So happy to have everyone back together in London finally, and we loved seeing you and your running photos this week! A special shoutout to the tree-hugging 10s, who followed the mission on Friday’s Earth Day and found some gorgeous Heath trees to hug (see below for photos!). It was a beautiful week in London, and it was so great to see many of us back out on the pavements and paths!
Running this week. Monday we have two fun options of varying lengths for you: Olympic Park via the canal (9 miles), or Coal Drops Yard via the Wall (5 miles). The first option takes us along the canal headed east, through Chapel Market, and back onto the canal as if we are headed to Brick Lane or Canary Wharf, but for this route instead of running past Victoria Park, we run through and pick up a different branch of the canal on the other side (read your directions, below, and make sure someone is using the RunGo app!). The second option, Coal Drops Yard, begins with a quick jaunt through Regents Park before settling in on the canal east to the Wall, then turning back to run the last fraction of a mile back to the entrance to Coal Drops Yard, where you can find plenty of coffee options before tubing back from Kings Cross. Wednesday is a bit of a freestyle route, with the objective of hitting all five gardens within Regents Park. Though we’ve included directions and a map, don’t get too worried about following the exact route– just enjoy the gardens and try to make sure you see all five! And Friday we head up the hill to the lovely Pergola.
Shoutouts and Announcements. This week we’re sending big shoutouts to a couple of US-based WRW ladies. Alumna Linda Dolan ran the Boston Marathon last week for charity– standing against bullying, and she looked SO strong doing it! And Paula Mitchell finished the Canyons Endurance 100K last night in California– another formidable course taken on by the even-more-formidable founder of WRW! Congratulations and well done, ladies! Please let us know, local WRW runners, if you or someone we know deserves a shout-out. As always, they are free!
Next up we have a couple of opportunities to do some good while running. A couple of runners have passed on these opportunities in the last several days (thanks, Stephanie G and Rebecca E!). The Vitality 10k on 2 May is offering the opportunity to run for Ukraine, donating the registration fee, and offering a start wave just for these runners (who are encouraged to wear the yellow and blue!). Just register from this link, and look for the option halfway down the registration page to tick the box to run for Ukraine through the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal. Registrations close tomorrow, Monday 25 April!!Another ongoing possibility is an app we mentioned during lockdown, which is apparently still going strong– Charity Miles. This organization secures sponsors to donate for miles run by participants, and you can choose your favorite charity or charities for your miles to go to. There are other options for donating through your miles as well, so check out the organization, the app and all the info at the site above.
With running events back in full force (so great!), there are many to choose from this spring. There is a growing contingent of WRW runners signing up for the Hackney Half Marathon on May 22, and there appear to be a number of ways to register for that one (I thinkthis is the official one). Runners who have done it in the past have reported it is a great course and atmosphere! If there are other local races you are excited about or looking to get some running buddies for, let us know, and we’ll try to pop it in here.
Looking ahead. Our Save the Date calendar looks pretty much the same as last week. We have not yet firmly fixed on a date for the Sights of London/Leavers run, and we are also planning a year-end picnic (2nd annual!)– we will try to have those dates nailed down by next week’s email. Meanwhile, we have all these great runs to look forward to! Remember the ‘adventure runs’– destination runs that require a tube/train ride either to the start or from the finish (or both)– and they do generally take a bit more time out of the day, so that’s why we want to give you plenty of time to plan if you want to join them. But there will always be people who are running local rather than to the destination, so just connect on Whatsapp and find friends for your preferred route!
May 2: Bank HolidayMay 9: Hampton Court Adventure Run (8 miles)
May 16: Alexandra Palace Adventure Run (5 miles, to Finsbury Park finish)
May 23: Choose-your-own-adventure Pace Group Options
May 30: Virginia Water/Windsor Adventure Run (7 miles)
June 6: Tower Hill in Bloom for Platinum Jubilee
It’s going to be a great week for running, with adventures to off-our-beaten-path locations, gorgeous gardens, and of course the beloved Fitzjohn Hill! Sadly, I’m on injured reserve right now, so I’m not seeing you all three times a week (I miss you!). Please enjoy the runs a little extra bit for me this week– and don’t be surprised if you see me stalking you all in the park or on the SJW High Street! Have a great Sunday!
Monday 25 April- Olympic Park (9 miles) or Coal Drops Yard (5 miles)
Olympic ParkRunGo: https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/0ny9wERTNC
The route starts out as the Wall. Run along Prince Albert Road to join the canal at Charlbert Street. Run along the canal for approximately 3 miles until the canal pathway ends at the famous “Wall.”
