Running with the Backpackers

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Date : 23rd  May, 2019

Number of runners (total to date) : 15 (4050)

Run map and details :

One of the things I love about running is that runners come in all shapes and sizes. And abilities and ages.

They also all run at different paces. Some are frisky bunnies and there are plenty of clubs for them. And some run at a more relaxed pace.

If you are one of the relaxed tribe then you might well want to consider the Backpackers Running Club. It describes itself as “A London based running family setting out to show the world that the warriors at the back of the pack are just as worthy and worth celebrating, as those at the front.”

I joined their Thursday evening run which meets at the Asics store on Regent Street. Asics provide the club with a place to meet, a place to sit and relax, and a place to drop off  bags. They also provide free carbonated drinks of a variety of pleasing flavours. And, of course, you can buy running gear there.

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Backpackers is led by the super charismatic Leeanne Adu (below) and the evening starts with a review of the highlights of everyone’s week. (One member had just been promoted to deputy head of her special needs school.)

Running highlights are then celebrated. Club members take part in a lot of races – sometimes as participants and sometimes as pace setters. Plenty of club members had completed the Hackney Half the previous weekend so there were stories, medals and hugs. (Pace setters are needed at the back of the pack just as much, if not more, than they’re needed out front.)

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They were kind enough to give me the floor for a couple of minute and pose for group photo (above) before we headed outside onto Regent Street for a warm up.

We then split into two groups – joggers and jog/walkers – and headed to Regent’s Park. Where we all met up again and where I was able to shoot a some of my notoriously poor footage of us all running in the particularly beautiful English Gardens.

Our route back took us through Broadcasting House (i.e. the BBC) and their marauding bollards

past Oxford Circus

and back to the Asics store.

Backpackers is, as they say, a running family – a very supportive one at that – and if that sounds like your kind of set-up then don’t hesitate to join them. Its free and really rather wonderful!

It just remains for me to say a huge thank you to Leeanne and all my fellow runners for the welcome and the 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 :

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