28 March – 1 April 2022 Running Info

Hello Runners!
A week in the sun!  We had some dazzling runs this week– and Monday may have been the most perfect running weather we’ve ever had for our run to Kew Gardens!  Of course, I do realise that ‘perfect running conditions’ is a pretty subjective notion, so if you were missing the rainy cold from some previous years’ pilgrimages… well, don’t worry, I’m sure we’ll get more of that running weather in coming weeks!  But this week it was wonderful to see so many of you hanging out after the run at Kew, and to hear the cheers as successive waves of runners rolled in.  Congratulations on a great run!  Next year we should probably warn the village when our invasion is about to happen!

Running this Week.  It’s Race Week for everyone going to Berlin!  That means we take it pretty easy this week on the official runs.  Monday we have a flat 7 miles to Tower Hill.  This is the by-now familiar Borough Market run extended along the Thames to and across Tower Bridge to finish at the Tower of London.  (Have a look around as they may be working on the Superbloom project, filling the moat with wildflowers in honor of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee– and we have a return run scheduled for June!).  On Wednesday we will take the Regents Park Inner and Outer Circle route for a relaxed 5 miles.  Friday is travel day for many runners going to Berlin, as is next Monday, for return trips.  If you are in London, organise running buddies and routes via the Whatsapp chats.  If you are new to the group and not yet in a pace group whatsapp chat, just let us know, or tell the pace leaders you’ve been running with.  We want everyone to be able to stay connected!

Shoutouts and Announcements.  Thanks again to Magali for organising our coffee last week at Regents Bar and Kitchen.  It was great to have some time to hang out with everyone on the terrace!  If you were there, you already know that kitmaster Marissa has managed to procure a small stash of navy WRW running hats, which are available for £25.  Email Marissa to purchase.  Thank you also to Carmine Najjar for stepping in as substitute kit rep for the day last Wednesday!

Once again, if you haven’t already done so, please let Melissa Kay know TODAY if you will be leaving London at the end of the school year.  As much as we don’t like to think about it, we do want the chance to give some love to our “leavers” at the half marathon celebration.  Don’t miss the chance to be included.
And finally, a really important announcement and shoutout.  Most of us are aware that Ukrainian refugees are flowing into Berlin in great numbers, even as we prepare to travel there for our event.  Jennifer Egsgard stepped up to search out what avenues might exist for us, as individuals, to consider helping with the crisis.  Along with Shannon Ashton and Marissa O’Malia, Jennifer has put together an information sheet on how we can help, with websites, contacts and instructions for financial or in-kind donations for the refugees in Berlin.  The information sheet is included as an attachment below. Thank you to these ladies, for their big hearts, and for doing this important legwork!  

Looking ahead.  Next week is travel and recovery week for those who’ve just run in Berlin.  The regular e-mail will not arrive on Sunday, but on Monday.  See the schedule below for what’s in store for the next couple of weeks, and some highlights beyond: 
Monday, April 4:  most Berlin runners return later in the day.  There will be no official WRW route, but use your whatsapp to make a plan!
Wednesday, April 6:  Easy-paced 4-mile route to Whole Foods Kensington.  Some runners may prefer to rest another day, and others can easily lengthen the route in the park.
Friday, April 8:  Borough Market ‘first-Friday’ run.  Even though it’s not the first Friday.  Maybe April Fools didn’t count??
April 11- 18:  ASL Spring Break, and no official WRW schedule.
April 25:  Olympic Park via the canal (9 miles), or Coal Drop Yards via the canal (5 miles)
May 9:  Hampton Court Adventure Run (8 miles)
May 16:  Alexandra Palace Adventure Run (5 miles, to Finsbury Park finish)

Happy Mothering Sunday to all the Moms in the group!  I hope your people will find a way to celebrate you today (and help make up for that rude loss of an hour’s sleep last night!).  Whether or not you are a mom, and whether or not others celebrate you today, you are all extraordinary women who nurture and care for the people in your lives– including each other.  I hope you will take a moment to acknowledge that about yourselves today, and maybe even to spoil yourself a little bit!

I’ll see you in the park tomorrow for a beautiful run to one of London’s iconic sights– we really are so lucky we get to run in such an amazing backyard!  Enjoy the rest of the weekend…
xx Micki


Monday 28 March – Tower Hill (7 miles)
RunGo: https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/eckLcQj4pf
Today we will be running across, along and back across the Thames, and in and around some of the oldest parts of London. The sights will be stunning! If you don’t want to do the full 7 miles, you can simply end at Borough Market for 6 miles, or stop at Westminster for 4 miles.