We will run through the Angel neighborhood until we can re-enter the canal path. At the Wall follow the ramp up to Muriel Street. Take a right and then an almost immediate left up a path that winds between the apartment buildings.
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. 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.Follow the canal path to the entrance to Victoria Park on your left. The entrance wall is marked “Victoria Park, Welcome to Tower Hamlets.” Enter the park and stay to the right with the bulk of the park on your left and the canal on your right. After passing a lake on your left, go through the park gates, cross the zebra crossing, and re-enter the park through the opposite gates. Stay to the right to remain parallel to the canal path but still inside the park. Pass the running track on your left, then run a further 150 yards and turn right to exit via St. Mark’s Gate
After exiting through St. Mark’s Gate, turn right on Wick Lane, through the tunnel and enter the Greenway path on the left, opposite the tall brick chimney.
You will shortly see the distinctive tops of the Olympic Stadium and the Orbital ahead of you. Stay on the Greenway and run past the stadium before taking the descending path to the left to enter Queen Elizabeth Park. Turn right on the road then left to the field in front of the Orbit.
To get to Stratford Station (Jubilee and Central lines), continue past the Orbital, turn right after the Aquatics Centre and head out through Westfield Stratford City Mall (where you can also grab a coffee) before heading home.
Coal Drops Yard
Run down Wellington Road and curve around to cross at the crosswalk as usual. Run down to the mosque and turn left to enter Regents Park. Cross into the park and turn right to run along the path that will lead you to the boating lake. Stay on that path until the English Gardens where you turn left. Run straight through, crossing the road and continuing straight all the way to the Outer Circle. Cross the road and at the other side of the bridge, turn right along the road and then a quick right to head down onto the canal. Run along the canal towards Camden. Turn left into Camden Market and run around the food stalls to get back onto the canal. Continue along the canal all the way until The Wall. Touch The Wall (per WRW custom!) and turn around. Exit at the wide green steps to get to Coal Drops Yard and find a new coffee spot for your group to celebrate another great run!
Wednesday 27 April – Regents Park, Five Gardens in Five Miles, Freestyle (+/- 5 miles)
From St Johns Wood Church Gardens run to Wellington Road and turn left onto Prince Albert. At the intersection with Charlbert street turn right, run over the bridge, cross the road and run the Outer Circle going left. Turn right onto The Broad Walk and enter the Park. Follow the path to Chester Road, cross the street and enter the Avenue Gardens. They are two distinct gardens: the English Garden and a formal Italian Garden (with the Griffin or Lion Tazza). Run all the way through the gardens and then loop back to Chester road. Turn left, cross the street and enter the Inner Circle. Run a loop counterclockwise enjoying the Queens Mary’s Rose Gardens, the Japanese Garden Island and the Triton and Dryads fountain. Exit the Inner Circle from the same path you come from and turn left. On your right look for the St John’s Lodge Gardens (also known as the secret garden). Exit the garden, turn right following the Inner circle. Turn right into York Bridge and after crossing the bridge enter the Park through the gate on your right and run back to St Johns Wood.
Friday 29 April- Heath Pergola (6+ miles)
Head out to Avenue Road, then up Fitzjohn’s per all the Heath routes. Continue past Hampstead Tube Station all the way to the roundabout just beyond Whitestone Pond. At the roundabout, use the pedestrian crossings to cross counterclockwise over to New End Way to Jack Straws Castle (now a personal training gym) and continue past the parking lot entrance and past the bus stop to turn left onto a small street called Inverforth Close. A short way down, there is a trail to the right with a green barrier gate and a sign that says “The Hill Garden.”
Follow this trail until you come to an entrance on the left for “The Hill Garden and Pergola”, enter it and go to the right around the big bushes. You will see a beautiful reflecting pool. Run alongside it and up the stairs-you are on the Pergola! Run or walk the length of the Pergola. Don’t forget to look at the beautiful views, admire the flowers and take a pic or two. Please be considerate and don’t run if others are walking the Pergola. When you have finished with your Pergola time and reached the far end, take the stairs down and turn left to run on the wide trail back to New End Road, turning right to run by Jack Straws Castle and crossing left at the pedestrian crosswalks by the roundabout to put you back on the standard Heath route. Turn left from the crosswalk and then right to enter the Heath. 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 Rd. 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 choose another Heath route:
<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.