SOAR @ Mile 27
We’ve teamed up with the guys at Mile 27 to make a range of SOAR clothing available at the Mile 27 Clubhouse near Warren St. and Regent’s Park.
A selection of our men’s and women’s range are now permanently available to see try and buy at Mile 27.
SOAR @ Mile 27
35 Conway St.
Open Monday – Friday, 7am – 7pm
We’ve long been fans of what the guys at Mile 27 are doing - building a community and hub for London runners, serving great coffee, as well as hosting running themed events and talks. To mark the start of SOAR @ Mile 27 we sat down with founders and owners Tim and George to find out a bit more about Mile 27, how it began and the journey so far.
Tell us a bit about yourselves and what inspired you to start Mile 27?
George: We met at Bristol University and were both into our team sports, certainly not running though. Then we ran the Bristol half marathon - the atmosphere was amazing and it’s one of our fondest memories of our time there. But it wasn’t until a few years later in 2014, that I did an ultra marathon for charity and really got hooked on running.
A few years of training later we decided to start a run club with our friend Matt. We weren’t very knowledgeable of the London running scene and wanted to get people who wouldn’t usually run involved. To help it grow we decided to make it a really social affair by inviting friends and their friends, and involving food! This culminated in hosting a monthly Run & Brunch from a cafe just off Regent’s Park from June 2016.
Long story short, those events ended up being fun and popular, and the cafe we were using for our events became available. So we left our graduate jobs (Tim at Red Kite Capital and me at Accenture) and decided to set up Mile 27 as a hub where runners could come to hang out, have a coffee and join in with weekly running sessions!
Tim: The café was so charming and characterful that we couldn’t let the opportunity pass. Its location is perfect just meters from Regent’s Park. George and I took the plunge in April and although being an emotional rollercoaster at times, it’s been great fun and a fantastic experience.
How have things gone so far, what’s been happening at the Clubhouse over the summer and into autumn?
Tim: It was hard to start with. We knew a fair amount about running but nothing about running a cafe - so we’ve had to learn quickly. Fortunately, things are going great now and we have a small team of baristas to help us with our latte art.
George: On the running side, I’m pretty proud of what we’ve done in 6 months and that’s largely down to the people we’ve met and the events they’ve co-hosted with us! David Bavin from cycling club Dirty Wknd has been an unsung hero of Mile 27, basing his London rides from here; our friends Alex from Mint RC and Amelia from WMN Run host weekly runs from the cafe and we’ve had many other clubs and inspirational people like Elise Downing, Rhian Ravenscroft, Matt, Tom Evans and more give talks and host events & sessions from here since we opened.
With so much happening, could you pick a highlight or favourite event?
George: Tricky one. I’d like to say the highlight for me is getting into the cafe at 7am and seeing people from all over the city come to Mile 27 for running and cycling sessions…there’s something about the fresh early morning sessions when the city is quiet that is pretty cool.
If I had to choose a one off event, without a doubt, watching Mo Farah on the big screen here for our London World Champs Opening Night Party was a highlight, and I’m not just saying that because it was in partnership with SOAR! The moment he crossed the line to win the 10K and the cheers ringing around the Clubhouse was Superb.
Tim: I’d have to agree with that. It was a true Mile 27 moment… We had a makeshift projector screen and sound being played through a very temperamental speaker. People were piling into the café and we were yet to have anything working. We had made a habit of just managing to get through things with a stroke of luck. About 10 minutes before the 10K race, we got the athletics showing and the café built into an epic atmosphere.
What’s coming up over the next few months, what should the London running community be looking out for at Mile 27?
George: Coming up over the next few months…we’ve got a pretty strong set of weekly sessions now and the centrepiece for that is the Wednesday Club Night 10K, a night run through the city with headtorches on that is developing into something quite special, so that’s a must-do for anyone thinking about joining us! For the more social runners among us, we’ve partnered up with Dirty Wknd for a monthly Beer Triathlon that involves cycling and running around Regents Park followed by beers back at Mile 27 [Boris Bikes are allowed]. The next one is on October 26th so come down if you’re free!
What are the long term plans for Mile 27 and your community?
George: Big question. Obviously it would be incredible to expand and have a Mile 27 as the beating heart of the running community in major cities around the world, but for now we’re focused on making each and every running session great, making every new person feel welcomed, working together with fantastic people who love running as much as we do and having a good time with it.
For our community, hopefully that means being able to achieve whatever they want to in running! Whether that’s simply working it into their weekly routine, completing their first 10K, travelling around Europe doing ultra marathons or hitting a sub-3 marathon. We want to make running exciting and interesting so that people keep on doing it. We reckon that’s by giving them a place to meet, to share stories and base their runs from.
And yourselves as runners, how are you managing to run whilst serving coffee & beer to London’s thirsty running community? Any races or events coming up?
Tim: Over the past couple of weeks, we have installed a great team at the café to help take a bit of the weight from our shoulders, freeing up time to get a bit more training in. I have just called an end to my time playing rugby and I have a big void to fill. I’m on the look out for new challenges, there are a couple of interesting concepts out there that have caught my eye. I currently have a fair bit of timber to carry around so I might take some of that weight off by taking on a few hilly 10Ks.
George: We have eaten a lot more croissants than we should have, but then we get to run with people every day!
Frankfurt marathon is just around the corner for me so I’m getting ready for that at the moment.. After that I’ll be straight onto the trails to prepare for a big year of events including Transvulcania in May and then hopefully CCC over in Chamonix.
What is your favourite run in London?
George: In the summer, it’s all about the Regent’s canal in East London. When winter hits, night runs on Hampstead Heath are quite epic, and then there’s the river run that we do on a Weds night along South Bank.
Tim: The stretch of river between The Globe and Vauxhall on the south side. People are everywhere and although they aren’t reciprocating in my enjoyment for dodging and ducking them and other obstacles, it brings another dynamic to my evening run. With the whole area lit up, it’s a beautiful part of the river to enjoy and get some sights in.
Lastly, what’s your top tip for urban runners everywhere?
George: Can I have two top tips? My first top tip for urban runners is so obvious it’s boring …but here we go - explore the city! Seriously. Get out and run somewhere you’ve never been before. And take someone with you if you can [or join a club like Mile 27 Run Collective]. Run to somewhere and have a coffee or some food on a Sunday morning - scope out somewhere a bit quirky and run there.
My second top tip is for anyone starting out - everyone starts somewhere. Having met hundreds if not thousands of recreational runners through Mile 27, without question the number one reason people don’t go out running is because they’re scared of sweating it up in the streets. Particularly on crowded pavements when work colleagues might be close by. We have a habit in London of taking life very seriously - don’t be scared of getting out and working up a sweat!
Thanks guys, see you soon.