Race Review- London Winter Run UK

Saturday, February 7, 2015

The first London Winter Run UK (benefiting Cancer Research UK) took place on a frigid Sunday morning. It actually snowed in London the day prior (a dusting is what we'd say in NY) and temps had stayed low. I had high hopes for this race as there was meant to be snow zones (and I love snow), St. Bernard dogs at the finish line (as Switzerland tourism was co-sponsor) and 25 of my Team Naturally Run friends were taking part.

Polar bears at the start
Registration process & fees: Online registration with a ~£35 price tag. I registered a group of 5 for a slight discount. However, not all info leading up to race included details for these groups (could each of us pick up our own pack? Would pack be sent to individual or to main registrant?). Turned out all race packets were sent to me & then I had to distribute thed which was kind of a pain.

Location: Embankment on north bank of Thames River in Central London down to Tower Hill then to St. Paul's cathedral and back again. London is so beautiful and peaceful on a Sunday morning when the roads are closed.

Off with their heads! at Tower of London
Course & bogs: Bag drop was far from start line (0.7-1 miles) so many of us ran with bags. In the end, my friend Georgina said bag drop wasn't so bad after all and was very organized. Course was on closed roads which as nice as so many people were taking part. 

In some miracle by God, I didn't have to use the race loos. We made a pit stop at McDonalds during our  2 mile bonus run pre-race and that seemed to do the trick. I heard the ques weren't too bad though & there did seem to be a fair few near the finish line.

Atmosphere: The air was filled with the energy of 15,000 people- some dressed as polar bears, Olaf from Frozen, and I even saw a drag Elsa. Along the way were Swiss cowbells ringing and a junior cheer squad. Not too many fans along the course (as it was early and freezing cold out) but the last 1 km had lots of fans cheering which was exactly what I needed to finish strong.

Fancy bling. Love it!
Bling/goody bags: The medal is pretty cool- an intricate snowflake carving.  No date on it unfortunately, but maybe they will add that next year. There was free water & vita coconut water at the finish but no goody bag per say. May I suggest if Switzerland sponsors event again next year they hand out Swiss chocolate?

Tips if you decide to take part next time: Feel free to use the bag check as I didn't hear one bad thing about them from any of my friends who ran. Wear layers, including hat and gloves. I saw people in shorts, which I don't think is a great idea. You risk getting frostbite and I am sure they were really stiff the next day.  Be sure to warm up prior to the race by running for a good 5 minutes and make sure to stretch afterwards too.


  1. I heard about this race. It sounds like good fun & I like the snowflake medals 😄

    1. It was so much fun and back again this year! My latest blog post will have a discount code if you'd like to take part.


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