Running for me has always largely been a lone pursuit – I like the time it gives me to think and being able to just go where and when I choose. Seeing all those people charging round the parks on the likes of British Military Fitness slightly makes me shudder.
BUT I do love running, I love talking to and meeting new people and I also LOVE exploring and discovering London, particularly its buzzing, thriving cafés and pop ups … in fact friends, family and colleagues of mine might even describe the level of my excitement and enthusiasm for it all as somewhat extreme and bewildering ☺
So when a mysterious picture appeared in my instagram feed a few weeks ago suggesting I begin my Saturday with a morning run followed by brunch at the new pop up porridge heaven that is 26 Grains – it seemed too good an opportunity to miss.
Any nerves I might have felt at the prospect of running with a “tribe” were very quickly dispelled. The team (Tom, Guy and Rob) made it all incredibly relaxed and we chatted (or at least I chatted) the entire way.
The run itself was 12k and took in Regents Park and the beautiful view from the top of Primrose Hill … the faster of the pack ran about an 8 minute mile and those at the back around 9.5 but everyone stuck together as the leaders looped back to join the rest at regular intervals. It wasn’t at all competitive.
And then back to the glorious 26 Grains where, after wolfing down our well deserved Tribe pods (scrumptious packets of seeds, nuts and dried fruit that are part of the boxes available to order online) we tucked into our bowls of hands down the best porridge I have ever tasted.
The creations of Alex Hely-Hutchinson – founder and owner of 26 Grains – are pure works of art … decorated with edible flowers, sprinklings of cardamom granola, almond butter and berry compotes, each one is beautifully and exquisitely prepared. They also serve wondrous Good and Proper Tea from Emilie Holmes and her team (more on that another time) as well as Workshop coffee.
The whole experience was great fun and really rewarding. I was buzzing from it all for the rest of the weekend.
So last night I joined the team again at the cycle café Peloton & Co in Spitalfields Market for a run around the East End canals.
I very nearly pulled out as the usual afternoon exhaustion hit me at work – and the temptation to just head home threatened to get the better of me, but I’m so glad I didn’t. As I sit now, typing this perched on a table back at 26 Grains of course (sipping from a pot of Good and Proper’s Jade tips and eagerly awaiting my bowl of almond milk banana porridge, topped with cacao nibs, a drizzle of date syrup and coconut yoghurt) I am still on a high from it all.
So for me running with The Tribe has meant: meeting a brilliant group of people, seeing parts of London I have never seen and some I didn’t know existed, free samples of the DELICIOUS Tribe pods and the introduction to an unbeatable breakfast experience.
Bring on the next one!