Run Dem Crew was formed in east London in 2007 by a runner and writer called Charlie Dark — less than five years on the running club he started has more than 100 members, with some now forming spin-off groups in other parts of the capital.
It can be hard to keep yourself motivated when you’re training on your own, but Across the Divide has provided me with a helpful guide to preparing for the Arctic Circle, and while I’m working hard with my fundraising I also need to be working equally hard on improving my fitness. What better way to prepare than joining a running club?
A good friend of mine — the writer runner — has been running with Run Dem Crew for ages, and she has in turn inspired me to join up with them.
I turned up on Tuesday night at the 1948 Nike store in east London, where the Crew run out from. Of all nights I could have picked, it turned out this was their First Annual Zombie Run: taking to the streets of London painted up like the living dead.
100 runners took to the streets of the capital under the cover of darkness, and as a pack we set off through Shoreditch and towards Liverpool Street station. The different speeds and abilities of the groups within Run Dem Crew quickly spaced us all out, but the route was the same: through the middle of Liverpool Street Station, out the other side, across London Bridge, down along the river to the Millennium Bridge, across to St Paul’s (passing by Occupy London) and back towards 1948.
Next March, the Great Arctic Fundraising Adventure will have me running in the snow alongside a pack of huskies — possibly having fallen off my sled, or pushing the sled uphill. This night had me running past ionic London sights instead, places that I see every day but don’t pay attention to in my 9-6 working drudge.
My fitness isn’t nearly as bad as I might have thought — which is reassuring, but my flat feet and bow legs don’t make me a natural runner, so I was left with a painful back and painful knees, but the reassurance that I can do this. Next year, when I’m sat beneath the Northern Lights, I’ll know that running with Run Dem Crew paid off.
Please do your part to support The Great Arctic Fundraising Adventure and make a donation here.