We are used to marathon sessions of Monopoly sat around a table, maybe with a few snacks on the go, good fun, the occasion-able squabble but more over a relaxed affair. When I decided I would add a Monopoly 20 mile run to the London ‘FUN-RUN’ Series I wasn’t sure if it would work. For sure I can motivate myself to run 20 miles, but that isn’t what the series is about. It’s about getting people who haven’t covered such a distance and with a few distractions to run 20 miles. When you haven’t run that before it is understandably daunting and I had no idea if people would buy into the FUN-RUN philosophy.
I was delighted to be getting some interest in the run in the lead up and was overwhelmed by a record attendance on the longest run – with a host of nationalities! Meeting in Trafalgar Square at 9:15 we could see the remnants of international pillow fight day with feathers floating in the fountains. After a quick introduction and warm up we were under way. A short sprint over to a corner of the square with the road sign for an obligatory photo at each location. A short run down Northumberland Avenue to the embankment down to Westminster and up Whitehall. As we passed the Brazilian embassy it was spontaneously decided if we pass an embassy or street where you’re from you have to do ten press ups and so happened. A quick snap by a Pall Mall sign and up to Coventry street where we conquered a pair of London telephone boxes for a special photo. On to iconic Piccadilly to the little known Vine Street, we all have no idea how a tiny street with nothing on it could ever have been deemed one of London’s premier. Then a bit of a treat to run Regent and Oxford street with barely a soul on them. A dart down to flirt with Mayfair and out on to Park Lane.
The shortest route around the Monopoly board would’ve come in around 16 miles so I decided to add in a loop in Hyde and Regent’s parks to make it up to 20 miles. We ran the first of these in Hyde Park, taking a short break as well as a few circuits. It was then onwards to the first of the stations, Marylebone. In to Regent’s park, for a peaceful green loop and then back on to noisy Euston Road. Passing Euston station it was then just a short run to King’s Cross which also marked the halfway point and break time. With drinks, sweets and salty crisps on the go the team made the most of this refuelling stop.
Time to run along Pentonville Road up to Angel Islington and then a long stretch to Liverpool Street station where we were taking quiet side roads. A quick dart in to the east end at the city end of Whitechapel high street and then to the fourth and final station, Fenchurch which was tucked away in a hard to find side road. The next location was Old Kent road which meant crossing Tower bridge and as this is one of the iconic moments in the London marathon, which is three weeks away I asked the three others running the marathon to join me in leading the team over the bridge. We then took a trip to the scoop on the southbank for our final rest stop. A few circuits were thrown in keep us warm, after quick intake of water and sweets the majority of the team decided a 20 mile run wasn’t enough and completed a scoop involving 96 steps!
We then got going again on to Old Kent road, before returning to the southbank to visit the former site of London’s waterworks beneath London Bridge. Next was just a visit to jail at the Clink prison museum. So it happens the next stop was the second utility in the electric company at the Tate modern where the building was previously used as a power station. After this there was just four more stops to go and we took a short walk up to Blackfriars bridge as the Sunday crowds had busied the southbank. It was great to get up on Blackfriars bridge which has really wide pavements without many people. Just after getting back north of the river we took a turn into Fleet street and proceeded to run along it, as it became the Strand we saw the disused tube station and took a photo beneath the entrance. We then headed in the direction of Covent Garden to get to Bow street, another of the lesser known stops which is just behind Covent Garden. With just one more stop to go we were all excited at the thought of finishing! A run through a vibrant Covent Garden and on to our finish line at Leicester Square.
I was delighted that for more than half the team at the finish that was the longest run of their lives. The ethos of the London ‘FUN-RUN’ Series is to get more people running longer distances and believing in themselves. This monopoly run brought the first cycle of the series to a conclusion, which is based on a marathon training plan. In four months training I believe a 10K, 10 mile, 15 mile and 20 mile run would serve you well in preparation for a marathon – as long as you add in some training in between! It has been brilliant to have runner’s finishing each run with it being their longest run ever. I’ve been impressed with the effort and dedication shown by these runner’s who have pushed themselves to new levels. I’m excited to see where everyone takes their running to next and whether it’s pushing for a faster 10K time or the realisation that a marathon is a realistic and achievable goal I wish everyone enjoyable and happy running!
London ‘FUN-RUN’ Series – Cycle 1 stats
No. of runs – 49
No. of runner’s – 31
Runner’s breaking personal distance records – 14
Distance ran – 635 Miles
Donations – £245
What does £245 equate to? Pays for a Macmillan nurse for a day, helping people living with cancer and their families receive essential medical, practical and emotional support AND fund a Macmillan cancer information and support officer for two hours, meaning more people affected by cancer will have someone to answer their questions and talk to about their concerns.
THANK YOU to everyone who has supported the London ‘FUN-RUN’ Series as #teammacmillan you can see above how your donations could be used by Macmillan Cancer Support
This series and support for my #15in15 challenge means a lot to me, if you would like to donate you can do so here
What’s next for London ‘FUN-RUN’ Series? Sunday 10th May – Shaun the Sheep 10K
What’s next for Adventure Adam? Saturday 11th April – Adventure Army London #mircroadventure