Run Leaders for the Maverick Run Project are the people who make our social runs possible. They know their local area better than we do so they go out and find routes that they think you'll enjoy. Below is the information about the Run Leader for this particular social run.
I started running 4.5 years ago after a triple ankle break, and running provided me with the opportunity to increase fitness and improve mobility. It became something that brought a quicker paced adventure to my love of solo hiking, and a gratitude for my body.
Deciding to enter races was nerve-wracking because so far I wasn’t social in my sports, but quickly found groups - including Maverick - that offered the support, laughs and guidance I was after.
I’m not a quick runner and don’t really feel like I need to be, instead preferring to test my ability with endurance and technique - downhills are my absolute favourite for the thrill of letting go, which I can’t say I do regularly in normal life.
I like to find new routes - even in my urban environment of London - to bring an appreciation to what we have around us. So for this, I also supplement running with road cycling, outdoor swimming when I can, and bouldering.
Other than this, I work in sustainable textiles and ethical fashion, along with being an organic food grower. I’m from the North East of England and have lived in London potentially for too long, yet I still find pockets that make it home - and would love to share this with you.
Steph organises several shorter runs in the London area, each with varying distances and start locations, every week. The longer ones are held at the weekend. Click on the "View & Enter Sessions" button to see times and dates.
Locations and Routes
Finsbury Park (Opposite Finsbury Park Station Place on Stroud Green Road) Stroud Green Road Gate, Finsbury Park, London N4 2DE
Gospel Oak overground station, Mansfield Road, London NW3 2JD
Hackney Wick overground station (outside at station entrance) White Post Ln, Hackney Wick, London E9 5ER
Highbury & Islington station entrance (outside, next to Famous Cock Tavern) Highbury & Islington station, Holloway Rd, London N5 1RA
Richmond Station entrance (outside) The Quadrant, Richmond TW9 1EZ
Crystal Palace station entrance (outside by the white rail/overground sign) SE19 2EZ
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Trails are quite hard to come by so close to the city, but in just a short route, this area of North London gives you a good variety underfoot. The Parkland Walk is a former railway line, now a nature reserve, that is filled with wild flora and trees, managed only slightly so that you have little dips and rocky sections to keep you on your toes - there’s also a sneaky gradient you won’t notice until the way back. We keep on with the city rollercoaster, going upwards to Highgate, with a mad dash downhill through a really quiet spot, Queen’s Wood, before resuming our ascent through Highgate Woods, another gem of biodiversity and calm. The surfaces keep changing between pavement and bouncy forest, so it’s a fun one. As an out and back, there’ll hopefully be a chance to catch a coffee around the bustle of Finsbury Park. (There is no bag drop, and toilets will be shut). Unless you’re used to the area, transport can be a bit awkward so best to stick to the end but remember once out of Highgate, it’s all downhill.
You could run Hampstead Heath every day, and yet you probably still won’t recognise where you are. An ancient green space that likes mud even in summer, we’ll be taking a route that will introduce you to all areas of the 320-hectare piece of land. We first visit Parliament Hill for that ubiquitous view of the city, take in bits of woody areas, pass glorious Kenwood House and visit the exterior sections that offer a bit of calm. With lots of ups and downs to test the legs, and twists and turns to keep you on your toes, this is a route great for day and night, where you’ll be sure to see something new even if you’re a regular of these parts. We finish up by Hampstead Heath station for a refuel, where there are pubs around (no bag drop).
A good route to remind you that there is still peace close to the city; with a combination of new infrastructure in the Olympic Park contrasting the old waterways of the River Lea, wet marshes of Walthamstow (where cows are often seen), and the smell of wood smoke on the canal, it takes you back to London-past while rooting you in the now. This is a flat route, with a variety of metalled and tarmac paths, yet with options to go off-road around both marshlands, you can still have a bit of a splosh and wind. There are some cafés and pubs in the local area for when we finish up, but it’ll be tricky to find a toilet (the woods are handy, though). No bag drop. If you’ve had enough, there is the option to cut short and divert yourself to other stations, but it’s a great one to take in the sights and sounds of East London.
Rather than a mega trail run, we remind ourselves with this one that there is still fun to be had on London’s streets. We take in a number of green spaces (five, to be exact), each with their own character, that break up the pavements. They will still give you some ups and downs, a bit of mud depending on the weather - and you may even spot some deer and goats. With many spots along the way to divert, you can make this a brief tour. There’ll definitely be a chance to stop for a coffee or beer at the end too (but no bag drop).
We’re going to try to cover a lot of ground in this one, going for an almost full circumnavigation of Richmond Park. With open space and a vast vista, this is one to give you a feeling of freedom - for anyone who lives in the North, we at least know that those Southerners have perhaps got a bit more fresh air. We start in the town so there is pavement as we move uphill past views of the Thames in to the park. We’ll traverse different sections of this 17th Century deer park to offer variety underfoot and to your eyes - and you’ll even get to touch a rare London trig point. Then it is back downhill to the town, alongside the river, for a cuppa. If you live in the South West, you’ve got the possibility of extending or shortening your run, and, if we feel that the trail we’re on isn’t gnarly enough, we can follow wherever our heart’s delight in this whopping 2500 acre park. No bag drop and you’ll want fuel, but there are toilets and cafe's throughout the park and in Richmond town.
This is a half marathon with a lot of sights. Perhaps nothing to rival the Landmarks or Big Half, yet you will experience small pockets of calm down here in the South London green spaces that will still feel dramatic. Starting in Crystal Palace park with an eerie amount of overgrown space, we have some ups and downs before heading into various woods. Traversing the stately Dulwich park, we then get to hilly Brockwell (but to be honest, the hills don’t let up). We have lots of variety underfoot, many chances to test your power on uphills, and chances to stretch your legs as we move across the characterful borough of Southwark through many green spaces. We finish up at a coffee shop that offers the best pain au chocolat you’ll have ever had (unless you’ve been to Little Bread Pedlar before). No bag drop, and you’ll need to bring some fuel. We’ll have some rest stops to take in the fresh air, but you can divert yourself to lengthen or shorten your run with many tube stations nearby.
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