Thursday, 19 September 2013

Gloanna Yoga Run

One of the best ways I can think of to start a weekend is with a run in a park with friends, some lovely food and some prosecco. It just so happens that I spent last Saturday morning doing exactly that at the Gloanna Yoga Run in Battersea Park. Just a heads up, I will be using the word "lovely" quite a lot in this post.

Gloanna was set up by a chap called Paul in order to provide a community experience type of event for people like his girlfriend, who would go run, do a yoga class and grab something healthy to eat every Saturday without fail but with more human interaction. And a very fine job he's done of it too. I'd heard such great things about the first event, I signed up for second event as soon as I heard about it, and then talked Anita into joining me.
It's too early for all this
When you sign up to the event you get to choose a start time. I think there were three starts at 9am, 9:30am and 10am. As I am not a London dweller I chose 9:30 as that didn't mean getting up too horrifically early. A coffee on the train was very welcome though. On arrival at the park there are little signs to guide you in to the event village. It all felt very intimate and lovely with lots of ladies milling around chatting and the first group of runners going through a warm up. The event was female-dominated, unsurprisingly given the activities on offer, but I did spot a few fellas there too. 


We queued up to collect our race packs, consisting of a lovely and tasteful pale grey (cotton) event t-shirt and our running bib which featured our names (in the form GLOVIKKI or GLOANITA) instead of a number. This was not a timed event, the idea was to have fun and be sociable. Bags deposited and we were free to explore. The village was set up under a thick tree canopy which helped to shelter us from the persistent drizzle and there were two large gazebos set up a little way off to house the yoga classes (beginners and intermediates), one either side of a DJ tent. I don't actually remember hearing much of the music but it was lovely to know it was there. 
After trying our hands at some hula hooping we did our warm up, toasted each other with a shot of prosecco (or two) and set off on our run. It was a two lap course around the park, with super-cheery marshals who high fived us at every opportunity. Anita even got a full on hug from one chap! We didn't time ourselves but ran at the limits of "the speed of chat" and were grateful for the vitacoco at the finish line. The previous yoga class was still going on so we took the opportunity to grab a goody bag with water, banana and pot of watermelon, a bounce ball, a full sized glass of fizz and a tub of Whey Hey protein ice cream which was delicious when I finally got it to thaw enough to get a spoon into it! We both opted to have a free head neck and back massage and in doing so missed the start of the yoga class. It was a pity because it looked great, and we probably could have joined in but we were getting cold and I had another event to get to so we picked up a sushi pack (seriously everything was gorgeous and delicious and lovely) and headed off. 
Relaxing with a massage
It was the most enjoyable event I've done in ages. Ok the baggage area could have done with being a little more organised, a few more hands to dish out the race packs would have negated the need for the 9:30 starters to be pulled to the front of the queue and a hot drinks stand would have been welcome given the weather but we both agreed it was fab and I'm keeping my eyes out for the next one. Paul sent out a lovely email yesterday with a couple of discount codes, a survey and an apology the the things he felt hasn't gone so well, which just added to the personal tone of the event really. The next one won't be until 2014 but you can bet I'll be signing up again.

2 comments:

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