Welcome back to those of you who have been taking part in the 2022 version of Camino Greenways and Hola to anyone who is new to this challenge and maybe to Camino.
Quick trip back in Memory Lane:
Camino was set up to host 50KM ultramarathons and to coach runners to be the best versions of themselves in preparing for endurance events.
Over the past few years we realised how important it was for us to spend quality time in the grass roots of running. We've been fortunate enough to collaborate with many incredible run groups and every time that we have done a beginners group we have been overwhelmed by the joy of people getting more skills and enjoyment out of running.
So last year we decided to create a year long challenge.
Camino Greenways is a 12 route challenge where Camino help curate a running trail route in and around London and each month we have been sending challengers a dedicated pack that contains every bit of information that you would need to complete that route. This includes helpful ways to use public transport, places to find great coffee outlets and necessary toilets, history of the routes, some places you may find great picture-taking spots and much more.
After a challenger completes the route they can send us details (it is easy) via our website and we then post out a puzzle medal.
Thames Estuary Pass was a curated section of the full Thames Estuary trail
Challengers that complete every route will have 12 puzzle medals that fit together to complete the puzzle/challenge.
One of the essential components of the Camino challenge is to ensure that everyone gets the most of it. We created it for several reasons.
You want to do events but they may not happen at times that suit you - we have become incredibly agile/flexible humans and we are all working to different work/life balances. So with this challenge you do the routes any time - night or day. You may do them with you dog (cat or horse....interesting to see how far challengers might take this). You can include family - have children cycle with you.
Being creative - what we have loved this year is seeing people create their own events inside of this challenge. Some have made a friend re-union into an opportunity to show a new part of London. Some have looked at the map and seen that the route gave them and friends/family an opportunity to go and see one of the many incredible attractions that London offers. For routes that are A-to-B you can decide which way suits you better. For loops you start wherever on the loop is best.
We can HELP you - once you get under the skin of the challenge you realise that by contacting us at Camino we can really help you tailor the route/day/challenge to fit your needs. We can offer coaching/insight to help turn each one into something of pure joy for you.
We highly recommend that you contact us and let's starting helping you make the most out of the Camino challenge.
See Below for a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the challenge.
Ok. Now the really essential bit. We have a new challenge for 2023 and we want you to join it.
We want people to discover the endless trail running opportunities that London has to offer. We want to partner with communities and brands that will help elevate this challenge and give awareness to the health benefits of being closer to nature - and yes London really does have an infinite wealth of rivers, parks, forests, trails, lakes and trees (to hug)
So let us help you discover these.
What have 2022 Challengers shared about their experiences:
Trina has been a Camino Ambassador from Day 1 - she is an exceptional coach and the most energised community runner that we have the pleasure to know. Trina shares:
"Camino Greenways Challenge has been an opportunity for me to be a tourist in my city - visiting new places and connecting people. Scenic routes through many parks whilst enjoying fresh air as we continue to 'run-free'."
Each month Camino organises (at least one) Social gathering. It is an opportunity for us to show challengers the route in even more personalised detail. We love to take the time to help challengers understand 'How to navigate trail routes", how to be safe out on routes and general advice on nutrition and well-being. Every month we share a newsletter to challengers and we reveal all the details that you need about these Socials. We also listen to challengers and try to vary the days/times we host these.
Stef is one of our Camino Coaches and so she is obliged to be kind....but she did share this specifically after one of the first Camino Greenway Socials and we love it...and we love Stef:
"That Camino Greenways route was awesome!! 😂 The run was fab, well organised, beautiful route... we didn't even notice the rain. Most importantly for me the Camino community that has formed includes some amazing people of all different abilities in terms of running but they are all just so lovely and a pleasure to run with. It doesn't matter who you are. You're always welcome and eveyone to chats to each other. There's no pressure at all. Over lockdown I've made loads of strava friends from the camino group and I'm finally getting to meet and spend time with them in person and running together! It feels really special".
A huge revelation for us this year has been the success of the collaborations with like-minded sport/running/well-being brands.
In March 2022 we collaborated with the team from The North Face. They were promoting their new Vectiv trail shoe and were keen to get the thoughts of runners on mixed terrain. You can read all about it here - but essentially TNF helped curate an incredible day where runners got to try new trail shoes, plus an mini aid station of Tenzing (energy drinks) and Tribe Bars (two brands we love) and then we celebrated together at one of London's fantastic Mikheller bars
The Camino Blueways challenge can be a wonderful way to introduce your brand/ new product to a running community. So please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org and lets chat about how we recreate some of the magic that we have done this year with Exhale Coffee, SportsShoes and Inov-8
Thank you to everyone who has taken part in the challenge this year. We have loved following you on your adventures and seeing how the challenge has opened up horizons on what London has to offer to trail-runners.
SIGNING-UP: The Blueways Challenge is £95 - You will get access to the 12 routes which will be emailed the postal address that you sign up with. Every route you complete you will be sent a medal. Newsletters will contain details of Social events as well as spot prizes that will be included with our Brands and partners.
QUESTION 1: Where are the 12 Blueway Routes:
Answer: It is important to know that the Blueways are ALL inside the M25
They are all created to be accessible to public transport
We have divided London up into sections: West, South, North & East as well Central and there are an equal number of routes in these different areas.
QUESTION 2: How long are the Blueway routes:
The shortest route is 5 Miles (8 KMs) and the longest is 10 miles. However the average distance for the Greenways will be 10 KMs (6 Miles) - making them all accessible to walkers.
QUESTION 3: I am training for a Marathon - Can Blueways work for me:
One of the things we love..... is seeing how creative people are with their route planning. Many runners will run to or from the start of the Blueway (from home or to meet other runners). Many runners have completed an 'out and back' version of the route to increase their training miles.
As always we want to restate two rules of Blueways:
Contact us first to help you build your best version
Always maximise the enjoyment
QUESTION 4: What if I make an error on the route?
WE NEVER PENALISE YOU. As long as you attempt to roughly follow the route then that is fine with us. If you decide to head off to find a cafe and rejoin the route a bit further along then that is fine. JUST ENJOY YOURSELF
QUESTION 5: I am not based based in UK - How will I receive my medals.
It is always good to contact us if you feel you want to do the challenge in a way that suits you. This challenge is for people who can access the routes that are in London. if you regularly travel from abroad and stay in London it will be easy for us to arrange a convenient time/place for you to pick up medals.
WE CAN ONLY POST MEDALS to UK ADDRESSES.
QUESTION 6: Can I take my dog on a Blueway route:
100% - in fact we love it.
We've loved how our community has grown through the Greenways + Blueways Challenges. Please do share this with your friends, family, run-clubs, local interest groups - THANK YOU x
Camino Greenways Social March 2022 - Many happy Trail Runners!
All the Blueways routes have been created to bring you closer to canals, rivers, lakes, ponds, as well as the green spaces of our parks, forests and tree-hugging trails - BREATHE IT IN CAMINOSx
Find out more about the trails and routes inside of London. There is a vast world of these routes - many are sign-posted - many exist because they piece together some magical history of London, many tell the story of a lost world - what Camino does it bring this all together so that you can experience all the benefits. What you will learn overtime is that Greenways and Blueways routes that we have created can be merged to help you navigate across London without the need for smoke-filled concrete routes.