You have to start any parkrun run report by thanking the people who make it happen. So it’s a big parkrun thank you to the amazing Victoria Dock Volunteers who gave their time, commitment and encouragement to all those running, walking and jogging today. Thank you to Run Director Helen and the team including:
Caroline CAREY • David LEVEY • Dorothy WRIGGLESWORTH • Fiona ENGLISH • Gillian JUSTICE • Helen FERNANDES • Phillip STARLING • Sergii CHEBOTAR • Sophie BARKER
A small number of amazing volunteers putting on a big parkrun event in the big city. Thank you all again for making it happen.
Today, 114 parkrunners ran, walked and jogged Victoria Dock parkrun’s amazing out and back, horse-shoe course. It’s flat and that probably partly explains why Seyfu ran a 15:15 parkrun and was our first finisher - although I suspect it’s also about Seyfu's massive talent having seen him speed past me twice in the opposite direction. Hannah was our other first finisher with an amazing 18:33 which again, I think is all about her amazing talent. Seyfu and Dee were our top age-grade runners today with 86.45% and 81.80% respectively. But what’s really cool about Victoria Dock parkrun is no matter how fast you are, not matter where you are in the field, it is just so accessible. We loved the smiling faces through out the field and also want to say a massive well done to everyone especially Babatope and George who were both doing their first parkrun.
Just one milestone today with Ross running his parkrun number 150 although there was a very nice parkrunner, who’s name I missed, running her 50th parkrun this year!
There were 45 parkrunners visiting Victoria Dock for the first time today. Now, I’d like to hazard a guess that they were here today for the warm welcome, the great course, the cable car and, here it is, the “V”. I was there for all of those but mainly the “V” as Victoria Dock parkrun does not meet my “parkrun must be within one hour of home” rule of late.
In fact, my day started with that “bird sound” alarm at 4 am, a train from Manchester at 5:25 am and a very easy journey across London. We knew we were in the right place because there was #superRD Helen setting everything up and making sure everything was safe and going ahead.
And it was all because of that ”V”. About two Christmases ago, I mentioned to my partner that there “were these really daft people who travel the world collecting the parkrun alphabet”. Her response? “Daft? You’ll be doing that soon won’t you?” And guess what? I was as I’d already done a few without knowing it. I’d argue that people doing the alphabet aren’t daft. In fact, it’s opened up a world of new experiences, new places and many adventures. Like the “Z” in Poland - meeting Daniel and Trevor on a train on the way - and “H” in Berlin at Hasenheide parkrun where I got lost on my way to the start and met a guy from Poland who had run at my home parkrun in Stretford, Manchester. Not only did I get the “V” today, I also completed the “A to Z” and Victoria Dock was a good place to do it. Via Scotland, Denmark, Queen’s in Northern Ireland, Jubilee and many others, it was nice to achieve the A to Z this year.
It was also good to share the “V” with my mate Adrian who was running his first parkrun for three months, having been seriously ill. It’s good to not only share moments like this with your best parkrun mate but also with the wider parkrun family too because whilst it only mattered to me, you were all part of my parkrun story. We met some lovely people and want to thank the young man who took the photos for us too.
So if I was to sum-up my morning. It’s been long but totally worth it. I met an amazing bunch of people - especially the volunteers - and had a great cup of coffee across the street from the finish. And if you are thinking of visiting, then please do. Victoria Docks parkrun will give you a warm welcome, a great course and some amazing volunteers - especially Dot and “Bah-Humbug” man who was the nicest bloke you could meet, and the amazing volunteers at the finish who cheered me in when I did my unplanned “flying-V” celebration at the finish.
Thank you again to Leon, Helen and the Volunteering team. You are amazing.