It’s been another great week, with WRW getting it done literally the entire time– from last Sunday’s 10k to Miki’s 100-mile finish in the wee hours this morning! Proper shoutouts below, but just overall, wow! I love how we are all out enjoying the spring, the city and our ability and freedom to run it together.
Running this week. Monday we are off to Hampton Court! If you have blocked off the morning for this run, I promise you it is well worth it! Running from Richmond, past several Ted Lasso sites, then along the Thames all the way to the famous and beautiful Hampton Court Palace, the route is gorgeous and it feels like a quick getaway from the city (though we do love our city!). Please see more logistics information on this below! But meanwhile, if you can’t take the time for the destination run, you will undoubtedly be able to connect with others on your Whatsapp chats who want to run local. We won’t set an alternate local route, as we all have our own favourites by now– but I will just mention that for a 6-8 mile looped run, it’s hard to beat our Hyde Park routes. Our Wednesday plan is to run to Covent Garden via Little Venice. This gets us 6 miles with a slightly different-from-the-usual route (it’s good for your brain!) through Little Venice and Bayswater, and then around Hyde Park through Green Park and along the Mall on to Covent Garden. Note that for this route, and many we will do for the rest of the spring, we are likely to encounter various detours and closures related to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. We will just have to work around these as we come to them, so keep your on-the-go nav skills at the ready. And Friday we are back to the Heath with a recommendation for the Kenwood House full 8-mile route. Your routes team did a little garden research in the course of their planning, and it looks like they hit it spot on, as the Kenwood House website confirms that the rhododendrons, azaleas, and the handkerchief tree are in bloom. See map and full directions below in the “Routes” section, as always.
Hampton Court Palace Adventure Run, Monday! As this is an adventure run, we begin it with an overground train ride from Finchley Road and Frognal Overground station. Note: this is the Overground station, not Finchley Road underground station!– you can get there from SJW by bus, or by tube to Finchley Road and then a short walk further up Finchley to the overground station. We are planning on taking an 8:37 train, so meet at the station at 8:30, with the train arriving in Richmond at 9:08 for anyone planning to meet us there. It’s a good idea to communicate on your Whatsapp chats so your group knows who to expect, but please don’t be late! We can’t wait at the station, as that can mess up plans for many of the runners who arrive on time or who are meeting us in Richmond or by different routes along the way. Plan on taking the full morning for this one, as we start the 8-mile (or 6-miles to Kingston-upon-Thames) run just after 9, will likely take a few photos along the way, and then the commute back to St Johns Wood will take about an hour via train from Hampton Court to Waterloo and tube to SJW or other home station. If you can spare the time, maybe finish with brunch or lunch in Hampton Court (the village, as unfortunately, we can no longer access the Tiltyard Cafe without paying admission to the palace)– Erin has included basic directions to coffee and food in the routes section below.
Announcements and Shoutouts. A shoutout to the ladies who ran the Vitality 10k last weekend: Laura Beal, Darlene Bernard, Alysia Hoyt, and Tanya Sinha! They rocked the WRW kit with the large group running as part of the charity event for Ukraine– check out their photo in the collage above! Also a big shoutout to our Seattle-based WRW alumni crew, some of whom– Molly Johnson, Ann Sharma and Kim Stone– ran the 50th BMO Vancouver half-marathon last Sunday (check out their photo below)! And last but definitely not least– lots of love and kudos to Miki Neant, who finished her Centurion Thames Path 100— yes, that’s a 100-mile ultramarathon!– in the wee hours this morning. Miki finished in less than 18 hours (the race has a 28-hour cutoff)– which placed her 4th for women and 12th overall! Her fabulous crew from the Crazy 8s– Bjorg, Kelly and Francesca– were there to support her along the way (apologies if I’ve missed anyone!). What an inspiration– and what congratulations due to Miki! Good luck to Francesca in her Copenhagen marathon next weekend. And don’t forget to let us know if you (or a shy WRW friend) have an event coming up or just past– we love to give the shoutouts, but it’s also an important way to stay connected with each other as our group grows ever larger!
Looking ahead. We still have lots of great adventure runs ahead. See below for advance planning for those runs that might be a longer commitment. And of course, there is always the option to stay local– Whatsapp groups are a great way to find running partners if you can’t make a destination run. To help with your planning for the rest of this busy spring, we are also making the run schedule for the rest of this year available on this Google calendar (but please still read the e-mails, ok?).
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 1: Sights of London/Leavers’ Run
June 6: Tower Hill in Bloom for Platinum Jubilee
June 10: 2nd Annual Year-end Picnic in Regents Park (12:30-?)– rain date is Monday, June 13
* destinations to be determined by pace group! Reach out to us if you need ideas or logistical help!
What a gorgeous day we are having! I’m headed out to enjoy the rest of it now, and I hope you are, too! Oh, and it’s Mother’s Day in the US, so don’t forget to wish your American moms a happy day, and I wish the same to all of you fabulous moms (here’s hoping you get the double celebration of UK and US days;)! Hoping to see you out there on the pavements and beautiful paths this week!
We will meet at the “Finchley Road and Frognal Overground Station” at 8:30 for the 8:37 train to Richmond. We will arrive in Richmond around 9:08 to start our run. You can take a bus up Finchley Road to the station or take the tube to Finchley Road, turn left and walk up to the Overground Station.
