London Winter Rhyme Ribbon Poem Unveiled… 

Back in October, we launched the London Winter rhyme – a competition to find the perfect poem to feature on official London Winter Run 2024 medal ribbon. We didn’t know exactly what to expect from this competition, but it turns out that the power of the poem is still alive and glittering! 

We loved reading all your poems, but there was one spellbinding submission that warmed everyone’s hearts and imaginations. Keen runner and budding poet James Layton waxed lyrical about the magic of winter exercise in his poem ‘Winter’s Running Embrace’.

Read on to find out what inspired the charming lyrical creation from James himself, as well as the poem which is featured below…

Hi James! Congratulations on winning the London Winter Rhyme competition. What inspired you when writing ‘Winter’s Running Embrace’?  

Thank you! I wrote the poem based on previous thoughts and feelings I experienced when running in winter. Although it is often tougher to run in the darker and colder months, it’s about embracing the positive and unique things about running in winter during this time. For example, the line “the crisp winter air kisses my cheeks” turns the wind (which may be seen as a hostile element of winter) into a something which is loving and full of energy and vitality.

I was also particularly inspired by the deeper connection to nature and beauty of a wintry environment – frost, cloudy breath and winter animals, such as robins, are all charming aspects of winter. I also thought about the physical sensations of running in the cold weather, such as the crunch of frost and snow underfoot. I think that every active person can relate to the line in my poem “with every breath, a cloud of steam”. It reminds us of how invigorating it feels to get the blood pumping when exercising in the chilly outdoors! 

How do you feel about winning the competition?  

It is extremely exciting to win any competition but this one especially, as writing poems is not something that I often do, so this one felt extra special. It makes me look forward even more to the feeling of accomplishment at the finish line of the event in February! Receiving my medal with my poem on the ribbon is going to be a unique experience and one I will be very proud of.

Thanks for sharing, James. We can’t wait to present you with your finisher’s medal and congratulations again for winning our competition!


‘Runner’s Winter Embrace’  (by James Layton)


In winter’s shadows, I lace my shoes, 

Through frosty trails, my spirit is a cruise. 

The crisp winter air kisses my cheeks,

As I dash through snow, my hair now sleek. 


Each step a dance, on icy ground, 

A winter trail that I have found. 

With every breath, a cloud of steam, 

Running in winter, a blissful dream. 


The snowflakes twinkle, like diamonds above, 

As I embrace the runners joy, the freedom, the love.