21 – 25 September 2020 Running Info

Hello Runners!

I hope the photos above aren’t too dizzying, but I wanted to begin this week’s note with all the happy photos we received this week.  Even as we work to observe Covid guidelines and we watch national and community developments with regard to the virus, it’s nice to take a moment to appreciate the runs we’ve had together so far, the perfect weather we’ve enjoyed, and this beautiful city we get to run through!

You are doing a great job with social distancing and the Rule of Six at meetup in the park, and at post-run times.  Please keep paying attention to this, especially when we are meeting our sixes at St Johns Wood Church Gardens.  In order for us to stay legal, each of us must be aware of numbers and make sure we are not pushing a grouping over six.  We also have to intentionally create larger spaces between groups.  From across the park (where people are walking their children to school on the pavement and looking into the park at us!), a 2-meter space between groups looks like no space at all– so we have to make sure our ‘six-packs’ are separated by several meters.  And, of course, keep remembering your masks for our time in the park.  Thanks to all, for doing the right things so that we can hopefully keep running in our small packs!  For a refresher on how we are operating right now, here are the links to last week’s guidance e-mail and our Covid-19 statement.  Please also feel free to reach out to wrwlondon@gmail.com (or to me personally) if you have any concerns, questions, or even if you just need to talk!

Running this Week.  On Monday we are staying with our new standard Hyde Park runs, with the 8s and 10s taking the Hyde Park via Westbourne Terrace route, and the 9s and 11s  taking the Hyde Park via Regents Park route this week.  Directions and RunGo links are in the Routes section below.  There are infinite ways to run once you hit the park, or you can follow one of our routes from the website.  In the last two weeks many of us ran to destinations beyond Hyde Park, and those routes to Westminster/Green Park are always an option as well.  Wednesday we will reverse the two routes we offered last week, the Camden/Mornington Crescent loop (8s and 10s) and the Notting Hill loop (9s and 11s).  Remember we are now running those in reverse, so we hit the canal later, when there is less traffic.  And finally, on Friday we have the two new Heath routes, as well as the ever-tempting Borough Market option.  This week the 8s and 10s have the Elsworthy Rd route and the 9s and 11s have the Belsize Lane/Thurlow Rd route.  All directions and the new RunGo links can be found below.

Announcements.  Jess Browne (pace leader, Beginners coach, and lovely person in general) has come up with a brilliant and generous idea!  I’ll pass it along in her words:   

“I believe that running is great for life, for mental health and for bonding with yourself and others. During this difficult time many teenagers and recent graduates may be stuck at home without local friends as Covid disrupts everything, so I want to offer them running coaching.  Let your kids know that if they want to run with me I can take them with up to 4 friends for 30 minutes. No set pace and no experience needed, just the will to go out and meet outdoors. If they are new to London they are also welcome and I’ll group them up so they can meet new friends. Just tell them to email me. It’s free and I promise they will love it and I promise you I’ll take care of them. Thanks!  Jess”

 Jess has been a WRW Beginner’s group coach for three years, and she has coached many other women as they have started or resumed running (including many of our regular runners over this summer!).  She knows what she is doing, and she is both kind and fun.  If you have young adults or teens at home in a holding pattern, her idea might be just right for them!  You can reach her at the email link above.
We have had a few inquiries from runners who can’t make our regular meeting times, looking for groups running at alternate times.  We’d love to help connect people!  Please drop us a note at wrwlondon@gmail.com, or better yet, use this link to join our existing Whatsapp group– “WRW Alt. Times”– kindly created by Janelle Meyer, and used by runners to self-organise.  
Watch your inboxes in the next week or so for our 2020-21 WRW Kit Order!  Our kit guru Marissa O’Malia, along with race boss Sue Wheeler, has been hard at work organising an order for our annual shirts and some other WRW-logo goodies.  We’re not sure exactly when the form will drop, but keep an eye out, as it will have a quick turn-around time.  In this crazy year, we have to get the order in much earlier than usual, as everything everywhere is operating in a delayed fashion.  Also… we are now taking nominations for the shirt slogan– six words or less to sum up our group or our year??  Here’s a sample of previous years:  “Run Like A Girl”, “We Run London”, “Sorry, Gotta Run!”, “In It For The Long Run”, “This Is My Happy Pace”, “Keep Calm and Run On”, “Anytime, Anywhere, Any Pace,” and “Another Run Stronger.”  Looking forward to your ideas!  Send them to wrwlondon@gmail.com
Just another reminder… The Royal Parks Half has a ‘surprise lottery’ open through this Wednesday, Sept 23 at 5pm, for places in their rescheduled race, now planned for Sunday, April 11.  It’s a free entry!  This race, usually held in October, has been popular with our runners through the years, so we wanted to make you aware of this opportunity, even though it may fall quite close to any possible WRW race.  If we are able to take WRW to a destination half marathon this year, it will likely happen at the end of March or beginning of April.

Okay, all that remains is to wish Shana Tovah! to those of you celebrating.  I imagine it has been a different kind of holiday with the Rule of Six in place, but we hope that it has been a meaningful celebration, and that it is indeed a sweet new year ahead!  

I look forward to seeing many of you this week.  Though we are carefully staying at an appropriate distance, I still feel– and I hope you do, too– the WRW camaraderie in our community.  Even at several meters apart, it is a joy to run this life alongside you!

xx Micki

ROUTES

Monday, September 21 – Hyde Park via two Routes (4 – 7 miles)
8s and 10s pace groups – Hyde Park via Westbourne Terrace
https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/j7nkmylery

Options – your choice in Hyde Park to increase or decrease distance!  See here for all of our old, familiar Hyde Park routes!

9s and 11s pace groups – Hyde Park via Regent’s Park

https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/WV7sVAqTR5

Options – your choice in Hyde Park to increase or decrease distance!  See here for all of our old, familiar Hyde Park routes!

Wednesday, September 23 -Reverse Camden/Mornington Crescent OR Reverse Notting Hill

8s and 10s pace groups – Reverse Camden/Mornington Crescent (5 miles)
RunGo link:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/2wR1WTbGbe
Run south on Wellington Rd, cross at the zebra crossing and turn left onto Prince Albert Rd.  Enter the park at Charlbert and turn left to run around the Outer Circle.  Head out of the park at Park Square, turning left onto Marylebone Rd.  Turn left onto Osnaburgh St and then right into Triton St.   Take the second left to connect through to Stanhope St.  Continue on Stanhope and turn right onto Varndell St.  Then take a right onto Hampstead Rd.  Turn left onto Mornington Crescent and then left onto Arlington Rd.  When it ends, cross the street and go straight to get to the canal.  Cross over the bridge to the left and run straight on the canal.  Exit the canal at Charlbert and head to St Johns Wood, or take a detour in the park if you want to extend your distance.

9s and 11s pace groups – Reverse Notting Hill (6.5 miles)
RunGo link:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/G4FcjiR2h9
Run down Circus Road and turn left on Grove End.  Turn right on St. John’s Wood Rd and then left on Cunningham Place.  Make your next right onto Aberdeen, cross Maida Vale and continue on Blomfield Rd.  Turn left onto Westbourne Terrace Rd to cross the canal and immediately turn left to enter the canal, keeping straight.  Just after you pass under the Westway, turn right and then left into Sheldon Square.  Head out of Paddington Basin, going up the steps, and turn right onto Bishop’s Bridge Rd.  Run for about a mile and turn right onto Ledbury Rd.  Make your second left onto Colville Terrace.  Turn right onto Ladbroke Grove and run to the canal, entering where we usually exit.  Turn right and run on the canal until Westbourne Terrace Rd, exiting to cross the bridge and turn right onto Blomfield.  Run back the way we came – left onto Cunningham, right on St. John’s Wood Rd, left on Grove End and right on Circus Rd.


Friday, September 25 – Reverse Heath Routes (5-8 miles)

8s and 10s pace groups – Hampstead Heath via Elsworthy Rd
RunGo link:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/OGdOHtpFkK

Exit the church gardens at the gate on the St Johns Wood High Street side, cross the street, and run a short distance to make a right on Allitsen Road.  Make a left on Townshend Road and follow it to its end, then make a right on Acacia Road and a quick left on Avenue Road.  Cross Avenue at the first crossing to run down Elsworthy Road.  At the end of Elsworthy, turn left onto Primrose Hill Road and follow it until you turn right onto England’s Lane.  At the end of England’s Lane, cross Haverstock Hill and go right just to take a left onto Parkhill Rd.  Follow Parkhill to its end, then take a right onto Mansfield Road and a left on Roderick Road.  At the end of Roderick, you will see the Heath entrance across the street.

Elsworthy to Heath Reverse 6 – 6.4 milesOnce you enter the Heath, turn right and run along the path above the track.  Turn left after you pass the cafe on your left.  Run straight along the path until you reach the end of the second pond.  Turn left and run straight along the path until it reaches a T.  Turn right and follow the path as it curves gently and then joins up with the path we take to enter the Heath on our standard 6-mile route.  Exit the park at Spaniards Road and turn left to run down Heath Street and Fitzjohn’s Avenue to Swiss Cottage.  From Swiss Cottage take St Johns Wood Park to Ordnance Road and turn right on St Johns Wood Terrace to end on the High Street.


9s and 11s pace groups – Hampstead Heath via Thurlow Rd

RunGo link: https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/i8RgRtOTQE

From the Church Gardens, cross SJW High Street and take either Greenberry St or Barrow Hill Rd to Bridgeman St.  Turn right onto Allitsen and left onto Charlbert.  Take a quick left and then a right onto Ordnance Hill and run up to Swiss Cottage.  Pass the tube and turn right onto Belsize Lane.  Take the first left onto Daleham Gardens, keeping left onto Akenside Rd.  Turn right onto Lyndhurst Rd and then the first left onto Lyndhurst Terrace.  Turn right onto Thurlow Rd and run straight until you enter the park.  Take the first path on the left and follow the curve to the right between the two ponds. Then… follow the directions below for your distance/hill preference.

