Third Space x Run Dem Crew
With a 10km race coming up and only two runs longer than four miles under my belt since April’s marathon fail, I was buzzing about the Third Space x Run Dem Crew urban run last weekend. I even stuck to just the one cocktail the night before in preparation! Also having never felt cool enough, or committed enough, to join RDC, I was intrigued to run with them.
The route covered 13km starting from the newer brand of Third Space in Canary Wharf (you might have heard of it when it was the monster Reebok gym in the shopping centre – you know which one I mean?) via the Tower Bridge branch, and end at the Soho branch (soz Marylebone, hope you didn’t feel too left out!) for a little ‘fitness festival’.
(Super quick intro into the Third Space – it’s a very cool high end chain of gyms in Central London. My branch in Soho has undergone a load of refurbishment recently, class timetables are increasingly varied and it seems to be working on its social media presence which means new and exciting events like this one, which was open to non-members too!)
Not normally willing to pay for run clubs (it’s not that I don’t think they are worth paying for, just that I already pay for a gym membership and there are already so many free and brilliant run clubs out there), I paid my tenner based on the promise of refuel back at Soho and a braid bar. Don’t know why, but I am always impressed with a braid bar. Having already picked our pace on signing up (‘party pace’ for me!), I rocked up to Canary Wharf in the morning, registered and got my free technical tee which was baggy, black and I totally loved it (note: not meaning to diss a free tee, but I did go for the guys tee option rather than a veeeery small, tight vest which was the girls option! Not all girls want to wear tight gym kit...)
After a pumping workout in the sportshall (yep, that’s how big this gym is in Canary Wharf that it has a sportshall), party pacers set off last for our wet and windy run. I was really impressed with the RDC guys in my pace group – they created a friendly and enjoyable atmosphere, stuck some tunes on and we took frequent stops to refuel, do a HIIT workout and talk about technique. I don't know why I've previously been slightly intimidated by my perceived closeness of this group - they definitely weren't cliquey or otherwise intimidating. RDC’s philosophy is to run together (not many run groups have this rule), which meant a lot of pit stops so people could catch up then catch their breath. We had a lady in our group who was on her first ever run which was amazing but also maybe slightly nuts! I can’t imagine running for the first time and cracking out eight miles, what a hero.
Maybe I should have been in a faster group because if I’m honest, I would have preferred fewer stops as I found it a bit frustrating not being able to fully get into the groove. However, our lead pacer talked about how it’s tough being the slower runners as we had more time on our feet than the elite runners, that there’s a tough mental battle being at the back of the pack and so on. I’ve never really thought about things from that point of view so it made for interesting thinking. I didn’t have somewhere to race off to that day (aside from wanting to generally get out of the rain) so I was on-board with this philosophy but I have to admit usually I want to get going towards the end of a run to push myself and any reserve I still have left in the tank.
Back at Soho, I stuffed my face on Third Space food, juice, Pip&Nut goodies and champs and after a very well deserved hot shower, I had my hair blow dried and braided, wahoo! Such a great value for money and well organised event, and I really hope that Third Space put something similar on again. Hopefully the party pace group will head out a bit earlier next time though so that group get a bit more time to enjoy the party (I think we were back about 1.5 hours after the elite group!).
Saturday morning well spent, cheers guys.