Leave the Richmond Overground Station, cross the road just out of the station at the light and turn left. Turn right onto Duke Street (Sweaty Betty on the corner), then left onto Richmond Green road along the edge of the park. Follow straight along the Green (where scenes of pupils playing football were filmed) and you’ll come to a familiar sight from Ted Lasso: the two red phone boxes, the benches, and the pub (Crown & Anchor in the show, The Prince’s Head in real life). Go straight onto Paved Court and look for 11a, Ted’s home address. At the end of Paved Court turn right and turn left onto Friars Lane. Follow Friars Lane as it winds down to the river path.
Now we stick to the river path along the Thames for the rest of our run. Shortly after the 2 mile mark you can look to the right and see Eel Pie Island, which appears in the background of the scene where Phoebe tallies up the number of times her Uncle Roy curses. In more distant history the island was known for its hotel which hosted gigs by the Rolling Stones, The Who, Pink Floyd and Genesis early in their careers. Eventually we join Lower Ham Road. Keep right at the fork at Canbury Gardens, staying with the river just to your right. As you approach the center of Kingston you’ll run under a metal railway bridge; continue along as close to the Thames as possible until the next bridge, called Horse Fair Bridge.
At the bridge you have two options — turn left into Kingston to stop at 6 miles, or cross the bridge to continue to Hampton Court Palace for 8 miles.
6-mile route: Go up the stairs on the near side of the Horse Fair bridge and turn left into town. Follow the road to the Kingston train station.
8-mile route: Go under the bridge and turn up the stairs and cross the river. Turn left at the end of the bridge onto a pretty path called Barge Walk, which follows the river all the way to Hampton Court Palace. Unfortunately, we can no longer go to Hampton Court’s Tiltyard Cafe without paying the entrance fee but there are plenty of coffee options across the bridge in town. For coffee, turn right just after you cross the bridge and then left onto Bridge Road, which has a number of options. Or, take the train directly back to London via Hampton Court train station, which is just on the left after you cross the bridge. Be sure to check your travel sites to confirm the options for the trip home. There are usually local and express trains that go into London Waterloo.
Wednesday 11 May: Covent Garden via Little Venice (6 miles)
From the top of Church Gardens, run down Wellington Rd and right onto St John’s Wood Road, passing Lord’s Cricket Ground on your right and the LJS Synagogue on your left. Turn left on Cunningham then right on Aberdeen to work your way to Blomfield Rd. Run along the Blomfield Rd sidewalk until you turn left to cross the Westbourne Terrace Road bridge. Turn right after the bridge and follow the sidewalk along Delamere Terrace. When you come to the bridge over the canal turn left onto Lord’s Hill Rd (don’t continue along the canal!), continue past the nursery school on your right, through the park, and then left on Harrow Rd. Cross Harrow Rd at the pedestrian crossing that goes under the Westway, and run straight down Porchester Rd (which becomes Inverness Terrace) all the way to Hyde Park. Turn right in Hyde Park and then left at the Broad Walk. At the base of the park turn left and run all along the southern edge of the park til you get to Hyde Park Corner. Here we run through Wellington Arch and along the southern edge of Green Park. At the end of the park, keep running straight down The Mall (do not cross the street as we do when we are going to Big Ben) until you come to Trafalgar Square. Run around the right side of the Square, past St Martin-in-the-Fields Church. Turn right onto William IV St and then left onto Chandos Pl. At the end of Chandos Pl turn left and enter Covent Garden.
Friday 13 May: Heath – Kenwood House – 8 miles
It’s a beautiful time of year to visit Kenwood House and see the gardens around it. Why not give it a try?Head out to Avenue Road, then up Fitzjohn’s per all the Heath routes. Cross diagonally over Adelaide Rd to run past the Swiss Cottage tube and proceed up Fitzjohn’s Avenue. Run up the hill to the Hampstead Heath Tube. Continue up Heath St (to the left of the Tube) all the way to the stoplight at E Heath Rd. Cross at the light, continue past the roundabout, and enter the Heath at the first trail entrance on your right. Follow this major trail down past Lime Avenue and other smaller trails, fields and forested areas. As the trail starts to veer right, take the sharp left to run up Parliament Hill. Enjoy the spectacular vista (and catch your breath) before continuing down the other side of the hill, keeping left when the path splits and taking a sharp left at the bottom of the hill. Run past three ponds on your right, turn right after the third pond and up the rise to a wide gate (loos on your left here). Go through the gate and turn left along the eastern edge of the Heath. Follow the path downhill then up until you reach the gate on the left that marks the entrance to the Kenwood House grounds. Enter the grounds, turn right to run past Kenwood House, then right again through the gate onto a gravelly path. Follow the path through a gate, and stay on the path as it bears left and passes a wooden bench on the left. Keep your eye out for a small clearing ahead on the left with another bench — when you see it (but before you pass it!) take a hard right down a steep path that crosses a small bridge and heads uphill again. Turn right at the main trail intersect (this is the same trail you ran down at the beginning of the Heath, in the opposite direction) and run back up to where you entered the Heath. Turn left on Spaniards Rd and retrace your steps all the way back to SJW and Starbucks.
Or if you prefer 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.