Parliament Hill – 6 miKeep running straight to go up Parliament Hill the way we normally do.  At the top, take a left on the dirt path and veer to the left at the second path and then turn left at the next path.  Veer to the right and shortly rejoin the path we usually run down (turn right to go up the hill).  At the entrance to the Heath, turn left and run back via Fitzjohn’s and to SJW via SJW Park/Ordnance.

Click here for maps of all of the Heath routes.
—————-
Website:  http://womenrunningtheworld.com/
COVID-19: https://womenrunningtheworld.com/covid-19/
Facebook Group:  Women Running The World (request to join)
RunGo Group: WRW London (https://routes.rungoapp.com/group/wrw)
Email: wrwlondon@gmail.com

14 – 18 September 2020 Running Info

Hello Runners!
It was a great week to run together, and I remain so thankful we are able to do so!  Seeing many of you out running– in our six-packs, and socially distant, of course– has been a welcome slice of almost-normal.  Thanks to all for being conscientious in following the guidelines and helping to keep our community safe.  This week is another long e-mail filled with updated instructions… believe me, I would love to have it just be a breezy congrats on another good week!  But these things are important in allowing us to go forward with running somewhat together, so please give the whole e-mail a good read.  In addition, you can find our basic Covid-19 guidelines here.

New Guidelines.  
Monday, as you all know, brings a new round of government restrictions to combat Covid-19.  It is still legal to meet up and exercise in groups of six or fewer, so we believe WRW can continue to meet if we are very strict with ourselves about how we do our meet-up before runs, what we do when we see each other along the way, and how we handle ourselves after our runs.  So, the changes we need to make from how we’ve been meeting the last two weeks are relatively small, but really significant:

Meeting in the Park

  • We must continue to wear a mask in the park for the entire meet-up time.
  • In the park we will collect into groups of six or fewer upon arrival, and move significantly away from other groups, leaving several meters of spacing between groups.  We really must do this right away, not allowing larger groups to form at all!  If we fail in this, we may have to suspend our group-organised runs. (And we may find ourselves facing government fines!)
  • To the extent possible, we should use our Whatsapp groups to self-organise ahead of meetup times.  For example, even if just a couple of people go on and say ‘I’m doing five miles today’ or ‘I’m doing the loop’ (or whatever the variation in route or pace), others will have a marker to look for upon arrival.  It probably won’t be possible to entirely organise groups that way, but it may help us self-sort more easily. 
  • If there are partial groups assembling and waiting for others who are running similar distance and pace, make sure we are spaced into separate groups.  So if there are three people from one six-pack and three from another, keeping a space between them from the start will make it easier to avoid accidentally finding ourselves in larger groups.

Out on the run

  • We will continue to carefully think through the routes we suggest, to try to ensure we aren’t sending too many people the same way, or going into crowded spaces at the busiest times.  
  • Within our six-packs, we ALL need to be careful to give pedestrians plenty of room:  move to single file when passing someone, anticipate when we will need to move over so we don’t cut too close to them, and just generally try to be polite no matter what attitudes we encounter.  Tempers are short in these times, and even if we are doing everything right, there are just going to be people who don’t like what we’re doing.
  • If you run into another six-pack while out on a run, don’t linger together.  Even though we may feel like we’re still in motion if we’re mid-run, stopping for selfies with twelve people is still breaking the six-person government rule.  (So be super quick with those cameras and greetings!  And please don’t be offended if, for now, we don’t put photos with more than six on our “official” communications.)

After the run

  • Our presence on the St Johns Wood High Street is being noted by the community around us, and even by our own kids.  As much as we love our post-run coffees and seeing others we didn’t run with, we need to keep to the rules here as well:  no more than six people together, and more than just token space between groups.  
  • It’s a good time to consider temporarily trying new coffee spots near the end of a route– the park, the other end of the high street, or a nearby area such as Maida Vale or Swiss Cottage.  (But don’t get too used to it– someday we will all come together at the end of a run again!)

Running this Week.  
We begin the week with our Hyde Park routes.  Remember that we have two NEW ways to run to the park, both avoiding the busy Lisson Grove area during school dropoff times (though the loop-routes come back that way later in the morning).  These runs have loop options from 4 miles to any distance you care to add in the park.  Our ‘destination’ option for this week continues on from Hyde Park to Sloane Square (for about 4 miles), with options on to Westminster (6 miles) or Green Park (7 miles).  On Wednesday we are going to try two old standard routes in reverse:  Notting Hill (6.5 miles, or stop/walk from St Johns Wood Road for 6) and Camden/Mornington Crescent (5 miles).  Both of these routes use the canal towpath for a couple of miles, so we are reversing them to hit the canal later in the morning, when there are hopefully fewer commuters.  And, of course, our Regents Park routes are always an option on Wednesdays. Friday we will continue to learn the new routes to the Heath.  This week the 8s and 10s will use the Belsize Lane/Thurlow Rd route, and the 9s and 11s will use the Elsworthy Rd route.  We have mapped mileage variations from 5-8 miles (see here for our maps, though keep in mind they are routed the old way up Fitzjohn Ave).  AND, I keep forgetting to mention that for those not averse to finding a way home by bike, taxi or public transport, our beloved Borough Market routes are always an option on Fridays!  See below for more on routes, including links to new RunGo maps!

RunGo. 
During lockdown, many of us began using the RunGo app, which allows us to take maps and step-by-step directions with us on our phones.  Thanks go to Amy Grace for working to bring our newer routes into the app quickly so we can all avoid being lost!  Download the app and connect to the group WRW London to see the routes.  As we will continue to offer a greater number of routes each week, we may start to use links to RunGo routes in place of some of our basic in e-mail maps in future.

Shoutouts.  
We all know it’s hard to say goodbye, but we don’t expect to have to do it in September!  This week we very sadly have to say our farewell to one of our 11s Pace Group Leaders, Ann Sharma, who is headed to the Seattle area.  We are sending all of our best WRW love and good wishes with you, Ann!  

Upcoming events.   As we mentioned last week, if races are happening in the Spring, we will, of course, plan to take WRW to one!  In this landscape of unknowns, we can’t say what the exact timing will be– but likely late March or early April, as usual.   The Royal Parks Half has announced a ‘surprise lottery’ for places in their rescheduled race, now planned for Sunday, April 11.  The ballot opens Wednesday, September 16, and will be open for a week.  Another local half marathon planned for that timeframe is the London Landmarks Half on March 28 (not yet open for registration).  It is possible that either of these local races might conflict with whatever race trip we might conjure, but we thought we should let you know about them.  For some runners, the entry fee may be worth it to hedge a bet on being able to run a race in the spring.  (Last year the London Landmarks half was on the same weekend as our Prague half marathon and, in the end, both were canceled).

Finally, I want to say again, that as we consider how to officially conduct WRW during these times, we are aware that there will always be a wide range of individual feelings and comfort levels within any large group regarding how to respond to the pandemic.  While our plan aims to respect the letter and spirit of the guidelines, we also respect people’s individual choices about how to respond.  As we’ve said before, whether you are comfortable joining a group run or prefer to stick to solo or prearranged group runs, we are here to support you.  There are so many ways for us to stay connected now, and our shared lockdown experience taught us all that we can ‘be there’ for each other in all circumstances.
Looking forward to our runs this week, to seeing some of your faces, and to proving to ourselves and to others that we can adapt to these new guidelines and– just keep running!
xx Micki

ROUTES

Monday, September 14 – Hyde Park via two Routes, with Destination Options to Sloane Square/Westminster/Green Park (4 – 7 miles)
8s and 10s pace groups – Hyde Park via Regent’s Park 

RunGo link:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/WV7sVAqTR5

From the church gardens, run down Park St to the mosque to enter Regents. Once in the park, turn right and run along the outer circle of the park and exit at Baker St.  Turn right on to Park Rd, then left onto Ivor Place and left again on to Gloucester Place.  Run along Gloucester Place towards Oxford St.  Once you cross over Oxford St, Gloucester Place becomes Park St.  Continue along and turn right at Brooke St and enter Hyde Park. To return to St John’s Wood, turn right and run towards our usual entrance to the park.  To make the run longer, pick up any of the regular Hyde Park routes from where you enter.  Click here for the routes.

On to Sloane Square/Westminster
Turn left and run down towards the southern edge, following the path to the right before it leaves the Park. Run to the large gated exit (Albert Gate) before the tall ‘One Hyde Park’ complex, cross Knightsbridge and turn right on Knightsbridge, then a left onto Sloane Street after Harvey Nichols. Follow Sloane St until it ends at Sloane Square.  Continue past Sloane Sq down Lower Sloane St/Chelsea Bridge Road to the Thames. Turn left on the Thames side of Grosvenor Rd and run along the embankment to Westminster Tube. See below for the map from the edge of Hyde Park to Sloane Square/Westminster/Green Park.

9s and 11s pace groups – Hyde Park via Westbourne Terrace
RunGo link:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/j7nkmylery
From the church gardens exit towards Wellington Rd, cross at the zebra crossing and turn left.  At the traffic lights turn right on St John’s Wood Rd.  Run along St John’s Wood Rd and turn left at Cunningham Place and right at Aberdeen Place, which turns into Blomfield.  Run along Blomfield towards the canal.  Do not get on the canal but instead cross over it and take the Westbourne Bridge under the Westway (A40).  Run south on Westbourne Terrace and, at the fork, bear right to enter Hyde Park at Lancaster Gate.  From here you can take any of our Hyde Park routes (click here for the routes). 

