Saturday, 12 September 2015

Regents Park to Olympic Park run commute

On Thursday I completed one of the runs that has been on my to do list for a couple of years.

My plan this week was to try and get a long midweek run in as I am running Bacchus Half Marathon on Sunday, so without too much planning I stumbled upon the idea of running part of the way home along the Regents Canal.

I make out that it's a kind of run commute but that's a bit misleading as it is far from getting me home and it's a route that is far from direct in heading towards home. 

In reality it's almost two hours of running that replaces a 20 minute tube journey and one stop on the train so hardly a practical run commute.

My run started with leaving work and heading through a leafy and sunny Regents Park. Emerging on the north side of the park by Primrose Hill I joined the canal towpath for the first time.

The initial route of the canal heads to the vibrant Camden lock area before passing through some less than salubrious backstreet areas of Kentish Town and Kings Cross.

I was some what taken aback at the large volume of traffic on the towpath through this section, walkers making their way home, many runners and speed demon cyclists all vying for a place on an often narrow pathway.

The kings cross area took my route along several wooden pathway structures sitting directly over the water, these were so rickety and noises to run on and not very pleasant.

In the Angel area the canal disappears under a long tunnel which doesn't contain a foot path which left me to navigate through the back streets of angel for around a mile before reconvening with the waterway again.  Most of the path was well signed with small brass plaques dope ting the way but I soon lost this trail and managed to find my own route withal it'll help from google maps.


On this next section the canal dissects through the back streets of East London and Hackney before emerging some where near Mile End and Victoria Park. Here I decided to follow the canal into the Limehouse basin as opposed to taking a direct route homewards through the park towards West Ham and Stratford. 

The experience of running along the canal was a very pleasant one, I felt a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of Central London. Tubes, trains, buses and cars were no where to be seen, it was indeed a more tranquil way to get through London. The word I kept reflecting on was 'mellow' as that seemed to be the mood along the canal, a more relaxed pace of life, being alongside water certainly seems to calm and relax people while also providing a pleasant open space for recreation activities. 

So although not an efficient run that provided a time saving commute but an incredibly enjoyable run and a great way to see London from a different angle. 

Here is a link of the route I took as well as some links to more information on the Regents canal towpath:

https://www.strava.com/activities/388619511