Victoria Dock parkrun
Victoria Dock parkrun is a really unusual parkrun set around the docks of East London. The start line is under the Emirates Air Line, which is a cable car running from one side of the River Thames to the other. Many parkrunners enjoy a trip on this after the run, but it’s only worth doing on a clear day. The whole course is run on very wide, concrete, dockside paths, so congestion isn’t a problem. Runner numbers are quite modest anyway (usually 100-200), though there will be a spike in numbers on London Marathon weekend. The course is a horseshoe with the start/finish being in the middle. You run one side of the horseshoe as an out-and-back, then do the same for the other side of the horseshoe. It would be difficult to get lost on this course… just keep to the waterside, where possible. It’s quite nice running along the dockside, though you do run through a pedestrianised area of a street, which is quite strange. As the course is around the docks, it’s completely and utterly flat. It’s also on hard paths, so it’s got potential to be a fast course. It would probably only be the hairpin turns at either end that would slow you down.
There is one toilet at the start of the parkrun, which the volunteers will open from about 8am, but there will probably be a long queue as you get nearer to 9am. Car parking is difficult and extremely expensive, so most parkrunners opt for public transport. The nearest DLR station is Royal Victoria and the start line, at The Crystal, is only a 5 minute walk from there, though it’s not obvious where to go, so take the instructions from the course page or a smartphone with a map… or hope that you’ll see some other parkrunners to follow (which is what we did). As you’re in urban London, there are quite a few cafes and shops around to buy breakfast or refreshments after parkrun.
Victoria Dock parkrun is popular with alphabet tourists looking for a ‘V’ , but I’d recommend this parkrun to everyone as it really is an unusual course, especially with the cable cars running overhead. Plus, the volunteers were all really friendly and very welcoming to visitors/tourists (they are very used to us).
Official Event Page: Victoria Dock parkrun
Hills: No data, but it’s flat, flat, flat!
Subjective PB potential: 9/10 – flat, hard paths