London Run 5 : City of London with the Midnight Runners

rtw city 5

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Date : 21st May, 2019

Time : 1h 35’ 41”

Number of runners (total to date) : 120 (4035)

Run map and details :

Midnight Runners describe their Tuesday night run as a ‘10k music boot camp run’ – which sums it up pretty well. Though you’ll need to go along if you want to experience the energy, friendliness and buzzing community of it all.

Here’s founder and run leader James Holt with a bit more background on the club.

You drop your bag at the Samuel Pepys pub and then everyone congregates just north of the Millennium Bridge – between St Paul’s and Tate Modern – for a warm up and announcements.

And then it’s time to start running.

The route varies but usually goes along both sides of the Thames and over various bridges. On this particular evening, we ran along the north bank of the Thames to Blackfriars Bridge, crossed over the river and ran to the National Theatre for our first exercise stop.

The stops serve two purposes. Firstly, they give you the full boot camp experience. And secondly they bring the group back together again. (The ‘frisky bunnies’ at the front, as Anthony calls them, were running at about 4 minutes per km pace ; others were running at 6 minute pace.)

From the South Bank complex we stayed south of the river, overlooked by the Houses of Parliament where they were no doubt putting the finishing touches to a unanimous all party agreement on Brexit,

until we got to Vauxhall for our second exercise stop in the shadow of the MI6 building. (When I first moved to London, MI6’s location was a classified secret ; now you just type it into Google maps).

Over Vauxhall Bridge, back east towards the Houses of Parliament and over Lambeth Bridge. Time for another exercise stop and a game of ‘dip, goose, chase’ (at least I think that’s what it was called..)

Over Golden Jubilee Bridge for a thigh burner of an exercise stop under Charing Cross station.

South over Waterloo Bridge and to the IMAX for the 5th and final exercise station

and then back to Tate Modern and over the wobbly bridge towards St Paul’s Cathedral

and the finish.

The whole thing is led with enormous enthusiasm and exhortational charm by the Midnight Runners team and is accompanied by a soundtrack of (mostly) 120+bpm 90s dance music – think Rozalla ‘Everybody’s Free (To Feel Good)’ – except for the warm down where we stretched to Massive Attack. (If you’ll excuse a muso nit-picking the playlist, I’d suggest not playing anything by Dexys Midnight Runners* was a missed opportunity.)

An enormous thank you to James, Joel, Jody and everyone from Midnight Runners, to all my fellow runners and to Lina, Andrew and Anthony for accompanying me. It was a brilliant evening and I shall be back!

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!

*For younger readers, Dexys Midnight Runners had two massive no 1s in the 80s with ‘Geno’ and ‘Come On, Eileen’. Older readers will undoubtedly recall drunkenly shouting along to ‘Come on Eileen’ at parties / college discos/ weddings without ever being quite sure what “Too ra loo ra too ra loo rye aye” might mean…

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 :

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!


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 - - then I know they'd be very grateful.
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