We start off as though we are running to Borough Market— down Grove End and into Hyde Park, under Wellington Arch, along Green Park, through St James Park and towards Big Ben then across Westminster Bridge. At the end of Westminster Bridge, exit left down the stairs and run along the Thames Path past the London Eye, Royal Festival Hall, Blackfriars Bridge, Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe to the Golden Hinde, admiring all the landmarks as you trod past. Follow the walkway to the right of the Golden Hinde and at the junction with Southwark Cathedral, turn sharp left and follow Montague Close, passing through the tunnel. You are now on Tooley Street. Shortly, you will see a Legible London standing road sign for Tooley St/London Bridge (photo below) – turn left and go through the passage to meet up with Queen’s Walk/Thames Path. Turn right onto the walk. Continue on the Thames Path past the HMS Belfast, City Hall and Potters Fields, to Tower Bridge. Climb the stairs up to the Bridge (don’t go under the Bridge), then run across Tower Bridge (the views!), continuing past the Tower of London (more views!) until you reach the stairs down to Tower of London Park. Take the stairs down and follow the paved path along the park. Just past the park is a junction in the path-turn right to run in a tunnel under Tower Hill Road, past part of the original London Wall and up to the Tower Hill tube station. Now, think of all the history you’ve witnessed in just 7 miles!

Wednesday 30 March – Regent’s Park Inner/Outer Circle (5 miles)
RunGo:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/BoeFK1Khvv
From the Church Gardens head down past the church and 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 OuterCircle until you reach the traffic light at 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 stretch before heading to Starbucks or Pret.
Note – you can make this a 4 mile run by cutting out the inner loop.

Friday 1 April – route of your choice if you’re not heading off to Berlin

Check in with your pace group to see who is around to run!

21 – 25 March 2022 Running Info

Hello Runners!
What a gorgeous few days we have had!  Hope you are out enjoying that sunshine this weekend– and we hope to carry some into the week ahead.  It has been amazing to be out in London as the flowers are bursting everywhere and we are hitting some of our favourite destinations.  Even with the Saharan dust-cloud/mud-rain on Wednesday, we got in a great run on the canal and lots of amazing street art viewings– and photos.  Stick together, ladies, we are just hitting our stride and getting on to the best part of our running year!

Running this Week.  Monday is our capstone London run of the year– the much-anticipated 11-mile jaunt to Kew.  This route runs through Hyde Park and Kensington, then follows the Thames from Hammersmith all the way to Kew, crossing on the Barnes Bridge.  From Hammersmith, this path should look familiar to many of you, as it was the first part of last year’s route for the Hampton Court Half Marathon (which, for newcomers, we did as our own WRW event under covid restrictions, in small groups on subsequent days!).  If you are not training for the marathon but you’d like to join for part of the run, you could arrange to meet your group at Hammersmith and run the 5 miles on to Kew, or run the 5+ to Hammersmith and tube home.  

Wednesday is another big day, as we have the WRW Pre-Race coffee!  We’ll take the 5-mile route through Camden Lock and Mornington Crescent into Regents Park for a small loop before stopping at the Regent’s Bar and Kitchen for socializing, celebrating, and taking care of some pre-race business (but note that ALL WRW runners are welcome, not just race attendees!).  Finally, Friday we’ve scheduled an old favorite 5-mile Heath route:  the Betsy.   Take a look at the maps and directions in the Routes section below for all of the navigation help you’ll need for this week!

Announcements.  For everyone traveling to Berlin for the half marathon, look out for a trip-specific email coming in Monday or Tuesday, with all the information you’ll need for the weekend.  Sue has been working incredibly hard to put together all the details and keep current on the latest updates for you.  Seeing it all pulled together truly makes it feel real and exciting!!  One general note here to be sure we’re reaching people who have had to drop from the trip:  the last date for canceling your hotel room with a refund is Friday, March 25th.  You can do this directly with the Marriott via the information in the confirmation e-mail you received from them. 

