"Only for a Camino Challenge would I revert back to being a tourist in a
city I have lived in for over 42 years. Double irony is the parks the Diana
Princess of Wales Memorial Walk covers have been my regular venue
for training runs of all description over the last six years, I work in the
area, but I have never had to follow a predetermined path. In fact, the
route markers have only occasionally entered the fringes of my
consciousness. Similarly the landmarks the walk passes are so familiar
to me they have become invisible. Having to study the route of the walk
closely, to search out the markers and run the challenge has brought
back into focus for me how beautiful Central London, it's parks and
landmarks really are. So thanks Caminos, your events always enrich me
in one way or another."
We were so bowled over when we read this message from our friend and Camino stalwart - John Black from Eton Manor run club. John really has captured so much of why we chose the Princess Diana route for the first Greenways Challenge.
Why call it Greenways?
We did chuckle when Sonny Peart pinged us to say that a picture that we posted of route 3 - Waterway Link - looked - well concrete and graffiti!! London is a sprawling city and there are a lot of buildings and roads (don't forget the skyscrapers and sewage system) - we know it. We love following https://www.instagram.com/derelictlondon/ who has a knack of exposing some real beauty in this forgotten and unloved parts of our city.
London does possess a truly wonderful collection of parks and what many runners don't know as well is that there are many trails that can help you link them up. So yes there may be some paths and roads, underpasses and gyratories to navigate past but in no time at all you will be back on Green-ways x
Camino Greenway Socials:
One of things we were most excited about with the 2022 Greenways Challenge was to experience as much of it with you as possible. This meant the creation of Social versions. These appear on our Strava Group as events
Our first Social (Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk) was held on Saturday 8th January - starting in Hyde Park.
On a wet and grey winter day, over 20 of you met us at the Princess Diana playground cafe (https://what3words.com/commented.popped.scary)
Princess Diana route is unique in that there are 90 plaques on the paths with arrows showing you which direction to take
The pace (as will be a feature in all the Greenway Social Runs throughout 2022) was a comfortable 10km an hour. We even had Coach Paula leading a walk version half an hour before the run!
We received this joyful feedback from Camino friend Stef Allen - who came along with long-time friends Rose & Fiona: "It 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"
NEXT GREENWAYS ROUTE: Dollis Greenway
DISTANCE: 16 KM (10 Miles)
START: https://what3words.com/piles.closes.smooth - Just off Barnet Way - Before Moat Mount Outdoor Centre
ROUTE 2 will be released to all Subscribers on February 1st
Haven't Already Signed Up?
Camino Greenways Challenge 2022 is available throughout 2022.
New Routes are released on the 1st of the month.
There are 12 Routes in total and each one you complete you receive a Medal in the shape of a puzzle (with a unique take on the Greenway route signs)
You can still do all the older routes at anytime throughout the year.
You could sign up to the whole challenge and complete all 225 KM/ 12 routes in the last few days of December - now there is a challenge!!
CAMINO SUPERSTAR: TRINA DAWKINS
You know when you meet someone and you instantly love them - then you just keep on meeting them and that love grows - Well that is what it has been like for Camino in meeting and running with superstar Trina - https://www.instagram.com/trina_runs/
Trina has been such a wonderful supporter of the Greenways Challenge - that we asked her a few questions about her running and inspiration
1. Can you tell us how you started running and what is it that makes you so smiley when running?
Running has also been a joy of mine since my school days. Unfortunately as adulthood hit, I developed other interests and running (along with other sports) took a back-seat. In 2015, as a way to reclaim the balance between food and exercise, I started running with a friend and we would enter Race for Life events to raise money for Cancer Research. It wasn’t until 2018 when I joined my first running club that the passion reignited again leading me to run my first marathon in 2019. Since then I can’t stop running and hopefully won’t stop! The joy of being outdoors in my own thoughts (when I run solo) and the joy of running with others make me smile. Running makes me smile and gives me an opportunity to solve the most complicated life problems in my head. That alone will make anyone smile!
2. What appeals to you about the Greenways Challenge?
Love the idea of running at a different location every month (no doubt I will run the route more than once!). Great way to learn about the history of the Greenways and the vicinity. Although I have lived in London forever, I will always be a tourist and challenges like this take me to new places which I am loving.
3. If you could share one thing about why someone should sign up to either do the Princess Diana route or the full 12 route 2022 challenge.
I would definitely recommend the challenge to everyone regardless of where you are in your running journey. They are routes that you can enjoy walking as much as running. You will 100% learn and discover something you did not know before! The challenge can be completed solo but it is just as much fun as completing them with friends and family.