3 August saw a bright warm morning for Victoria Dock’s 65th parkrun. As I made my way from the DLR, I immediately spotted the aptly named Crystal Building glistening at the dockside, already buzzing with the sound of friendly chatter as park-runners from near and afar assembled ahead of the start.
The site itself opened as a commercial Dock in 1855 being the first London Dock designed specifically to accommodate large steam ships, and the first to be connected to the national rail network. It closed as a commercial Dock in 1980 and since then has seen significant redevelopment with many of the old dockyards converted to cafes and restaurants, entertainment and residential housing.
For a parkrun it’s a perfect site. Flat and wide pathed, it makes for a fast course for those who want it. The added interest of jets flying into London City Airport, cable cars gently gliding overhead and the waterside architecture makes for an interesting vista and plenty of visual diversions from the hard effort of running or walking for those that want that too!
It’s also served by great transport links. Which other parkrun could you get to by foot, bus, car, rail, water, cable car or plane!! And, if Saturday was anything to go by, you’re guaranteed a very warm welcome.
It was also the day when Victoria Dock parkrun celebrated its second highest attendance with 270 people completing the course. Over half the participants, 147 to be precise, were first time visitors to this event, 18 of which completed their first ever parkrun. We hope you’ll be back for more!
If the listed running clubs are anything to go by we had representatives from.....wait for it.....Aberystwyth, Abingdon, Aldershot/Farnham, Bradford, Bishops Stortford, Blackburn, Bridgend, Cambridge, Chippenham, Cleveland, Cornwall, Coventry, Dacorum and Tring, Doncaster, Dunstable, Farsley, Gloucester, Gravesend, Harrow, Hatch Warren, Hedge End, Hearne Hill, Histon/Impington, Huntingdon, Ilford, Kent, Kingston, Leatherhead, Loughton, Manchester, Martock, Newcastle, Northampton, Northwich/Winsford, Ogmore Valley, Pencoed, Pershore, Portsmouth, Shrewsbury, Sittingbourne, South Woodham, Spalding, Stilton, Stoke, Tiverton, Truro, Warrington, Winchester, Witney and Yorkshire. Not to mention visitors from other areas of London including Bexley, Clapham, Ealing and West London. Phew! For those of you who were fitting in a cheeky parkrun before the Prudential 100 on Sunday - I hope your cycling event went brilliantly!
Run Director Jamie Wrigglesworth and his team of 11 volunteers did a fantastic job catering for the huge increase in numbers. Thank you to you all for making this event run so smoothly.
First male home was Benjamin Parkes speeding in at 15.24. First female, Dee O’Brien, wasn’t hanging around either, with an impressive finishing time of 19:27. Not forgetting the highest age graded runner, Austin Soane, who had an astonishing age graded run of 86.28%. Congratulations to you all.
An enormous well done to the 36 people who achieved a personal best. Noting that not everyone was chasing a time, whether your goal was to finish the course, walk with a friend, or another ambition entirely - for all those who achieved their target, congratulations to you too!
As for me - I loved my Saturday at Victoria Dock and hope to be back soon!
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Victoria Dock parkrun Results Page.
A877150, visiting from Portsmouth Lakeside