On Saturday 5th March 2022 we had our very first collaboration with the sensational team from The North Face UK. As they begin to do much more in the trail space - especially with new shoes - they reached out to see if they could support one of our Greenways events.
When we designed the year long Greenways challenge we were excited to build a Social Run at least once a month. After the success of the first two months (January in Hyde Park for Princess Diana trail and then the epic Dollis Valley in February) we were contacted by The North Face UK to see if it were possible to do a Greenway Social together.
In a matter of days we had planned out a way to cover the Route 3 Greenway - New River as a collaboration. With some tremendous 'behind the scenes' work from legend James Poole we had completed several recees with Darren & Regis and we knew exactly what we wanted to do for the run - it was just the 'after-run celebrations' that needed to be nailed!
Both Camino and The North Face runners began to arrive around 10am - all Greenways route are created so that the start and finish are not far from main tube/train/bus routes - so folk came from Enfield Town and Chase stations - via coffee shops that double as great pre-run toilets.
The North Face have a few new trail shoes coming to the market and with a focus on the growing trail scene James & Anna had a van full of the VECTIV trail shoes for the 80+ runners to try.
Route 3 New River Greenway starts at Enfield's Jephcott Bridge. When you subscribe to one of Camino's Greenways route you get sent a pack that contains a lot of information - including 'What3Words' co-ordinates for our specific route, some historical context and well as recommendations for great picture-taking. During the month Camino Greenways runners complete an online form to say that they have done the route and we are able to take their feedback and update the pack for future runners benefits.
We were grateful to have SVP ultramarathon legend Matt Hearne with us - armed with great New River knowledge and the GPX he was happy to be one of our Camino front leaders. As with all Camino Social runs - there were several run leaders (Jess, Kelsey, Paula, Regis, Darren & David) who were able spread themselves along the course and help guide different paced groups.
The NEW RIVER is a mix of canal paths, trails and parks as well as some London street intersections - for a social run there were opportunities to take a breather as the groups made their way through some of the turnstiles.
We had some wonderfully large groups of runners - all moving up and down the 'train' being introduced to and making some great new friends.
Whilst all the fun was taking place on the trail the North face team of James Poole and Anna McNestry were driving down the course to make the Aid Station - still some challenging but fun terrain to cover before the runners all got there.
Don't expect this at every Greenway! During this one all the runners were treated to some amazing offerings from Tenzing and Tribe - hence why you can see a lot of runners - well stopping and enjoying the goodies - it is always about the fun and social at these Greenways.
We have a lot of questions asked about the Greenways Challenge and you can read a full list of these on the Camino website - One of these is 'Can I run with my dog?' Well as you can see here (we also had another super strong dog on the Dollis Valley route) we love seeing dogs on this Greenways.
The mid section of the NEW RIVER route really takes you into a magical green space - so close to some major roads and estates of the area but you would never know they were there - it really is something that we love about the Greenways challenge.
If you fancy doing one of our future challenges then please do check out the Camino website where you can read more about the challenge and see the registration options in our Shop
Big Thank you to legend Pierre Papet who captured pictures on the day from The North Face team - we loved the opportunity to try on the The North face VECTIV shoes and you can scroll to the pictures at the bottom of the blog to see how these clean versions ended up after the NEW RIVER MUD!!!! See superstar Dan working his magic in the worst bit of it!
The NEW RIVER route is actually a full 45KM route (our unique Greenways version is a 21 KM one) from Ware in Hertfordshire all the way to the same finish that we did in Angel. We were treated to some great history at the finish and then Gigi took us off to see some caves in Sadlers Wells!
Big Thank you to Camino resident photographer Gigi for this group picture and for many other epics ones captured in this blog. If you want access to a huge folder of pictures from the day please contact us directly.
Big thank you to James for helping put together one the best Camino events that we have ever co-hosted. James kindly shared this with us:
"We were delighted to have so many people join us for the The North VECTIV footwear trial in partnership with Camino Ultra. Connecting with vibrant communities is at the heart of The North Face’s approach to building relationships with runners of all abilities. The New River Path was a great way to put the VECTIV shoe range through its paces and we had tonnes of positive feedback. We look forward to doing more events with the Camino team later in the year!"