On to Sloane Square/Westminster

Turn left, run up the hill and cross Carriage Drive.  Start running towards Speakers Corner but quickly take the first diagonal path.  Follow this to Serpentine Rd, cross it and run straight to the large gated exit (Albert Gate) before the tall ‘One Hyde Park’ complex, cross Knightsbridge and turn right on Knightsbridge, then a left onto Sloane Street after Harvey Nichols. Follow Sloane St until it ends at Sloane Square.  Continue past Sloane Sq down Lower Sloane St/Chelsea Bridge Road to the Thames. Turn left on the Thames side of Grosvenor Rd and run along the embankment to Westminster Tube.


Wednesday, September 16 – Reverse Notting Hill OR Reverse Camden/Mornington Crescent

8s and 10s pace groups – Reverse Notting Hill (6.5 miles)
RunGo link:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/G4FcjiR2h9

Run down Circus Road and turn left on Grove End.  Turn right on St. John’s Wood Rd and then left on Cunningham Place.  Make your next right onto Aberdeen, cross Maida Vale and continue on Blomfield Rd.  Turn left onto Westbourne Terrace Rd to cross the canal and immediately turn left to enter the canal, keeping straight.  Just after you pass under the Westway, turn right and then left into Sheldon Square.  Head out of Paddington Basin, going up the steps, and turn right onto Bishop’s Bridge Rd.  Run for about a mile and turn right onto Ledbury Rd.  Make your second left onto Colville Terrace.  Turn right onto Ladbroke Grove and run to the canal, entering where we usually exit.  Turn right and run on the canal until Westbourne Terrace Rd, exiting to cross the bridge and turn right onto Blomfield.  Run back the way we came – left onto Cunningham, right on St. John’s Wood Rd, left on Grove End and right on Circus Rd.

9s and 11s pace groups – Reverse Camden/Mornington Crescent (5 miles)
RunGo link:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/2wR1WTbGbe

Run south on Wellington Rd, cross at the zebra crossing and turn left onto Prince Albert Rd.  Enter the park at Charlbert and turn left to run around the Outer Circle.  Head out of the park at Park Square, turning left onto Marylebone Rd.  Turn left onto Osnaburgh St and then right into Triton St.   Take the second left to connect through to Stanhope St.  Continue on Stanhope and turn right onto Varndell St.  Then take a right onto Hampstead Rd.  Turn left onto Mornington Crescent and then left onto Arlington Rd.  When it ends, cross the street and go straight to get to the canal.  Cross over the bridge to the left and run straight on the canal.  Exit the canal at Charlbert and head to St Johns Wood, or take a detour in the park if you want to extend your distance.


Friday, September 18 – Reverse Heath Routes (5-8 miles)

8s and 10s pace groups – Hampstead Heath via Thurlow Rd
RunGo link: https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/i8RgRtOTQE

From the Church Gardens, cross SJW High Street and take either Greenberry St or Barrow Hill Rd to Bridgeman St.  Turn right onto Allitsen and left onto Charlbert.  Take a quick left and then a right onto Ordnance Hill and run up to Swiss Cottage.  Pass the tube and turn right onto Belsize Lane.  Take the first left onto Daleham Gardens, keeping left onto Akenside Rd.  Turn right onto Lyndhurst Rd and then the first left onto Lyndhurst Terrace.  Turn right onto Thurlow Rd and run straight until you enter the park.  Take the first path on the left and follow the curve to the right between the two ponds. Then… follow the directions below for your distance/hill preference.
Parliament Hill – 6 miKeep running straight to go up Parliament Hill the way we normally do.  At the top, take a left on the dirt path and veer to the left at the second path and then turn left at the next path.  Veer to the right and shortly rejoin the path we usually run down (turn right to go up the hill).  At the entrance to the Heath, turn left and run back via Fitzjohn’s and to SJW via SJW Park/Ordnance.

9s and 11s pace groups – Hampstead Heath via Elsworthy Rd
RunGo link:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/OGdOHtpFkK

Exit the church gardens at the gate on the St Johns Wood High Street side, cross the street, and run a short distance to make a right on Allitsen Road.  Make a left on Townshend Road and follow it to its end, then make a right on Acacia Road and a quick left on Avenue Road.  Cross Avenue at the first crossing to run down Elsworthy Road.  At the end of Elsworthy, turn left onto Primrose Hill Road and follow it until you turn right onto England’s Lane.  At the end of England’s Lane, cross Haverstock Hill and go right just to take a left onto Parkhill Rd.  Follow Parkhill to its end, then take a right onto Mansfield Road and a left on Roderick Road.  At the end of Roderick, you will see the Heath entrance across the street.
Elsworthy to Heath Reverse 6 – 6.4 milesOnce you enter the Heath, turn right and run along the path above the track.  Turn left after you pass the cafe on your left.  Run straight along the path until you reach the end of the second pond.  Turn left and run straight along the path until it reaches a T.  Turn right and follow the path as it curves gently and then joins up with the path we take to enter the Heath on our standard 6-mile route.  Exit the park at Spaniards Road and turn left to run down Heath Street and Fitzjohn’s Avenue to Swiss Cottage.  From Swiss Cottage take St Johns Wood Park to Ordnance Road and turn right on St Johns Wood Terrace to end on the High Street.

Click here for maps of all of the Heath routes.
—————-
Website:  http://womenrunningtheworld.com/
COVID-19: https://womenrunningtheworld.com/covid-19/
Facebook Group:  Women Running The World (request to join)
RunGo Group: WRW London (https://routes.rungoapp.com/group/wrw)Email: wrwlondon@gmail.com

7 – 11 September 2020 Running Info

Hello Runners!
We did it!  What a joy to see you come together again last week!  Thank you to everyone for being so conscientious about our new way of operating through the Covid times, as well as for your feedback, ideas, and support.  You were brilliant!

So, as we move into another week, a brief reminder/summary of our new mode of operation:  we meet with our pace groups in St Johns Wood Church Gardens, wearing masks.  Quick or distant hellos are great, but we have to mostly stay in separate groupings to observe government guidelines.  Within our groups we observe social distancing and form into packs of six or fewer to head out on our runs, leaving 2-3 minutes of space between departing packs.  And, of course, out on our routes we give pedestrians plenty of room.  All of the specifics can be found here, if you missed it the first time around.  And our general Covid-19 guidelines can be found here.
One further thing we should think about in our new MO, is how we spend our post-run time.  Though many of us, myself included, really enjoyed seeing each other on the SJW High Street after the run last Wednesday, we probably need to be more careful about how we congregate in that time.  As with all the other elements of our plan, we need to think about public perceptions in addition to public health, as we are so identifiable to the community.  Even if we are maintaining social distance on the high street, we don’t want to look as if we’re overwhelming the space.  Let’s all try to be conscious of our overall spacing (not just how far away we are from the person closest to us).  Last week some six-packs took their coffees back to the SJW church gardens, where there is plenty of space to spread out.  Or if you are in for just a short coffee, let’s try to make sure we are spaced along the high street rather than clumped on the corners.  And THANK you for being understanding about our flood of instructions and recommendations as we try to make sure WRW can continue to find a new normal without getting cross-wise with the community or the authorities!

Running this week. 
Monday we will be trying some new routes to Hyde Park.  We’re going to avoid our normal route down Lisson Grove, because it is a high pedestrian traffic area during school drop-off times.  Once you reach Hyde Park, you can choose to turn around and run back for 4 miles, run your desired extra distance in the park (our standard routes can be found here), OR, in keeping with first-Monday tradition, follow the routes on to Big Ben.  Though it will mean organising transport back to SJW (running, walking, biking, or public transport), we wanted to put the route in for those who might want to keep our old traditions in these very new and different times.  Wednesday we’ll return to Regents Park, using the same basic routes as last week, but reversing which group runs which.  And Friday we return to the Heath, also switching up the routes.  Please look at the maps and directions found below.  In this time of running in smaller packs, it’s especially important that we all have a good idea of where we are going!

Announcements and Shout-outs. 
This will come as no surprise to those of you who have just joined us and have already received a lovely welcome note, but I wanted to give a very big shout-out and thank you to Jen Iannazzo!  Jen has agreed to take on the role of managing our membership and email lists.  We can’t imagine anyone better to give a warm welcome to our new runners, and to help keep us sorted and organised!  Thank you, Jen!!

Beginner Group.  
Our Tuesday-Thursday Beginner group got underway last Thursday with a great group of women!  As you know, the group is for true beginners, women who have never run before.  It starts out with one-minute intervals at a very slow jog, so is not appropriate for anyone who is able to run even a mile or two.  Please help us spread the word about our beginner group– it’s really helpful if beginners can find their way to us sooner rather than later!  If you know of (or meet) anyone who is interested, have them email us at wrwlondon@gmail.com.  

Upcoming events. 
It feels like an exercise in optimism to talk about races, so here goes!  The Royal Parks Half has announced a ‘surprise lottery’ for places in their rescheduled race, now planned for Sunday, April 11.  The ballot opens Wednesday, September 16, and will be open for a week.  If races are happening in the Spring, we will, of course, plan to take WRW to one!  There are so many unknowns at the moment that we can’t say what the exact timing will be– but likely late March or early April, as usual.  Another local half marathon planned for that timeframe is the London Landmarks Half on March 28.  It is possible that might conflict with any race trip we might conjure, but we thought we should bring it to your attention in case you wanted to hedge bets.  (Last year the London Landmarks was on the same weekend as our Prague race and, in the end, both were canceled).
I can’t wait to see more of you in the week ahead!  It has been such a pleasure to return to running ‘with’ you all.  There’s something special about being out there together– even at a distance– after our six-month hiatus.  Seeing another WRW ‘six-pack’ across the park is still a little thrill for me, and I hope many of you have felt that way as well!  Hope the week ahead brings a fresh sense of a new normal to you and your families!  See you in the Gardens…

xx Micki

ROUTES
Monday 7 September – Hyde Park (4- 6.5 miles)

The Hyde Park routes offer something for everyone in terms of distance, looping routes (to and from St John’s Wood) and destination runs with the option of walking, cycling or tubing back to St John’s Wood.
Instead of heading to the park our usual way we are going to avoid busy Lisson Grove and run via Regent’s Park or Westbourne Terrace.  Both routes are approximately 2 miles to the park entrance.  From there you can turn around and head back for a 4-mile route, or continue through the park to add mileage.

