London Run 3 : Southwark with the London City Runners

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Please donate generously to Cancer Research : https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Dan-Thompson11

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Date : 7th May, 2019

Time : 53’ 17”

Number of runners (total to date) : 120 (3865)

Run map and details :  https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/3628772737

London City Runners gets billed as London’s biggest running club – and there were certainly plenty of people there as I arrived at the club house on Druid Street. Amongst the crowd was the club management team – Kerry, Duncan and Tim.

Tim, who founded LCR, was good enough to do a piece to camera about the club including its social life (9 marriages and 4 babies to date.)

They were also good enough to give me two minutes to talk about Run the World before the run and to arrange a group photo (above). Then it was time for the 120+ runners to set-off.

The way it works is that you can do a 5km, 6km or 10km run. All the runners set off at roughly the same time and then run through Butlers Wharf

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over Tower Bridge

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around the Tower of London

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and along the north bank of the Thames.

Duncan, last spotted at the pre-run briefing, then somehow appears and reminds everyone to cross back-over the Thames at either the Millenium Bridge (5km), Blackfriars Bridge (6km) or Westminster Bridge (10km).

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Or at least that’s what you’re supposed to do. For some reason I climbed up the steps to Charing Cross Bridge before realising my mistake and descending again to cross over Westminster Bridge.

The return takes you along the south bank of the Thames past the Royal Festival Hall – where I took a ‘picture’ of a couple of runners which turned into a rubbish mini-video because I had the wrong setting on my camera… (can someone please send a professional camera crew along to one of these runs because I don’t see to be able to combine running with cinematography!) –

the National Theatre, Tate Modern , the Globe, the Golden Hinde, Southwark Cathedral and back to Druid Street.

Along the way I spoke to a number of runners and asked them why London City Runners is so popular. Answers included, “It’s free” ; “They’ve got their own club house” ; “Everyone’s welcome ; some running clubs are targeted at a particular demographic”, “The club house serves craft beer.”

Quite a few of those answers hint at one of LCR USPs – their club house and business model. Along with a crowd funding campaign, Kerry and Tim put a lot of their own money into the club house and it now serves not only as a base – and bar – for the club but also as a venue for other running club functions and adventure talks. With the help of a lot of volunteers, they now generate enough income to just about cover their costs – so everyone can run for free

After the run, I chatted to more runners :

“ I just smashed my PB for 10km – from 1h 2’ to 57’ “

“I live in the in the north and work in London a couple of days a week. There’s a running club you can join every night of the week in London but this one is my favourite”

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“I’m running to lose weight so that I can join the air force” (this from a heavily muscled rugby player without an ounce of fat)

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All of which, I thought, pretty much summed up the joys of running and being part of the London City Runners.

Thank you Kerry, Tim and Duncan, and all my fellow runners, for the warm welcome and the great run. If any of you can make it, then I’d love to see you in London on 4th July 2020 for the UK, and final, leg of Run the World!

If you’d like to help fight cancer then I and, far more importantly, cancer sufferers around the world, would be immensely grateful for any donations to Cancer Research : https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Dan-Thompson11

Please like / follow Run the World on Facebook , Instagram and Twitter because it would be great to stay in touch and because, however silly it may sound, it makes all the travel and running that little bit easier if you think people care!

 

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About Run the World

I'm running 10 km in every country in the world - a total of 205 countries - by the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. I'm doing the Run the World challenge to promote the benefits of sport and physical activity and to raise money for cancer research following the death of my mother from cancer. If you'd like to donate to Cancer Research - https://www.justgiving.com/Dan-Thompson11/ - then I know they'd be very grateful.
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