As mentioned above, the WRW Pre-Race Coffee will be Wednesday after our run (from 9:30, so time for a stretch in the sun if you arrive earlier!) at the Regent’s Bar and Kitchen.  Note that this is for all runners, whether you are going to Berlin or not.  Thanks to Magali Kivatinetz for organising the coffee once again!  We look forward to socialising, sharing important race updates/reminders, and welcoming this year’s Beginners into the general WRW fold (be careful not to freak them out with scary race stories!!).   Food and coffee will be set up inside, but we also have a great space outside if the day is fine!  

Navigating our group dynamic now that there are no Covid regulations is tricky.  We are all a community, and a rapid spread of cases through the group at this point could be catastrophic to people’s plans, even if the health implications are not as threatening as they formerly were.  Please use your own good judgment with regard to group gatherings; for example, consider taking a lateral flow test just to be sure you’re not inadvertently exposing the group at coffee on Wednesday– especially if you feel ‘off’ or have had any exposure ahead of Wednesday’s gathering.  We are not here to nag or police– we just want to try to keep all of our friends healthy and able to travel for the race (healthy always, obviously, but particularly coming into the race week!).  If you happen to test positive at this point, there is time for you to recover and attend the race.  But the person who may be exposed this week may well not recover in time to make the race they’ve been training for all year. 

Finally, please let Melissa Kay know ASAP if you will be leaving London at the end of the school year.  As much as we don’t like to think about it, we do want the chance to give some love to our “leavers” at the half marathon celebration.  Don’t miss the chance to be included.

Training note.  Just one word this week:  Tapering!  That’s what begins after Monday’s Kew run.  For the next 12 days before the race, we get to back off of aggressive training and let our legs rest and build up some energy for race day.  We’ll still run enough miles to maintain our fitness, but these should not be hard miles!  Don’t worry– if you’ve done your training according to plan, then you’ve banked you need.  You are ready to run the half-marathon!  The easier two weeks before the race will ensure you don’t go into it tired and depleted.  Other things to think about during this time include getting good sleep, eating well and hydrating steadily and sensibly.  Expect your appetite to act like you’re still running the big miles– and go ahead and indulge it (but with the nutritious stuff!).  It’s also a good idea to take a break from strength training if that is something you regularly do (and certainly don’t start now if it’s not!).  You’ll be surprised how much extra energy you’ll find in your legs!  (Disclaimer: if you are a serious fitness person or working with another trainer, you will have your own needs and plan).  Mantra for the days following Monday’s run:  Embrace the taper!

Shoutouts.  This weekend is a big one for WRW achievements… on Saturday, four ladies ran the Centre of the Universe 50k ultramarathon– which is an event with a self-designed course of 50k anywhere in London to end at the Camino Ultra official finish line in Hackney.  Big congratulations to Anna Zlateva on her first ultra, which she did solo and unsupported(!) and to Miki Neant, Sarah Nicoli, and Kelly Willis on their big finish on a route that began at Hampton Court.  An additional shoutout to Marissa O’Malia and Bjorg Fribjornsdottir for being their support crew and for providing us with a scouting report for tomorrow’s run along the Thames (trail is in good condition, not too muddy!)  What a gorgeous day for a lot of miles!  
And this morning, another gorgeous one, we had a big crew head out to do the Hampton Court Palace Half!  Congratulations and well done to Laura Beal, Jess Browne, Clementine Drackett, Abby Khatiblou, Clare Missin, and Katie Zolnierz on completing ‘live and in person’ the race that became our virtual WRW half marathon last spring.  I believe there may even have been a celebrity sighting at this one (see below)!

Looking ahead.  We’ll share some save-the-dates next week– your routes team has some great things in store for the Spring!  But in the meantime, just to set your expectations if you haven’t been through a WRW destination race with us yet: 
Monday, March 28:  Tower Hill (7 miles)– taking it easy, as this is taper time for Berlin runners!
Friday, April 1:  many Berlin runners depart, so check your whatsapp to see who is around!  Route will be Heath or Borough choice. 
Monday, April 4:  most Berlin runners return later in the day.  There will be no official WRW route, but use your whatsapp to make a plan!
Wednesday, April 6:  Easy-paced 4-mile route to Whole Foods Kensington.  Some runners may prefer to rest another day, and others who didn’t run Berlin can easily lengthen the route in the park.
Friday, April 8:  Borough Market ‘first-Friday’ run.  Even though it’s not the first Friday.  Maybe April Fools didn’t count??
April 11- 18:  ASL Spring Break, and no official WRW schedule.