8s and 10s pace groups – Hyde Park via Westbourne Terrace
From the church gardens exit towards Wellington Rd, cross at the zebra crossing and turn left.  At the traffic lights turn right on St John’s Wood Rd.  Run along St John’s Wood Rd and turn left at Cunningham Place and right at Aberdeen Place, which turns into Blomfield.  Run along Blomfield towards the canal.  Do not get on the canal but instead cross over it and take the Westbourne Bridge under the Westway (A40).  Run south on Westbourne Terrace and, at the fork, bear right to enter Hyde Park at Lancaster Gate.

6 mile option – Run along the west side of the Italian Gardens and continue along the south side of The Serpentine until you reach Hyde Park Corner. Run through Wellington Arch and turn left to enter Green Park. Run to the Green Park Tube (4mile route) on Piccadilly and head north (turn left) to Berkeley Street. After Berkeley Square Gardens, turn left and then right onto Davies Street. Run north on Davies to the Bond Street Tube. Go left on Oxford and then right onto James Street. Run north on James which becomes Marylebone High Street.  At Marylebone Road, turn left and then right to enter Regents Park at York Gate. Once in Regents Park, turn left and run along the Boating Lake back to the mosque exit. Return to the church gardens or Starbucks.

Big Ben
To get to Big Ben, there are a few options depending on the mileage you want.Option A – follow the route for the 6 mile option above but after running through Wellington Arch, continue on to Big Ben the usual way (Run past the Victoria Memorial down the mall and enter 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.).  This will give you close to 5 miles to Big Ben.  Turn around and run to Green Park to make it 6.
Option B – upon entering the park, turn left to run up the hill and then cut diagonally across the park over to Hyde Park corner and follow the usual route to Big Ben from there (Run past the Victoria Memorial down the mall and enter 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.)  This should make it closer to 4.5 miles to Big Ben.  Turn around and run to Green Park to make it 5.5 miles.

9s and 11s pace groups – Hyde Park via Regent’s Park 
From the church gardens, run down Park St to the mosque to enter Regents. Once in the park, turn right and run along the outer circle of the park and exit at Baker St.  Turn right on to Park Rd, then left onto Ivor Place and left again on to Gloucester Place.  Run along Gloucester Place towards Oxford St.  Once you cross over Oxford St, Gloucester Place becomes Park St.  Continue along and turn right at Brooke St and enter Hyde Park. To return to St John’s Wood, turn right and run towards our usual entrance to the park.  To make the run longer, pick up any of the regular Hyde Park routes from where you enter.  Click here for the routes.

Big Ben
To go to Big Ben intead, upon entering Hyde Park, turn left and run along the eastern edge of the park to Hyde Park Corner, under the arch and down Constitution Hill.  Run past the Victoria Memorial down the mall and enter 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.  Turn around and run back to Green Park to make it 5 miles.

Wednesday 9 September – Regent’s Park (5 miles)
8s & 10s pace groups – Reverse Inner/Outer
From the church gardens, make your way to Allitsen Road and run down Allitsen to Primrose Hill.  Enter the park and turn right.  Cross over Prince Albert Road to head into Regent’s Park.  Once across the Outer Circle, turn left to run around the outer edge of the park.  After 1.5 miles, turn right on York Bridge to get to the Inner Circle.  Run all the way around the inner circle and exit the way you came in on York Bridge.  Turn right to continue running around the outer edge of the park, exiting at Avenue Road (NOT Charlbert).  Turn left to run along Prince Albert Road to SJW High Street and Starbucks/Pret. 

9s & 11s pace groups – Regent’s/Primrose
From the church gardens, run down Prince Albert Rd to the Charlbert entrance to Regent’s.  Run straight, pass The Hub and at the next intersection after that, make a sharp right and run with the water on your left.  Curve around and then turn left to run over the bridge.  Turn left after the bridge to run past the Boating Lake and keep running around the edge of the park (keeping inside the park).  The path will start making its way to the left, putting you at the fountain at the highest part of the Broad Walk.  Go straight over the Broad Walk and keep to the right to run along the edge of the zoo.  Cross over the Outer Circle and then Prince Albert Road.  Once in Primrose Hill Park, turn right and run to the far edge, then turn left and run at a slight diagonal and make a left to run up to the top of Primrose.  Head back down towards the Elsworthy exit and go out and turn left on Elsworthy.  At Avenue, turn left and cross where you can, then turn right on Acacia to head back to SJW High Street.

Friday 11 September – The Hill!  (5 or 6 miles)
It’s Friday so it’s hill time!  To avoid the school crowd on Fitzjohn’s, we will be running reverse routes that take us up another way and back down Fitzjohn’s after the school run is finished.  The routes also avoid Royal Free Hospital so pay close attention to the street turns to avoid getting lost!

Getting to the Heath – 8s & 10s
Exit the church gardens at the gate on the St Johns Wood High Street side, cross the street, and run a short distance to make a right on Allitsen Road.  Make a left on Townshend Road and follow it to its end, then make a right on Acacia Road and a quick left on Avenue Road.  Cross Avenue at the first crossing to run down Elsworthy Road.  At the end of Elsworthy, turn left onto Primrose Hill Road and follow it until you turn right onto England’s Lane.  At the end of England’s Lane, cross Haverstock Hill and go right just to take a left onto Parkhill Rd.  Follow Parkhill to its end, then take a right onto Mansfield Road and a left on Roderick Road.  At the end of Roderick, you will see the Heath entrance across the street.

Elsworthy to Heath Reverse 6 – 6.4 miles
Once you enter the Heath, turn right and run along the path above the track.  Turn left after you pass the cafe on your left.  Run straight along the path until you reach the end of the second pond.  Turn left and run straight along the path until it reaches a T.  Turn right and follow the path as it curves gently and then joins up with the path we take to enter the Heath on our standard 6-mile route.  Exit the park at Spaniards Road and turn left to run down Heath Street and Fitzjohn’s Avenue to Swiss Cottage.  From Swiss Cottage take St Johns Wood Park to Ordnance Road and turn right on St Johns Wood Terrace to end on the High Street.

Elsworthy to Heath Reverse 5 – 5.3 miles
Once you enter the Heath, turn left and stay to the left until you cross the pond, then carry on taking a basically straight path to exit the park at Well Walk (where the normal Betsy route enters the park).  Follow Well Walk until it turns into Flask Walk, and then carry on to the Hampstead High Street.  Cross the street and cut through Oriel Place to Heath Street, and then turn left to run all the way down Fitzjohn’s Avenue to Swiss Cottage.  From Swiss Cottage take St Johns Wood Park to Ordnance Road and turn right on St Johns Wood Terrace to end on the High Street.

Getting to the Heath – 9s & 11s
From the Church Gardens, cross SJW High Street and take either Greenberry St or Barrow Hill Rd to Bridgeman St.  Turn right onto Allitsen and left onto Charlbert.  Take a quick left and then a right onto Ordnance Hill and run up to Swiss Cottage.  Pass the tube and turn right onto Belsize Lane.  Take the first left onto Daleham Gardens, keeping left onto Akenside Rd.  Turn right onto Lyndhurst Rd and then the first left onto Lyndhurst Terrace.  Turn right onto Thurlow Rd and run straight until you enter the park.  Take the first path on the left and follow the curve to the right between the two ponds. Then… follow the directions below for your distance/hill preference.

Parliament Hill – 6 mi
Keep running straight to go up Parliament Hill the way we normally do.  At the top, take a left on the dirt path and veer to the left at the second path and then turn left at the next path.  Veer to the right and shortly rejoin the path we usually run down (turn right to go up the hill).  At the entrance to the Heath, turn left and run back via Fitzjohn’s and to SJW via SJW Park/Ordnance.
Note – for anyone wanting more mileage, you can easily continue on from Parliament Hill to do the regular Heath 8 mile route – just follow the normal route after running up the hill.

Reverse Betsy – 5 mi
Take the second path on the left and run to the normal Betsy intersection.  Turn left and keep running straight to exit the park on Well Walk.  Keep running straight until the Hampstead High Street.  Turn right and then left to run back to SJW via Fitzjohn’s and SJW Park/Ordnance.

Click here for maps of all of the Heath routes.
—————-
Website:  http://womenrunningtheworld.com/
COVID-19: https://womenrunningtheworld.com/covid-19/Facebook Group:  Women Running The World (request to join)RunGo Group: WRW London (https://routes.rungoapp.com/group/wrw)Email: wrwlondon@gmail.com

2 – 4 September 2020 Running Info

Hello Runners!
Another welcome to our 2020-21 running year!  We are so excited to restart WRW on Wednesday, September 2 at 8:15 (see below for more meet-up details!).  Can you believe it’s been nearly six months since we had to abruptly suspend our official WRW runs on March 16th?  We can’t wait to see you all (from a distance) and feel that WRW energy again!  If you are new to our group– WELCOME!  Please bear with us as we work through all of these very specific instructions to find our new normal– I promise it will be worth it!  A few of us will be waiting on the paths inside the Wellington Place entrance to the park, wearing our bright orange hats, to help greet and direct people to groups on Wednesday morning.  If you are new to WRW, please find us so we can say hello and help you find the right group to run with on your first day!  

