5 Aug

Homeward Hit

Home Runners

Often the best ideas are the simple ones and so it is with the new Home Run concept which has recently been launched in London. This brand new way of commuting will help more Londoners avoid the misery of rush hour by enabling them to run home instead, with Home Run carrying their bags for them. So what is HomeRun? Home Run is a series of guided runs home from central London helping commuters to avoid the crush and 'get fit, get home'.

With tube use already at record levels and an estimated 20million additional public transport journeys anticipated during next year's Olympic Games, it is unsurprising that more Londoners are taking to their feet. Home Run's aim is to encourage commuters to 'leave the tube behind' and find a more enjoyable, more sociable and all round healthier journey home.

Home Runs are conducted at chatting-pace and approximately 4 to 5 miles in length. This distance can be travelled in about 40-55 minutes by most runners. But having combined a workout and commute in one go commuters will have saved themselves the most valuable of all commodities - time.

Currently there are 8 Home Run routes in London. The Home Run network will grow organically and reflect demand. The routes thereafter will be based on the numbers of people registering their interest and their preferred route via the HomeRun website.

Another element to Home Run is that unlike the near silence and tetchiness of the cramped tube journey, fellow commuters actually talk to one another. Home Run founder Diccon Loy says: "The social element of Home Run is actively encouraged. So many of our runners have commented that they don't even realise that they are exercising. They are so happy chatting away to each other that they forget that they are running a journey that would usually take them over half an hour by tube and normally completed in total silence."

For non-runners, there is plenty of scope for you to slowly build up your distance travelled. The various Home Run routes follow the tube lines, so if fatigued you can simply jump on the tube, train or bus at the next station and continue to collect your bag at the destination. The bags are taken to the destination either by specially designed bicycles or Streetcars, creating London's most environmentally friendly commute.

Even if commuters live more than 5 miles away, Home Run will still be able to help you get home. Many Home Runners use the service to travel the first 5 miles of their commute and then take other transport methods to continue their journey home.

The hope is not only can it become a viable transport solution but also it can help London deliver on the 'Singapore promise' of being the first Olympic Games in history to achieve an increase in participation sport post-Games. Home Run will be a highly visible example of Londoners taking up sport.