Okay, that’s it!  I am SO excited to hit the Thames Path with you all tomorrow!  Enjoy this beautiful day, everyone.  See you in the park tomorrow morning!
xx Micki

Monday, 21 March – Kew via Barnes Bridge, 11.2 miles
RunGo:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/3vGe1fClDw

Bring your Oyster or contactless card and wear running shoes that you don’t mind getting muddy if you have them! 

You’ll feel exhilarated on our 11 mile run to the “kewt” village of Kew. We start out the normal way running to Hyde Park. Once in the park, we’ll turn to the left and run down the main path as we normally do, to Hyde Park Corner. Here we turn right to follow South Carriage Drive all along the south side of the park. We’ll exit the park at the Broad Walk, turning right onto Kensington High Street and continuing for about two miles until we reach the Hammersmith Tube gyratory. Run counter clockwise towards the left, ending up on Queen Caroline Street from which you turn right onto the St. Paul’s Church green. Run along the edge of the green, heading towards Hammersmith Bridge (which is closed to all traffic and pedestrians for repair). Turn right at Rutland Grove and a quick left to head to the river, then turn right on Lower Mall to run west along the Thames.

Keep the river to your left — mostly it will be visible, but sometimes there will be houses in between you and the river. After 2 miles, as soon as you pass two boat houses in quick succession, you will come to a Barnes Bridge, a railway/pedestrian bridge. Climb the bridge stairs and use the pedestrian access to cross the river to the south bank of the Thames, then continue west along the river for another 2 miles.

We will leave the Thames Path at Kew Bridge, see photo below:

Run UNDER the bridge and then turn left, past a couple of tiny shops and garages. Run through the small parking lot until you see the stone steps leading to the top of the bridge.

At the top of the steps turn right towards town (not back over the river!) and run along this road [Kew Road] for about a third of a mile until you reach a 3-way intersection, where you will veer right and follow Kew Road along the boundary wall to Kew Gardens until you reach the first main pedestrian entrance to Kew Gardens, the Victoria Gate. Across from Victoria Gate is Lichfield Road (sign posted on the left-hand corner). Follow Lichfield Road straight into Kew village. Starbucks is on the left where we’ll all meet up to celebrate this epic run!

Wednesday 23 March – Camden Lock/Mornington Crescent/Regent’s Park – WRW Coffee (5.15 Miles)
RunGo:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/3Oz5Lz9hEF

Head to the canal going eastbound to Camden Lock, where we cross the small, cobblestone bridge, exit the canal and turn right onto Camden High Street (alternatively, turn right just at the bottom of the bridge and go through the opening between the buildings to get to Arlington Road). At the first intersection with Jamestown Road take a right after crossing Jamestown Road and then the first left onto Arlington Road. Run straight down Arlington Road, make a slight right onto Mornington Crescent, follow it around and turn right onto Hampstead Road. At the first intersection, turn right onto Granby Terrace and the second left onto Stanhope Street. Continue down Stanhope until we reach Trinton Square. Turn right and run between the office buildings at Regent’s Place, past the nice fountains, to the end of Trinton Street. Use the pedestrian crossings to cross Osnaburgh Street and Albany Street. Head left to the intersection of Euston Road, where you take a right and run briefly along Euston Road. At Park Square East, turn right through the gates towards Regent’s Park. We enter the park at the Outer Circle intersection and stay on the path on the far right (east side) of the park. After you cross Chester Road, take a left on the second path and follow it, keeping toward the boating lake and running around it all the way to York Bridge, where we will turn left and run to the Inner Circle. Cross the road, turn left, and run the short distance to the cafe.

Friday 25 March – The Heath Betsy (5+ miles)
RunGo:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/dkhuleD0zF
Let’s get one last hill in before we head to Berlin.  Named for the runner whose favorite route this was, The Betsy is a shorter option that leaves out the second hill after you reach the tube station in Hampstead.  At the top of Fitzjohn’s, cross over towards the station and turn right.  Take the first left down Flask Walk and continue straight until you reach the Heath.  Enter the Heath and run until you intersect with the wide path.  Turn right and run down the path, curving to the right.  Run the wide path as usual but don’t turn left to run up Parliament Hill. Instead, veer right at that juncture and follow the trail across the ponds. After the ponds, the trail veers left and shortly after there is an opportunity to take a right turn on the intersecting trail that heads towards E. Heath Rd (taking you next to the fields used for the Art Fair, parking etc at different times of the year). Cross E. Heath Rd at the pedestrian crossing, then run on Downshire Hill Rd to Haverstock Hill. Turn Left on Haverstock Hill, running home the usual way (turn right on Belsize Ave, left on Lancaster Grove, right on Crossfield, right on Adamson, then cut through the Swiss Cottage public area by the Hampstead Theatre, turning onto Fitzjohns to St Johns Wood Park Rd to St Johns Wood Terrace and then to Starbucks).