Hopefully you all received and read the “Return to Running” e-mail a couple of days ago.  If you did not receive the full instructions (one runner received only the map– and you know there will always be text when it’s coming from me!!), please read them here.  That e-mail lays out all the basics for how we will start running together this year, and it is absolutely essential that we all follow it so that we can do all we can to keep everyone safe and to continue meeting.  I’ll summarise it again:

  • Our new starting point is St Johns Wood Church Gardens (at the end of St Johns Wood High St, and on Wellington Road across from Lord’s Cricket Ground).
  • Wear a mask the entire time we are in the gardens.
  • Meet in pace groups (see locations below), gather in groups of six or fewer (6-packs), and observe social distancing.
  • Our pace group gatherings (in the 6-packs) need to be of 30 people or less, so for now pace groups must maintain separate spaces in the park.

Our official routes will be limited to loops to start the year, and there will be two routes each day– 8s and 10s will run one, and 9s and 11s will run the other.  The ‘Hustlers’ group will run their own routes to start (more on this group below!).  We will run in groups of six or fewer (again, the 6-packs) and leave the park at 2-3 minute intervals so our 6-packs don’t converge.  The routes– all detailed below– have been carefully edited to help keep us out of busy areas at busy times, so we will all need to read them carefully and be prepared to help each other navigate!  

Covid-19.  Our general Covid-19 guidelines can be found here.  Please be sure you have read them and are prepared to observe them as we resume running.  In addition, please remember to be especially considerate to other members of the public as we return to the streets.  Everyone has a different comfort level in this time, and tensions are tending to run high.  Give plenty of space to pedestrians on the pavements.  If we are confronted about running together, be courteous and do not allow a negative interaction to develop (even if someone is rude to us).  We believe we are conducting ourselves within government guidelines, but we do not have to make that argument to every critical passersby.

Hustlers (formerly known as the ramp-up group).  We are so pleased that Tamar Brooks will once again lead a very special group for runners who are coming back from injuries or are returning to running after a lengthy hiatus and want to ease back in gently.  She and Fernanda Spinelli will lead a program of running with walk breaks that will steadily build throughout the Fall.  This is Tamar’s third year of leading this program, and it has been a great success!  Please e-mail her at Tamarbrooks1@gmail.com, or you can e-mail us at wrwlondon@gmail.com, for details.

Beginner Group.  The first day for the Beginner group will be this Thursday, August 3. Our Tuesday-Thursday Beginner group is for true beginners, women who have never run before.  The program starts out with one-minute intervals at a very slow jog, so is not appropriate for anyone who is able to run even a mile or two.  Please help us spread the word about our beginner group– it’s really helpful if beginners can find their way to us sooner rather than later!  If you know of (or meet) anyone who is interested in the beginner group, have them email us at wrwlondon@gmail.com.  Amy Grace and her fantastic lineup of coaches– Jess, Melissa, Renata and Paola– are excited to lead another new group of women through this fun and life-changing experience! 

Running this week.  A huge thank you to our Routes Team– Darcy, Erin, Dinae, and Melissa, with support from Amy– for getting us back on the pavements with all new routes for our current circumstances!  Wednesday we will begin as we usually do, with a 5ish-mile run through Regents Park.  We have two different routes below, one for the 8s/10s and one for the 9s/11s.  Obviously this will be our first experiment with splitting routes, but hopefully we can all keep from running into each other in the park!  Also, since it’s so close to home, it’s easy to modify the run if you’re not quite up for 5 miles yet, or if you want to do a bit more.  

Friday we will return to the Heath.  However… we will not be running up Fitzjohn’s Avenue as usual this fall.  We simply can’t add to the congestion on that street in the early morning (especially once British schools are in session), so we’ve created two alternate routes for getting to the Heath.  In addition, some of the routes below are slightly different within the Heath both to make the mileage and elevation gain turn out right, and to help us not all be running the same paths.  There are two different distance options mapped for each route below, and of course most of us know the Heath well enough to run longer or shorter as needed.  All of the routes do currently come down Fitzjohns on the way home, partly so that we can avoid sending large numbers directly by the Royal Free Hospital.  After this week we’ll assess whether we need to re-route to take some of us back to St Johns Wood via a different path.  And in the meantime, if you’d rather not do the steep downhill, you can reroute from the Heath to come out at South End Green and cut through Belsize Park.  (For those of you new to the area, just ask a returning runner for help with this!)

Whew!  I hope that all makes sense.  Please feel free to reach out with questions or observations.  We are doing our best to think of all we need to consider in this, but we are open to input if you have ideas or spot potential issues.  As we work toward finding what will work for us in this time, let me just offer a reminder of the advice we usually include in this first e-mail:  take care of yourselves, and take care of each other!  
I won’t be able to give the customary first-day welcome to everyone together, but know that my heart– as with many of yours, I’m sure– will be full and happy to see this group together again!
xx Micki

ROUTES

Wednesday 2 September – Regent’s Park (5 miles)

8s & 10s pace groups – Regent’s/Primrose
From the church gardens, run down Prince Albert Rd to the Charlbert entrance to Regent’s.  Run straight, pass The Hub and at the next intersection after that, make a sharp right and run with the water on your left.  Curve around and then turn left to run over the bridge.  Turn left after the bridge to run past the Boating Lake and keep running around the edge of the park (keeping inside the park).  The path will start making its way to the left, putting you at the fountain at the highest part of the Broad Walk.  Go straight over the Broad Walk and keep to the right to run along the edge of the zoo.  Cross over the Outer Circle and then Prince Albert Road.  Once in Primrose Hill Park, turn right and run to the far edge, the turn left and run at a slight diagonal and make a left to run up to the top of Primrose.  Head back down towards the Elsworthy exit and go out and turn left on Elsworthy.  At Avenue, turn left and cross where you can, then turning right on Acacia to head back to SJW High Street.

9s & 11s pace groups – Reverse Inner/Outer
From the church gardens, make your way to Allitsen Road and run down Allitsen to Primrose Hill.  Enter the park and turn right.  Cross over Prince Albert Road to head into Regent’s Park.  Once across the Outer Circle, turn left to run around the outer edge of the park.  After 1.5 miles, turn right on York Bridge to get to the Inner Circle.  Run all the way around the inner circle and exit the way you came in on York Bridge.  Turn right to continue running around the outer edge of the park, exiting at Avenue Road (NOT Charlbert).  Turn left to run along Prince Albert Road to SJW High Street and Starbucks/Pret. 


Friday 4 September – The Hill!  (5 or 6 miles)

It’s Friday so it’s hill time!  To avoid the school crowd on Fitzjohn’s, we will be running reverse routes that take us up another way and back down Fitzjohn’s after the school run is finished.  The routes also avoid Royal Free Hospital so pay close attention to the street turns to avoid getting lost!

Getting to the Heath – 8s & 10s
From the Church Gardens, cross SJW High Street and take either Greenberry St or Barrow Hill Rd to Bridgeman St.  Turn right onto Allitsen and left onto Charlbert.  Take a quick left and then a right onto Ordnance Hill and run up to Swiss Cottage.  Pass the tube and turn right onto Belsize Lane.  Take the first left onto Daleham Gardens, keeping left onto Akenside Rd.  Turn right onto Lyndhurst Rd and then the first left onto Lyndhurst Terrace.  Turn right onto Thurlow Rd and run straight until you enter the park.  Take the first path on the left and follow the curve to the right between the two ponds. Then… follow the directions below for your distance/hill preference.

Parliament Hill – 6 mi
Keep running straight to go up Parliament Hill the way we normally do.  At the top, take a left on the dirt path and veer to the left at the second path and then turn left at the next path.  Veer to the right and shortly rejoin the path we usually run down (turn right to go up the hill).  At the entrance to the Heath, turn left and run back via Fitzjohn’s and to SJW via SJW Park/Ordnance.

Note – for anyone wanting more mileage, you can easily continue on from Parliament Hill to do the regular Heath 8 mile route – just follow the normal route after running up the hill.

Reverse Betsy – 5 mi
Take the second path on the left and run to the normal Betsy intersection.  Turn left and keep running straight to exit the park on Well Walk.  Keep running straight until the Hampstead High Street.  Turn right and then left to run back to SJW via Fitzjohn’s and SJW Park/Ordnance.

Getting to the Heath – 9s & 11
sExit the church gardens at the gate on the St Johns Wood High Street side, cross the street, and run a short distance to make a right on Allitsen Road.  Make a left on Townshend Road and follow it to its end, then make a right on Acacia Road and a quick left on Avenue Road.  Cross Avenue at the first crossing to run down Elsworthy Road.  At the end of Elsworthy, turn left onto Primrose Hill Road and follow it until you turn right onto England’s Lane.  At the end of England’s Lane, cross Haverstock Hill and go right just to take a left onto Parkhill Rd.  Follow Parkhill to its end, then take a right onto Mansfield Road and a left on Roderick Road.  At the end of Roderick, you will see the Heath entrance across the street.

Elsworthy to Heath Reverse 6 – 6.4 miles
Once you enter the Heath, turn right and run along the path above the track.  Turn left after you pass the cafe on your left.  Run straight along the path until you reach the end of the second pond.  Turn left and run straight along the path until it reaches a T.  Turn right and follow the path as it curves gently and then joins up with the path we take to enter the Heath on our standard 6-mile route.  Exit the park at Spaniards Road and turn left to run down Heath Street and Fitzjohn’s Avenue to Swiss Cottage.  From Swiss Cottage take St Johns Wood Park to Ordnance Road and turn right on St Johns Wood Terrace to end on the High Street.

