exposure. If you have recently recovered from Covid yourself (as in, within the last two months since Omicron has been dominant), you should be fine to run with the group while a household member recovers. Meanwhile, we will continue to review this as conditions continue to change. Be assured we are as keen as anyone to get back to normal and ditch all the restrictions, and we ask for your understanding as we try to balance our consideration for the comfort and safety of all of our women running the world.
Save the Date. Whether you are planning to run the half or not, we have some great runs planned for the next few months. Here are some upcoming dates for your calendar:
Sunday, February 13 – London Winter Run 10k
Monday, February 14 – Greenford (9.75 miles)*
Monday, March 7 – Canada Water (10 miles)
Monday, March 21 – Kew Gardens (11 miles)
* optional swap of Monday/Wednesday runs the week of Feb 14 for those running the Winter Run 10k on Sunday
That is it for this week. As I sign off here, I’m looking out at a beautiful Sunday morning, and I can hardly wait to get out and run to Canary Wharf with you all tomorrow! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
Monday 31 January – Canary Wharf (9.3 miles)
Section One – Canal to the WallRun from the St Johns Wood Church Gardens to the Charlbert Street entrance to Regents Park and enter the canal to the left before the bridge. Run along the canal for approximately 3 miles until the canal pathway ends at the famous “Wall.”
Section Two – Angel RoadsWe need to run through the Angel neighbourhood until we can re-enter the canal path. At the wall follow the ramp up to Muriel Street. (This is a good place to wait for your pace group.) Take a right and then an almost immediate left up a path that winds between the apartment buildings. See the picture below for the entrance to the path.
Keep going straight on the path and it will become Maygood Street. When you get to the intersection with a main road (Barnsbury Road) turn right. Run until you make the second left onto Chapel Market. (There is a metal archway saying Chapel Market and a zebra crossing at the intersection.) Follow Chapel Market until the end. (NB: There is a public Ladies Room at the end of White Conduit Street, which intersects with Chapel Market about midway.) Turn right at Liverpool Street to the major road Upper Street. Cross Upper Street and turn left. (NB: Angel Tube Station is to your right if you are going home from here.) Make your first right at Duncan Street and follow until the end. The entrance to the canal path will be directly in front of you. Go straight along the canal (NOT a sharp right turn.)
Section Three – Canal to Limehouse BasinWe run for about 4 miles following the canal path past Victoria Park to the Limehouse Basin. We exit the canal path at the wire looking bridge – see picture – and take the brown brick steps up to the left.
Section Four – Limehouse Basin to Canary Wharf
At the top of the brick steps, go straight. At the Limehouse Gallery and Bronze Age shop turn right. Run along the water until you reach the second metal foot-bridge leading to a park. Cross the bridge and run through the park. After the park, you’ll run straight, under an arch and the water will be on your right. Run with the water on your right until you see the long flight of steps next to Royal China – see picture. You’re almost there! Only a third of a mile remaining!
Run up the steps and straight ahead, through the small park to India Drive and then veer slightly right along Cabot Square. You’re heading for the big skyscraper building in front of you. Stop when you see the sign for the Canary Wharf DLR Station at the ‘mall’ entrance on the South Colonnade. We often meet at the Tortilla or one of the many other options inside the building on the left. After a much earned break (and maybe even a margarita?!), we’ll head to the Canary Wharf Tube station and tube it home to SJW on the Jubilee line. Congratulations!
Wednesday 2 February – Primrose Hillzzz (5 miles)
It’s Groundhog Day, so let’s celebrate with some repeats! We’re combining hills and intervals this week with Primrose Hillzzz, the zzz for the zig zag hill repeats that are sure to get your hearts pumping and glutes working! We’ve doctored the usual start of the run to give us a little more warmup distance in Regents Park before tackling the first hill.
Head out from St Johns Wood Church Grounds to enter Regents Park by the Mosque. Run straight into the park and turn right after you cross the bridge, following along the water to the end of the lake and then curving around to the right to join the Broad Walk. Turn left and run to the fountain, and then go left to run the diagonal path alongside the zoo. Say hello to the camels, look for the tigers, and carry on out the park at the path that leads across the Outer Circle to Primrose Hill. Once in Primrose, 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 Terrace 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 4 February – Borough Market (6 miles)
It’s Borough first Friday! We can grab coffee at Monmouth or Rabot Estates before doing any shopping and catching the tube at London Bridge station back to SJW. Don’t forget your mask and your contactless card! 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 or Rabot Estates!).