Or if you want something different:
<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

14 – 18 March 2022 Running Info

Hello Runners,
Hope you have enjoyed your weekend, and some well deserved rest after rocking our long run and intense speed workout last week!  If you made it to Finsbury Park Friday, maybe you’ve been ‘replenishing’ your energy with some good bagels?  

Sincere apologies for getting this note to you so late today– let’s just say there’s a lot going on behind the scenes.  It is so fun to be getting close to our race date– only THREE WEEKS from today!  I hope you all are feeling good and strong, and that the positive energy is equally there for all– whether going to Berlin or not.  We’ve had several women join the group in the last few weeks and that always brings its own great energy– welcome, welcome, ladies!

Running this week.  After a fairly big mileage total last week, we are taking it down just a notch this week.  Monday we are doing a mashup route including Sloane Square and Battersea Park and ending at either Westminster (8 miles) or Green Park (9 miles).  Our training plan calls for 8-9 miles this week, so you can take your choice of which finish based on how you’re feeling.  Wednesday we will head to Brick Lane for a fun destination now that we are taking our pre-race break from doing speed work.  It’s approximately 6.5 miles, so if you can’t take time for the destination, you can run one of our many looped routes of approximately that length (Notting Hill, Kensal Rise, Hyde Park partial).  And Friday we are back up to the Heath, for a Runner’s Choice day.  Pick your group’s favorite route and enjoy some hills together!  Directions and maps, as always, are below in the Routes section, as are links to all of our Hampstead Heath runs.

Announcements and Shoutouts.  Thanks to everyone for being patient with various filming sessions this past week.  Please bear with us as we continue to film into the coming week– hopefully finishing up in a few days!  Meanwhile, just a reminder that next Wednesday, March 23 will be the pre-race coffee in Regents Park after our run– all are welcome to attend, regardless of whether they are coming to Berlin.  And finally, a more somber announcement:  the lovely Melissa Kay is managing our Leaver’s List this year.  If you are planning to leave London at the end of the school year, please let her know (or email WRW)– and also be assured she/we will keep it a secret if your plans are not yet public!

A couple of big shoutouts this week– to Morgan Lintz and Abby Khatiblou– for organizing our really fun WRW pub quiz last Wednesday night!  We got a great chance to mix it up with tables of people randomly matched, and it was so fun to see who knows their British pop music, their politics and famous or not-so-famous faces.  There are some smart ladies in this group– and with some really random and surprising facts in their brains!  Another huge thank you to Devy Schonfeld for hosting the ‘first-timers’ information session– we had a great group of rookie racers, as well as some wise veterans to offer thoughts and field questions.  Particularly, thanks to Veena Gopal and Kelly Willis for the insight and reassurance they offered us all!  If you weren’t able to attend and you would like to see the notes, please let us know.  They were emailed to all Berlin attendees this week, but we are happy to share with anyone!

Next Saturday we have several runners planning to run a 50k race– Centre of the Universe– around London.  It’s a fun event in which racers– or teams of racers– create their own 50k anywhere around London but ending at the specific finish line in Hackney.  We can’t wait to hear how it goes and give shoutouts next week!  Good luck, ladies!

Mark your calendars…  After a big day last Wednesday (first-time racer info session, and WRW Pub Quiz), our upcoming events list is getting shorter!  Yes, there is life after April 3, and we will soon add to the list some of the fun runs we always do in the weeks after the race.  Stay tuned!
Monday, March 21 – Kew Gardens run (11 miles)
Wednesday, March 23 – Pre-race Coffee (after run, in Regents Park) 
Sunday, April 3 – Berlin Half Marathon!!!!