Elsworthy to Heath Reverse 5 – 5.3 miles
Once you enter the Heath, turn left and stay to the left until you cross the pond, then carry on taking a basically straight path to exit the park at Well Walk (where the normal Betsy route enters the park).  Follow Well Walk until it turns into Flask Walk, and then carry on to the Hampstead High Street.  Cross the street and cut through Oriel Place to Heath Street, and then turn left to run all the way down Fitzjohn’s Avenue to Swiss Cottage.  From Swiss Cottage take St Johns Wood Park to Ordnance Road and turn right on St Johns Wood Terrace to end on the High Street.

WRW Return to Running

Hello runners!
I’m so excited to be writing to you again, and I want to start right in with giving all the welcomes and love… but I know you are anxious to hear the bottom line, so here it is:  We are planning to try to resume running together in a safe, limited way starting this Wednesday, Sept 2!!  As with everything in 2020, however, it’s complicated.  So please, please read the following thoroughly, because we have to make a lot of changes to our normal routine to do this in a safe, legal, and responsible way, both for ourselves and the wider community.

The Plan!  Below are the basics, to be followed by another e-mail with our first week of routes.  Please see here for a summary of our Covid-19 basic adaptations.  They are also covered throughout this e-mail in the context of our weekly running routine.

Meeting Place and Format.  We will no longer meet at Barclays!  Our new meeting place is the St Johns Wood Church Gardens, at the end of the SJW High Street, and across from Lord’s Cricket Ground on Wellington Rd.  The easiest entrance from St Johns Wood is on Wellington Place or on the High Street.  We will continue to meet at 8:15 for an 8:20 departure, but will plan to give a little extra time the first week to be sure that still works.  
Please wear a mask while in the park, and stay within your pace group.  Within the park we’ve designated areas for each pace group to meet (see map below).  It’s very important that you stick to these areas and maintain a significant distance between groups!  Current government guidance makes it illegal for groups greater than 30 people to meet even in public outdoor areas unless they are organised by a Covid-secure organisation, which we are not (see below).  We can be fined and effectively shut down for not observing these limits.  So as much as we’d like for everyone to be able to mill around as we normally do, we need to stay in separate pace groups– separate gatherings– for now.  And within these groups please keep social distancing, stay in groups of six or fewer (more on this below), and wear your mask until we leave the park to run.
“It’s against the law for gatherings of more than 30 people to take place in private homes (including gardens and other outdoor spaces), or in a public outdoors space [emphasis added], unless planned by an organisation in compliance with COVID-19 secure guidance. The government will be introducing fines for those who facilitate or organise illegal gatherings of over 30 people.”  (“Meeting People from Outside your Household.”  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/meeting-people-from-outside-your-household-from-4-july updated 14 August 2020).

Running in packs of 6 (6-packs!).  To follow current UK government guidance, we must run in groups of six or fewer (see below).  Pace group leaders have recruited ‘6-pack leaders’ to lead runs on any given day.  With these leaders making themselves known (put up a hand!), we can organically group into packs as we arrive.  If you feel comfortable doing so, mix it up and run with different people on different days– one of the wonderful things about WRW has always been building new friendships.  We will need to leave a 2-3 minute space between 6-packs departing, so once a pack is assembled and ready, they can start off on the run (but delaying a couple of minutes if a group has just gone before them!).  And don’t forget to maintain social distancing within the 6-pack as much as possible.
 “activity can take place on a one-to-five basis only (i.e. one coach or leader and up to five athletes or runners OR up to six athletes and runners with no coach or leader present). These individuals do not need to be from the same family household, but all must adhere to the latest social distancing guidance.”  (“England Athletics Return to Activity: Guidance for Road Running Coaches.” 

https://d192th1lqal2xm.cloudfront.net/2020/08/EA-return-to-activity-guidance-road-running-coaches-04.08.2020.pdf_0.pdf, updated 4 August 2020).

The Routes.  To start, we will be running a limited number of 5-6 mile loop routes on a rotating basis. Our Routes team has put an incredible amount of thought into how to get us out and running together without overwhelming the pavements and severely annoying and/or frightening pedestrians.  In addition to their efforts to reroute us to avoid busy areas and busy times, we need to make sure we keep spacing between packs.  Even with the spacing, wave after wave of runners will create stress on the streets we’re using.  So we will be naming two routes each day:  the 8s and 10s will run one route, and the 9s and 11s will run the other.  The “Hustlers” (ramping up) group will be running its own routes to begin the year.  For the time being, Mondays we will be running in the direction of Hyde Park, Wednesdays will be runs in the direction of Regents Park, and Fridays will be in the direction of the Heath.  Runners are welcome to take other routes, or organize destination runs for small groups, but please pay attention to where we are already sending runners, as well as to the UK rules about spacing and group size.  We just feel that we cannot organise destination runs, including public transport, on behalf of the entire group at this time.

The Public.  As always, we want to be considerate to our community.  Anytime you are near other pedestrians, move to single file and make room for social distancing as best you can.  Even if we are model citizens, there will undoubtedly be times we are addressed or even yelled at by members of the public whose paths we cross.  Please take the high road with these individuals, and do not engage in a negative way.  We are easily identifiable as WRW.  Not only do we NOT want to be perceived as poor local citizens, but also, even one disgruntled person could cause enough trouble for us that we lose the opportunity to run as a group.  Please help us preserve a good reputation!

Our WRW Community.  It almost goes without saying that if you or anyone in your household is experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, you should not come out to run until you and your household have been cleared based on current UK guidelines.  If you develop symptoms after running with us, please notify us at wrwlondon@gmail.com AND notify anyone with whom you have run in the past week.

Everyone involved in creating the WRW restart plan understands that each of us has our own personal comfort zone in this pandemic, and we respect each runner’s feelings and decisions regarding if and how they will interact within WRW.  We are here to be a supportive group of friends for all, so whether you are comfortable running in small groups with us or you prefer to keep to a more distanced routine at this point, WRW is here for you.  Through these e-mails and our WhatsApp groups, we will do our best to continue to support each other whatever the next weeks and months hold.  And we will keep looking forward to the day when we can all run and socialize together with less restrictions.

Okay, finally, finally, on the more personal side… Welcome back to all those just returning to London, and a big welcome to those new to London!  I’m looking forward to seeing you all– a few at a time and from an appropriate distance, soon!  Here on Day 13 of my quarantine, my nose is pressed against my front window and my toes are twitching to put on running shoes (or any shoes) and get outside.  I imagine some of you are similarly confined and ready to finally hit the pavements again.  Let’s focus together on how wonderful it will be to get back a little more WRW–it may all sound complicated and hard, but I know we can do it!  Stay tuned for the regularly scheduled, weekly WRW note– including routes and photos– later this weekend.
xx Micki

8 – 12 June 2020 Running Info

Hello Runners!

What a strange and stormy Saturday!  Hope you all got out and had some fun, but managed not to get caught in the downpour.  Congratulations to the ASL Class of 2020 and their parents on Graduation Weekend, as well as to everyone observing academic or other milestones with your children in the coming weeks.  Though the celebrations in these strange times may not be what we pictured, I hope they will be happy, and I’m certain they will be memorable!

WRW End-of-Year Zoom Celebration– Sunday at 5-6:15pm!  Please join us Sunday evening (yes, tonight!) for our year-end celebration!  We will share some memories, say some thank you’s, screen the annual not-to-be-missed WRW Movie, and say goodbye to our leavers.  You should have received an invitation in a separate email, but here are the details again:  

Topic: WRW End-of-Year Celebration, 2020
Time: Jun 7, 2020 05:00 PM London
Join Zoom Meeting


Race Around the World… We MADE it!!  This week we powered from just off the coast of Iceland all the way to Portugal to say hello to Litsa Savastano, and then… back to London!  We’re home!  In just 11 weeks, 129 WRW runners (including alumnae) logged enough miles to run all around the world– the long way– with detours to visit friends in far-flung places.  That’s a staggering 26,167 miles, and I think we can call that a good use of our lockdown time!  Special thanks once again to Devy Schonfeld for fueling the idea and navigating us all the way!  

WRW Routes on your phone.  Amy Grace has continued to add some of the new routes created from your fun lockdown running ideas to the new WRW RunGo page this week.  You can check them out here, join the group, download the app, and take the routes with you for WRW adventures in London all summer!  

Beginner Running Group, 2020-2021!!  Please let us know (wrwlondon@gmail.com) if you hear of anyone who would like to join the Beginner’s class of 2021.  The Beginner’s program is one of the very best things about WRW– any of us who have been through it will tell you it can be a life-changing experience!  The program is for people who have truly never been runners before.  It starts out with one-minute intervals at a very slow jog, so is not appropriate for anyone who is able to run even a mile or two.  Our regular M-W-F group, especially with the brilliant ‘ramp-up’ pace group, can help people who have been runners before ease back in to it and join in our M-W-F runs.

I really can’t believe, after all our weeks of living and running through this lockdown, separately but together, that it’s suddenly the end of the 2019-2020 running year.  This will be the last weekly e-mail until the end of August.  Our first run, if we are back to a normal schedule, will be September 2.  It’s always hard to say goodbye for the summer, but this year has been unique.  Together we have discovered what a strong and supportive community we have in each other.  For me, finding the depths of your caring, fun, and creative spirits while we worked to stay connected and take care of one another, will be one of the best memories I take with me from this crazy year.  

For our dear runners moving on to new adventures next year, our best and fondest wishes go with you.  But wherever your next stop takes you, we will always be your community– we are Women Running the World, after all!  
xx Micki

P.S., Don’t forget to join our celebration on Zoom tonight!

1 – 5 June 2020 Running Info

Hello, Runners!

Another gorgeous week here in California… I mean, umm, London.  Hope you’ve all been out enjoying it!  In fact, I’m pretty sure you have, because I have a lot to write about this weekend!  So I’ll jump right in.

