Photo by zefrog
There are some decisions you regret the moment you make them. Joining a jogging guided tour seemed like it was going to be just one of those. It thankfully wasn't.
The newly-launched City Jogging Tours are squarely targeted at tourists and out-of-towners. Those who want to do their usual run without the hassle of finding their way around or those who are looking for a different way of discovering the city. We are told that something may be in the pipeline for the locals, though.
For £26, you get a t-shirt ("I came, I saw, I ran"), edible goodies for your sugar levels, souvenir photos, reductions in sports shops and the company of a trained and very friendly runner to guide you around the capital on one of the six tours on offer.
This blistered, chafed and sweaty but also energised and buzzing Londonista and his regular-jogger of a friend got to enjoy (yes, enjoy!) a "royal tour" along the central London parks, from St James' tube station to Kensington Palace. Let it be stated now: no record of speed was broken and it took us about 50min to do the 6.2Kms of this run. It must have felt more like a walk in the park for the others.
The lack of a shower at the end was something of a downer (though sweating seemed to be only the appendage of the neophyte) but if that is really a problem, customised tours are available that pick you up at your hotel and take you back there.
To be totally honest, we were left raring for more on the guided side of things. The information dispensed would probably not be enough for a tourist of an inquiring disposition and we were pondering what the Blue Badge Guides would come up with if any of them were young or fit enough to go jog. Still it's early days and we have no doubt that this energy-fueled, new venture will soon be going for gold.
Tours are in English and run daily, departing at 9am, 11am, 2pm and 3pm (5pm in Summer) depending on the tour. Groups of 6 maximum. Cost £26 for normal tours, £38 for customised tours. Allow at least 48 hours for booking.
With thanks to Hsien Chew for his help and expertise as the seasoned jogger.