Updated: Dec 9, 2022
Over the past few years, Camino realised how important it was for us to spend quality time in the grassroots of running and last year we decided to create a year-long challenge - Camino Greenways was launched. It was a chance to showcase and discover the endless trail-running opportunities that London has to offer.
We knew there were so many fantastic places to run, and we wanted to do more in 2023. The Blueways routes were created to bring you closer to canals, rivers, lakes, and ponds, as well as the green spaces of our parks, forests and tree-hugging trails.
For us, community is at the heart of what we do at Camino Ultra, and 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
So from the moment we heard about the Crowd funder for the East London Waterworks Park, we knew this project would potentially transform a community for generations to come, and we wanted to support it.
So what is ELWP?
"The East London Waterworks Park is an idea conceived by local people. At its heart is a community group that wants to acquire and transform the 5.68-hectare ex-Thames Water Depot on Lea Bridge Road in Waltham Forest into a brownfield rainforest, offering people the opportunity to immerse themselves in nature. Activities, including wild swimming in Victorian filter beds and conservation volunteering, will improve physical and mental health, increase biodiversity and encourage visitors to stay and explore.
Currently, a fenced-in concrete depot in the middle of a swathe of green space, opening the East London Waterworks Park, will reconnect the lower Lea Valley. It will also showcase an environment-first community-led approach to land ownership that will transform the way we think about green spaces."
Please check out their website and Facebook/IG pages. They have great information on how this project will be brought to life.
If you follow any of the Camino Coaches on Strava, you will know that although we love running, wild swimming is a big part of our training with enormous mental and physical benefits. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of a unique community project that would bring wild swimming and nature to a community. And more than that, it's right on our doorstep and next to the Marshes where we do much of our running.
We are excited to be supporting this amazing scheme by donating £20 of every Blueways purchase to the ELWP Crowd funder. We also want to play an active part by getting involved in some of the logistical needs of the project. In the true spirit of our beloved GoodGym we plan to do this by the run-work method x
We would love to see this project succeed, so please check out their crowdfunding page and share with anyone you think would be interested. Although this is a Hackney-based project, it could be a blueprint for the regeneration of urban environments across the country and help us connect with our precious green spaces and waterways, encouraging generations to come to care for and protect them too.
Joining us on the Camino Blueways:
Head over to our recent blog post on the full details of the Blueways.
It is essentially 12 trail routes that we have curated that will be shared to sign-ups throughout 2023 and where we believe you will experience a unique variety of London's Green (parks + forests) and Blueways (rivers + canals + ponds + lakes).
For us the connection between movement and nature is essential to our wellbeing.
We love to run at Camino but not mindless running.
Running is a way for us to connect.
We have been fortunate to collaborate with projects that have helped us with this connection and the East London Waterworks would be another perfect fit.
In 2023 Camino will be hosting Social versions of the Blueways trails for sign-ups.
These are typically 10KM routes.
Many of them will find us ending up near natural swim spots.
So as an added bonus - anyone who wants to try a 'swim-run' version with us will have Camino coaches on board to help with the swim part too.
We recognise that this can be a lot to take in.
A big part of 'joining a challenge' is that you need to take that next step.
We recommend that you ask others for their feedback of Camino Ultra as we ultimate want you to trust us - trust us that we will take you away from the concrete of our city and to discover these natural and life-affirming spaces within the city of London.
Please do follow our channels and over the coming weeks you will get to see more about what we are doing with both the Blueways and with the East London Waterworks project.
Big Love Camino x