Sunday Social Run - Photo Story

This is a photo-story of the Windmilers Running Club's regular Sunday social run. 

If you've never been to a running club before we thought this would be a good way of showing you what happens from start to finish.  The Social Run is exactly that - a chance to do a bit of running at you own pace without the fear of everyone speeding off and leaving you behind! 

So if you'd like to give this a try please feel free to turn up just before 10am on any Sunday morning.

Parking at the Windmill is limited so if you can make sure you either lift-share, cycle, or jog there.

At around 10am the session starts and everyone moves across onto the grass area next to the Windmill.  The 10 o'clock run is an official club run so is always organised and taken by a properly qualified coach. 

These photos were taken on 25th November 2007 - a cold crisp morning and I guess there were around 50 people.

The Coach gets everyone onto a circle and starts with a few short club announcements before welcoming any new members.  Usually we can expect between 5-10 new runners each week.

 Warm-ups are very important before we start running so 5 minutes are spent mobilising and doing gentle warm-up exercises.

The group then split into three smaller groups, each led by its own coach. 

You decide whether you want to try out the 3 mile, 5 mile or 7 mile route.

Generally if you're completely new to running you should try the 3 mile route.  There are frequent stops so whatever your condition you should be fine in this group - and in any case most people generally talk all the way around and catch up on gossip etc!

The 3 and 5 mile routes stay within the Common but the 7 mile route heads into Richmond Park and around the Pen Ponds.

And we're off!  We always start off at a gentle pace as we head past the Windmill and down the long wide path that if you kept on going takes you down towards the Fox and Grapes Pub.
 
 
After about half a mile we approach the first of our warm-up stretching stops just off the main path.
The coach - seen here in black - gets everyone to do things like heel kicks, high-knees - all good stuff to get those legs properly warmed up and stretched for the next few miles.
This is a great downhill bit - this is Gravelly Hill which heads down from near the Fox and Grapes towards the brook/canal.
In Winter the routes can be a bit muddy so best not to wear your nice clean gym trainers.
The second stop is at the brook - we always wait a few minutes to allow everyone to catch up. No-one gets left behind!  And then it's off along the flat path next to the brook.
 
He's either holding up that tree or stretching out a tight calf muscle.
 
It's a lot easier on one of these!
The third stop lets everyone catch their breath back after going up the hill at the edge of the Common. 
Approaching the corner of Wimbledon Common near Parkside road and the A3 roundabout.
The fourth stop with Coach pointing directions!
Almost back home - this is the road that goes to the Windmill (off Parkside road).  Juliet is modelling her new cycling jacket.
And then back where we started - time for a few warm-down exercises before diving into the Windmill cafe.

Hands in the air if you enjoyed the run? 

Ok this is starting to look like it was staged for the camera...

Coach showing us how to properly stretch those muscles to avoid any tightness the next day.
More stretching.
Alright this photo wasn't taken on 25th November - but I forgot to take a photo of the cafe entrance.
The Windmill Cafe queue - famous for catching up on all the best bits of gossip over the past week... or more likely what happened at various social events on the last Friday evening.

The long-suffering Windmill Cafe staff supply us with endless rounds of coffee, tea, toast and cake... after all this is why we all run so you can stuff yourself aftewards!

That's it - hope you enjoyed the Sunday morning with the Windmilers.  Maybe see you out running soon!