Tuesday, 21st March 2023
Article Image

Snowflakes, (polar) bear hugs and London sights

by Supemum Cally
Monday 2nd February 2015

Race report: Run247's Supermum Cally completed the Cancer Research UK London Winter Run - Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Cancer Research UK London Winter Run - Sunday, February 1, 2015

I signed up for the Cancer Research UK London Winter Run, feeling fairly confident that ‘the cold never bothered me anyway’. Actually, on this occasion, it did! I spent some time contemplating how I could have trained all through winter and not particularly suffered (maybe the odd numb fingertip). Whilst doing the run I wasn’t cold, it was the before and after where the cold really did bother me.

Anyway, it was cold, let that fact be known. It wasn’t raining though, so I can’t really complain and the only snow I saw, was that flying out of the snow machines on the course and on my early morning drive to the train station. So now I’m done complaining, I’ll get on with my race report.

From the moment we arrived at Embankment station, we were met by possibly the most enthusiastic and helpful volunteers that I have ever known at a race and they were also plentiful! I had printed out a map of where everything was on the course, but I didn’t need it as there was always someone to direct you the right way and there were also signposts at strategic points.

The bag drop was incredibly well organised and again full of friendly, chatty volunteers. Perhaps it was due to arriving over an hour before the first wave, but it didn’t seem overly busy either considering that 12,000 were said to be taking part. I was incredibly sad to part with some of my layers though and with a ten minute walk to the Fitness First warm-up area, through some incredible wind tunnels, it felt more like the eternal winter of Norwegian inspired Arendelle than central London.

There was some enthusiastic commentary as we approached the warm up area and plenty of Polar bears keen to give warm hugs. The Fitness First motivators did a good job of warming us up, although I could have done with more than the five or so minutes they presented. From there we were moved straight through to the starting area and it was on the way to this that I had to part with my ‘throwaway’ jumper, although I was so cold by then I don’t think losing one more layer made any difference.

The Cancer Research UK London Winter Run - Sunday, February 1, 2015

Once at the start line, there was another Fitness First warm up, although it was more densely crowded, so not easy to move about amongst the crowd. Queue more jogging on the spot...

I mentioned in my last blog that I would reveal our outfits on the day. Well our Frozen leggings were a definite hit and lots of runners chatted to us about them. They were combined with our Run Mummy Run vests, which helped us to be identified by other ladies from that community. If I’d known how cold it was going to be though, I think an adult  Olaf costume might have been more sensible (I did see a couple of people running as snowmen on the course). I did also wear my Flipbelt (HERE), to hold my phone, keys and money as I wasn’t entirely comfortable leaving those at the bag drop and it did a brilliant job of keeping my valuables safe, it was so comfortable though that I had to keep checking everything was still in there.

The start was introduced by Jo Pavey, who also took part in the race. Nick Rusling (CEO of Human Race) rang a giant Swiss bell and we were off! The route took us from the shadow of Big Ben along the Thames up to Tower Hill before a U Turn, which took us back along the river before a short diversion to St Paul’s Cathedral and the final couple of kilometres back to Westminster. Along the route we were treated to some interesting projections of Swiss Mountains in an otherwise gloomy underpass. There were also some snow zones, where hundreds of ‘snowflakes’ were being pumped across the course, although at times the wind seemed to send it more in the direction of the spectators than the runners.

The Cancer Research UK London Winter Run - Sunday, February 1, 2015

Being in the first wave meant that the course was not at all busy and it was the first race I can remember where everyone seemed to be running around the same pace as us; there was very little overtaking, there was however lots of camaraderie, whooping and ‘look, Frozen leggings’ being shouted. One man delightedly told us that he was listening to ‘Let it Go’ on his music player whilst running along behind us! Another man told us that we were too young to be mummies (no, he was not delirious, but he was wearing a parkrun 100 jacket). It was really nice to be racing without trying to get a PB as it meant that when we got to the finish line I was happy to drop back and get a photo of my friend, Jennie finishing the race (albeit from behind).

As we finished there was water and VitaCoco being passed out, along with the beautiful snowflake design medal. I was hoping for a space blanket as I cooled down very quickly, but unfortunately there were none provided and it was a ten minute walk back to the bag drop before I got any more layers on. There were more Polar Bear hugs to keep us going though and the Polar Bag drop was just as welcoming and well run as our experience at the start of the day. Then it was home to a hot shower and an afternoon swim with the children. I think I’ll have just about warmed up again before I head out for my next training run in preparation for the Brentwood Half Marathon in March.

The Cancer Research UK London Winter Run - Sunday, February 1, 2015

Thank you to everyone who supported our fundraising efforts. Our Just Giving page is still open, so it’s not too late if you want to reward our arctic endeavors.

Next year’s Winter Run has already been announced for 31st January 2016, priority entries are already open, so if you want to ‘Conquer the Cold’ whilst supporting the amazing work of Cancer Research, sign up here.


About The Author

Supermum Cally

Run247 has got its very own Supermum joining the editorial team. Cally Shanley has just got back into running after a six year break, during which time she has had two girls (Amber, five and three quarter years old and Melody, one and three quarter years old) and started a new job

We are looking to get Supermum Cally to try out some of the latest products, review some of the races and generally tell us all about her journey back into the world of running.

You can follow Cally on Twitter @runsupermum


Related Articles

Article Image
Are you tough enough for Tough 10?Susie Chan tried out Cancer Research UK's Tough 10 race series
Article Image
Impressive line-up for Scottish Half Mar...Race preview: The Scottish Half Marathon - Saturday, September 19, 2015
Article Image
Nike Milers - giving you the tools to ge...Run247's Supermum Cally went along to the launch of Nike Milers to find out why ...
Article Image
CRUK - The official charity of the Virgi...The official charity for the Virgin Money London Marathon 2015 is Cancer Researc...
Article Image
It's almost time for the Winter Run20,000 runners will take part in this Cancer Research UK event
Article Image
Headline Charities announced for 2018 JC...Worthwhile causes to benefit from runners' fundraising
Article Image
Serpentine double at Ealing Half! Jonathan Poole and Isabel Clark win 6th Ealing Half Marathon
Article Image
Last chance to run Ealing Half for chari...Last week for charity entries!

Post A Comment

TereréJordan Blood