London Run 4 : Lambeth with the London Frontrunners

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Date : 13th May, 2019

Time : 56’ 41”

Number of runners (total to date) : 50 (3915)

Run map and details :  https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/3646938507

London Frontrunners bills itself as London’s inclusive running club for LGBT+ and gay-friendly people. And, chatting to some of my fellow newbie runners during the run, it was important to them that it’s a an LGBT+ club.

However, if you’re not part of the LGBT+ community, then really the only word that matters is that it’s a “friendly” club. Watch the video below of Simon, Membership Secretary, talking about the club and I think you’ll see what I mean.

I joined a Monday night run* which meets at the Castle Centre – which offers lockers and showers – near Elephant & Castle station.

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From there you all jog off to Geraldine Mary Harmsworth park. (Named after the mother of Harold Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Rothermere who gifted the land to the ‘splendid struggling mothers of Southwark’.) Where everyone forms a big circles, introduces themselves, listens to Simon’s announcements and then heads off on the run. Apart from the few that I managed to hold back for the group photo that is (above)!

The run route takes you to Lambeth Bridge, along the south bank of the Thames, over Vauxhall Bridge

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along the north side of the Thames, past Battersea Power Station (still, extraordinarily, under construction after all these years)

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and back over the Thames at Chelsea Bridge to Battersea Park.

Once in Battersea Park, runners decide how far they want run in the park. Our particular group ran along the Thames as far as Albert Bridge and then turned back past the Peace Pagoda. This was all done in beautiful sunshine so I decided it was time to shoot some of my notoriously bad video footage..

On the return journey, the chat turned to Brexit. Now, dear reader, I know you don’t visit these blogs to read about Brexit. In fact it’s probably the last thing you want to hear about. But it’s always fascinating talking to someone who’s job is directly affected by Brexit. Whatever your views, and without wanting to break any running confidences, there’s undoubtedly an enormous job to be done disentangling the UK’s economy from the EU.

The run ended back at the Castle Centre and it was time to head home where my wife, a local politician, was watching Andrew Marr interviewing Nigel Farage. In between descrying Marr’s interview technique, Farage noted that both he and Jeremy Corbyn were on the same side of the Brexit debate. I’ll leave it you to judge whether that’s an argument for or against Brexit.

It just remains for me to say a huge thank you to Simon and all my fellow runners for welcoming me to your club and for a 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!

*They have regular runs four times a week (on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays) in some of London’s most beautiful parks (Regent’s Park and Hyde Park) and along the South Bank. They also offer training and coaching sessions three times a week at Primrose Hill, Battersea Park and Mile End Stadium.

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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