Project Awesome

It’s 6.30am, freezing cold and pitch black. Tower Bridge is illuminated and there is a stillness rarely found in central London. I feel a bit like I’ve been tricked as no one apart from pack leader Danny appears to have showed up. As I prepare for a solo run session I hadn’t really bargained for 20 people in hot pants and orange wigs run around the corner. 

That’s the kind of run club Project Awesome is, the gang had plotted to dress as Danny in celebration of his birthday, obviously. After more selfies, cheers, high 5s and hugs than I’m normally comfortable with before 7am on a Wednesday, the session is set and we are underway.

The run session differs week to week but it is always beginner friendly allowing for more advanced runners to smash it, should they wish. This is achieved by some kind of lap route - which doesn't stray far from the base, The Scoop by Tower Bridge. The week I joined involved systematically running up and down steps before running a quick loop around a building and then repeating, 10 times.

Each round included running up and down a total of 55 steps, so my calculations make that 550 steps. We were working out for around 40 minutes – it was tougher than I’d anticipated (something that always pleases me.) My calves were not used to that many steps and I never would have put myself through a session like that solo. Mostly however I enjoyed the camaraderie of being amongst a positive group of runners, celebrating each other and themselves for being out there, at that hour, before London woke up and the day took over; it’s pretty cool

There are a few unique things about Project Awesome:

  • Anyone can go there, a lot of run clubs say this but you are still usually expected to keep up and run a certain distance non stop – some of the PA goers had never run before coming to a session.
  • It’s totally free.
  • It starts at 6.30am so you cant really use work as an excuse not to make it.
  • The group tends to go for coffee together afterwards (this is optional).
  • Hugging is an important part of it. Now, I’m not the world’s biggest hugger of strangers but somehow this seemed ok and was a great way to break the ice.

Project Awesome currently meet twice a week at The Scoop on a Wednesday and at Primrose Hill on a Friday, both sessions commence at 6.30am (sorry). You don't have to do anything to join apart from show up. Find out more details and join the Facebook group here.