Run Report 16th November 2019

Event number 78

Tennis fever gripped Victoria Dock this morning as visitors grabbed their parkrun fix before heading to the O2 to watch the ATP finals. As well as regulars, there were plenty of first timers and tourists, with tourists coming from as far afield as Chester, Dolgellau, Letchworth, Margate, and Wepre.

Congratulations to all of our first timers, we hope you'll be joining us again at parkrun soon whether that's at Victoria Dock or elsewhere!

A crisp and morning provided beautiful views down the dock and perfect running conditions. Victoria Dock is one of those lovely parkruns in which you can see the entire course from the start line.

After listening to the run director battle against planes passing overhead we all huddled together at the start line was a truly wide line allowing for a fast start with runners looking to up their pace as they headed towards the first turn around point. The faster runners were off at a cracking pace with everyone else following behind and making their way towards the superyacht, the EdExcel, and the first turn around point. The beauty of such wide paths is that overtaking is easy and so everyone had a good chance of a PB today.

As we approached the super yacht it appeared to get bigger and bigger in front of our eyes, before we passed it and headed down the side of the EdExcel. After reaching the far end of the conference centre, it was time to turn around towards the start again. As I ran back towards the start line I was encouraged by waves and smiles from fellow parkrunners who were still heading towards the yacht.

We turned the corner shortly after passing the Emirates Cable Car, providing an excellent spectacle for those above. We also had a wonderful view with Canary Wharf and the O2 arena looming large before us! However, turning the corner to reach the start line we were nowhere near the finish line as it was time to run down the other side of the dock towards the bridge, and we still had about 2k left. Like many others at this point, I was feeling the effects of the fast start but I was determined to push on. This determination was fortified as I was inspired by the fastest runner who was way out in front of fellows behind him and was making it look effortless. As they pushed forward, we seemed to find some extra energy to push on.

As I reached the turn around point just after the bridge, a vocal volunteer shouted words of encouragement which fortified me for the last push. Turning back round I could see the finish line and I knew exactly where I was going. A stream of faster runners were nearing it and other runners were running from it but giving just as much effort. With one final push and a final turn, I was there. I was tired but I was exhilarated by a fast paced parkrun with plenty of support and views all around!

There were some truly Grand Slam performances with new PBs all around. The fastest male finisher was James Ross who finished in a very impressive 15:52 whilst the quickest female Penelope Teoh ran the course in a lightening quick 19:36.

Thanks to all the volunteers who stood out in the cold and cheered us all on. The event is not possible, your dedication to ensuring event goes smoothly is matched only by the warmth of your encouragement!


Owain Morris