Best to all as the weekend winds down.  Looking forward to seeing you out on the pavements for anothergreat week of running together!
xx Micki


Monday, 14 March –  Battersea Loop to Big Ben (8 miles) or to Green Park (9 miles)
RunGo:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/CBttvNfICO

This is a mash up of two of our routes– Battersea Loop and Sloane Sq to Green Park.  If you are not running the Half, you can cut your route shorter today by taking the Tube home from Sloane Sq.  Otherwise, ending at Westminster will give you 8 miles, and Green Park will give you 9 miles.

We head out to Hyde Park, along the eastern edge of the park, and down Sloane Street to Sloane Square the usual way.  We continue through Sloane Square, down Chelsea Bridge Road, and over the Chelsea Bridge to the south bank of the Thames.  Turn right into Battersea Park and run along the south side of the Thames to the Albert Bridge, where we cross back over the Thames and then turn right again (completing the “Loop”) to run along the north side of the Thames along the Embankment all the way to Westminster Tube Station. 

Continue left on Birdcage Walk, cutting through St James Park to the Mall, then left on the Mall towards Buckingham Palace, crossing before the circle to reach Green Park.  Run up to the Green Park Tube on Piccadilly St and take the tube home! 

Wednesday 16 March – Brick Lane Art Tour- 6.6 miles
RunGo:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/JtJprR11K2
Let’s head to Brick Lane to see some street art and get some bagels!  This route takes you down several streets known for their street art.  Street art is constantly changing so there are no guarantees, but chances are good you see something spectacular!

We will head out in the same way as though we are running to The Wall. Take the Canal east to the Wall—go up the ramp to Muriel Street, take a right and then an almost immediate left up a path that winds between the apartment buildings. Here’s the entrance to the path:

Keep going straight on the path and it will become Maygood Street. When you get to the intersection of 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. Turn right at Liverpool Street to the major road Upper Street. Cross Upper Street and turn left, then make your first right at Duncan Street. Follow Duncan Street to the end and there will be an entrance to the canal directly in front of you. At the canal path, continue running straight about a mile and a half, the water will be on your right. Follow the canal until you reach the Kingsland Road Bridge, Number 45. See the photo below.

Run up the ramp at the side (on the left) to get up to Kingsland Road.  Turn right (you’ll be running back over the canal). Follow Kingsland Road– you’ll see the Gherkin building in the distance in front of you, and Kingsland Road will become Shoreditch High Street at Old Street and you will turn right shortly after onto Rivington Street.  Turn left at Curtain Rd, run a couple of blocks and turn left on New Inn Yard.  You should be seeing some art by now!  Make your first right onto King John Court and left onto Holywell Lane.  At the end, cross the road and bear slight right onto Bethnal Green Road. Take your first left onto Ebor St, right on Redchurch St, right on Chance and then left on Whitby to see some more popular art areas.  Turn right onto Club Row, cross over Bethnal Green Rd and turn right and then the first left onto Sclater St.  At Brick Lane, turn left and run up to Beigel Bake and Crosstown Doughnuts on your left.  
For the journey home, you can take the Shoreditch High Street Overground to Canada Water and then take the Jubilee Line home. Or you can walk through Spitalfields Market to get to the Liverpool Street tube station.

Friday 18 March – Heath  – Runner’s Choice

It’s Friday so away we go to the hill!  The hill is never easy but you always feel great at the top.  So which will you choose this week?
<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.

7 – 11 March 2022 Running Info

Hello Runners!
Can you believe we are already into March??  We are rapidly closing in on the Berlin trip– and we are nearly ready!  This week is our last tempo-training session, and we have only three more long runs before we taper for the half marathon.  You have been amazing at showing up every week and putting in the preparation, with lots of spirit, as evidenced by the smiling photos above!  

Running this week.  Breaking it down a little this week, since there’s more than usual to say about each day this time…  

Monday we are off to Canada Water!  It’s a 10-mile run that follows the Borough Market route before carrying on along the Thames, past Tower Bridge and on through Bermondsey, and through historic Rotherhite to the Canada Water tube station (Jubilee line).  Note that there is a big Decathlon sports store right near the end of the run, so it’s a great chance to shop for gels, rollers, or whatever other training needs you may have.  

Wednesday is our last scheduled tempo workout before the half marathon!  For the occasion we have resurrected an old tempo workout with a track element and fartleks in Regents Park.  Please see the Routes section below for complete instructions.  It’s a challenging workout, but a fun one to take on with your pace group friends– and you will feel great afterwards!  If you are not doing speed work this season, consider a short- to mid-length run in the park and a meetup for coffee on the High Street, or to head over to the first-time half-marathon Q&A session (see more info below).  

