We headed to Victoria Dock parkrun for their 194th event and of course our V!
Victoria Dock, Siemens Brothers Way, London, E16 1GB
Getting to Victoria Dock parkrun
You can walk, drive or use public transport. The cable cars, between Greenwich and Victoria Dock, are free for parkrun users before 10 or 10:30am (I am not sure which). We just had to show our barcodes (apparently you don’t have to always).
Apparently there is parking at the O2. Obviously you can walk and there’s plenty of public transport.
We opted to stay over at the Premier Inn London Docklands (Excel). This was £55 for a family room. This is not to be confused with Premier Inn London Docklands (Canning Town). Parking was available here but we used public transport to get there the night before. This was around a 27 minute walk away from Victoria Dock parkrun.
There are no toilet facilities there so it was good that our hotel was close by. Checking out was also not until 12 noon so we had time to go back and have a nice warm bath!
There was no first timers briefing for those who had done a parkrun before. Explaining that it would all be covered in the run briefing. Instead there was a separate first time to parkrun briefing. Everyone was very respectful and quiet during the briefing – which even had a plane going over during! We were told to keep our bags by the sign and not up by City Hall. That they would potentially be destroyed if we did. We were reminded of this several times. There were lots of bags kept together by the Victoria Dock parkrun sign.
Victoria Dock parkrun Course
Guessing that this has changed but it is now three out and back laps. Meeting, start and finish are all outside City Hall (the Crystal). It is flat and fast and one for your road shoes. It felt really quirky to me as we split in different directions around a food van. It felt more like the Gloucester Santa Run than a parkrun!
At the end of the last lap when you reach the last marshal going back on yourself, instead of turning left you carry on to the bollards and run back towards where you started. Having the start and finish at the same place it isn’t out when you start.
Personally a sign here saying where to go by the bollards would have helped me as I always find these hard to visualise. Another runner also asked me about it. Luckily I had watched a speedy young girl who had lapped me so I had some idea.
After scanning there was a Box to put the finishing token in – in numerical order – think they were bunched together in 50s but it was clearly labelled.
How it was for Me
Absolutely loved this parkrun. Most people were really friendly. There were a lot of tourists – especially those part of the Cowell Club (100 different parkruns). Of course there was the added free cable car ride to add to it too!
Jeffing at Victoria Dock parkrun
Did not have a problem jeffing from the off. Actually it was a lot less busy than I anticipated and we were soon moving and the crowds dispersed everywhere.
People still could be better at keeping left but there was quiet a lot of room on the course. This was more noticeable when the super speedy people tried to lap us.
The course was reasonably cold, as you’d expect running by the Dock in winter. There was a real windy pushing you back as you headed back on yourself. The first two laps I even ran in a hoodie, which is unheard of. I risked putting it on one of the benches and it was fine.
Of course I managed a sprint finish, which nice people commented on. Although by the time I figured out where the finish was it was a lot shorter than say somewhere like Hereford.
Letting our Child Run Alone
Knowing it was a fast course I wondered whether it was a good idea to let our teen run alone. The fact it was London did bother me a bit. On discussion with my husband we decided that no-one was going to bother a 6ft child and that he would be okay. However, I need not have worried at all because by the nature of the out and back (3 lap) course meant that I saw him frequently.
He actually smashed his PB AGAIN – coming in at 23:35! Taking another 73 seconds off last week’s PB. Making a total of 3 minutes and 23 seconds taken off in the last two weeks from his long standing PB!
Victoria Dock parkrun Stats
On January 20th 2024 there were 203 participants at Victoria Dock parkrun. Their times ranged from 17:54-53:45. 131 people finished sub 30. The highest age-grade (93.35%) came from a young girl in the junior 10 category. She was third to finish in a time of 18:17.
At that time the average finish time for Victoria Dock parkrun was 27:09. The course records were 16:53 for female, 14:43 for male and an age grade of 101.89% (in a time of 18:31).