On a very warm beautiful day at Victoria Dock, London I was lucky to say I was their in the company of so many friends at such a visually stunning venue to run at, I feel blessed!!!
The Royal Victoria Dock was designed and built by George Parker Bidder opening in 1885 to commercial shipping, then from the 1960’s onwards steady declined as the docks were not longer required sadly for their original purpose!
Today though with heavy investment from London Docklands Development Corporation along both sides of the quay including the vast Excel exhibition centre and with London City Airport located at the docks, now this part of London has a very bright future!
I was at Victoria Dock not for ticking off a new parkrun event for me on London marathon weekend, but to say farewell to one of my very good parkrun tourist friends Paul Bliss who is moving away to Manchester!
It has been my pleasure to know you Paul and I will never forget the kind gesture of you turning up at my Lon-done parkrun event, you are a true gent and I hope to bump into you again sometime soon on our parkrun travels mate!!
On London marathon weekend the buzz around the capital is quite palpable, so for event 6 at the docks we saw runner numbers almost treble in size from a average of about 95 to 252 that added to a great party atmosphere in the sun!
The numbers included a large contingent of the parkrun tourist community and to my delight a good number of them were my friends who I have been lucky to first meet on my parkrun travels, great to meet you all again guys!!!!
50th Capital event
Today for me at Victoria Dock was my 50th different Greater London parkrun event and it was great to be back in the capital. It was a marvellous time in my life running a year of London region parkruns for a charity fundraising challenge from Ally Pally to Wormwood Scrubs that finish at Pymmes on 3th June 2017
The fun of the fancy dress parkruns, pie & mash after Mile End, a day in Bromley taking in a conference football match and I will ever forget my final parkrun at Pymmes!
One of the regulars at Pymmes parkrun a very kind lady called Jennifer found out about my challenge. then run home 5 minutes before the start of the event to bring back her sons test wedding cake that she made so we could all celebrate afterwards, one top lady!!
For the record Jennifer finished last in the event, but I have to report the cake looked and tasted beautiful 🙂
The course as they state is a horseshoe shaped parkrun that starts at the Crystal community hut then you run about a 3km out and back lap on the north side of the Dock past the Excel centre, the final out and back 2km is run on the south side of the Dock and you finish near where you started!
The courses surface is run entirely on Dock paths and is extremely flat in nature that makes this a very fast course! My time was 34:01 that with my lack of fitness shows how fast this course is, winning time was a outstanding time of 15:54 by Adam Holland, wow!!!
Points to note
- Paths are extremely wide to accommodate runners passing each other in both directions
- There are a few cobbled strips of path that you need to negotiate and could get slippery in the wet
Parking is very expensive around this venue and if you can it is advisable to come by public transport to Victoria Dock. If you get a chance on your journey in I would throughly recommend a trip on the cable car from North Greenwich to Victoria Dock, and at £7 for a return trip it’s a must do addiction to your visit.
There is toilet available before the start at the Crystal community hub, also they offer the hut as a free bag drop off area that is a nice touch!
First for me they offer free tea/coffee at the community hut after the parkrun that is true a lovely gesture to behold!
I would like to thank Helen Ferandes and her team of volunteers for making us feel extremely welcome! A special note is what a brilliant job you all done in accommodating so many additional runners in a calm very friendly professional manner that belies the fact that your event is only 6 weeks old, outstanding work every!
So everyone if you want to run a parkrun PB at a iconic venue then Victoria Dock is a must visit event on your calendar!
Mark aka Silent Runner
Event 84 Great Denham 21-04-2018
I would like to congratulate Liz Davies a very good running club friend and fellow tourist on running her 100th parkrun at our home event of Luton, Wardown, excellent work Liz 🙂