Friday we have scheduled our hill run to go up and around the Heath to Finsbury Park.  This route takes in the ‘Spriggan’ statue along the Parkland Walk, as well as bagels at Happenin’ Bagels; but if you can’t take the time for the destination run, you can still run with the group up our standard Heath route to the usual park entrance.

Training note. Nothing too in-depth this week, but just a reminder to take good care of yourself in this last month leading to the race.  Our miles will climb for another few weeks, so we need to be extra good to our bodies while we are asking for extra effort from them.  Stretch.  Use a foam roller (there are many resources online for how to do this– here’s one from Runner’s World).  Take care to follow good hydration and nutrition principles.  Pay attention to the state of your shoes (is it time to replace them? are they right for you?).  Our group ranges from super-experienced runners to some doing their first half marathon (and eclipsing their previous longest run each week!), so there is no one-size-fits-all plan we can put out there for these consideration.  Also… we’re not professionals– we’re just ‘a group of friends running together for fun and fitness (and coffee)’!  But within our group we have a wealth of experience and training.  So reach out to us, or talk to people in your pace group if you need ideas and suggestions.  And lastly, if you are experiencing an ache or pain that is concerning, see a professional.  Addressing it early can help you find a better and quicker resolution.

Announcements and Events.  As your race team works feverishly (read: on a last-minute basis!) to prepare some video entertainment for the post-race celebration, expect to see some filming happening at meetups and during the runs this week.  Don’t be camera shy, and do show up for the runs if you can– we want to include as many of you as possible!

First-time Half Marathon info session… Wednesday, 9:30ish, 16 Blenheim Rd. This Wednesday, after the run we will be holding an info session for people who are preparing for their first (or first in a while) half marathon .  Everyone is welcome, of course, but we expect to concentrate on race basics that might be a bit old-hat if you’ve previously run (formally organised) half marathons.  Bring your questions, as well as a coffee if you want one.  Thank you to Devy Schonfeld for so generously hosting us!

WRW Pub Quiz… Wednesday 6:30 (doors), The Warrington.  Also on Wednesday, there will be a fun, social, non-running event to round out the March 9 activities– the WRW Pub Quiz at the Warrington in Maida Vale!  Big thanks to Morgan Lintz for organising us!  All are welcome to this event, but please RSVP here so we can keep a headcount for the pub.  Doors open at 6:30, quiz begins at 7:30– see the evite for more details!

Mark your calendars…  As we close in on our Berlin trip (less than a month away!), that has become the focus of our events calendar.  Following are the upcoming events/runs to keep in mind up to April 3, and we will soon add to the list some of the fun runs we always do in the weeks after the race.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 9 – race tips info session after run (around 9:30) at Devy’s house –
Wednesday, March 9 – WRW Pub Quiz at the Warrington!! (details here)
Monday, March 21 – Kew Gardens run (11 miles)
Wednesday, March 23 – Pre-race Coffee (after run, in Regents Park) 
Sunday, April 3 – Berlin Half Marathon!!!!

I know I say this all the time, but it is such a joy to run with you– and to share in this community.  Thank you for making it what it is: for being generous to one another in time and in spirit, for cultivating a kind and supportive atmosphere for all, and for taking on our weekly challenges together with positive attitudes and a sense of fun!  Can’t wait to see you out there this week!
xx Micki


Monday, 7 March – Canada Water (10.3 miles)
RunGo:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/6wwqUXZOx5
This route takes us along the Thames Path past Borough Market and Tower Bridge to Canada Water tube station (Jubilee line) in Rotherhithe. Head to Hyde Park in the usual manner. At the park, cross North Carriage Road, turn right at the silver sphere, and left just after the Italian Gardens, keeping the Serpentine to your left. Turn right at the end of the Serpentine to run along the southern edge of the park to Hyde Park Corner. Proceed towards Borough Market – past Buckingham Palace and Big Ben, across Westminster Bridge, and left along the Thames Path to the Golden Hinde. Follow the walkway to the right of the Golden Hinde and at the junction with Southwark Cathedral, turn sharply left and follow Montague Close, passing through the tunnel. You are now on Tooley Street. Shortly, you will see the “Number 1” bar on the right and a London map sign on the sidewalk – turn left here (photo below)

Canada Water

Turn right at the end of the passage – you are back on the river. Run under Tower Bridge, turn left down the tiny alley called “Maggie Blake’s Cause” (photo below), then right at the river. If you look behind you, you will see Tower Bridge – we don’t usually get this view!