WRW Race Around the World.  Let’s lead with our global run this week… we’ve made it to Iceland!  Bravo on all the miles added this week– since lockdown began we have logged over 24,000 miles!  As we cruised through Reykjavik, we sent big shoutouts to alumnae Asdis Karadottir and to Gudrun Aspelund, who just left us at the start of the lockdown to go and help with the government response to Covid-19 in Iceland.  We miss you here in London, Gudrun, but we’re proud of the important work you are doing!  On to Portugal to see Litsa, and then back to London before school lets out.  Come on, ladies, keep running– we’ve got this!

Running this week.  You can see in the photo collage at top that Perla Greenup got out and ran the route to see last week’s scavenger sites (Notting Hill Blue Door/Debenham House Holland Park/Thin House Kensington).  Love it!  Also… my apologies if I sent anyone off course!!!  The Thin House is not at 5 Thurloe Place, as I reported, but at 5 Thurloe Square!  (Sorry!  And thanks, Perla!).  
A few of our explorers have added some other new attractions to our growing list.  Miki Neant sent photos and details for a “Sculpture in the City” run, taking in a number of sculpture installations as part of a 9th annual exhibition event in different areas of London every summer.  So here’s another great reason to go for a run in the City!  This website shows all the artworks as well as a map:  https://www.sculptureinthecity.org.uk/artwork/9th-edition/?type=list .  And below is a stunning preview, along with some additional graffiti shots, from Miki’s photo safari.

We also have more Quarantine Quests up on the WRW website!  The amazing Amy Grace has created a route to take in the NHS Street Art we featured a few weeks ago (from several of the 8’s).  It’s 6.8 miles one way, so could either be an out-and-back half marathon, or you could get creative with a Santander Cycles return ride (pack some Dettol wipes) or maybe even a taxi.  She also created a Notting Hill and Holland Park route that incorporates several points of interest, including the Blue Door and the Debenham House mentioned last week (from Janelle Meyer).  Most exciting of all is the new (to us) app Amy is working with:  RunGo.  If you register and search WRW, you can join the group page and download our routes with audio directions for your phone!  This could be a game-changer for some of us (raising my hand).  Huge thanks go to Amy for setting this up and learning how to get the routes in!  We’ll keep working on adding more, and hopefully it can be a really helpful tool for summer running as well as whatever kind of running we are doing when we come back in the fall!

Leavers’ Run/Sights of London.  The annual Leavers’ Run is a time-honored tradition with WRW.  In more normal times, we would head out all together on a 4.5-mile route that takes us past some iconic London sights, and we would stop at each one to have a big group photo taken.  Though we are sad to miss the group effort this year, the basic route is below.  The addition of the return run makes it a little longer, and obviously you may want to customise it to begin from and end at your home rather than Barclays.  If you do the run this week, either alone or as a small group, send us the photos and we’ll try to put together a Leavers’ Run photo compilation next week!  These are our usual photo spots:

  • Hyde Park Sphere (where we enter the park)
  • Buckingham Palace
  • Big Ben (but substitute a photo of Westminster Abbey or detour down to the river and get the London Eye!)
  • Trafalgar Square
  • an additional sight this year could be the Piccadilly Circus billboards with the NHS thank yous

Announcements and Shoutouts.  Look out later this week for your invitation to the WRW End-of-Year Zoom Celebration, which will be next Sunday, June 7 at 5 pm London time.  This is our alternate to the post-race dinner in Prague this year, and though we are so sad to miss that special event (and all that went along with it), one silver lining is that this year we can include everyone in the celebration, not just those who made it to the race.  Please do feel free to join us from wherever you are– if you care enough about WRW to read this e-mail, you are welcome to join us!!  Not only is this a great chance to make (contactless) contact before the end of the year, but also, we will debut Megan Marine’s brilliant WRW film– which is absolutely a highlight every year!  If you haven’t had the pleasure of Zooming at some point during the pandemic, be sure to go to the website (zoom.us) and make sure your software is installed and up-to-date sometime before the event.

As Lockdown guidelines are set to change in London this week, we are all looking forward to the chance to be together more.  It may even be that some of you clever runners can figure out to how to do the Zoom celebration in a small group from a garden with good wifi and multiple screens or the room to be socially distant.  Just saying.  But also a reminder to all, since we are now an identifiable presence in London– especially in our SJW neighborhoods– whether we mean to be or not.  The rules now officially allow us to run together, but let’s be extra considerate about social distancing and giving other pedestrians space.  I have found it is most often not the runners who are at fault in those traffic-jam, too-many-bodies-too-close-together situations, but that everyone seems to want to blame us anyway.  So just a gentle reminder to all of us to keep trying to do the right thing (and lest that sound like a lecture, I’m saying it with the fresh memory of having been yelled at by a cyclist Friday morning!)

Beginner Running Group, 2020-2021!!  Please let us know (wrwlondon@gmail.com) if you hear of anyone who would like to join the Beginner’s class of 2021.  As anyone who has been through this program knows, it can be an amazing, life-changing experience!  The program is for people who have truly never been runners before.  It starts out with one-minute intervals at a very slow jog, so is not appropriate for anyone who is able to run even a mile or two.  Our regular M-W-F group, especially with the brilliant ‘ramp-up’ pace group, can help people who have been runners before ease back in to it and join in our M-W-F runs.
There are so many notable things going on with this group– families running together, people completing multiple-multiple half-marathons and other adventure runs, celebrity encounters, and even a few ‘last’ London runs and goodbyes already.  It’s a joy to hear how you’re all getting on and staying connected.  The way you’ve risen to meet this challenging time with spirit, positivity, creativity and compassion is truly an inspiration.  I hope the week ahead holds more sunshine and the chance for some more happy reunions.  You all deserve it!  To borrow Jane Novak’s old sign-off line– keep running!

xx Micki

25 – 29 May 2020 Running Info

Good morning, Runners!

Happy Bank Holiday!  Even in this very strange year, this holiday weekend feels like the kickoff of summer, which in itself is something to celebrate.  I hope you are finding things to enjoy and to look forward to as we start this season.  The roses and other blooms about the city are out in full glory, the skies have been clear, and we still have the unique opportunity to run a quiet London.  And when we finish our runs now, some of our favorite post-run coffee options are even available for takeaway!  Life is still very different from what it used to be and what we expected it to be.  But considering that at one point those of us in London thought lockdown could mean we might all be confined to our own homes– and some of us in other locations actually were under strict controls– we do have reasons to be thankful.

Race around the world.  Don’t stop running and logging those miles!  This week we reached 21,550 miles, taking us to Chris in Atlanta, and to Poornima, Jody, Linda, and a whole host of WRW alumnae in the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut area.  We took a detour west to say hi to Marni in Toronto, then turned back toward Europe and now we are headed out to sea.  Devy figures we still need at least 5000 miles to get ourselves across the Atlantic with visits in Iceland and Portugal before landing back in London.  We should make it back just about perfectly– let’s not leave ourselves stranded for the summer!

Running this week.  Janelle Meyer continues to excel in creating map art with her runs, as you can see from this week’s examples below:  the virus run and a boat-inspired run.  I think I’m going to have to try the ‘coRUNa’ run this week (name inspiration from Megan), just because it might be fun to take the little detour at every park exit to create the spikes!  Wouldn’t it be entertaining, though possibly a little dangerous, to see the whole group take it on when we are allowed to run together again?

Also from Janelle (thank you!) come a few ideas for new sights to run by for your lockdown running selfie collection.  

  • The Blue Door House in Notting Hill (from the movie) is just off our Notting Hill route (at 280 Westbourne Park Road).  
  • The grand Debenham House in Holland Park is just on the other side of the park from the path we usually take through (8 Addison Road).  
  • And the Thin House, true to its name at only 6 ft wide, is in South Kensington (5 Thurloe Place) just a few blocks south of Hyde Park.  

The three spots could easily be combined on a run, but it would be even better to have a few more points to add for a West/Southwest sights run– so send us any ideas if you know these areas well!

Announcements and Shoutouts.   A big thank you to Carolyn Perelmuter for all the work that went into organising our refunds from the Prague trip.  Thanks also to Devy Schonfeld, Mariya Treisman, and Julie Moyle for their work in unwinding the dinners and tours they had planned, and for retrieving the deposits– sometimes requiring quite a bit of persistence!  And another round of thanks are due to our team who has taken on getting the refunds into each person’s hands:  Carolyn, Darcy Fautz, Amy Grace, Jen Iannazzo, Melissa Kay, Kelli Novak, Marissa O’Malia, and Sue Wheeler.  

Keep the spot on your calendar for our June 7 WRW Celebration at 5pm (GMT).  It will be a Zoom event, but we are awaiting any new government guidance before we give the specifics.  We likewise have not forgotten about our beloved annual ‘Leavers’ Run,’ and though it can look nothing like it usually does, with all of us running en masse and taking big group photos at London landmarks, we will at least publish the route and a virtual group observance next week (again, awaiting any potential changes to official lockdown policy).

Meanwhile, enjoy another beautiful day in another beautiful week.  Send us a post-run coffee/beverage selfie!  Miss you all, and love running into some of you out on the pavements.  Take care, and keep running!

xx Micki

18 – 22 May Running Info

Happy Sunday, Runners!
As we roll through another week, I hope this finds you all in good spirits and finding silver linings in this strange season.  In fact, one of the legacies of the lockdown might be that we have gained a strong new skill set in finding (or creating) the positives in any situation.  As I think about the updates I’m getting from people in various pace groups, as well as the Facebook posts and Whatsapp chats, I’m struck by the creative energy going into staying connected, staying active, and having fun together from a distance.  I’ll give you a ‘run-down’ (ugh, sorry!) on all the pace groups this week…

Ex-beginners, Class of 2020.  The Globetrotters created and played a new running BINGO game this week!  Amber Borst put together different Bingo cards for each person in the group– including a special custom one localised for Canan, who is currently running in Turkey– and these ladies took off across the city, documenting their Bingo hits with photos.  My personal favorite is the square that requires a picture of Nidhi looking out her window– it must have been a busy day on the pavement in front of her building!  Some other Bingo photos are included amongst our other photos this week.

