If you want to run home or part of the way home without a heavy load you have one of two options. Either leave the majority of your stuff at work (rather obvious) or get involved with Fitness First Home Run.
After a break of 18 months, Fitness First in conjunction with Limelight Sport (who are behind the Swimathon, London Duathlon, Royal Parks’ Half and Ultra Marathon) have relaunched what can be described as a sociable #runcommute with a bunch of friendly Londoners (yes, we exist) plus the added bonus that your bags will be transported to the final destination. Translated: you don’t have to carry a rucksack the whole way. And seeing as I have an object that transports stuff of some kind permanently attached to me, it felt like a breath of fresh air when I took part in the Home Run from Fitness First, Tottenham Court Road to Fitness First Highbury and Islington on Monday.
Not quite a running club
Fitness First Home Run is not the place to go if you want a structured session of threshold training nor is it a replacement for those vital speedy track runs which some of us runners know we need to get to grips with. It is not a running club per say. That being said, it shares the same community spirit. In fact, it’s more like a sociable run home with a gang of mates. You start chatting to someone you’ve only just met at the start and before you know it, you’re five miles down and almost at the finish. As they say, a change is sometimes as good as a rest and this solitary long-distance runner relished in the opportunity of company on the #runcommute through Camden.
The power of the masses
Love the #runcommute, hate the people? You’re not alone. Running at peak hours through the centre of town certainly puts a whole new slant on the term urban jungle. From dodging tourists to weaving in and out of lampposts, the #runcommute is a test of agility, speed, stamina and patience. Now we all have to share a pavement but when you have a group of runners (as selfish as this sounds), pavements seem to open up and you have the freedom to run in a straight line. Fitness First Home Run offers power to the running masses.
New perspective of London
With four routes planned for this season’s Home Run: Liverpool Street to Stratford, Bank to Clapham Junction via Waterloo, Tottenham Court Road to Highbury and Canary Wharf to Waterloo (for more details click here) you can pick the one that most suits you and also see London from a different perspective. Even if you a route planned with the precision of a military operation, it’s always fun to see how other people would interpret it. The Tottenham Court Road to Highbury Home Run takes you past Regent’s Park, Camden and past Holloway and the Emirates, a route this former Stoke Newington girl would never consider taking. And I have to say it was eclectic passing through pretty Regent’s Park into the colourful Camden, back streets of Holloway and finally past the Emirates Stadium.
Sign up now
Whether you’re a beginner or more experienced runner, Home Run lightens the load and takes the faff out of running home. All you have to do is turn up at the respective Fitness First and follow the running leaders. It really is that easy. Now this does come at the price of £15 for a six-week season (you receive a light-weight comfy t-shirt if that’s any consolation). Admittedly it’s not that much for some but this fitness lark can add up. The first season will finish on 25 July; it’s probably better to sign up for the second one starting on 4 August. If you’re a Fitness First member, it’s free. Another note about this season’s Home Run is that it only takes place two days a week (Monday and Wednesday or Monday and Thursday depending on the route) so you can’t adopt it fully as part of your commute home for the week. This may change in the future. And it’s only based in London. Despite these minor sticky points, Fitness First Home Run certainly stands by its mantra or hashtag for you to #GetFitGetHome.
Do you #runcommute home or would you consider a similar scheme in your area?