Turn right off the river at Maguire Street (between the Ask Italian restuarant and the Blue Print Cafe). Turn left on Shad Thames and follow Shad Thames until it ends, then turn left on Jamaica Road. After a short stretch on this busy road take a left into George Row (directly opposite the Tesco Metro on the other side of Jamaica Road. The road sign for George Row is hard to see, so keep your eye out for the Tesco.) Follow George Row for a few blocks, heading back towards the river, then turn right onto Chambers Street. After the Thames Water building site on the left take the next left onto Loftie Street, then right at Bermondsey Wall East. Continue along Bermondsey Wall East – you’ll see glimpses of the river to your left. If in doubt, the black Thames Path/Rotherhithe Village signs point the general direction. Go straight through a narrow passage (see photo below) to reach the historic heart of Rotherhithe where the road turns into Rotherhithe Street.

You will soon see a small burial ground on your right, where Christopher Jones, the captain of the Mayflower, is buried. Then on the left you’ll pass The Mayflower pub, named in honor of his ship. Continue along Rotherhithe Street until you come to a red metal bridge — turn right immediately before the bridge and go down the path alongside a canal, keeping the water to your left. (photo below)

At Salter St, cross the road and follow the path with the water on your left, and continue alongside the water/canal until you reach a large open area with Canada Water station (Jubilee Line) to your right and the Canada Water library in front of you. This is the end of the route, you made it!

Canada Water

Wednesday 9 March – Tempo Track Work and Fartleks
This week we are back to track work and Fartleks, which are short up-tempo bursts interspersed into the run.

Head down to the Regents Park Outer Circle the normal way, down Wellington, left at roundabout, cross zebra before the High Street, enter outer park at Charlbert but do not go into the park, instead turn left on the outer circle and run slowly to the track. Run ONE lap at the track, gradually increasing your speed. Now, time to really run!

Do a timed one mile on the track [4 laps in the middle lane is pretty close] or you can set your watch to give you a one mile interval. Run this mile at about 80-85% of your maximum capacity. If it were a scale of 1-20 [where 20 is a level of intensity that you could do for 1-2 seconds before you collapse], your timed mile should be a 16-17 [yikes!]. After your timed mile, jog another lap, slowly, around the track to recover, then continue to run slowly over the Regents Park.

Now, we’ll do about a 15-20 minute group Fartlek session. This is how it works: break into small groups (3-5 runners) based on your sprint pace—the fastest group needs to be in front. Separate each group by a couple of minutes before you start running again. Someone in each group identifies the ‘run-to’ point [a bench, a rubbish can, a particular tree, etc] then counts down 3,2,1, ‘GO!’ Everyone in that group runs as hard as possible to the established ‘run-to’ point. The distance of each fartlek should be different—mix up longer legs [maybe 200 meters] with shorter legs [maybe 20 meters]. You can do the loop outlined in the map below or just pick your own path until you’ve done about 15-20 minutes of fartleks.

Now, jog back over to the track and do ANOTHER timed mile to try to meet or better the time you had from your first timed mile.

Run, walk or crawl back to Starbucks and enjoy a much-earned coffee and chat!

Friday 11 March – Finsbury Park via Highgate and Parkland Walk (7 miles)
RunGo:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/OqSvoVYSBa
For this run we start up Fitzjohn’s as if we’re going to the Heath, but pass the Heath entrance and continue up Spaniards/Hampstead Lane into Highgate. Bear right onto Highgate High Street. Turn left down Southwood Lane (the road next to Gail’s) and go down the hill, then veer to the right (not a hard right turn!) onto Jackson’s Lane. Continue down Jackson’s to Archway Road and make a right, then a relatively quick left onto Holmesdale Road. Run a short distance on Holmesdale and the entrance to Parkland Walk will be on your left. Follow the path to Finsbury Park, cross over the train tracks, turn right and run along the western edge of the park and exit onto Seven Sisters Road. Happening Bagel is across the street, Costa is to the right, and Finsbury Park Station is further down on the right (on the Piccadilly and Victoria tube lines).

Finsbury Park