Race review: London Winter run

So cool! Fleur and I registered for the London Winter Run a couple of months ago. I’ve been trying to run this race for 4 years now, but I never managed to be in London at the right time. Sometimes it was work, sometimes skiing, but I never visited this great city during the run. But 2020 would be the year! I took some time off work, we planned the trip and registered for the event. Awyeah!

Too bad that, when I was packing my bag on Friday, I got an email to inform me the race was canceled. Due to storm Ciara, the safety of the runners and the volunteers could not be guaranteed. Bummer… The organisation apologised profusely and clearly felt disappointed as well, all the hard work gone with the wind (Yes. Pun intended hehe). But I’ve got to say, they solved it really well. We all get a refund for the entry fee and if we run a 10k within a week, we still get the medal. Now that’s what I call service!

As the trip was planned anyways, Fleur and I hopped on a plane to London (waiting for the day the train is comparable in price) and we enjoyed the city and did a lot of shopping. There was no need to limit our walking, as we weren’t running a race on Sunday. So after a satisfying, very sunny day during which we walked 23k, we headed to our lovely hotel.

I really wanted to run on Sunday as my training schedule did count on a 10k. So we headed out the door around 7.30 in the morning and said to each other ‘we’ll see how bad the storm is, and we’ll turn around if necessary’. Wasn’t necessary! It was windy, but nothing out of the ordinary if I compare it to Leiden. So lucky us, we managed to do a 10k alongside the Thames and we had the best time. No one was around at the Tower Bridge at that time, so we even had the time to take some pictures.

The temperature was quite good, and the headwinds and tailwinds alternated throughout the entire run, making it very doable. The city was still sleeping (and bracing itself against the upcoming storm) and we had the best time. I would definitely recommend doing this if you visit London some time!

On Monday, the sun came back out and we figured we would have another lovely day. Well, we got that wrong! EasyJet decided to fly out the stranded people from the canceled Sunday flights on our flight that evening, so ours got canceled. Their customer service, website and app weren’t ready for the flood of questions from all the canceled flights and we spent all day trying to get a hotel and a flight back. In the end, we were able to buy a flight back on Wednesday and we spent the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at a motel in the middle of nowhere… Oh well, we survived and even though I missed my flight to Serbia for a work trip, we can look back at the weekend with a weak smile because the first two days were great! In a few weeks we will probably laugh at all the cancellations and unexpected turns we faced these days!

I have uploaded my run a few days ago and now we wait. Hopefully the medal will find it’s way to us as some sort of souvenir for the first time we stranded in a rural area where even running wasn’t possible, and we will just try again next year. Five times a charm… or something? Have you ever done the Winter Run? If so, did you enjoy it? I am looking forward to next year already!

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