I am an East London (parkrun) Runner

I was so exhausted after yesterdays Juneathon exercise I didn’t manage to blog, so here goes!!

I was up at 7am getting Rose ready to be dropped off to my sisters for the day, her first full day without me and then I was off to Walthamstow for the start of the longest parkrun.

The idea of the longestparkrun is to run 7 x 5K parkruns in sequence, spaced an hour and a half apart some crazy people cycle or run between them, but I chose to drive. I could only do the first 3 as I was meeting some friends for a late lunch, and I doubt I could have completed them all anyway, next year perhaps (Well actually I committed myself to it to my running group buddies so now I have to do it)

The runs themself were not that eventful so instead (in keeping with my theme of local history of East London) I will give you a bit of a guided tour around my part of the world.

Walthamstow – This was held at Peter May Sports Centre which I had never been to before. 3 laps of a sports field basically, but a nice route and the sports centre has great facilities too. I actually lived in Walthamstow for 18months when I was a teenager, I told my friends at school that I lived on the same estate as East 17 a hugely succesful 90s band at the time…I didn’t, I didn’t even live on an estate. The things we do and say to act cool at that age hey? I finished this run in about 40minutes, my garmin said the route was 5.1K so perhaps I did it faster than that.

East 17

Then on to

Wanstead – Now this is my home course for parkrun where I clocked a PB last year of 32minutes flat, this was prior to my London Marathon when I was at my absolute fittest. This is not the only reason that I love Wanstead. I lived not too far from Wanstead Flats between the ages of 13 and 25 and would disappear over there whenever I felt a little melancholy. I also love the fact that my Nan too also used to escape to the flats when she was younger, the photo below was taken on the flats by a “Yank” during the 2nd world war. I ran this familiar course in just under 40minutes, there was a really strong headwind and I was absolutely exhausted by the end of it.

My Nan and her friend in Wanstead Flats

But no rest for the wicked, we’re off to

Valentines – I have run this course a few times too as it is one of the few near me that are wheelchair accessible, also meaning great for pushchair running. Up until November of last year I also worked for the London Borough of Redbridge who manage this park, and last March I got to meet the Queen there when she visited as part of her Jubilee celebrations. We actually used to visit this park as children when we lived in near by East Ham, we used to call in “The park with the Squirrels”, and true to my memory I spent the 44 minutes it took me to run the 2 laps dodging the little buggers.

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So that is where my longest parkrun day ended, but if I had of carried on I would have followed the instructions from one of the runners “Right Barking?” to which Dom from my running club (The East London Runners) replied “We must be”

Barking – known to us kids as the park with the swimming pool during the 80s as there used to be a Lido there. I haven’t been there for many years so it would have been nice to see how it has changed. Below is a picture of my nan on the boating lake there.

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Then down the road to

Beckton – The area where my nana and granddad lived together with their 8 children in a tenement when he worked in the docks, and where as a teenager me and my friends performed in the very same park in a borough wide youth arts showcase. We were part of a street dance group called 8PAC, I’m the one furthest to the left!!

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then to

Mile End – Where I ran on Saturday. I don’t really have much of a link to this place. I used to go clubbing in a small place right next to Mile End tube station but that’s about the extent of it. I attempted this park run 7 weeks after giving birth and had to give up after 1 lap, 2 weeks ago I fell over and twisted my ankle, and this week I spent much of my time dodging snails on the path. If ever you drive past Mile End, look at the bridge which goes over the road, you run up and over that 4 times on thie parkrun.

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and FINALLY

Hackney – I lived in Hackney for 2 years with my first real boyfriend. My running colleagues were having a laugh saying that Hackney is one of the fastest courses because of the fear factor (Hackney has a bit of a bad rep for crime etc), However I lived on the 9th floor of a council tower block just off Mare Street and never had any trouble, in fact I loved living there!!

Hackney

So that’s it a whistle-stop tour of East London parkrun Courses, if you haven’t done a parkrun before what’s stopping you?

I have run 20Kilometers in 2 days and I can now barely move!!!

Comments
6 Responses to “I am an East London (parkrun) Runner”
  1. Kathryn says:

    Well done on the Sunday challenge!!! Shame I couldn’t join you.

  2. sitereport says:

    A great blog post. Great to hear your back story of each of the venues. You have to run at all of them next year. It’s a must!!

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