Date : 20th May, 2021
Time : 1h 37’ 55”
Number of runners (total to date) : 12 (12)
Run map and details : https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/6830306776
Back at the end of 2019 I started talking to the team behind One Run for Boston and the London Relay. They’re great people and we ended up working together on a very ambitious (aka completely crazy) project which, sadly, we had to shelve due to COVID. In September 2020 we pivoted (to use the jargon) and decided instead to launch the One Run Global Relay in December 2020.*
Somewhat to our amazement, the Relay had 15 000 entrants, participants in every country in the world and raised over $60 000 for our charity partners. We also had fantastic post-event feed-back and decided to do it all again in 2021 (October 16th at 9am – save the date!)
During our planning for the 2021 Relay the thought occurred that it might be good to do something that encouraged people to run throughout the year – and came up with the concept of a global running club. The idea really appealed to me so I put up my hand to kick things off and set up a club in Highgate (in north London).
About 3 weeks ago I sat down with 3 friends – Raja, Anthony, and Andrew – to discuss exactly how it might work. The brief was to set up a social running club that would be genuinely welcoming for everyone. That would get us all running a little bit more – and enjoying our running a lot more!
We decided we should start and finish at the same place (usually a pub ); offer a shorter, gentle run plus a longer, slightly faster run ; and meet at 7pm on a Thursday. (Thanks guys for all the help and advice!)
I sent an email about it all to the Londoners who took part in last year’s PB Challenge and sat back expecting the digital equivalent of tumbleweed. Ten days later we have more than 30 people in our WhatsApp group and 12 of us made it to the start line.
We were planning to run in 2 groups – one doing 3km and one doing 5km – through Highgate Woods and then onto the North Parkland Walk towards Alexandra Palace. As it was our first ever run we stuck for the first 1.5km – everybody chatting to everybody – before saying goodbye to the 3kers.
The 5kers made it to Ally Pally which, if you don’t know it, has some of the most stupendous views over in London taking in the City, Canary Wharf and the Spurs stadium. Not that you can see any of them in the photo below…
We then return returning to the Woodman where the group showed the same enthusiasm for the socialising as it had for the running.
It was a brilliant evening and I shall be forever grateful to Maria, Freya, Niamh, Phil, Natalie, Amy, Martin, Danny, Anthony, Lucy and Raja for their company on our inaugural run. Many thanks also to Millie, Mia and everyone at the Woodman who looked after us so well!
Will this be the start of a global social running club? Who knows but that’s the dream and wouldn’t it be great if there was a friendly group of people you could join for a run wherever you were in the world. But for now the focus is on next weeks’ run – meet at the Boogaloo at 7pm on Thursday May 27th. Everyone’s invited so join us if you can!
* The Relay aims to bring people together from all over the world ; raise funds for some great causes ; and encourage everyone to run, walk and move more. The way it works is that, at 9am local time on October 16th, people in every country in the world will run, walk or move for an hour creating a spectacular 24 hour relay around the globe.