Rainbows & Unicorns/ Sole Sisters.  The 11s continue to chat, support and share on Whatsapp.  They’ve had some socially distant runs going as well, including a re-run of the Winter 10k route, which was reportedly gorgeous and probably a lot less chilly than the usual event!  I can’t possibly hope to observe everyone’s birthday in these e-mails, but I did happen to hear that one of the runs this week was a birthday run for Shahka… so happy birthday!

Perfect 10s.  The 10s recorded a few more half marathon completions and some fun themed runs like the Florence Nightingale homage by Rebecca (in Mayfair area) or the (maybe inadvertent?) baby animals run by Carolyn (elephant statues and real ducks).  Several 10s also got to give distant greetings at a street ‘concert’ in the Loudoun Rd area on Saturday.

Naughty 9s.  Likewise, a few more 9s ran half marathons this week (some were repeats), and some made it back to running or hit new milestones after time off for injuries.  Nines coach and fun-mentor Dinae sent a lip-sync challenge from the U.S. to liven up the chat, and some States-based alumnae popped in to the conversations.  Megan continued to find statue (and topiary) ‘running buddies’ that none of the rest of us have ever noticed, this time running up to Hampstead.

Crazy 8s.  These ladies are covering a lot of miles, both on foot and on bike; and they are continuing to discover stunning lockdown sights, including some new graffiti.  A few of them biked to Lewisham this week for some of the graffiti artwork included in our photos.  Though it would make for a long out-and-back run, Marissa suggests one could run partway and (armed with hand sanitiser/wipes) take a Santander Cycle the rest of the way.  These ladies also sent one of the happiest Zoom screenshots I’ve ever seen– clearly they are enjoying their ‘get together’!

WRW Race Around the World.  You keep putting in the miles, and Devy keeps moving us along the map!  This week we made it to San Francisco, Bakersfield, Manhattan Beach, San Clemente, San Diego, Phoenix and Boerne, TX!!  Sending up a virtual fist-bump to Yianna and Kathy A, Jenn, Kathy M, Carol, Shan, Robin, Libby, MaryLee, and Claire!  And popping a confetti cannon as we roll into Boerne to greet our WRW creator, Paula Mitchell!  What a great week for miles– we are now at a staggering 19,325 recorded together since lockdown.  Here we come, Chris Roberts, blowing through Atlanta this week!  If we haven’t already passed you, there’s still time to add yourself to the itinerary, distant friends.  And on that note, another thank you to Devy Schonfeld for tracking miles, adding destinations, and keeping us from getting lost!

Announcements and Shoutouts.  Amy Grace has turned Miki’s City of London scavenger hunt run (from last week’s e-mail) into a bona fide route with directions and a map, and then popped it onto our website!  Check it out under the heading Quarantine Quests on our website.  We will keep working with the suggestions you’ve already sent, and do feel free to send us any cool new sights to find!

Carolyn and Sue have been working out the details of what, how much, and how to get refunds to you for the portion of the Prague trip expenses we could recoup.  We are happy to say that we will be able to give back a good portion of what you paid back in February, if you were going on the trip.  Look for an e-mail soon with details on the refunds and how we plan to execute them under current circumstances.

And finally, don’t forget to save the date for a virtual year-end WRW celebration, Sunday, June 7– late afternoon or early evening.  We are still working on the format, but it will be fun, colorful, and it will feature the (must-see) annual WRW film created by the incomparable Megan Marine!  Please let us know if your end-of-year plans have changed and you are now leaving London (or if you were leaving and are now staying!). 
Have a great week, ladies!  Keep running, keep smiling, and most of all, keep taking care of yourselves and one another!  This may seem like a long road, but we know how to keep going, mile after mile.  Another joke, another story, maybe a tear and then some encouragement.  But always just one foot in front of the other, as we do.  Sending lockdown love…

xx Micki

P.S.- Thank you for my WRW mask, Tamar!  Isn’t it cool?

11 – 15 May 2020 Running Info

Hello Runners!
Happy U.S. Mother’s Day to all the Moms out there!  Whether you are blissfully baking banana bread while having family singalong time, or you’re gritting your teeth while mediating spats through day #4342 of enforced family togetherness, you are undoubtedly working harder than ever to be an anchor in your family!  In this group, it’s a safe bet that each and every one of us, whether a mom or not, is care-taking in some way.  I admire the unique strength of each one of you, and I love seeing— through our social media circles— the beautiful, funny and sweet ways you each go about taking care of the people in your lives, whether children, partners, pets or friends!

WRW Race around the World update.  We are making progress on our trek around the world!  After six weeks of running, and only two weeks after officially tackling this challenge, we are almost to San Francisco, having run over 16,000 miles together (but, um, separately)!   Devy has given us a beautiful, updated map— this week is probably the last chance to add yourself as a destination if you are in the U.S., so let us know right away if you want us to ‘swing by!’  Meanwhile keep running and exercising— remember, 10 minutes of other exercise counts as 1 mile in our plan!  And if you haven’t been participating, it’s not too late to start.  Contact your pace leaders for details on how to add your miles to the group.  For alumnae we’ve set up a spreadsheet anyone can access— join anytime, record anytime— at this link:

Games Runners Play updates.  At least a couple of runners have tackled Bjorg’s London Monopoly challenge on foot, as well as some on bike! Amongst this week’s picture collages you’ll find Vera with her kids, and Stephanie surveying a new Monopoly ‘acquisition’!  I also wanted to highlight our first map art submission, which Janelle came up with to celebrate her daughter’s first birthday (remember Colette was ‘on board’ for the Milan trip last year?).  I also found a second creation on Strava, and I’m hoping Perla Greenup won’t mind me sharing her heart run!

New Games Runners Play.  Several of you sent in suggestions of landmarks and interesting spots for scavenger runs— thank you!  We are continuing to work on the list, but we already have a few hunts ready for you, thanks entirely to Miki Neant, Megan Marine, Amber Borst and Amy Grace.  
First up is Miki’s City run, highlighted in the photos— including her map!– below.  Miki reports that the streets were quiet in this area (at least, as of a week ago), and she lists the following things to look for:  the Holborn Viaduct red bridge with statues and staircases, St Sepulchre’s Church and London’s first drinking fountain, Christchurch tower and the Christchurch Greyfriars church Garden, Angels in the sky, St Paul’s Cathedral, and St Lawrence and Mary Magdalene drinking fountain.  There is a lot to see in this neighborhood!  If you head out on this run, feel free to send us additional spots to hunt for, as well as photos!

Next is Megan’s Statue Visits run.  Some of our standard routes cruise by statues we don’t even notice anymore.  Megan took the time to look them up, find new ones, and stop to appreciate these neglected ‘running companions’ of ours!  (Some photo credits also go to Jennifer Egsgard, who must have been on a similar wavelength this week!) Here’s a great guide she shared on Hyde Park Statues from the Royal Parks website: https://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/hyde-park/things-to-see-and-do/memorials,-fountains-and-statues .  A couple of entertain-yourself-on-a-run ideas?  Take as many statue selfies as you can.  Or see how many animal statues you can find.  And don’t limit yourself to Hyde Park, of course.  This city is covered in statues:  just try running around Westminster, Trafalgar Square, or Leicester Square without running into a dozen of them.  Create your own statue hunt and share it with us!

Last but not least on this week’s list is Amber and Amy’s NHS Street Art tour.  We’ve all seen some of the amazing NHS-oriented street art in the news.  The map below covers some you can search out in person in the Brick Lane area (you can look up our Brick Lane route at https://womenrunningtheworld.com/where-we-run/destination-runs/).  The photos along the bottom of Amy’s map couldn’t be linked to specific locations, so finding them will truly be a hunt, and the photos a real trophy!  There’s also a treasure trove of graffiti art at the Leake Street graffiti tunnel near Waterloo, which is also where the NHS Superhero graffiti featured in the top collage can be found!  It’s not far off of our Borough Market route, and the collage below comes from Miki’s recent run there.

Save the date, and other announcements!  Mark your calendars for Sunday, June 7th!  While we eagerly await further guidance from the government about how our social interactions might change in the coming weeks, we have been planning different ways we might celebrate the year of WRW.  Stay tuned for more information on what that will look like (mostly virtual, no doubt), but meanwhile we wanted to get the date to you.  We’re thinking late afternoon or early evening London time will allow some of our friends around the world to participate.  And, as if you need any extra motivation to keep the date open, we will finally be premiering Megan Marine’s brilliant annual video originally created for the Prague celebration!

Also, as we think about end-of-year celebrations, we have to think of the sadder side as well— the goodbyes.  Please, please let us know, if you haven’t already, if you are leaving London at the end of the year.  We don’t want to miss giving anyone a proper WRW sendoff!

To close, I wanted to highlight some of the WRW families out running or playing together— see the photos below.  Several WRW kids got out for runs with (or without) their Moms this week.  Just a few we’ve heard of?  Jen Ianazzo’s daughters, Devy Schonfield’s son, Julie Hojlo’s son, Shannon Ashton’s son (first 5k!), Rebecca Emery’s son (a 100k week!!!), Vera Kunda’s sons (out for Monopoly) and my own daughter (who will kill me if you tell her I mentioned it!)… and I’m sure the roll call could go on and on!  Again, celebrating you strong women, the powerful example you set, and the great care you take of the people (and pets) in your lives!  Have a wonderful week, keep running, and stay connected!

xx Micki