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Alton Sports Ambassadors – A trip to ‘The Runaway’ with New Balance

To most people Valentine’s Day means spending the day with a loved one and declaring your undying love, however… I went down the pub with several of my fellow Alton Sports Ambassador friends. We met at Farnham station, drank some coffee and boarded a train to London.

Today we were to be guests of New Balance at their pop up running pub for the London Marathon – The Runaway! We all felt like country mice running through London to the venue, there were so many people and traffic was very heavy, especially when you are used to rural country lanes. The run was just under a mile and we were all smiling, we arrived at the pub & immediately I felt like I was in an episode of Minder. Apart from the New Balance logos around the place it looks like a typical pub, down to the carpet that I think my nan & grandad had in the 70s.

We were met by three members of the New Balance team who took us round the Pub and also showed us the pub party trick of opening the duke box and revealing a staircase down to a basement. Down the stairs we saw perfection, the room was decked out with running machines, kettle bells, a yoga area and lockers so club runners can leave their kit while they went for a run.

Time for shoes! We  got to try on some of New Balances range and see their equipment designs for this year’s London Marathon. I tried the 1080 shoe from the current range & they were superb, very bouncy just as I like them, we will be going for a run later. After a coffee break, we were shown the marketing campaign for this year’s London Marathon. The campaign is based around real people actually using the equipment to train for a big event. The video was very inspiring and it was very refreshing to see normal people and not perfect bodied athletes making it look easy, the four months building up to a marathon are not easy!

After a moment of reflection on what New Balance have achieved we left the safety of the pub to go for a run around London. Wow lunch time sure is busy in our nation’s capital! The amount of people was just incredible, however we stayed together as a group and got lots of photos of the sights, we even saw the Queen! Or maybe she came out to see us?

We ran past Parliament and Buckingham Palace and just for me we did the final leg of the marathon. I am running the London Marathon 2019 and I am looking forward to it and doing that journey for real. We finally returned to the pub for a pub lunch and a gentle Q & A with the New Balance reps. I have to say that we all enjoyed our day out at the pub and I recommend if you find yourself in London before the Marathon, that you do check it out. What could be better – running and beer!

Dave Warman – Alton Sports Ambassador